Showing posts with label Ponderings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ponderings. Show all posts

Monday, October 3, 2022

You Are Creative!

A friend of mine recently penned this inspiring statement about the creativity that lives in all of us.

Life is one great creative manifestation. You may think you don't have a creative side; yet you don't need to be an artist to live in a creative life. You are innovative and can think of so many new ways to do all sorts of things. Your inventive, creative side can be as simple as creating a special recipe or at work in doing a spreadsheet a new easier way. The importance of CREATIVITY in this life is that it allows you to express yourself. Your self-expression is "ONE OF THE GREATEST DIVINE GIFTS YOU OFFER OUR WORLD." -Evann Woodard


 

The greatest hindrance for most people in releasing their creativity is the fear that it will not resemble the work of others enough. There is also the lingering hurt from being ridiculed or laughed at when creativity was shared. Very few of us can maintain our confidence after experiences like that. Many people also feel that they have to produce fine artist-level work in order to be authentic.

The manifestation of our inner creativity is for ourselves first. It is to first please ourselves. There are things that you can do. You can create something that was not there before. You can take something and alter or enhance it so that it doesn't look the same as it did before. The greatest consideration is that it be important and valuable to you.

Next, your creativity is for whomever can and will appreciate it. Rather than attempting to coerce some to accept our work, we should surround ourselves with those who appreciate our efforts without having to beseech them. 


 

The old saying is valid, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. If a person does not appreciate our work, their hearts will not change through our begging. This is important in both our private and social lives. We should improve where we want to and can and go where our work is admired and appreciated. 


 
Yes, you have creativity within. You are creative. You can create. Believe in yourWself. Protect your creativity. Let it come out, in private if you have to at first. Always remember, don't throw your creative pearls before swine, because they will be trampled upon. If you feel that you must share your work in the beginning stages, show it to those who are inclined to be compassionate, kind and appreciative of the skills of others. Whatever type of creativity you choose to explore, maintain your confidence and keep creating!


















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Monday, April 11, 2022

Why Are Etsy Sellers On Strike Yet Again?

 Etsy sellers launch a week-long strike over increased fees was written by Jaclyn Diaz and reported today at NPR.org. Many sellers have launched a week-long protest by closing their shops and other actions. This is in response to the recent in a long line of fee increases announced by CEO Josh Silverman. Seems like 59,000+ shop owners have signed the petition. A quick web search will show results for strikes during each of the past few years.

I don't feel that Etsy morale will improve for disenchanted handmades sellers. Somewhere along the way, during the past 12-15 years, Etsy management felt that to stay afloat they had to expand away from pure handmade support. They added a complicated fee system and have raised prices so often and by such a high percentage that it has crushed not only the bottom lines but the spirits of many handmade sellers. I closed my shops at Etsy a couple of years ago but not because of changes at the site. Sometimes I miss being there. It's at times like this that I'm glad I left though, which makes me feel sad. It was exciting to be a part of Etsy, back then.

Dwanda, Artfire and others folded and it seems like Etsy is having to take drastic steps every year to remain viable. These decisions have invited in questionable resellers and consistently driven away Etsy creatives. I was at Zibbet when years ago there was a mass exodus of Etsy sellers to that selling venue in response to insufferable changes. Most of them returned to Etsy when Zibbet did not deliver what they were expecting. Sellers need to seriously ask themselves if any selling website will fulfill their expectations. If not, what is the best course of action for their brands?

While the popularity of Etsy seems bleak for many, others are realizing what I had begun to feel some time ago. The best business practice for the future of creating and making is to learn how to market and sell from your own web spaces. There are still a few venues left where the income of the creative is not gouged. One of them is Payhip. Another is Meylah. Find Meylah store setup info here.

Learning to self-promote and sell from our own blogs and online shops will provide peace of mind to start, which will go a long way in generating income. It is difficult to focus on creating good products and effectively marketing them when there is misery about the selling platform and constant fear of what will come next. It can be bad for the creative psyche to be in an atmosphere that has become increasingly riddled with controversy.

Will this strike matter to Etsy management and ownership? Will it bring about the desired changes? According to many sellers' comments at the forum, no it will not. Many of them say it's the low-sales-volume sellers who have organized and are signing on to the strike. My heart goes out to the makers and designers who feel a need to boycott Etsy. If the majority are low-volume sellers, then my suggestion to learn to market and sell from their own shops is even more crucial. If being at Etsy is not paying off, shouldn't those sellers be expending their efforts and funds elsewhere? That would build invaluable marketing experience and generate more lasting assets for the sellers.     


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Friday, April 1, 2022

Be Flexible Be Successful

It's so hard for some to keep on keeping on with their plans, projects and dreams. When we love something and truly believe in what we are doing, we can't stop, anyway. Success also comes through the ability to adjust and adapt. While we're pressing on and never giving up, we need to be flexible in order to succeed.

Behind every successful man there's a lot of unsuccessful years. Bob Brown

You have to accept yourself in order to be successful. S. Holland 



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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Artfire Gone And Etsy Raising Fees

Found out today that ArtFire shut down in December. They explain why here. I'm shocked, like I was when Dwanda shut down, but then again, I'm not. Things on the handmades and maker venues front began to collapse over a decade ago. I used to keep track as one listing site after another folded. I've now lost count. Even Cargoh is offline, showing an announcement page with a vague promise. 

Aftcra is just a facade, a ghost for a long, long time. No one answering, no one responding. The homepage still loads as if they are flourishing, except it displays the same 2017 and before product pics, just like at their Facebook page. Walk around at the majority of the blank sellers pages and hear crickets...

Etsy really is the lone handmades venue of some size and they've opened up to so many micro manufacturers that competition is grossly unfair. They also recently announced that they are increasing fees, again, from 3.5 to 5% starting on July 16. Sellers are again in an uproar. For some time they have regularly been in an uproar. 

Can handmades ecommerce continue to sustain these frequent fees increases? It would be devastating if Etsy shut down. I hope they don't have to. I closed my shop there months ago in favor of a Payhip shop with my own domain. I sometimes miss Etsy but with the upcoming fee increase, I admit that I'm glad I'm gone. So many categories of fees and frequent changes was exhausting, really. I like visiting and looking at certain types of products and I sometimes buy graphics and digitals.

I think Etsy would expand even further to include mid-manufacturers before they would fold. Unfortunately, that might cause the marketplace to look more like an American Aliexpress than it already does. It seems like the majority of craft supplies sellers are reselling rather than de-stashing, which was the original meaning of selling craft supplies. It's a fine but ugly line that Etsy has overlooked and will overlook more to remain online.   



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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Success Comes From Within

Often, sellers ask is anyone making sales at this or that site? Is this site good for sales? Do you get a lot of traffic and sales at this venue?  Long-lasting success is not based on the website or selling venue or any other entity or person. Sustainable success happens according to the person's unfailing commitment, acquired knowledge and savvy efforts.

Unless you got in on the ground floor, even Etsy is no longer a venue where you are likely to list products, do nothing and get sales. Nowadays, new Etsy shops have to promote themselves ceaselessly to obtain regular sales. Etsy used to be the go-to venue to list creations, do nothing much and rake in the sales.

Earlier in Etsy's history, a person could join and by virtue of the traffic alone selling success could be had. Because of the changes in the purpose and direction of the owners, competition is now so varied and stiff that even those with great products have to pull their own weight in marketing. This is something that sellers should have always been cultivating. Why? Because that type of self-generated success is lasting. 

To successfully market and promote our brands, we have to believe in what we do and believe in ourselves. We have to see value in all of it and we have to be determined to show others that value. Sometimes, we have to change products and direction or reevaluate our goals.

If we don't possess that do-or-die attitude, we will depend on others and their websites to give us success. Eventually, we'll quit. If this is the case, them maybe we should not have been pursuing this type of success anyway. Maybe it was always just a fleeting hobby that we mistakenly saw as a driving purpose. 

A creative person who is driven and burning with the love of creating and the determination to show others the value of it will work tirelessly. They will press on until they find the correct techniques and products or services to get that point across.  Like they say, a good seller can sell ice to Native Alaskans.

We should all want sustainable success, rather than success that is attached to any one e-commerce site. If a website begins to fail or if the owners take a direction that is no longer compatible with our beliefs, we can leave and take our success with us. Without fear, we can take self-built, sustainable success where ever we go. 

Success

  • Unfailing Commitment
  • Acquired Knowledge
  • Savvy Efforts.
Success comes from within.


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Saturday, November 20, 2021

Be Flexible And Adjust For Success

 

Press on in the thing that you love to do.

If you love it, you won't stop. 

If you don't love it, change it.

Be flexible and adjust to what your heart is telling you.

Don't lose time, effort and money on something that you don't love.

Success comes to those creatives who are determined and flexible. 


Failures are teaching grounds.

Failures are clues about changes to make.

Failures are tools to use to our advantage.

Failures are vital and critical keys to success.

Stay awake!

Pay attention!

 

HAPPY CREATING!



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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ponderings: What's Wrong With ArtFire Subscriptions?

 

Sometimes I think that the man who started Artfire has lost his mind, but I don't have anything against John A. Jacobs. I just continue to be confused. A long time ago I was impressed by his story of how his mother's struggles as a handmades or jewelry seller inspired him. He decided to launch a venue that would support and make it easy for other cottage industry sellers to succeed. He specifically attacked the challenges that hand-makers had of paying the fees that many selling venues charge.

He said he recognized a growing dissatisfaction with his customers selling their products on the Internet. Some sites charge too much and are too restrictive, he said, and are unresponsive to their customers, sellers and buyers.

I know that goals and purposes change, but...

Over the years I've checked on Artfire and what I have consistently found went from good to worse. You probably have read my similar rants about AF as I discovered each unfavorable change or feature. I've never sold at AF, but I did join in the earlier years when free shops were offered. That has been no more for a long time. The always free shops went from always free to a trial period. That went kaput!

I ran by AF today and couldn't believe my eyes! Maybe it's just me, some type of twisted prejudice maybe? You tell me. I run by from time-to-time just because there are so few handmades-dedicated selling venues that exist anymore and because AF was one of the originals. They have outlived all the many others that have shockingly fallen by the wayside.

Unbelievably, a standard shop with a cap of 250 listings, is $4.95 a month. Not bad, right? But there's a fee of $0.23 per listing. Palatable? The listings are only active for 2 months before you have to pay again. If you are still with the Artfire creator's thinking up to now, think about this. There is an FVF of 12.75%. Like I said, you tell me. Is it me, or is there something wrong with this picture?

Well, ArtFire is still functioning, you say. Yes. Most smart businesspersons don't continue to invest time and money in non-lucrative ventures. I don't know what the turnover in shops is but some sellers are still finding the site useful. Af, however, is not the same as it used to be with regards to happy socializing and devoted promotion of the site by sellers.  Af was fondly talked about on all the crafting forums and social platforms. Listings even used to appear in Google Shopping. I stopped hearing about AF a long time ago. As far as the cost to invest in a shop? It's worse than Etsy and not nearly as much traffic and probably very little promotion, if any. Still, I wish all of the sellers there much success and satisfaction!

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