If you are regular reader you will know that I have recently decided to go from part time craft hobbyist to full time craft seller. If you aren't a regular read, I poke you with my virtual stick. No not really :) However welcome to my blog!
A couple of lovely people have asked me to share my experiences and learning curves as I go through the process of what I have decided to call, quite simply, 'The Plan'. You see I can't afford to just drop my full time job from hell and follow my dream. Finances simply won't allow it (however I do I have lottery ticket in my purse so next week I may be writing a whole different post). I have had to lay down a plan to be able to achieve everything I want and need to be able to wave 'ta-rah love' to the rat race.
I'm going to break up 'The Plan' and walk you through it, post by post, week by week. With a little luck if you are thinking of leaving the rough world of pain and no gain, I may help you out with something you hadn't thought of. Otherwise I at least hope to vaguely entertain the masses with my lacking comedic value ;)
So what's the first thing you are going to do?
Work out why you want to become a full time crafter.
The second thing?
How are you going to get there.
Now the why should be the easy part, the how may take sometime to understand (hence the posts that shall eventually follow).
So, you work in an office where Tracy had been giving you the evil eye for the past 6 months. She reckons you're having it away with the boss man and she has spread evil nasty rumours. You feel down, depressed and most of all you wouldn't touch the boss man with a barge poll. Anyone that wears that amount of aftershave has something to hide. Or you work with James, Pam and Eve - the check out chicks with attitude. Oh they invite you to their house parties and they let you sit with them at lunch, but you know they have spread a nasty little lie. Tut tut you getting all drunk at the Christmas party and coming out of the toilets with 'white' power round your nose. Your compact broke, they don't believe you, but they won't say it to your face. Or maybe you just work alone, all hours god sends, no time to be with the kids. Up in the dark, home in the dark, living off takeaways and coffee just to keep going.
Whatever your reason, you are reading this because you have a gift or talent for the old crafts! You might be a papercrafter, a knitter, and painter, a jewellery maker - it doesn't matter. You love what your hobby is. You've sold a few items to friends and family. You recently jumped onto the Etsy band wagon. You sold a few more items. You have a little extra cash flow.
Halt right there.
Hate to break this bad boy to you - but just because you sold a few bits doesn't mean you can go and tell James, Pam and Eve where to carefully insert it. Nope. You need a plan.
You know why you want to leave. You don't want to work in a thankless environment where the only people that get the praise are the people who don't have families, who don't go out at weekends, who generally just live at work. You want to make you own hours. You want to be able to take a day off to spend time with the family. You want to make Sunday baking day and wrap jar tops in gingham fabric.
You do have to consider one more thing.
Only a lucky 1 in 1000 of us will make it big. That one person will be able to open a store, employ others and make enough money to have two holidays a year. The other 999 of us? We will make money but our hours will be long, probably longer than what you work now. The pay will be less. Sorry, but at the very least you £22k a year salary is a goner (unless you're that one don't forget). You will need to budget for every last thing. From where you will buy the new school uniform, where you will do your food shopping, how much you will spend on materials, bills....the list is endless. Due to cut backs you are going to have to work out if you can leave your job, and most importantly when. I will go into more detail on that at a later date.
Here's the crunch point. You want to leave your job. You want to sell what YOU make full time. Will your family and friends support you? Most of the time this is a yes. However every cut back you make, every day you spend working away until midnight, every time you get stressed out because you are scared you can't get the order out on time - these things effect your nearest and dearest. You might have the why, but make sure you have their support before you go any further!
I would advise you now to consider your whys. I would advise you to speak to the significant other. Once you have done that if you are still in the same place - the 'If I don't do something now I never will' place - pop back later.
Budgets are important - however next time - it's all about time. Time is your friend and your enemy! If there is one thing I have learnt when working in sales and retail for the past 12 odd years it's how to manage your time. Even if you already own your own craft business I may be able to pass on a gem or two to you ;)