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Small fry…

Over the years, my little brother and I were always thinking of ways to make a few extra dollars: whether it’s having a garage sale, baby sitting, tutoring, making and selling things…  One time, when we were quite young, we decided to put on a show for my Mum, Nan and Aunty. We both played the keyboard at that stage (moving onto the piano later on) – so we set up the rumpus room, wrote a ‘set list’ of sorts, created flyers, and invited our family to ‘the concert of a lifetime’! It was $2 to get in… And $2 to leave at the end!  Haha!! We still all joke about it 20+ years later that we made them pay at the end to leave. I don’t know if it was us being cheeky, not knowing how it worked in the real world, or a stroke of pure genius!

Little bro & puppy
That’s my crazy brother and my even crazier puppy!

But even all those years later, we still think of ways to make a quick buck. Most of our ideas don’t work and are more hassle than they are rewarding… And selling my crochet things came close to being just that! Soon after I learned to crochet I was trying all sorts of beanie patterns and even moved on to baby booties (they’re easier to make than they look!) They were quick projects that didn’t take up too much time or yarn so I thought, “why not start my own Etsy store and Facebook page and sell my crochet goods!?” At first it was all very exciting – I was quickly learning about Etsy stores and Facebook pages, and madly researching ways to quickly and cheaply (i.e. for free) promote myself. And in those first months I actually had quite a lot of orders! But therein laid the problem: everyone was ordering the same thing! The same Yoda or Wonder Woman beanie… The same loafer-style baby booties… I was so busy making these things at barely cost price that I didn’t have time to try new patterns and I quickly started resenting the orders that were coming through…

In saying that, I stuck it out for about a year: increasing and decreasing my prices to try and make money but so that people would still buy my stuff; neglecting the housework because ‘all I had time for’ was crochet; giving people free stuff or discounts to try and drum up return business or because they were friends; taking my crochet projects with me *everywhere* to spend every spare minute on them… It was all turning into a shambles and my husband was getting worried about me, us, our home. This was a typical Jekyll and Hyde issue for me: I was determined to make this work and didn’t want to let people down, but I was missing out on learning new things and the fun of crochet was slowly fading away…

I realised that I’d done it all backwards… Instead of planning my little business and building an inventory of items I could sell at a decent price that would actually make money, I’d jumped straight into opening an online store with nothing to sell and starting a Facebook page with nothing to post. I found I was always one step behind! So I slowly started fading my little business into the background and stopped promoting it. For the time it has been a great decision. I still get orders now and then from friends and friends-of-friends; but now I’m free to create whatever I want, whenever I want! Sure I’m not making much money from it… *yet*! But I’m enjoying crochet again.

And, you know what? Other opportunities have cropped up in the mean time! Like Handmade Magazine asking me to contribute to their magazine, starting my own blog, writing a book of crochet patterns… *More about that last one later!* I’ve also learnt a lot about the online business world, crochet hacks, myself… And while on one hand there’s plenty I would’ve done differently, sure – I’m still glad I took this path because now I have a clearer idea of what I want to the crochet-part of my life to look like and I have a better idea of how to get there.

What goals or dreams have you had that just didn’t work out the first time? What did you learn? If you tried again, how did it go the second time around? 

Too often my priority has been to make as much money as I can from what ever I'm doing! But I'm not sure that's the best approach to life...

4 thoughts on “Small fry…”

  1. Hi. You’ve put down my thoughts exactly .. beautifully.
    I also experienced a similar dilemma recently … whether continuing in a job that was getting to be monotonous and routine… only for the security it gave .. OR to get out of your comfort zone to learn and do new things..
    Obviously, it was a pregone conclusion.. I took the leap. Believe me, i never once looked back.. AND I’m genuinely enjoying myself learning new skills every day.
    I truly and sincerely believe that a person must learn something new every single day of his/her life… else he/she is merely a carcass that breathes.
    My mantra is Learn and live. Ceasing to do so is death.

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    1. I agree 100%. I love learning about or trying new things. It’s such an important element to living a fulfilling life…

      It’s a shame when people are afraid to try new things for fear of failing. And I’ve been one of those people in the past. But you learn far more from failure than you do from success!

      So “just do it’!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW reading about your crochet work is making me feel like reviving my crochet too.. used to do some years ago..
    Can u post a pattern for a scarf? a long one.. which can be wound around ur neck? And please the pattern should be such as the garment grows fast and is completed quickly.. I tend to lose patience and have several incomplete projects. My boredom threshold is very low u see!!

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    1. Oh, for sure! I have one called ‘Diamonds are Forever’ – it’s really pretty and quite easy. I’ll make sure that’s the next pattern I post…

      In the meantime, you’d probably like my ‘Crazy Bunny’ pattern if you’re looking for just any quick and easy pattern. It’s easily finished in an hour and are great to make for little gifts: https://thesweetestgeekcrochet.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/crazy-bunny-easter-egg-holder-free/

      Like

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