I'm pretty excited to say that my shop hit 1000 sales on Nov. 17th! It might seem like "no big deal" for some people, however for me, it's pretty huge! Ill reminisce back to June 2008, so you all have an idea as to how Pumpkin Pye Boutique came about and some of the hardships I went through. A bit of a personal story, but here it goes.
June 11, 2008... I was scheduled to have my csection for the birth of my daughter, Ava Sky, on June 12th at 7am. I was a nervous ninny that night before especially and decided to distract myself from the scary thoughts of a surgery and dabbled onto etsy. "What's etsy?" I thought. I searched and searched for such cool things! Everything from photography to paintings, to felted items and polymer clay. I stopped at the polymer clay and thought, "oh, I have polymer clay!" I created a login id right away. After the etsy id was created at a record speed, I popped my laptop down and waddled toward the kitchen cabinets (where i store my art supplies) and dug my freezer bag sized bag out of old polymer clay that I've stored (or hoarded) away for oh about 16 years. It was still usable. HOLY MOLY! I used to make charms with my best friend (and neighbor) when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Immediately this bag brought back so many memories of my clay days with Teresa! I started sculpting away at 10pm at night in my rocking chair. I made some silly little things and that was that. Next morning came rather quickly. After only about 4-5 hours of sleep, Ava Sky was born at 8:20am on June 12, 2008.
Flash forward- August 2008. Time has passed and Ava was now a few months old. I was preparing to go back to my job the following week and was all nervous to go back after my maternity leave. I wanted to go back, after all, I figured it would make me feel whole again and not just a mother. The people I worked with were awesome and I truly loved my job. Well, that Friday, I called up my job and found out that they could no longer have me work for them due to the economy being so rough- especially taking a toll on the art/music industry of sales. I was very upset, but I understood that maybe this would be best for Ava and I.
PANIC MODE- Yep, panic mode set in just a few hours later after that phone call. Questions popped up in my head.. "how am I going to afford everything?".. "my baby is colic and needs expensive formula.. and how am I supposed to pay for this?" "What am I going to do?" "Where can I work now?" and so on. I never thought that my answer would have been "my etsy shop". Sure, at first, I got the unemployment benefits. Knowing that this would eventually run out, I needed to work fast. I had to put everything into my polymer clay and get inventory built up to open up shop.
October 2008- I started Pumpkin Pye Boutique out with $20 bucks. Yep, just $20. I didn't have much to spend. I bought new clay at michael's arts and crafts at 50% off and bought some silver necklace chains. I started to construct little peanut butter and jelly friendship necklaces. This was an easy one, since I craved pbj during my pregnancy which was still very familiar. I took pictures of my completed charms and posted them onto etsy and bonanzle.com. I opened up 2 shops at once. I was desperate and in panic mode. I waited for my first sale. I posted on forums and promoted on myspace. A few weeks into this.. I got my FIRST SALE! Oh my goodness! I was SO happy! I thought, wow, someone likes my stuff! I didn't really think my charms would sell. I knew they were cute, but did anyone else think they were cute too?? Apparently so! I got maybe one sale every other week. All in between, I started listing more items. I discovered etsy chat as well and chatted it up and played those silly 5 min featured seller games just to get noticed. Bonanzle started doing pretty good! I was up to 6 sales for the month! My money went straight to supplies of course. So now my crafty habit paid for itself! Perfect!
Flash Forward October 2009- October 2009, I was having quite a bit of sales come through. I would say it snuck up on me and I wasn't ready for it. At this time I had 4 shops open! Etsy, Bonanzle, Artfire and Ecrater. What a "go-getter"! Etsy was ranking the best in sales by far. I had about 45-60 sales for October. Not bad at all!
November 2009- Unemployment ran out by then after all of those extensions I got too. I would say that the sales I got on etsy totally smacked me upside the head. My emails are forwarded to my phone and all day long, "ding ding"... "Etsy Transaction"... 3 hours later.. "ding ding" Etsy Transaction".. 10 minutes later, "ding ding" .. "Etsy Transaction". I was super stoked but didn't realize how hard this would be when you get 10 sales each day! This was CRAZY! Sticky notes were everywhere, my organization sucked for someone who is SO organized and OCD. Custom order requests too were flying in.
December 2009. - Sales doubled November sales with a total of 75 orders. Still working hard as ever, I felt so successful. I built this from the ground up. Bruno, my husband, was shocked. I bought everyone Christmas presents this year! It felt good. Real good.
Flash Forward for the last time- November 2010.
My etsy shop now at this point has been up and running for just over 2 years... and 1008 sales. All I can think about this is how lucky I am. Maybe it's not luck, who knows. I just know that I busted my ass building this up to what it is today so I can be at home and raise my daughter and not have to leave the house to work. I know other moms do this, but this just wasn't me. I loved my job I had before etsy, but I'm glad it happened this way. I always knew that when one door closed another door opened and it did just that. Currently at 80+ sales on November 18th, and the month is not yet over. Seems like it's going to double November 2009 sales. I'm pretty excited and am very thankful for my friends and fans who have helped me build up my shop to what it is today. I hope that I will be doing this for as long as I can. When I was little, people used to ask me, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and I always replied, "an artist." As I got older and was asked this same question in high school, I replied, "I professional colorer." haha! So, I guess this is really what I became.. a mother and a polymer clay artist. To wrap this up, you really can do anything if you put your mind to it, just don't let anything stop you. As Woody in Toy Story says, "Reach for the stars!"