Way back when my etsy shop was starting to get more popular, my mom gave me this sterling piece of advice, based on her own experience as an artist and craftsperson: Only do it as long as it’s fun. And for a long time it was fun, even when I was thirty-nine weeks pregnant and my shop blew up overnight and I spent the first month of Gwen’s life making banners all day every day and well into the night. It was fun bringing people’s ideas to life, and it was fun coming up with my own ideas and seeing them become popular. It was fun collaborating with other artists and let’s be real here, it was fun earning extra money doing something I enjoyed.
However recently it’s become a lot less enjoyable, and more frustrating. It wasn’t fun making the same three or four banners over and over again, seeing copycats* become more successful than me, and spending every spare minute working on banner orders and having no time to work on anything else. I slowed way down after my carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, and again when I started offering my most popular banners as ready-to-ship. When I got pregnant in January and was SO sick and SO tired I slowed down even more and removed custom orders from my shop entirely. Of course when that happened my sales went way down but in all honesty, it was worth the reduction in income to have my time to myself again.
Over the past little while I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to bring back my popular ready-to-ship banners or put all the custom listing and made-to-order items back in the shop. I have been making a few custom banners here and there for friends and friends-of-friends but they have been taking me f o r e v e r to finish, and I’ve come to the realization that I just really, really, really don’t wanna do it anymore. Part of it is because I have super limited energy right now; I tend to fall asleep on the couch during nap/quiet time ie the only time during the day I can get any work done, and most evenings I fall into bed as soon as I’m finished at my day job. Like really, probably half the time I’m in bed before dinner and some days I can barely make it until Gwen’s bedtime before I’m asleep. She goes to bed at 7:30 btw. Another reason is that I hate disappointing people, and while I haven’t sent out any items I feel are below my standards I am a little ashamed of how long it’s taken me to get these orders shipped. I actually just sent a message to a friend telling them I wouldn’t be able to make something for them (not even a physical item, just a design!) because I don’t have the energy to do it in any sort of reasonable time frame and I feel like shit about it. And that’s not fun either.
I’m not going to shut my shop down completely; I still have ready-to-ship banners and other cool things (at least I think they are cool) available for purchase, and maybe one day I will get around to adding some of the things I’ve made in the past few months but not listed. Things like my “Not Only Will This Kill You” mini banner and the awesome leather & suede skull patches I made. These are things just sitting around waiting for me to photograph and list them, and I haven’t had the energy or inclination to do even that! But yeah, after I finish any open orders I will no longer be offering custom orders for banners, patches, baby boots or any other items. Ready-to-ship items are still available for purchase in my etsy shop, and you can also find all kinds of really great and not at all terrible things designed by me on my society6 page.
I also want to thank everyone who has supported my work over the years; it was truly great and I have appreciated every order, tumblr reblog, blog feature and instagram like. You are the best, I love you all, and remember:
*I know I was not the only person making banners but when someone follows me on instagram for a year, liking and commenting on pics of my work, then unfollows me, changes their username to something banner-related and opens a shop selling glitter banners it’s kiiiiiiiind of obvious.