Yesterday someone asked me why I sell things on Etsy. We were having a conversation about how much I actually make for my time, and I told her it is probably a little bit over minimum wage. She was kind of confused as to why I would keep doing it if it didn't "pay well."
I responded that it pays in other ways. First of all, there is no stress involved, I can do it on my own time, and I really do enjoy the creative process. Secondly, I just love the personal connections that Etsy (and selling handmade goods in general) brings about. I've had many customers who've e-mailed me after receiving items to tell me what they are going to do with them, or just to say that they loved what they got. I've also bought a few things over Etsy that I truly adore, and not just for their worth, but for the connections they have given me to others. Lastly, I've always been a great advocate of doing what you love no matter how hard it is. I sometimes ask the question to others: Is it really work if you are doing what you love and getting paid for it?
I've had two customers that have recently sent me some much appreciated love, and I wanted to share their stories with you. First there is Grace, from Uncommon Grace, and she recently purchased some yarn from my shop. A short while after she had purchased the yarn, she posted some pictures of her finished project on her blog. If this doesn't brighten your day, I don't know what would!
(Photo by Uncommon Grace)
What a cutie! And what a wonderful hat!
Her blog's name is very fitting to her personality, thanks Grace!!
This leads us to the second customer who has also been so very kind. Stephanie had recently ordered a skein of yarn from my Etsy site, and a few days after she got the yarn in the mail, she sent me this message:
"Hello my Illinois friend,
I received the yarn and I wanted to tell you a little story.
When it first arrived, I hadn't noticed the yardage in the listing and thought "what can I do with this?" it didn't seem enough for a scarf and I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to use it. Then, this Monday, our oldest dog became quite ill. Her name was Sophie, a shiba inu, that was really my son Nicholas' dog. She was 11 and had been doing poorly for some time. We had to have her put to sleep that night, and I haven't seen my big young man cry like that since he had been a little boy.
I don't know why, but I found myself drawn to your beautiful yarn. I picked it up and just started knitting. It gave my hands something to do. And I found myself knitting a hat for Nicholas. My first hat. From a free pattern on the web shared by a Mark Thrailkill in London. He writes "feel free to distribute [the pattern], copy it, profit from it, learn from it, discard it, and/or share it. pah! on copyrights, they keep loved ones warm!" So, Mark Thrailkill from London taught me how to make a hat with your beautiful yarn.
It's almost finished, and while not perfect, it is lovely. I am going to sew a label for it "XOXO, Sophie." To keep Nicholas' noggin warm. I just thought you might like to know what happened to your yarn once it left your hands.
Just had to write,
I has some serious tears in my eyes after reading that one. I think it has a lot to do with my having pets for the first time, and the sheer sweetness in Stephanie's willingness to share with me the story of her hat. She was also kind enough to send some pictures of the hat she made. Isn't it beautiful! And it was her first hat!
(Photos by Stephanie with help from Nicholas)
And here is the shot that will make your eyes tear up:
Thank you Grace and Stephanie for your kindness.
Crafting has become more and more of a way for me to connect with others, and I feel as if I am a part of a meaningful "chain" of creativity. I love it when something I do inspires someone else to try something new, or create something they may not have thought they could do.
Sorry for the wordy post, I'll leave you all with a picture of Rascal, who loves to be naughty, can you tell? :)