Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sometimes you need a perspective

It has come to my attention that everyone is making bows, baking cakes, or becoming a photographer.  Women are obviously turning their hobbies into their extra income.  Did I mention I love it?!  I've gotten totally sucked into buying every accessory that I wear from an artisan like myself, having a cake lady, and using a natural light photographer instead of a corporate studio.  I look good, the cakes are delish, and my walls are purdy with pictures hanging up everywhere.  Haha, sort of...but you feel me!  Not to mention my facebook feed is swarmed with fanpages of all of my favorites.

art by wood wool stool.  her etsy shop is here

With this comes the whiiiiiiiining though.  I'm sorry if that is harsh, but that is what it is.  I am even guilty of it myself, trust me.  I try to keep it off my page-but feel sorry for my husband and best friends.  There is whining that people are copying your work, that you made the ORIGINAL (that word makes me shudder), that you wonder how long it will take for someone to replicate this.  I mean, come on?  Do you think your fans want to read that?  It definitely puts a bad taste in my mouth about a shop or photographer, when is negative.  Okay, so you came across a shoot and it was identical to the one you just shot 3 months ago.  You obviously have a follower on your hands.  Someone has become a little too inspired by your work.  Trust me, I have been there....shoot, I'm still there.  There is always one in particular, isn't there?  Then you feel yourself getting a complex, hah!  Then you feel threatened that they will take your customers!  Umm, probably not...  It is just exxxtremely annoying!  The worst is when they are a 'past' customer or they live in the same city as you!!!  Yeah, that will tick anyone off (then you start getting into the legal stuff-but I'm not going to go there).  Then you start feeling down.  Someone has stolen your design or set-up and they are profiting off of it!  Now you are just sick over it.  Then you start feeling down, oh wait I said that already ;)  I don't care who you are, you have felt this way at least once in your small business journey!!!  Running a business solely built through the internet is hard work.  All this hard work for nothing is a thought that has crossed your mind.  You are so not this person though!  The whining needs to STOP!  Haha, I feel like I say that on a daily

One thing I have recently started doing is following blogs.  Even though I could sit and read facebook for hours, I could read my favorite blogs all day long.  Reason #64 I am hopping on the blog train myself.  It is a great way to connect with your fans and customers.  I am okay with letting you know the personal side of me:)  So anyways, I follow Tim on Handmadeology.  If you have never heard of Handmadeology it is awesome for any small business owner!  It is geared towards Etsy shop owners, and is spilling over with advice on running your handmade shop, as well as general small business advice.  Last night he posted a blog post titled "Don't Be Afraid of Copycats"  You can read it's entirety here

He talks about you being the creative soul!  And I quote 

"As a creative soul, you’re constantly coming up with new designs and ideas, they just bubble right out of you because you can’t help it. You encourage the flow of creativity because when your work is constantly fresh and new, your customers get excited and buy more! Now this creativity that comes naturally to you is what means you don’t have to be afraid of copycat artisans. The people who are true copycats will never be able to come up with new ideas on their own. They have no creativity or else they wouldn’t be stealing designs and pictures, they’d come up with their own! You, on the other hand, are filled with creative energy, so you’ll always be ahead of the curve. You define the curve!"

I've never put it into this perspective!  With that the whining has to stop (at least for me)!!!  You can't dwell on copycats anymore.  Your business is constantly evolving.  I, myself, can't even keep up with my ideas.  Talk about annoying!  I have always supported other artisans, and even ones that you would categorize as my direct competition.  I buy headbands and hair things from other vendors.  *True story*  I make sure to let other shops know that I love their work, and it feels good giving compliments.  Tim also talks about "the more you give, the more you get in the article."  I believe that, and I always have aside from my 'getting down" feelings.  I've never been greedy in any of my businesses.  Greediness is a big word.  You can be greedy in your thinking you are the best and only too.  Well, your not and you never will be.  There is no such thing!  Offer advice, give compliments, and be proud of yourself and your work!!!  

found this here
Now go tell a shop or photographer you have been following how much you love their work! 


1 comment: