Thursday, 29 July 2010

Trade Secrets - to keep your head above water

This week's Trade Secrets come from Brigitte of Purls of Colour, who might have read too many motivational books for her own good.

Stay cool!

It's the recession, and the living is not easy. People's pockets are empty, the purses that still have a few coppers are shut, and although there is a loudly proclaimed trend to prefer homemade to shop-bought, it means that often people want to make things themselves, not buy anything YOU've made.

Don't hang up your hat yet
(light blue yarn by Lindsay Crafts, yellow yarn by Pancake and Lulu on Etsy)

So there you are with your lovely unique goodies on Etsy, feeling like a contestant on the x-factor, hoping to be discovered for your talent, and wondering who to blame or sue if that isn't happening or if members of the panel sneer at you.

You spend your last food money on a market stall (don't do this if you still have to feed the goldfish), and get no return, eating your supplies of Baked Beans for the next couple of days.

Your friends think you have a lovely time sitting in the garden crafting away (which admittedly, you do), but they go out in the evening, while you update your Etsy descriptions again, put a treasury together, or decide what else you can do without (if these Crocs die a death, I can really live without them, I really really can...)

The Craft sector - La Boheme 2010...

So what do you do when Etsy bombards you with 1001 success stories, but you are not one of them? I do love getting tips from Etsy, but it sometimes feels like looking at beautiful people with perfect white teeth, while your worst nightmare is that yours are falling out!

Here are some Purls of Wisdom (thanks to Ruth for that expression!) for when the going is tough, or when nothing seems to be going at all:

Aaahhh, bliss!

- whatever you do, buy good coffee - even when you spend your last money on it, because you'll love it, especially on days when the world just doesn't seem to love you!
(same goes for chocolate)

- get out into the sun, even if it is an Irish one and it doesn't last for long. It does you good, gives you new ideas, and is free! Remember Baz Luhrmann though (wear sunscreen!)

- encourage your friends to share their awful office stories and remember how much you hated the air conditioning and the instant coffee!

- share a good moan with other crafters

- ignore any success stories and good advice at least for a day. Focus on your own!

I love myself

Repeat to yourself:

- I love my craft!

- I believe in handmade. I am a crafter, a creative by heart! I don't 'do' mass-produced. I want to create something gorgeous and one of a kind!

- My products are great, because...(list about 10 good things about them, without any but!)

- the only person that is exploited in my business is myself!

- my business is my choice! If I wanted to, tomorrow I could be a (tick as appropriate) astronaut, actor/actress, chat show host, celeb, IT guru, materchef, model,, delete that one!

Feel better?

Now where's that coffee then?


  1. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read! Thanks so much, Brigitte! And I love your photos:)

  2. Purls of wisdom is a perfect name for this. Its good to know Im not alone. Now for that coffee!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Brigitte

  3. Ha ha, this made me giggle and smile! ... Thanks so much for this :)

  4. Can we have a regular 'Purls of Wisdom' post Brigitte?!? Great stuff altogether and has surely put a smile on many faces! ;D

  5. Thank you Brigitte xx Can't think of any good things about myeself/ products never mind 10 - just too low. Off to make some coffee, already had chocolate - fear not, I have the good stuff ;)

  6. I love the bit "the only person that is exploited in my business is myself!" so true!!
    We'd only work this hard for ourselves!!great article:)

  7. What a wonderful post! Seriously! I was getting a bit annoyed with my shop lately! I was on the forums, renewing items, re-listing, updating, creating, working on facebook, organising a de-stash giveaway and then joined twitter in a final bid!! But you know what..I decided I was going to be positive about it and started saying "I heart sales" and in the last two days I've gotten more emails, texts and Etsy sales in two days then ever and I'm super busy this weekend! hurragh!! (Hope it lasts!)

    And yes Tea (my coffee) fixes everything! :)

  8. Thanks so much Brigitte, such Purls of Wisdom are exactly what we needed today :) I sipped my coffee and smiled as I read... thank you!

  9. LOL Purls!
    Well done Luckyrainbowdesigns - I must try your affirmations.

  10. Thanks everyone - I'm all flattered :)

    Tanya, I'll see how much Wisdom I have left...

    Rebecca, what a great affirmation. I must also try this one, because I just not a salesperson - I wonder sometimes if I even could sell a date with George Clooney (George, if you read this, want to give it a try?)

  11. Brigitte, this is a great article, was having not the best day until i read this and it cheered me up!

  12. oh my my your blog is a bit on the lovely side of things!
    i enjoy your gazing at the pretty pictures ever so much

  13. hear, hear!

    Great tips, Purls!

  14. Thanks! And guess what - and this does sound like some cinderella fairy tale - but I've just sold a hat on DaWanda!

    I've already done some crazy boogie through my living room!

    Rebecca, I'll keep hearting sales :)

  15. I believe in what you have said. Sometimes we have to ignore things just for a day. We have to relax see the good things around us. You can play, shout dance, or spend the whole day with twitter. Background of other people's lives, their stories – draw them, write them. You don't have to be a professional. Twitter (background-check your own life!) can help you. Share your thoughts and life to everyone.

    If you are so lazy of getting out, just toggle with your virtual world – simple – twitter. Backgrounds of life are everywhere – even in the virtual world.

    Loved how you put things for me to remember them!

  16. brigitte, thanks for the smile!
    great mantra, i'm adapting it! ^.^

  17. Smiled the whole way through your post Brigitte - You're like the mammy of us all then I got to the last comment & I'm knotted, talk about subliminal sales.

  18. Brilliant post, brigitte. Some of my teeth have fallen out already!
    Uplifting words about the have given me the idea of putting an actual smiley design in my shop...
    Thank You

  19. Letizia, now I feel like Mammy Duck :)
    And great weather for ducks it is here!

    And the weird thing is...more things are happening - some of us have been featured here:

    (my hat, it's really my hat! *crazy dance*)

  20. Brilliant post Brigitte,I thought you were reading my mind ! So honest and true,all I can say is give us more.