Hey y’all and Happy Friday! I hope you are knee deep in holiday sewing—albeit for your friends and family or for your handmade business. Did you know I operate a successful Etsy shop called Watermelon Wishes? I founded this handmade business in 2006 as a dot.com after my husband lost his job and transitioned to selling exclusively on Etsy in 2008. I shared that story with the Cabin Branch Quilt Guild in 2018 and you can watch it:

In 2015, I founded Sewspire.com so that I could share the sewing skills I had acquired while operating my handmade business. In 2017, I created a series of 12 videos that explained in depth how I run my Etsy shop and marketed those under The Fourth Seam in an effort to inspire others to go into business. This endeavor lasted about a year and allowed me to connect with dozens of makers as well as provide me with a first hand look at why so many of you are struggling to find success in the Etsy marketplace.

What I concluded was the most important aspect of operating a successful Etsy shop or any business for that matter is the ability to self motivate. You have to be the source of your motivation. I can (and did) relay the tips, tricks and systems; but, you ultimately have to do the work or the hard part as they say.

Out of the dozens of women whom I worked with at The Fourth Seam less than 3% of them actually went on to use the information to open an Etsy shop despite having paid to receive the content.

That number may seem low to you; but, it is the norm across the board according to success coach Brian Tracy, who writes only 3% of the population sets written goals and only 1% will review those goals on a daily basis and revise as needed.

So, according to the best of the best or at least Brian, if you would like to start or grow a handmade business you will need to do two things:

  1. Write down your goals.
  2. Review them daily and revise as needed.

After you have determined what your goals are then you need to get in action. It is at this point that you will need to self generate enthusiasm and passion for your goals.

It has been my experience that the most useful tool one can employ when trying to build or grow a business is to be a part of a group of like minded people who have similar goals and interests. Some people know this as a mastermind group. Here at Sewspire I call it a collaboration. In the brick and mortar days we knew this as a business association (which are still alive and well); but, generally not relevant when it comes to selling handmade goods online.

If you are curious about the nuts and bolts of running an Etsy shop I invite you to watch the content I created in 2017 for The Fourth Seam (again…this url is no longer active. I am just sharing the video content with you for reference. If you would like to work together please read on and I will tell you how we can do that. If you are just curious, by all means, watch the videos and feel free to email me any specific questions you have and I will publish those answers in a future post. I regret that due to the high volume of emails this post will generate I can not reply individually to email.)

One of the greatest pleasures of being in business, for me, has been the connections I have formed with other makers and business owners. I am currently hosting a weekly collaboration or mastermind group via the Collaborator Tier on Patreon: www.patreon.com/Sewspire whereby we convene on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. ET to discuss what is happening in our business and set goals (which we hold one another accountable for the following week). If you are serious about starting or growing your handmade business this could be a wonderful resource for you. If we have enough interest (2+ per group) I can start a second group on another day / time.

In the meantime, I hope the content shared with the best of my intentions and freely above can help you get to the next step in your handmade business!

I will see everyone next Tuesday at 9 a.m. for the 9th video in the ongoing Sewspire Handmade Holiday Series. After that we only have one more video for 2019 and then I will see you in 2020 for the fourth edition of Andrea’s Master Class which begins January 6th and is also based on the Sewspire Patreon Page. In case you are wondering, the weekly YouTube videos will resume the first week of January and this weekly blog post “Behind the Seams with Andrea” will continue as usual through 2019 and beyond.

FYI: If you are interested in AMC-IV there is one seat available right now on the Patreon page for $5 and six for $10. The first week of January I will open a dozen more seats to AMC-IV at $15 and then the class is sold out to ensure an intimate learning experience for everyone. All existing Patrons already have a seat—no extra charge or action required whatsoever!

For AMC-IV we will be working around a central design again as everyone agreed that was a lot of fun in the third edition. I am currently refining that design and shall be looking forward to sharing more information about this opportunity with you in December including the dates and times of the live chats associated with the design class.

Until we meet again, the creative genius in me will be celebrating the creative genius in you!

Endless love and respect,

Andrea

P.S. If you are in the USA I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

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