Tales From The Disabled Crafter – Part 3

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This inspirational story from Sarah was first shared in 2017 with The Professional Crafters Guild in which Sarah is a valued Sapphire Member.

So I’ve got to the end of January and finally my craft room is back to some semblance of order apart from still being overcrowded with crafting items that I cannot find home/space for.  I should feel proud as after the craft fairs in December it not only had the decimation of the remnants of makes for the craft fair, but everything unsold and the structure of the stand got dumped in there.

But I’m not proud, I knew it would be some recovery for me after the events, and we had a very quiet Christmas too, but I still beat myself up over not achieving more. So why am I telling you this, well in fact this is not uncommon with any crafter. Those that are well, those that run crafting part time alongside other jobs, those that are a house-parent and a crafter and those like me, disabled and crafting. We all set ideals that sometimes we know from the outset are beyond reach and then punish ourselves when we feel we have not done enough.

What is enough?  Here lies the problem. Crafters/artists have to, in a lot of cases create and sell their work. It’s a dual role that is difficult to balance. You can spend all your time at fairs, marketing on social media, topping up your websites, stocking shelves in shops where you have rented space and therefore neglect the creating side of the creative wheel. Or we flip that round and spend all the time creating (especially if you’re busy with orders)and neglecting our presence outside of the ‘Crafting Zone’, to future and repeat customers and finding that when we have dropped out of people’s minds the sales do too.

We have to keep that wheel turning and turning smoothly.  Now I admit I am a failure, I am a cheeky fat hamster who looks at the wheel and feels daunted by it. I step on, go for a little spin, get out of breath and exhausted, to then step off and leave it in the corner for a while, achieving very little. Come on hands up all those that have started a new year’s resolution and haven’t maintained it. So what am I doing? I’m creating in fits and starts for both the sales and making, this isn’t good, I’ve not got my wheel running smoothly. I risk it coming off its frame altogether.  So, I have started a new plan (not a New Year’s Resolution, I suck at those to), to research ‘the wheel’ to make it work for me and keep me running at a pace that I can and then implement and maintain.

Well how on earth do I do that, in truth I’m not yet sure, I have started by buying an A4 diary, and I’m looking at and trying bullet journaling. I’m researching more into social media and the platforms and tools to help make this work for me.  I plan to start a mailing list and engage my followers. With my future and existing customers with direct contact of my makes, well as we know social media doesn’t show all our magic to all our followers so I need them to be able to see the magic I am making.  I’m working on my selling platforms, current and future ones, I have to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from me don’t I?  But I can’t do this all in one day, and if I tried I will have pushed my little fat hamster body to exhaustion on the wheel.  So I’m making to-do lists, daily ones (yes even weekends) and there is only a few items a day, but I also add in the other things that may crop up and throw themselves into my day, like an order, *whoopee*.  This is so that when I’ve not completed an item on the list I can possibly see why the day didn’t go to plan,  though, I don’t have as yet a tick box for the cat sleeping across my keyboard therefore I could not type *grins sheepishly* which I think should be added.

It’s even got me on a new make, a stencil to slot into a diary that gives you tracings to bring alive your bullet journal *go me*. So as I move further into February I am still using the diary, which has to be a first for me.  My planning today is already interrupted with an order. A make which will take me most of this coming week, but I have a stencil for that to add it to my journal, so when I look back I can see that is why the next article for the Professional Crafters Guild took me longer,  *sneeks off to make a coffee while no one looks*. 

Catch you soon

xx Saz xx

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