In today's episode, we stop to ponder our life's choices. I got started in stamping thinking I could make some money selling what I made. [HAHAHA - what was she smoking?!?!] No, seriously, I love to make cards, and as my Living Room filled up with all my creations, I thought I could make more than one of each and sell them, which I promptly started to do. The challenge is there is not a good profit margin on a card. So while I do make money on every card I sell, it ain't payin' the mortgage, if you get my drift. It sure is a good thing I like doing it so much or I'd have to rethink my life's decisions!
I had my last show of the season this past Saturday, and it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It was actually a good show! Pretty well attended, I sold a good amount of cards (and not much else), and I got three new potential customers for my SU classes. YAY! I think I just get tired at this point every year, and I regroup and regenerate over the Winter months.
Lesson #1 learned: Start preparing for next year's Christmas shows before November! There really is something to the discipline of making Holiday cards starting in January.
Lesson #2 learned: Stop trying to be something you are not. I am a card-maker; I am not a paper crafter. I love all the other things we can do with our stash of stuff, but I found I really perfer to just make cards. I tried the paper crafting, and I think we all had a good time at my first Holiday Stamp Camp...I liked it, but I found myself asking, "But where's the stamping?"
So I left last Saturday's show and went straight to my storage unit (I told you this condo was teeny tiny!) and unloaded my craft show walls and tables into storage. Now I can see out the back window of my car, too!
Next up: I will triage the remaining items in my inventory, because technically (for taxes) I do not carry an inventory. This time every year I go through all my remaining cards and thin the herd. All the stuff I am either sick of looking at or is just plain not selling gets put into boxes and I ship them to people who make up care packages for the troops. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
This year I have the added pleasure of donating all my unsold ornaments to local charitable establishments or maybe some Senior Living facilities or Half-Way houses. I liked them, but apparently no one else did, so out they go.
Now I can focus on Stampin' Up! and my monthly classes/stamp camps/whatever they are. I love doing them, and now I feel I'll have the time to focus more, which is what I meant by "the rush is almost over". I have my workshops this next weekend, and I am so NOT prepared! Okay, I have 3 of the 5 projects made; I just need to think up 2 more and call it done! But first I need to go through my cards so I can get everyone IN here on Sunday. Off to triage!
Update, 9:00 pm EST:
Triage is done, and I am stunned. I started with 6 1/2 storage boxes (Container Store Sweater Boxes) of cards, and post-triage, where I did not take much time to decide "keep" versus "purge", I am down to less than 3, one of which is all Christmas and Chanukkah. I ended up with 5 flat-rate boxes stuffed with cards. Then I found a box in the other room I had forgotten about, so now I will load up a few bubble envelopes with the rest of those cards. This is all going to 3 organizations...I feel "cleansed".
Lesson #3 learned: Be a bit more discerning in what is created en masse for sale.
Over the years I have sold a few of my "one of a kind" cards - those made on the way to the final version that I cannot bear to just throw away, but probably not enough to justify keeping them around. I guess I'll have a bit more recycling next year. ;-)
I do have a box of other cards that I plan to drop off at my massage therapist's place. She has always had a small rack of my cards for sale, and now that I can include SU images in that collection I have a few more to add to the offerings. Mostly Christmas ones...I hope to actually SELL some of them! Yeesh.