11 July 2011

It's tough out there

Do you ever get  days when you are not sure what you are doing? When you feel like you are struggling uphill in a gale force wind, through treacle? Well, that is what things are like for me at the moment.

Working full time, visiting animals before and after work and at lunch times, and trying to work on the soap business just do not fit into 24 hour days. I did another horribly unsuccessful craft fair last weekend, another four hours I will never get back, and spent most of the time writing lists of things I need to do, so at least it was not a completely wasted experience. I am struggling to keep all the balls in the air. It would not be so bad if I thought I was getting somewhere but I don't.

Almost daily, it seems like soapy people are giving up or are considering giving up, which is such a shame. They are wonderful, creative people who are finding things too difficult to carry on. I really do not think that crafts are valued in this country. There seems to be a general lack of understanding of what goes into handmade products, and customers do seem to want something for nothing. There is no acknowledgement of the amount of time spent researching ingredients, the incredibly steep learning curve, getting to grips with the relevant legislation and everything else involved in getting a product to market, including the costs. It is not simply a case of getting up one day, making a products and selling it, although I have come across some who seem to think so.

Despite the gloom, there are those who are successful and who can serve as inspiration for the rest of us. The ingredient for that success seems to be passion, a passion that is not quelled by the hoops that one has to jump through. These people show that with hard work and application it is possible to build a business that not only is enjoyable but a success too.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to how you feel and I have good market days and bad ones too. Your right that customers want things very cheap and have no appreciation for how much work goes into what we do. I often have customers assume I just whipped something up one day and started selling. I had a lady the other week ask all about soap making because she wanted to start making her own and had no idea what was involved. Or you have people who are unkind because you are selling a product outside of a store. There are those wonderful customers though that make you feel great.

    Like you I struggle to get it all in during a 24 hour period and what has kept me selling for 9 years at markets is the passion I have for my craft. Part of selling a handmade product is the highs and lows of sales and never knowing what to expect and it can be challenging. I agree there are soapers out there who have managed to be extremely successful and it's something we all find inspirational.