Tuesday, 24 January 2017

WIP: The Idea

22 months ago, during the in-between ‘funemployement’ phase of finishing university and starting full-time work, I started playing around on Etsy.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I simply had to have my own shop. For two weeks I experimented with making cushions but that just created one gigantic mess in the apartment while not really holding my interest all that long. I also wasn’t very good at it, so I spent most of the time enviously browsing other peoples Etsy shops and trying to look for an idea that I could steal *ahem* ‘lovingly imitate’. I think “The Idea” might be the most difficult stage in the side hustle quest. Once you have your perfect ‘Idea”, everything else should theoretically fall into place and for me, it 100% did.

Old-lady crafts and I go together like Kim and Kanye (that could be a very dated reference very soon, but hey, I’m not a writer!) and I’m grateful everyday for being able to create a business out of something I enjoy doing so much.

This is a PDF downloadable pattern called ‘Watercolour Eyes’ — 60 colours and its soooooo close to being finished. Argh. Just finish it Elise.

One of the most surprising things I have learned so far — people like BUYING! When I used to buy cross stitch patterns, my process was very simple — buy a pattern, purchase the equipment, complete the design, talk about how I’m going to get it framed, not get it framed, and repeat steps one through six.

But clearly I was doing it all wrong — because I’ve witnessed some serious chart-stashing! The average is 2 charts at a time, but I’ve had customers buy 10 or 13! In one go!!! And my first impression was … HAVE YOU PEOPLE GONE MAD?? (Elaine Benis reference right there.) How many lifetimes will it take to finish these patterns? Do you have jobs? People to take care of? But I’ve realised now that people like options, they like to have their little stash of projects that they can choose from depending on their mood. I get that. I respect that. 

I get asked for ‘beginners’ kits frequently at markets, so I’m experimenting with 11 count aida fabric. Simple designs which are just a tad easier to create. It’s my first time using 11 count and so far, so good!

Because now I’m one of you people. I now have a ‘rotation’. I came across this term recently and I love it — I no longer have a stack of projects that I’ve started and not finished, I simply have many projects in my ‘rotation’. Rotation — it’s a thing.

Another popular PDF download pattern called ‘Umbrella Man’. This has alot of confetti but I am a self-confessed confetti lover so I don’t mind.

So the purpose of this blog is to share my rambles but also keep any interested parties updated about the projects in my ‘rotation’. Because cross stitch isn’t so much about the finished project, but about enjoying the process. And I’d love if you shared your rotation too, so please feel free to post some pics in the comments section. Lets embrace, nuture and build our rotations together!

This is one of my latest kits “Flamingo Party” — this launched at the Canberra Handmade Market in December 2016 and then promptly sold out. Plenty of flamingos in stock now!

Elise is the owner of Spruce Craft Co. which aims to inspire a new generation of cross stitchers. She designs modern cross stitch patterns and kits and can be found at www.sprucecraftco.com and Etsy. Cover image: Flowerpot Kit or PDF download

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