I don’t know if I need to explain why I’m discontinuing my handmade items in my shops, but my readers and customers are very important to me, and if you want to know I want to tell you. I hope you’ll bear with me.
I have a confession to make. When I started Crafty Staci, selling items I had sewn was definitely not my goal. I wanted to write a blog about making, which is what I started with. At the time, the natural progression for many, if not most, creative bloggers was to open an Etsy shop. That was in 2010, and Etsy was still pretty new, and much smaller than it is now. It was clear the public was open to the idea of a handmade marketplace and things moved quickly.
I should say, things moved quickly after I found my niche. I started out with my Ninja Monkey Bags, which didn’t exactly fly off the shelf, but once I designed my lens cap holders things took off. From there I added camera straps and memory card wallets, and realized there was a big market for custom made items. Customers enjoyed choosing their own colors and patterns, and it felt more creative to me to be able to mix those up rather than making the exact same thing over and over.
Fast forward a couple of years to my vendor apron. I designed it and sewed one up so I could use it at some craft shows. I was approached by several people wanting to know where I got it, and whether I sold them. I shared the pattern on my blog, and started making them to sell in my shop. They were a hit.
At this point, I’ve made hundreds of those aprons. Thousands of items in total. I will forever embroider teacher’s names on pencil coffee cup sleeves in my sleep, but with that I will still imagine the sweet, proud little kid handing that gift over to their teacher.
In most ways, it’s been a lot of fun. My customers have been amazing. I’m very grateful to have been able to earn an income that’s helped financially support our family. I know how lucky I’ve been.
But, to be honest, there’s also a lot of monotony involved. As I mentioned before, I’m making thousands of the same handful of items. It’s starting to crush my maker spirit. It’s time for a change.
So, here’s what’s happening and the timeline for all of it. Custom items will remain available in all three of my shops until April 16th. On that date, I will discontinue those, which includes the vendor aprons, coffee cup sleeves and camera gear. The ready-to-ship items will stay up until they are gone, and I may add to what’s currently available while I use up the things I have pre-cut. After those are sold, I will no longer have handmade accessories in my shops, but they will remain open.
Going forward, I plan to start designing my own patterns for sale. I’m also considering adding some new sewing kits. If there’s something you’re interested in seeing I’d love to hear from you.
I will also continue to make and share tutorials on my blog. I’m looking forward to this new chapter. It’s very scary to end something while it’s still successful, but I’m following my heart here. It's not a choice I made lightly. I got into this to feed my creativity and share it with others, and I’m already feeling that spark reignite just by making this decision. That tells me it was the right one, and I’m very excited to see where it goes.