The time of the year when I decide whether or not to renew my Weebly business membership is coming up, and this year I have chosen not to pay the large sum of money to renew it, and have instead decided to move most of my inventory over to my Etsy shop. The transition will be happening over the next few weeks, I will be moving my Thick & Thin and Art Yarn skeins over into my new shop to sell under my own name (doing a bit of re-branding, or truly un-branding, if that's a thing).
When I originally started Serene Fiber Arts, and selling yarn on my own website, it was with the intention to eventually become a larger yarn brand where I'd be selling higher volume levels of hand-dyed yarn, and the occasional handspun. As I've grown as a business owner, and an artist, I have realized what my true purpose in this yarn community is - following my love for selling carefully and lovingly spun artisan yarns. A slower craft, but also so much more rewarding to me to have the ability to truly work with and care for each customer since I am working with a much smaller scale of people. I enjoy the slower pace and the stronger connection to the fiber I work with. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and I feel so truly grateful to call this my job.
Because Etsy is more affordable for me now working on a smaller scale, I have chosen to go back to using that as my platform for selling yarn. Using Etsy again, I'll get to spend more time actually MAKING yarn, which is what I'm here to do, and spending less time having to constantly try to drive traffic to my site. Running your own website does require you to basically take another job as a marketer (or hire someone else to do it) which is very time consuming and cuts down greatly on the time you get to actually make things - while Etsy makes it quite a bit easier for people to find you since there is already a whole community of makers there. My website here, Serene Fiber Arts will remain up and running so you can view my blog. But my shop will be on Etsy. This website won't change much, just that it will direct you to Etsy if you'd like to buy anything.
I will be doing a bit of un-branding with my yarn, as I'd like to be seen as a PERSON, an artist, rather than a business. Selling my yarn (and weavings, and paintings!) under my own name feels more authentic to me, and gives me more of a personal connection to the yarn I create. So that is another thing I have been working on transitioning.
Honestly this decision has been in the back of my mind for quite a while now, pretty much all of this year, but I have been going back and forth trying to figure out whether to follow my head or my heart. My heart won out ;)
I've been working on the transition slowly, so things don't change too much too soon. I'm still the same person, and I'm still spinning my yarn. But I'd also like to branch out and sell my weavings and paintings too, and other crafts if that's what comes to me. For me it is easier to balance one shop, in my own name, where I can do this and not feel restricted. Hope you guys understand.
While I'm working on moving inventory over, which may take a few weeks, both of my shops will be fully functional. If you see a skein in one shop you'd like, and another in the other shop, just contact me and I'll set up a listing for you so you won't have to pay shipping twice.
PS - I definitely do not intend to un-inspire anyone by making this post, simply sharing what feels right for myself. If there's one thing I've learned during my time selling handmade, it's not to compare your shop to others. It's okay to take inspiration, but the best thing is to work from your heart and what feels most authentic to yourself. We all have our own story to tell, our own talents to share. If you aren't sure of your particular talents, trust your heart and intuition and it will lead you where you need to go. Try new things, see what works for you and devote your time to the things that work and drop the things that don't. Be flowing, not rigid, and allow yourself to grow as an artist, or business, or both. This is just my own insight into the matter, we all have our different thoughts, different feelings.
Wishing the best to everyone on their journey. Welcoming a new chapter of my own story.
Amanda J. French
Amanda J. French
Fiber artist from Louisville, KY. Professionally, I spend my days spinning one of a kind yarns from wool and recycled fibers, and weaving with them. Other hobbies include; yoga, fitness, painting, studying languages, and knitting.