Yep, that’s where I am right now. I’ve been waffling for a year now about closing my Etsy shop. I love making stuff, I love putting that stuff in others’ hands to spin or knit or wear. I make so much stuff that selling my overload seemed a good idea at the time (2004). But now? Sales are down for all of us retailers. And I’m spending the majority of my workday doing self-promotion or paperwork, leaving the studio work to perhaps one or two days a week. And I don’t like paperwork or office work—I did that for 40 years and happily left it behind me.
I have had one customer that was problematic, which is a really high ratio of wonderful! But there have been many more difficult interactions with other vendors or business folk. Back when I had my weaving business or my brick-and-mortar shop in the 70s and 80s, you only had to worry about shoplifters and outsiders; the fiber folk were ALWAYS the ones you could count on to be fair and ethical. Unfortunately, that attitude doesn’t seem to have held true. If you add to the paperwork load the fact that as a business owner I must work with unpleasant people, it’s just not fun any more.
I made the decision earlier this week that I didn’t want to deal with the downside of owning a fiber business anymore. What I WANT to do is finish my Master Knitter certification, design garments that have been living in my head for years, spin flax, spin cotton, play with weaving with handspun again, play with spinning yarn just for me. And I can't do those things as long as my time is devoted to dealing with paperwork and difficult situations. As a result, I’ll be posting ads and publicizing the closing of my Etsy shop. There will be graduated discounts as December rolls on, but I haven’t decided yet the exact timing or the exact percentage of discounts. It WILL happen in the next day or so (hey, I’m no whiz at creating ad graphics y’know?).
I will continue to write articles, design for handspun yarn and possibly teach, but the handspun yarn and spinning fiber and handspun handknit garments will go. Garments that don’t sell in the closing sale will be donated to a local shelter; yarn will be used to make a few blankets for the house; fiber will be spun up by me (finally! I get to spin my own stuff!) or gifted to friends.
I want to thank my loyal customers, you’ve been the best folks around! And my friends and family—you were the wind in my sails these past 8 years, thanks for always being there with assistance and encouragement.
Watch this space for dates/discounts, etc.