Welp – my shop has been open for a month.
I had two sales – two whole, entire sales to absolute strangers! Yup, not to my mom or to my friends, but to two completely random people. These two people came across my handmade items and were like “Hey, I want that thing. I shall give this person money so that I may have that thing.” And then I got money for that thing.
…pause while I consider that neither my mom nor my friends have bought anything from my shop…
whatever I don’t need them because…. I had two sales all on my own!
(but actually I do need them. Mom, I love you.)
So that’s why I haven’t really written in the blog for a while because I’ve been busy hustling – hard. Phew! This side gig jam ain’t easy bidness… and I’m literally going to school for business, so I like to think I have a leg up. But still – it’s no joke. For starters, the photos have to be amazing (and I’m a crap photographer to put it nicely). You have to post on social media like all day every day (I do have a full-time job). You have to manage your tags and keywords on your Etsy listings and renew them regularly.
Oh yeah… and you also have to make the products.
And the products have to be the best.
Many of these ins-and-outs of selling handmade goods online is outside the realm of what you learn in business school – so I joined an awesome program called Flourish and I highly, highly recommend you join if you’re considering starting your own handmade business because some of this stuff just isn’t in textbooks.
Someone asked me recently if my MBA program is helping me either at my full-time job or in starting my own side business – the answer is yes to both. What I’m learning in school has given me a more well-rounded understanding of my role in my full-time job and all the trade-offs organization’s of our size have to make. But this isn’t a blog about my full-time job…
For Old Salt, I do feel like business school has given me a better start. I’m sure that if I were not in business school, I wouldn’t be doing a lot of the things I’m doing now. I might eventually learn them or figure out what to do as my business picks up, but I’d probably get off to a bumpier start. Two things I know for sure: I definitely wouldn’t be pricing my products correctly, I definitely wouldn’t have a clue about accounting for expenses and revenue.
Nerd Alert, y’all. On March 1, I wrote my first income statement and cash flow statement. And I really enjoyed putting them together! I can’t wait until I do a balance sheet!!!
And yes, my bottom line is a bright shade of red right now, but I think I’ll be able to get in the black sooner than most shops thanks to what I’ve learned in business school. And since there is no objective data to disprove that, let’s please all agree that it’s true because I am working my butt off at school and I just need that to be true.
It also helps to have been raised by two successful entrepreneurs. In many ways, Old Salt is an homage to my parents. They passed down the entrepreneurial gene and Old Salt is my way of putting it to use.
This blog is going to henceforth go in a different direction. Two of my current posts are tips about knitting and I don’t think I want this blog to be a knitting blog (largely because it’s kind of hard to be successful if you’re giving away trade secrets – but also because saying you have a knitting blog is kind of a nonstarter at cocktail parties).
In terms of content marketing, a blog is supposed to be a way to attract potential customers in the hopes they’ll become actual customers and to stay engaged with current customers. I’m not really sure it’s going to serve that purpose though. I think this blog will be about the journey of Old Salt. I don’t know how many folks will be interested in that but… I guess I just want to document whatever comes of Old Salt. So feel free to disregard the blog if that isn’t your bag.
Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Oh yeah – go check out the shiny new shop: www.oldsaltcraftco.etsy.com