Death of a Sales(wo)man

Well, it’s been nearly six months since I last wrote here, and I am tempted to act as if I never left, but instead I’ll explain a slight change of heart.

I’m still – slowly but surely – selling online. I have made six sales since I opened in February, and considering I neglected any efforts to promote the shop on this website, social media, and Etsy itself – that’s not so terrible.

Despite my absence from e-commerce, I’ve actually been knitting quite a bit in the last few months! I just… never got around to listing new items for sale. Creating handcrafted goods is still very much and always will be a passion of mine, but retail… not so much. For example, I have many more of these lovely hand-knit necklaces that I made specifically for the shop and they are sitting in a box waiting to be photographed in order to get them listed on Etsy.

But I’d just rather knit!

My excuse: photography is a pain in the neck! And frankly, I’m not very good at it. Not to mention, I don’t have the right equipment or space, but that doesn’t change the fact that these necklaces aren’t making any money sitting in a box, unlisted! Regardless of my change of heart, I really do need to snap a few photos of these necklaces (even if the lighting is bad and the quality is grainy) and get them listed already. If I’ve learned anything in the last 6 months of neglect it’s that while I don’t necessarily enjoy the administrative work involved in retail – I do enjoy the little “cha-ching” sound from the Etsy app when I’ve gotten an order! And of course… the deposit that follows is nice, too.

Thus, passive retail is just going to have to be enough for me. My relentless drive to do everything full-force usually results in precisely what happened this summer – I became burned out from the daily responsibility of e-commerce, and I consequently lost all interest. I’m not sure what was more demotivating – all the administrative work involved or the hard labor! Cranking out necklaces, ear warmers, and hats is pretty joyless when it’s the same pattern over and over and over again.

But… alas, it’s nearly autumn! And all I want to do is knit warm, woolen socks and thick, chunky scarves! Cable sweaters and cozy wraps! Mittens and hats and afghans and cardigans… the list goes on…

So this is not a farewell to Old Salt! Just the other day I got a “cha-ching,” and I’ll continue to list items for sale as I feel so inclined. However, although churning out a huge inventory of the same products over and over might be good for business, that sort of production does nothing for my enjoyment of the craft, which is the whole reason I started Old Salt in the first place! Thus, I’ve discarded some of the grand goals I had for the Etsy shop.

Needless to say, I’m incredibly impressed by makers who are able to successfully sell their work and maintain their passion for the craft itself.

What is more appealing to me is using the shop as an excuse to knit, rather than knitting just to feed the shop. What I’m not going to do is finish a pattern and then force myself to knit 10 more just like it in different colors (unless I want to!). That kind of repetition may make for increased sales, but it becomes very boring and demotivating – not to mention the capital required to buy all those colors is damn pricey!

So that being said, if you happen to see something in my shop that you like – well, ya better get it while it’s available because chances are I won’t be making another one!

I’ll close with a pair of warm, woolen socks I knitted – for myself – while on vacation in Quebec:


Full disclosure: I have started a second pair of the exact same pattern (the Basic Sock by Churchmouse Yarn & Tea) in a different color that I fully intend to list in the shop. But after that, I am moving on to something more inspiring because I am free – free at last!!!


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