Just A Little Side Venture

I love gray rainy days. Yes, I’m a little strange, but I’m a good fit for the Pacific Northwest. I also love wind storms and even thunder storms. We don’t get much of the latter up here. But this past week all the weather reports were warning of massive windstorms for our region and I couldn’t have been happier. 

As a kid I went through some massive wind storms and learned all the simple tricks on how to survive frozen pipes and power outages for days at a time. So, when the weather report warned of widespread power outages this time I was massively excited. Plus, I knew that if we did lose power it wouldn’t be out for too long and I’d have plenty of knitting to keep me happy!

So, I filled my antique oil lamps (because antique shops have the BEST selection) and braced for the first night of the predicted three night storm. The first rush of wind came and my window bird feeder fell so I dashed outside and brought it and a few other feeders inside. Then I listened for anything else clanging but all was silent. We had a quiet night that night… and for the next two nights. 

Wait, what?! The gush of wind that only blew my bird feeder down was it? Sigh… I suppose.  I found out that the storm shifted 40 miles north so we didn’t get hit as bad as they were predicting. Oh well, it is only October.

My “Side Venutre”, however, is much more exciting! I am actually releasing my own ‘retail’ site. It’s taken me about three years and a lot of starts and stops but I think I’ve figured out what I can make that might sell.

When I first started, fiends would look at the beautiful knitting I did and say, “you should sell your knitting”. I whipped up a bunch of shawls, hats and fingerless mitts and did a few craft bizarres only to find out that people are not willing to pay even to cover the cost of the yarn. I also found out that the only people that make money are the ones coordinating the  events. They make money off the vendors. Which is good if they do a good job – most just take your money. 

I stopped  doing those shows and looked into Etsy. I found that the only people who do well on Etsy are those that treat it like a full time job and have something very unique. Etsy is saturated with knitting shops so I didn’t even want to hassle with their system and just be lost. 

I tried selling my items on consignment after I got my official business license. Unfortunately, the shop I chose was more a second hand consignment and again people were not willing to pay the price to even cover the cost of the yarn. 

Then I just sold as much of my knitting as I could at my summer garage sale. The rest I donated to a charity for some fundraiser my coworker was running. All in all I realized that people have to  commission me if they want something made by me. (Also, if I know someone is having a baby or grandchild they get things for free!)

Recently, I was able to return to some sewing. I am not a master sewer by any means but I do know how and unfortunately, not many people still know how to do that anymore. So I made a few project bags out of fat quarters that I put up on my Instagram as free giveaways. It was so much fun that I altered the pattern and made bigger ones to fit more yarn and my knitting students wanted to buy them off me.

In order to avoid the black hole that is Etsy I took advantage of the free website from Square and set up my own store where I sell project bags, stitch markers and yes, even my own knitting. I think I’ll like this laid back approach

Click here to check out some fun goods.


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