My non-existant Etsy shop

Occasionally I am told that whatever I’ve made is wonderful and “you could sell this!” Or I am asked why I don’t have an Etsy shop. This always makes me chortle.

The answer to why I don’t have an Etsy shop is because I don’t want one. I have had past experience with my own “company” and it wasn’t a good experience, to say the least.

I certainly would love to have an Etsy shop. What more thrilling way to earn a living than for someone to get excited about, buy, and cherish your handcrafts?  What better way to spend your time than making things? Sometimes I do wonder if Etsy had been around when I was starting, if things would have worked out differently for me. (But probably not.)

From my perspective, there are two problems with making and selling things:

  1. You may end up not having enough time for your own projects, say, Christmas presents for your family.
  2.  The paperwork is a bitch.

Before I had the Boo, it seems I had nothing but time. I made a lot of scarves as gifts and people kept telling me they were fantastic and I should sell them. I was also so taken with yarn combinations that I kept buying yarn and making scarves with no intended recipient.

So I decided to sell them. After I had the baby, though, my time was no longer my own and I had no time to make anything. Any time I did have went to business things instead of my own things. I now know I would much rather have made things for my baby than for sale. Or, you know, for me!

The paperwork is what really got me in the end though. I got some (very bad) advice that my company should be an LLC (as opposed to just reporting extra income on your schedule C or whatever). Turns out that meant I ended up paying a lot more in taxes and fees than I even made.

It was also a nightmare to close down. Apparently accountants that know what they are doing are a rare breed, because we tried to close it down properly when we moved, only to have the whole thing drag out for another few years because it was, in fact, not done properly. I was paying taxes for a company that wasn’t functioning, to a state we didn’t live in, for something that was essentially a hobby for me. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So that is why I don’t have an Etsy shop.

I’d rather make stuff for myself, my family and friends, and the idea of dealing with paying taxes currently gives me the heebie jeebies.

Of course there is also another side effect of selling items, which is that you can actually get bored of what you’re making. Equally, you don’t want to stop making it if it sells. So in some ways your creativity can actually get stunted, which is ironic. Nevermind the huge cost to being an artist in that while retail establishments can pay wholesale for their goods, artists pay retail and then whatever their time, effort and creativity are deemed worthy, which I can guarantee you is more than the price tag reflects.

I’m writing about this now because my hubby actually said the other day that he wouldn’t be surprised if I wanted to open an Etsy shop some day. I must have looked at him like he had horns sprouting from his head. And then…. I started to think. Well…….. maybe someday. When the kids are bigger and I have more time and I’m not already sucked into a soulless job somewhere. And if I can find a more niche market than my previous efforts. Maybe.

But no time soon. That’s for sure.

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2 Responses to My non-existant Etsy shop

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Wish I’d seen H’s face when you looked at him like he had horns sprouting… 🙂 But just for the future, Nolo.com has lots of good books about the legal aspects of working for yourself.

  2. sara says:

    i love, love, love etsy so much. i also like making shirts for my boys & friends. i’ve thought about the etsy shop but the truth is that i’m more interested in the fun of it than making money. the ‘boys like pink, too’ shirt line is sort of in between– i designed them on zazzle but they produce/ship them & i get a small percentage of each sale. there i am more interested in just having a bunch of little fellas running around in pink shirts than making money there, too! http://www.zazzle.com/armlish

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