Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I've been reflecting on the past year and the many things that I have learned. On Jan. 1, 2007, I'm pretty sure that I didn't really understand what an "indie crafter" was. I had never heard of Etsy.

Exactly one year ago tonight, on New Years Eve 2006, my cousin called me. She was having some friends over and she recognized a tote bag that one of her friends was carrying. Her friend told her that she had bought it on ebay when she and her husband were stationed in Germany with the military two years ago. It turns out, she bought it from me, in my previous ebay life. It was a very "hey, small world!" type of moment.

But Jan. 1, 2007, I woke up and this remarkable coincidence was the first thing that entered my mind. I had been looking for a way to get back into making and selling, and if this wasn't a sign to do so, I didn't know what was. At the next available opportunity, I took some Christmas money and bought fabric and supplies. Who am I to argue with the Universe?

But, even with a fresh head of steam and pretty new fabrics, I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to proceed. "Feebay" was cost prohibitive. I thought about selling to local boutiques, but didn't want to do only wholesale. I floundered for a few months.

But thanks to the craft blog world, I started seeing references to Etsy. After checking it out, I knew it was a good fit for me. Actually, I was thrilled to find it! I WAS HOME!!!

But now I needed a name. I tried a zillion combinations and such, but when I stumbled upon "Modern Charm", I knew it was right for me. To me the word "charm" has almost a vintage feel to it. Charm School. Charm Bracelet. Pretty, feminine, well heeled. Adding "modern" to the mix gave it an updated twist. Clean lines. Clever designs. The combination of the two gave me free reign to do everything I wanted to do with my shop.

I began selling in April 2007. My very first listing was a Ginkgo leaf tote and makeup bag. Despite all my pretty new fabrics, I made this set using white duck cotton and machine stitching ginkgo leaves in pale green thread.

It didn't sell, but it did get me some attention. Which in turn, helped to sell my headbands. I had been making headbands for my daughter and began putting them in my shop. They were my first real etsy success.

I've learned a ton this year. I've been inspired every single day when I look at the other crafters on etsy. It's such a generous thing, this craft world, and crafters' blogs are a seemingly unending source of inspiration and information and encouragement and warmth.

So now it's time to look forward, take a deep breath, set new goals, and imagine what changes 2008 will bring.

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