It's true. I haven't posted in weeks. Bad, bad blogger.
While keeping up with a growing Etsy shop, filling custom orders, dealing with graphic design clients from Hell, and nurturing an ever-shrinking personal life, I often wonder what it is that is holding me back. What is it that separates my little homegrown jewelry and bead business from the fabled Etsy super-sellers that move necklaces like they're bricks of uncut cocaine?
Though I still consider myself a bit of a small business noob, I feel like I have my bases pretty well covered. I admit I am still hammering out some SEO and advertising details. I am retaking a lot of my product photos and fine tuning my branding, but I am confident that I have a quality, inspired product that people love. So while there is always room to grow, I have realized that it all comes down to one deciding factor-- this thing:
That's right, I blame the cat.
I think it first dawned on me the last time I found myself vigorously scrubbing alizarin crimson paw prints off of all my desk surfaces at 3 in the morning. While my back was turned for two seconds the beast had stepped in my wet paint palette and tracked it everywhere, setting my work back a couple hours while I scrambled to rescue everything I owned from being stained forever.
Then there was the time she knocked over my tray of beads that I had spent the entire previous day sorting meticulously by shape, material, and color. I think it took me two weeks to retrieve the last of the scattered saltwater pearls and jasper rounds from the dark, dusty corner behind the dresser and the spaces between baseboards. If she wasn't so adorable I would have strangled her on the spot.
It seems like for every batch of beads I paint she manages to abduct one and bats it around the house with that maddening cat-batting-around-a-wooden-bead-down-a-long-wood-hallway noise. Sometimes she doesn't even wait for them to dry first.
While I lie awake at night after the latest disaster, I conspire to mail her off to my stiffest business competitor as a gift. I would get twice as much done around here without her, and their production would be cut in half. The best part is that she is so cute and fluffy, they wouldn't be able to get rid of her-- which is the exact situation in which I find myself now.
So I often wonder where the day has gone with my blog posts unwritten and bead batches unvarnished. And when sales inevitably lull for a time in that retail ebb and flow, everyone starts looking for a reason for the drop. While the Etsy forums chalk it up to solar flares, I blame the cat.