I had planned to unveil my new business ideas at least a month ago, but life often has other plans. Summer school came and went and then my roommate/best friend broke his foot, which has required me to be a caregiver in addition to working on my own projects. Both experiences (summer school and the broken foot) oddly made me realize something I think I've known since last summer: that Five Seed has taken its last breath in its current incarnation.
Ever since Etsy changed its policies and prevented us from talking about herbalism, my business has literally died down to nothing. And I let it. I was scared to move on, and depressed and discouraged by their actions. Not productive. Thankfully, I didn't have too much time to dwell on it (usually) as I was busy with my teaching jobs.
However, as sales dived by tens and then hundreds of dollars...I stopped wanting to create these products. The competition was overwhelming to me, and the details...oh, the details! Keeping stock of hundreds of ingredients and supplies, creating products that would sell quickly so customers would be able to enjoy their long shelf life, designing dozens of labels, arranging the labels on the page one at a time in order to keep from wasting ink and paper, printing the labels, drying the labels, placing the labels on the products, placing the protective labels over the product labels, storing the products, keeping track of inventory, marketing, keeping up the blog, taking product photos, editing product photos, uploading product photos, writing product descriptions, updating product pages, keeping up with emails, keeping up with business teams, scouting for consignment opportunities... I could go on, but I'll spare you.
The point is that, while working as a teacher during summer school, I put in 51 hours during the month of June and made almost twice what I make in my normal job as a reading teacher during the school year. Less time and more money. Why? Because for once, I was able to earn teacher wages instead of the just-above-minimum-wage hourly pay that I earn with my normal job.
There it was: the old "work smarter, not harder" saying staring me in the face. (Now if I could figure out HOW to do this with my teaching jobs, I'd be pretty happy. But I'm still working on that one.)
And it hit me - I wasn't working smarter at Five Seed. On the contrary, I was working harder, putting in more hours and getting less and less in return. At one time, it was worth it. I didn't have any other jobs when I first started. It was just me and the dream and it was glorious. But as time went on, it became financially necessary for me to take on more and more outside jobs, to the point where I was dropping commitments for Five Seed right and left. It's no wonder things got bad - there was some serious neglect going on here.
And in the end, I realized that I have to take my own advice. I can't keep frittering away my time on brainstorming, labeling, hustling and trying-trying-trying when there's nothing coming back in. I have to remember that I'm worth more than that, and that the quality of my life demands that I make a change here.
Further, I don't belong on Etsy anymore. I've known that since the day they changed their policies and refused to give me clear instructions on what to do, all the while threatening to close down my shop. I was super proud of my shop back then - proud of my stats, of the customer love I had received and proud of the immense work that went into building that shop. And let's face it, when it comes to third-party shopping venues, Etsy is the best of the best. Many have tried but none have come close to Etsy's options, class and exposure.
Nonetheless, it's not the place for me. I've felt dread and regret and bitterness every time I've logged in to my account - another big red flag I should've taken notice of 11 months ago! At the time, my fear was too great to leave, though, no matter how many people encouraged me to do so (and thank you, by the way, for all of that, readers!).
Now...I'm ready. I don't even know why. I'm not sure exactly what all clicked into place to finally make this happen. But I'm ready to let go and move on.
I don't fully know what that means yet, but I do know that manufacturing products will no longer be on my priority list. There will be some of that - but only here and there as supplements to my other projects. I know I want to focus on writing and educational projects at this time. So the blog will survive - in another form, however, and probably with another name. And I will probably have a store site that will feature little items I make here and there.
However...all the rest is leaving. Goodbye!
So head on over to the shop and grab what you want at 40% off - use the code FAREWELL40. And stay tuned for the rest of the changes as I work on them this summer!
Thank you all so much for all of the support you've given me these past 3 1/2 years. It was a wonderful ride and I will always be so grateful to you all!