Here is a story I am going to share with y'all.
All my life, I have always wanted to be "the best" because I thought that was how I could be liked or accepted - but I never was the best at anything, because I put so much pressure on myself - I'd always give up. Over the years, as I grew & matured, I stopped trying so hard but it never fully went away. With my shop, something I love to do, that feeling was always there. I started Etsy long ago, in November 2007 - and as the time went by I started feeling awful because new vintage shops would pop up and have hundreds of sales within a year, while I was still moving along at like 150. I got so discouraged, because I felt like my shop sucked, that I really did just give up one time for months. Obviously at some point I started doing it again, but the discouragement was always there. I was measuring success in sales - not in happiness, and I wasn't keeping up with the others. And no matter how you look at it - someone out there is always going to have better photos, better descriptions, more sales and better anything - but no one could be a better marjiew or pianosaurus.
I don't know how it happened, but I'm thinking the lack of sales lately have got me to thinking. Do my items suck? no. Are my prices wrong? no. There just aren't sales. I haven't had much time lately to manage the shop either - but it doesn't mean I'm a failure. Things work differently for other people - my lack of sales has nothing to do with who I am or what I chose to sale. I'm not blaming the economy or other shops (it's too much energy to blame) this is just the way it is. I have always believed in my items- I do carefully choose them and think someone out there will enjoy them. I think maybe after freaking out few times over the past year over lack of sales, I'm finally at my end point.
What am I doing this shop for? Well, I love vintage & recycling, shopping, etc.. and I love all the aspects of owning a small business. However, it has always been difficult for me to understand how you don't measure success in sales or money. Because of this, I have never been happy with myself or my store. I always found ways to do more and there was no end, there was no "good enough". I never believed in myself. I believed in my stuff, sure, but never in me. And this goes for a lot of different aspects of my life. I haven't been able to move on from a lot of things - old friendships, old boyfriends, old marjie.. I always thought these people or the way I used to be would always be with me. I have come to realize that these people and my actions have actually shaped who I am today, and they are to be left behind. There is no use to have 550 facebook friends, when you only talk to about 25-30 of them. The others are people who I'm sure stalk my page as I know I would sometimes linger on theirs.
Bigger is not always better. More is sometimes too much. So many things in my life and so many items in my shop have de-valued my quality of life & shop - in my opinion. I could never just enjoy time with my friends or time alone because there have always been 500 more things to do - listing, editing, photos, etc. - I put so much effort in my shop, the same shop that would never actually fulfill me, that I never took the time to sit down and sew or create something, which is what I have always wanted to do, and now that I have the skills to do so, I never had the time or energy.
I don't know if this is relevant to anyone else out there. It's sort of a unique story, but I knew there was always something unique about myself. As a person, I have always had a lot of hidden insecurities. I sort of "battled" the big ones first - image issues, being single issues, etc. - but I always knew there were hidden ones just waiting to surface. Over the past few months I have embraced these insecurities and I feel like I have genuinely worked through them, making sure to tackle all the underlying issues, the stem & root of everything. For me, that's what I wanted to do - I wanted to make sure I understood where the problems came from, how they played out in my every day life, and the best way to solve them. I feel like this was the last "big" problem I had.
So what is the future of Pianosaurus/Marjie W? I'm not sure yet. I'm keeping the Marjie W. name, but I'm debating on Pianosaurus. As for my vintage store, I certainly don't intend on stopping, but I am indeed "de-stashing" my items - and I hope to have 30-50 vintage items for sale max. I have found myself more motivated these days to create patterns, sew, and do other handmade projects, so perhaps you will see an entirely new section soon!
Anyway, thanks for reading. It feels good to finally understand this part of myself - even though I don't think I'll ever fully understand myself, but that's okay.