Wednesday, April 6, 2011

EB Friday Hotlist: All Good Things...

(I know it's not really Friday, but I sure wish it was!)

As you've seen, I have not been updating my blog lately.  If you've stopped by my shops, you also know that I'm not listing new items and I'm letting all of the current items expire.  I have made the difficult decision to shut down Elle's Beads.  I won't be updating the blog again any time soon, if ever, for the same reasons.

If I could give a crafter some advice about starting a business online, it would be to determine upfront how much time you wish to invest in building your business and how you will measure success.  Back in 2009 when I started Elle's Beads, I thought I wanted to run my jewelry business as a full job.  It didn't take long for me to realize that the "Quit Your Day Job" lifestyle wasn't actually what I wanted.  Instead, I decided it would be a lot more fun to make whatever I wanted to make on my own time without the pressure of needing to bring in extra income.  That worked really well for me.  Through blogs, Twitter, forums, and teams I met tons of interesting people from all over.  I am grateful to have had these experiences.

However, as I've said in previous posts, part of the calculations you should do when you're making business decisions is a cost/benefit ratio.  You have to be mature enough to define what success means for you and then evaluate whether or not what you're putting out is worth what you're getting in return.  In other words, you have to decide at what point you need to step back from the business or shut it down altogether.

For me, the other things I have going on in my life are more important to me than running and promoting Elle's Beads.  I work full-time at a day job, and starting tomorrow I'll be working an additional part-time job in the evenings and on weekends.  I'm doing all this so that I can be in a better financial position when I start law school in the fall.  The school I'll be attending is 4 hours away, so in between work hours, I'll be spending a lot of time packing, cleaning, and getting ready to move.  (Not to mention that I'll be looking for a place to live up there as well.)  Additionally, since first-year, full-time law students are strongly encouraged not to work even part-time during the first year, I'm relatively certain I won't have time to make things, photograph them, edit the photos, and list them online.  I am completely sure I won't have time on top of that to do any promoting of my shop whatsoever.  Since my future career opportunities are more important to me than my beads, my cost/benefit analysis is telling me to quit while I'm ahead.

I want to thank each and every person who has posted comments here, bought jewelry from me, or has given me support in other ways.  While it's possible that I'll come back next summer or in a few years down the road, returning isn't in the cards right now.  My Etsy account will remain open, even after the last item has expired, and I paid out the nose for a lifetime Zibbet account, so I'll have a presence over there as well.  Be sure to keep in touch!

Until next time,