I love the marking of a new year. For me the most significant marker is my birthday and I like to set my big goal and such at that time, but in January I like to take the time to think of adjustments I need to make in my life as well. This January I am mostly thinking about changes that can be contained within the name By Small Means: the blog, my Etsy shop, my Birthday Give Away and Gift of Giving.
The Blog –
This year I want to blog a bit more consistently. As I look back over the years of this blog there are huge gaps of time that are missing. I’m not thinking about blogging everyday or anything but I do want to have a presence here throughout each month.
I also want to be more organized behind the scenes. I use this blog as a window into my life and would like to have it organized in such a way that I can make each year into a book or some other tangible form. In order to do that I need to organize my pictures better. This requires cleaning up flickr and my wordpress gallery, uploading directly to the blog and also having a back up on flickr. It would also be nice to organize my photos on my computer as well. And maybe even have some printed off and put into photo albums or something. (I’ve given up on the idea of scrapbooking.)
Birthday Give Away –
This year and hopefully in years to come I want to include a gift to someone within my community, wherever I may happen to be. This year I’m thinking about making two quilts. One to give away to readers and one to give away to someone in need locally. I’ll discuss that more as April approaches.
Gift of Giving –
This is a relatively new aspect of By Small Means but I really want to see more of it. I have found so much happiness with it already. I’m hoping that time and means will allow an update of gifts once a month.
My Etsy Shop –
Here there will be a big change in my prices. In the past I have only been looking to move items in the shop, pricing them at or below cost. I really enjoy making the items listed but didn’t have a home or purpose for them and so the shop was a great way to find homes for them. I never cared whether or not items sold and I often removed items to give as gifts.
I have decided to have the shop support both the Birthday Give Away and Gift of Giving. In order for that to happen I need to price my items so I am actually able to bring in money to support these giving opportunities. I have given this some thought and here is what I have decided to do.
- Double the actual cost of making the item – This way I can replenish my supply enough to give away one items worth in the two giveaways and make another one to sell. I don’t think I am limiting myself to making and giving the same items that sell but I want to have enough money to replenish my supply to be able to replenish both the shop and support the giveaways
- Add in all PayPal and Etsy fees – I have always just eaten these myself and never considered them.
- Add in the price to ship the item within the United States – I will do this so that I can pay to ship a gift away. I know that if the gifts need to go outside of the United States it will cost more but this should cover most of them.
Add this all up and it equals a significant increase in prices.
Before coming to this conclusion I looked at Pink Chalk Studios post called The Business of Craft: Pricing Part 1 and realized that what I wanted to charge for my items came out to be similar to what she has broken down in the post. So, I feel ok about it. I do still worry that by increasing prices so much it might deter people from purchasing and then limiting my resources for giving but I will just have to see how it goes.
In addition to the changes with By Small Means I also want to be better at corresponding with friends and family. I am shamefully bad at putting off replying to e-mails. Sometimes I even never get around to it. This is something that needs to change. I have to opportunity to move around a lot and with each move I meet people who change my life. In order to keep that relationship I must make a bigger effort. (I know, I know, shame on me.)
I love this little area of my life and am excited about these changes. Thank you so much for your support in 2010 and years past. I’m looking forward to this new year.