road trips and creative business ...

Last night I attended an Etsy Success Workshop lead by Becky of Sweetie Pie Press.  She's inspiring– since 2005 she road trips every year from her home in Toronto, Canada across the US vending at craft fairs, staying with friends, visiting independent retail shops, and connecting with other makers.

photo:Stacey Bode via 

Someone asked how she balances the business decisions she makes and Becky's response hit me hard....
For her, it was more important to see the Grand Canyon than to be home where she could be making more money. One side effect of all of us living online so much is that we've created this "cult of success". We see one side of everyone's story and we compare ourselves, our businesses, our accomplishments. Instead, invest in people and your community.  I've been trying so hard to connect with people through craft, especially since I work from home by myself. It's the reason I attended this event in the first place - to learn, to support Becky, to be with other makers, and I always come away inspired, even if it's only one little thing.

It was also refreshing to hear her say, "failure is important." I think it's just part of the creative process.  Ironically, I just saw this Ted video, The Fringe Benefits of Failure, by JK Rowling.
I'm aching for a road trip now and feeling a positive mental attitude...


  1. These links are great dream-fuel, thank you for sharing them.

  2. I find it such a struggle not to compare myself and my crafting/photography to others. I try to turn it off, and sometimes I'm successful, but other times, it's so difficult! It's funny too because in many ways this is a new feeling for me. I never cared how I stacked up against my peers in school so why now? Thanks for this reminder about the onesidedness we see online. I'm going to check out the links you've posted too.

  3. I am not a seller quite yet but pretty soon. I am so glad I am receiving this information just right now rather than when I am soaked in my own online business world. thank you so much for sharing this information! Indeed a great inspiration :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your side of this info. I am just about to launch my Etsy store and can use as much info as I can get. I have been doing the Tucson gem & jewelry show for the last 4 years and am going to do the Denver show in Sept. So I do get out to see other vendors and their work. My shortcoming is the online store. Wish me luck!! Mattia

  5. I'm glad you went. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Very Interesting! Thank you!

  7. I also felt inspired by Becky's workshop - especially the desire to see other places being put above the money matters, and the importance of the non-money economy. Her ignorance of "proper" interaction via social networks also hit home: I feel like I have too little time to put my ideas into practice, and twitter feels like such a time-waster when I could be doing more productive things.

    I wish more people entered the mindset of "experiencing the moment" being more important... it is so refreshing to be encountering such people.

  8. Thank you for pointing out that making money is not the sole indicator of success. I hear so many professional crafters talk about the lack of boundaries in their lives between their work and their personal life, and I wonder if that's healthy. I'm starting my own business right now, and it is my goal to maintain boundaries. I didn't get into crafting so I could be wealthy; I got into it because it's a drive that I have and I needed an outlet. If my outlet for creative energy becomes draining or taxing, it's not an outlet anymore. It's an obligation. Thanks for reminding me to keep this from happening.


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