Breaking the Novice Shell -or- Stores are Scary

This is not the beginning, I’m afraid.

I’m here apologizing for something that I don’t really have a lot of control over, and it seems ridiculous now that I’ve written it out.  But unless you or I can travel through time, things are what they are and they happen when they happen.  And we happen to be in the early stages of my journey, rather than the beginning.

My intention was to somehow chronicle my crochet-turned-overall-yarn-art journey from the beginning.  Maybe someone else has done something like this somewhere out there in the universe, but I’ve not encountered them, and hoped that someone like me who is just getting started on their yarn art journey might find some benefit from sharing in mine.  To accomplish my goal of chronicling, I turned to Facebook and created the page Ball & Skein: My Relationship with Crochet (now Yarn Arts).

At first, I wanted to learn to crochet because I was into a lot of different kinds of art, and crochet was new and different to me.  I was pre- or early teens and didn’t know anyone who crocheted anymore; all of my older relatives who were crocheters had all passed away.  The craft wasn’t super popular (as far as I could tell) in the 90s, and I suppose a part of me was looking for something that would be uniquely “mine.”

Fast forward to 2012 when I actually “got it” and began crocheting as a hobby.  I picked up on it quickly and for the first time ever I felt like I’d found something that I could do well.  I began to challenge myself in ways I would never have expected, and surprising myself with the outcomes.  I never intended to turn my hobby into a business.  I still don’t think that’s my intention.  I just keep crocheting things that I can’t store, and finding myself in need of a way to support my yarn habit.  I’ve given gifts, but I don’t want to overdo it.  I don’t want to be “that person” that you just know if you get a gift from them, it will be something crocheted.

My family and friends have all been super supportive and I’ve blushingly (another new word!) brushed off countless suggestions that “you should open an Etsy store!”  If I didn’t say it out loud to them, the thought was always in my head that I wasn’t good enough to sell my work.  I’m just some random introverted southern girl who would rather spend an evening at home with my husband or sister, crocheting or knitting, while most other people my age are out to clubs or movies, or playing with their children.  It’s a big step to go from novice to… well… whatever comes next.  I’ve only been crocheing for 3 years.  I’m not experienced enough to be a “professional,” am I?  There’s nothing special about me or my work that should make people want to buy it.

The realization has finally arrived that people believe in me more than I believe in myself.  And I’m thinkin’… that’s got to stop.

So I’m going to do it.  There’s an Etsy shop in my future.  And that’s why there’s a blog here.  I’m going to try to share about my journey going forward and maybe do some flashbacks to help you catch up from my start to now.  Because maybe there’s someone out there who is like me and feels like they’re not good enough for an Etsy shop, and one of my favorite things to do is encourage others to follow their dreams.  We’re going to do it.  We’re going to stop being afraid to offer our work for sale.  There are plenty of stores in the world that sell some really ugly things, and things that aren’t nearly as nice as our handmade items.  We’re going to put ourselves out there and just see what happens.  And how many people we can bless along the way.  Ready?  Here we go!


One thought on “Breaking the Novice Shell -or- Stores are Scary

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