I opened the etsy and folksy shops earlier this month because I wasn't sure how we would pay for our groceries.
Of course it would be nice to say that it was for some sort of deep urge to create. The reality is that the situation with American Airlines losing all of our clothing and then not being reimbursed for it, combined with unexpected bills and car repairs meant that we reached a financial position that left me up at night with worry.
I had to do something.
And so, I looked around, rolled up my sleeves and started working with what I had in front of me.
And I haven't stopped. I get up at 5am and work until Kevin heads off for the day, I work every free minute my children allow (with a few distractions) and then I work in the evenings until 11 or 12. When I am not crocheting, I am writing patterns, answering emails and thinking up new ideas.
I just wanted to pay for our groceries. I needed to sell a few hats to people other than my friends, so I needed to promote myself, hence the pattern and tutorials and the Facebook page. In the last week, I have had roughly 10,000 visitors to the blog (I would normally have 1500 in a MONTH). 4,500 people have downloaded the owl hat pattern. Last night, etsy featured one my designs on their facebook wall and I had 12,000 views of my etsy shop in 6 hours (with a number of orders, many for multiple hats - but I am too afraid to actually download them into my orders spreadsheet for fear of what I might find!). For many blogs, these are small numbers...for a girl from Iowa who writes a little blog...they are jaw dropping.
I think, (even if they don't readily admit it) many bloggers would like to be 'discovered'. I am no exception. Of course I have occasionally daydreamed about this kind of response, in a guilty pleasure sort of way. In reality though, I am a shy person who really liked my little blog and modest number of readers...my comfort zone was really very cozy. I was happy to stay in it and just write and take pretty pictures.
Now finding myself in this position, I am overwhelmed. I have spent the last few days oscillating between excitement and tears seeking advice wherever I can get it. The resounding answer has been not to kick a gift horse in the mouth. "Run with it" they've all said again and again. "See where it takes you"
I am under no illusions. I know full well that this could be my 15 minutes of popularity. It could be a fluke or a blip or a mistake. My other designs might not get this response. All of these visitors might not stick around. Maybe the owl hat is just something exceptional and everything else is just medicre. It could not last
There are so many things it *could* be.
But the one thing it *is*, is an opportunity...
And I've got on my running shoes.