After some soul-searching following the opening of my Etsy shop, I’ve decided to realign its mission slightly to be the encouragement and empowerment of teen girls to work for their dreams. This “new” mission is important to me because I was a teen girl myself only a few years back, and I can recall all too clearly the feelings of self-doubt and/or worthlessness that can (and generally do) come with being a teen girl… heck, with being a teen at all.
Being a teen girl is what I can most closely identify with, though. I was a girl who was afraid to dream too much; what if they didn’t come true? What if those dreams weren’t considered “normal” or “cool” or “obtainable”, etc?
Sometimes just a little encouragement can be enough to pull you through. Little (or large) bits of encouragement made a huge impact on my life, even though I only realize this looking back now. They helped me to keep going, and eventually find that my dreams were precious because they were (and are) my own.
I’m looking into expanding my shop beyond bracelets, but for now I hope that there are girls out there who will gain some encouragement to work for their dreams by wearing one of my bracelets as a reminder to chase those goals.
What do you think of my goal? What is something that’s encouraged you, no matter how small?
What’s a mission that’s important to you, and how are you working for it to happen?
Hi, everyone! I opened my Etsy shop, Of Dreams and Daring, earlier this week. I’m selling hand knotted bracelets. If you read my Etsy profile, you’ll learn why… in a nutshell, it’s to inspire both others and myself.
However, I’m finding that my pricing and my passion for my reason to sell aren’t jiving together, at least not for me.
You see, my prices range from $20-$40 a bracelet. I’ve been reading Tara Gentile’s blog about pricing according to your own self-worth (among other things) for months now, and it really struck a chord with me, as someone who has struggled with her self-confidence for years. When I read about Tara’s partnering up with Adam King to start another blog about Reclaiming Wealth, I eagerly clicked over to read. Not long after, Adam wrote up a post about shoes, pricing, and the similarities they share in his mind.
That post completely blew up my perception about pricing and the relation it has with my own self-worth.
Basically, Adam says that he approaches the subject of pricing in a very objective and straightforward manner, much like how he shops for shoes: he gets clear about what he wants, why he wants it, and what the most reasonable/accessible way to make it happen would be.
The key to his method of pricing, and how he doesn’t get frozen in fear or doubt over it, is that he refrains from getting emotionally attached to his prices.
If you know about Tara and her thought process about pricing, you’ll know that it’s basically the polar opposite of Adam’s. Both trains of thought take a lot of effort for me to thoroughly process. Believe me, I’m still trying to.
After being thrown this screwball of a post, I felt confused and anxious to the point of getting flutteries in my stomach. I then wrote out a long, impassioned reply… after which I took a deep, pausing breath and deleted everything, because it was basically a very long-winded, “You’ve completely shattered my Tara-influenced perspective on pricing, and I don’t know whether I want to thank you or dislike you as much as my normally peaceful persona will allow!”
Then I got out my little notebook in which I’ve been jotting ideas/thoughts about my business, turned to a blank page, and wrote out:
What do I want out of my business?
- I want to be able to support myself financially.
- I want to thrive mentally/emotionally.
- I want to forge meaningful connections.
- I want to help other young people reach their own dreams, financial or other, through creative means.
- I want it to be accessible to young people.
- I don’t want to cheapen my bracelets’ value. But what if I’m actually over-estimating their value?
- I don’t want to cheap out on my vision of helping other young people. How am I going to connect with them through my bracelets with my bracelets’ current pricing? Am I disrespecting/devaluing other young folk in assuming “Oh, they can’t afford these bracelets at these prices?”
- Profit or passion. Passion or profit. Can’t I have both? How am I going to figure out that “happy medium”?
Help in sister’s store, 9am-12pm–Done.
Finish 1 bracelet–Done! Whoohoo!
Photograph bracelets for Etsy shop–Also done!
Make more bracelets!
Figure out a few things for my soon-to-be Etsy shop.
So I’m really excited about the impending opening of my Etsy shop… so excited that I didn’t get much sleep last night, I was so worked up! I’ll be doing more work on it today. In other news, making Treasuries on Etsy is time-consuming… but oh so much fun.
What are your goals for today? What is something you’ve accomplished recently that you’re proud of?
Bracelets 1 hour: Not done today, I’m afraid… I was caught up with the following task.
Research how to become a copywriter for hire: More research done.
Extra task: organize children’s bookshelves for sister: Done! It took practically half the day, but I got ‘er done!
Help in sister’s store, 9am-12pm
Finish 1 bracelet.
Photograph bracelets for Etsy shop.
That’s right, I’ma start a shop selling my hand knotted bracelets! I figured that this is something that I can do more immediately while I’m looking into becoming a small creative business copywriter. Details coming to a blog near you (read: this one) after the break.
Hi, I’m Leah. I sell bracelets that I knot by hand.
“Hi, Leah. Why do you make and sell bracelets?”
The short, dispassionate answer: To earn money. Thanks for forking over your cash!
The longer, PASSIONATE answer: To know that I am worth something. To know that other people appreciate and support my ongoing inner quest for validation. I’m a college dropout and I struggle with depression, anxiety, and self-confidence issues… But with each sale of my bracelets, I receive a powerful message: I AM worth something, more than I give myself credit for. I can work for a dream, not just a roof over my head. Others believe in me. Others are giving me permission to believe in myself.
Through my selling of my bracelets, I hope to also inspire other young, confused, and aimless people like myself that they, too, are worth something! They can take steps towards their dreams; no matter how small, they’re still steps forward, not in the same place or backwards.
“So, they’re just bracelets, right?”
Nope, they’re not JUST bracelets. They’re manifestations of my dream to love and have confidence in myself, to look in the mirror and be proud of who I see. They’re tangible representations of my vision of inspiring and motivating others with dreams similar to mine.