Things I have learnt:
Firstly that the Etsy community is amazing, I've never felt so much support for my work and art.
Also that this is a very hard thing to be doing and so many people are trying to make it work that there is a big risk of failure. I am still certain that trying and failing whilst working on something I love is better than hating every second of work.
Passion is vital.
The internet is an amazing resource and there are hundreds of ways to use it to your advantage as a small business owner, I'm sure I've only scratched the surface so far.
It's useless being fixed in one idea, when something doesn't work you need to be flexible enough to change and find ways of making your ideas work.
Branding is a continual thing and I need to keep working at it.
I need to know my audience better.
The main thing that I have learnt is that I am really very lucky to have the chance to do something I enjoy.
Things I am going to do:
Look for more ways to work on the business side of my business as it seems both interesting and important
I am going to keep making cards as they seem to be the most marketable. I am also looking to do more specific cards such as Wedding invitations.
I am going to explore ways of making new sizes and shapes of collages. I've made some much larger ones and have been going back and doing some more comic-book based ones.
I am going to sell art unframed on the internet and framed at craft fairs as the postage for framed collages, especially with larger pieces is a bit extreme.
I am definitely going to focus on collage rather than jewellery for the moment.
I'm looking for more mainstream work that is still connected to something creative so I can build up my savings without doing something that I hate, fingers crossed I can find something!
This all became a bit complicated as I decided to have a complete rethink of my plans but I hope that my working more on bradning, marketing and audience I will keep making the business better. As well as my own round up please do leave a comment or drop me a line if you have done something similar with your business as I'd love to see how other people tackle this sort of thing!