Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My INsecurity Blankets

Will this sell?  Will anyone but me like this?  Did I really do a good job?  Good enough to expect someone else to pay money for?
The questions that plague my every creation.  This sewing thing started as a hobby for me.  I needed something to help the transition into the SAHM world.  See, I have worked pretty much full time since I was sixteen/seventeen and so to not work came as unnaturally to me as being a mom came naturally (not sure if translated that thought right, I think it sounded better in my 
head).  But, I am plagued by insecurity.  Don't get me wrong, I am passionate about the things I make and the Pink Minky Quilt (with the Joel Dewberry) was one of the first blankets I made and my disappointment grew with each passing month that it sat in my shop unbought, but after months of sitting it sold and I almost cried to have to pack it up and send it away.  However, I have a split personality...a Type A side and a Type B side.  It is the Type A side that fuels the insecurity.  I see things in the items I make...little things, imperfections, "character" if you will.  That 
make me question if I am truly a legitimate artist/crafter/seamstress whatever.  At times, I get a vibe from certain places that I am merely a "poser" if you will.  I have no training in my craft, I am entirely self taught (well not entirely, there was that one pattern and patchwork pillow I made umpteen years ago  in freshmen Home Ec.).  I am not a proclaimed artist.   And I battle these demons with each piece I make...especially the custom pieces, that someone chose me (picked me) to make.
I'll bid on a project and hope and hope I get it.  Then, when the
notice comes that my bid was accepted, I am ecstatic (somebody likes me, really likes me) but then the Type A side says "Wait a you really think you are skilled enough to charge this person to do something that is just a hobby?"  And then the nerves set in...will I get it done in time...will it be perfect (that elusive condition)...will the buyer be happy (never had a negative comment or unhappy customer, but...)  
But, I persist on, each creation better than the last...improving each imperfection so I don't have to fret it on the next times even admiring what I have done and actually wishing I could keep it for myself (I need to sell the pieces I make in order to continue 
being able to make pieces since I have chosen not to win bread, but to
stay home and raise my children).  I take glee in the positive feedback and the votes of confidence from strangers on this vast world of bits and bytes and digital signals (because who can trust the positive feedback from friends and family who love and care about you?)
Well, that was probably waaaayyyy more information than I needed to share, but I still felt the need to share my "process" if you will.  I would love to read your comments on this...anyone else feel this way? do you cope with it? ...think I am completely over analytic to say the lease?  


Abby said...

Your blankets are gorgeous!! If my daughter wasn't so attached to her ONE nasty blankie, I'd love to get her one of yours. I think I have the opposite problem--I'm always so confident that something will sell...and then it doesn't :( Then I get those insecure feelings. Not fun!

Mama Z said...

Wow! What a great post! It was almost like I had written it because I feel the same way! I love the things in your shop and I really wish things were moving quicker on Etsy. I feel a pang of sadness when someone buys a Zarkle because they are so much fun to make and I start to get attatched to them. Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing, your blankets are great!

cinnamonspice said...

Your blog and the blankets are lovely! Glad I stopped by and read your post...I can really relate to how you do I deal with it? A lot of prayer and self-pep talks! The more knowledgeable you become about building your business the more your confidence will grow. So, as was once told to me, research, research to find ways to improve upon the wonderful business you have!

JaimeSews said...

I too can relate! It's only been in the last couple months that I've been gaining confidence, but the insecurities aren't entirely gone. I called a customer of mine yesterday to quote her a price before I started work on the blouse, and she felt like it was high, "I wouldn't normally spend that much on a blouse", but she accepted. I thought, well you wouldn't normally spend that much, but I'm making a custom garment for you, not a walmart special! My husband also said that just because she fussed, doesn't mean my price is too high. In fact, I think I should have charged more! But just remember, you have a gift and a talent that other people do not have. You may think it's no big deal or that it's imperfect, but turn it do you look at people who have a skill you don't have? You're in awe, aren't you? I am. So then it reminds me that what comes naturally to me, and seems silly to charge people for, is wonderful and valuable to others. You are unique and you have an important role!!

(HA! Looks like I got away with myself!) :)

TNT2008 said...

I also am glad that you published this post. It is not always easy to admit our insecurities but rest assured, your blankets are lovely. Like Abby, my daughter only wants her one and only blanket (you ought to see me try to pry it from her to wash it!).

And to touch on something Jaime mentioned--Walmart. I have had more people bring up their prices and I always mention that they are getting something handcreated, not mass-produced and certainly not made oversees. And then I ask how many diaper bags and handbags they purchase from that store. Can you guess? Zero!!