During a struggling economy, it's quite easy to become discouraged by the lack of sales and even a drop-off in shop/item views. The web stats that Etsy has allowed the use of Google Analytics for shop owners and it's a most important tool for shops to see where and even more importantly, when viewers are visiting their shops.
It's been quite often that businesses that increase advertising, actually do better in a struggling economy and having daily stats from GA can help you follow your advertising campaigns, see which are working and which aren't and plan for future campaigns.
The sluggish economy has many people worried...worried about their jobs, their ability to pay their bills in the future, etc. For many families the amount of disposable income has been drastically reduced...but that doesn't mean that people aren't still looking to buy handmade gifts for others and themselves. The key is to use the stats tool to figure out when the buyers are on Etsy (or whatever site you sell your handmade creations on) and plan your promotions accordingly.
Keeping a positive attitude and a consistent effort will put your beautiful items in front of those looking to buy. I've heard often (and actually President OBama has yet made mention to it) that during times of economic struggle, the country often turns to simpler things, even when the economy turns itself around.
And what's any more simplistic than a handmade item. Well-constructed and made with environment in mind, I don't think anything could be more of what people will want as the economy progresses... and with tax returns just around the corner, getting your shop (and your frame of mind) positioned, will only help your shop survive, if not flourish, during these lean times.
Keep on, keepin' on!
til next time...