Monday, December 28, 2009

The End Of Another Year In My Hanmdade Business

As 2009 winds down it's last few days, it's always interesting to see how the year has played out for my little handmade business.

The economy certainly played a major factor in spending habits. At times, it seemed I may have made a mistake in moving my business to all sea glass jewelry and away from mixing in some less expensive glass bead creations... but looking back on the decision, I feel it was the correct move to create a niche product for myself.

Handmade craft fairs seemed to be hit & miss once again in 09. When the weather wasn't wreaking havoc, the economy sometimes affected some of my shows. Some shows that were good the previous few years, turned into absolute busts in 2009, while others remained solid events...once again, offering a niche product exclusively may have been a reason for shows that I deemed to be less than successful. Yet shows like AbbieRoad's The Handmade Faire continued to be solid shows and when the weather cooperated, the show was the best show in Central NJ (and perhaps the best show in all of NJ...Abbie and friends do a top-notch job of's a must-do show if you live in the tri-state area)

2009 also found my creations in various brick & mortar shops with varying levels of success. A display on LBI didn't live up to expectations, while a small gallery in Barnegat did better than expected...and considering I wasn't in the gallery for the summer months, I have high hopes for this location in the coming year.

I also have a display in a new shop, JerseyMade, which is run by a fellow Etsy member who I've done many shows with. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to sell my sea glass jewelry in Holly's (LeafPile) shop. The shop is located in Historic Mt Holly, NJ, in the Mill Race Village shopping area.

In looking ahead to 2010, I'm hoping to do fewer shows (but keep those where my product does well) while looking to add a couple more consignment/wholesale accounts with brick & mortar shops. My main focus will be on Long Beach Island and I'd like to add one more shore resort shop to the mix for this coming year. I will also be focusing on doing the North American Sea Glass Festival in 2010 (I really wanted to take the plunge in 09, but wasn't sure I was ready & didn't believe I had enough product)

My CreationsByRobin shop on continues to live up to my expectations. Sales seemed a bit sluggish this holiday season when compared to 2008, but again, the economy may have had a lot to do with the slower sales. As the economy begins to improve, hopefully sales will increase in the coming year.

I am also hoping to open my own website in the coming year. The site will be all sea glass... my sea glass jewelry creations, sea glass decor, and possibly loose pieces of sea glass- for both mosaics and jewelry quality pieces.

2009 had it's ups and downs. But I survived the year and the disastrous economy...and even took a few positive steps forward in the process. I'm looking forward to the new year!

My next entry will introduce a few vendors who stepped forward and offered the handmade community some fantastic product...hopefully I can get the blog posted in the next day or two.

til next time...


1 comment:

AbbieRoad said...

we love having you @ the Handmade Faire! Thanks for the plug :) I feel ya on the weather wreaking havoc though..... this was not a good year for shows, hoping for much better in 2010!