Last year at this time, my little Etsy shop was just a pipe dream. I was quietly scheming and planning to open it, my grand opening finally falling on February 18, mere days after the Valentine's Day holiday.
2013 marks my first foray into the biggest Hallmark holiday of the year, and after December's busy sales, I assumed I was prepared for it.
Well... I was wrong. In fact, the sales I made in December (which, by the way, was my best month in 2012, just eking out June's Father's Day sales) were completely surpassed in the first week of January. The first week!
Now that I'm knee-deep in January, I've realized that Valentine's Day is a much bigger deal than I gave it credit for. It has certainly been a learning experience for me, and in between moments of chaos I've been trying to write down what I'm learning so that I can be better prepared for next year.
For the moment, though, I couldn't be happier, despite the stress! My days are long: I still have a full-time job, so I spend eight hours there, followed immediately by spending six to eight hours at home printing, cutting, labeling, packaging, and shipping orders. I'm often working non-stop from eight in the morning until midnight, followed promptly by passing out in bed, just to do it all over again the next day. I've been getting anywhere from thirty to eighty orders a day, so if I don't stay on top of it, they quickly pile up on me. I've been incredibly fortunate to have a supportive boyfriend and wonderful friends who are willing to help me out with the packaging and shipping of cards, especially those evenings when I think I'm going to go crazy otherwise. *cough thanks Elizabeth! cough* :)
Despite the craziness (and feeling like I'm working two very full-time jobs) I love doing it. I've been missing the free time to do some new design work, but I know once the season's over I will get a chance to come out with a new line of cards. For the time being, I love the orders and the sweet comments I get from the people who browse my shop. They make me smile daily, and it feels so nice that my cards will be a small part of someone else's special day.
February is coming up fast, now, and with it, a vacation for Tanner and me. My shop is closing a little early - February 5, in fact - so my Valentines sales will be a bit truncated. But 2013 has started out with such a bang that I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!
A special thank you to everyone who has stopped by my shop and bought something... I hope you know you're making my dreams come true, one card at a time! :)