Sunday, September 20, 2009

Decisions, decisions

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know that Bright Blessings Candles is my little attempt at a business. I've just about reached the conclusion that it's not meant to be. I've never done much in the way of sales. People seem to like my things when they buy them or receive them as gifts or in swaps, but the word of mouth just never seems to travel as far or as fast as I've seen it do with other e-tailers. My supplies and my inventory take up a lot of space in the house, and for the tiny return I'm seeing on the investment of time and effort and cash, it's just not worth it to stay open. I'd hoped this might be at least a nice sideline that gave off a reasonable amount of income, but it seems that God is telling me (and has been for some time) that this isn't a way in which He intends to provide for us.

So, I can keep this as my hobby, make things for personal use and for gifts, and take down the business. I can sell off my inventory and close up the Etsy shop and the website and call it a day. The question now is, when? On one hand, I'd thought about sticking it out through the holidays and seeing how things go. I've signed up to be in The Little Black Box in November, and I could go through with that, see if it brings in any new business. But then I think, I've done sample boxes before, and it doesn't bring a lot of business my way. And even if it did, do I want a rush of orders at the holiday season, when I'm trying to do things with and for my family? I just don't think it's meant to be. I had a special in my Etsy shop last night, sent out my newsletter, posted about it on two message boards that I'm on, and had exactly two orders. Fifty-eight visits, and two orders. Perhaps that should be some kind of sign to me. It doesn't matter if I have the best product ever, if no one buys it, it doesn't do me any good and it's not worth selling.

So. I'm leaning to just selling off inventory and excess supplies now and being done with it. I can then reclaim the space in my house that's now going to store all this stuff, and I can stop feeling like I have to be making something in my free time. If this were my job, that would be one thing. But with work and commuting and trying to be a good wife and a good mother to two boys, it's too much. The only question is, how long do I keep trying? It may be time to pack it in.

ETA: I went back and read, and I've been running around in this particular circle since 2008, "should I stay or should I go now?" It's just not worth continuing to anguish it. I think it's time to call it quits.


Melinda said...

Girlfriend, I can soooo identify with you on this topic! Over the years I've had several sideline hobby type businesses. Some were direct sales, some were my own thing. I've done soaps, dolls, eBay...I could go on. But I was never terribly successful and in the end I've given up on them because they required too much money and too much time and weren't worth it. Don't feel bad about it, God WILL provide for you in His own ways.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Melinda. :) You're absolutely right. This is just another of those ways in which I try to keep my hand in things. Our pastor was talking about this very thing in his sermon yesterday, about casting our cares on God and how we tend not to ever really put our full weight on Him, but rather try to hold back a little, because surely God must need our help. Hardly, right? God will provide in His way and His time, and I'm trying daily to remember that.