Thursday, October 6, 2011


The most important thing I’ve learned as a designer and entrepreneur is the value of momentum. - Grace Teng, Etsy's Featured Seller

Momentum. Hmmm. Looking at these photos, you'd think I had momentum, wouldn't you? And you might be right. But I don't feel like I have momentum at the moment.

The challenge isn't what you'd expect - I still feel inspired, I still want to weave, and I still have plenty of yarn. My block comes from the intersection of creativity & marketability. Do I make what I want to satisfy my own creative curiosity or stick to what my imagined potential buyers might want? Do I take the time to make complex scarves or work quickly to make a larger number of simpler ones?

The gift buying season is right around the corner and I need to build up my inventory as fast as possible to be ready for it, but it's impossible to know yet what will sell and what won't. This leaves me feeling a little stymied. And so we come back to my lack of momentum. I have the potential for momentum, but I lack direction. Where exactly am I going?

ps - Today I left Scarf 27 on the porch of a friend & former coworker who bought it for her daughter. Having known the recipient since before she was born, I was so delighted to make this happy scarf for her. And I also felt a little like Santa leaving it there by the door for them to find when they got home. :)


Laura Eliza said...

I don't have any grand advice to give... but I thought I would post with what works for me. I've been making scarves for the last eight years, but I sell at craft fairs so our markets would be extremely different. It takes a few years (or least it took me a few years) to figure out what will sell and what is worth my time to make. At the end of the day, if you aren't making what you like you will get burned out. But at the same time, a full inventory is very important. I've always tried to strike a happy medium between those two. I'll make what I want during the year, but then during crunch time (i.e. September and October) I'll round out my inventory with the things I might not be so keen on. That is a balance I have found works for me.

Good luck! I'm really enjoying seeing your creations... they are beautiful!

Kelly said...

Thanks, Laura Eliza! That is helpful advice. I would love to see your scarves - do you have them posted anywhere?

Laura Eliza said...

I don't, sadly... I go through my inventory so fast during the fall months, I don't try to sell online and so I don't take pictures of them. I probably should at least take pictures though, just to remember them. I hadn't thought of it before, to be honest! =)

Alison said...

LOVE 26 and 28! Is 24 a new version of #10? If so, I'm excited to see it back. I was sad to see it go to flock. Looks great!!

Kelly said...

@Laura Eliza - there must be a joke about the cobbler's children in here somewhere - since you take such beautiful photos, of course you should have some of your scarves! Thanks for the advice & encouragement!

@Alison - Thanks! 26 & 28 are both with new yarns that I scored in San Antonio. 26 is a nice neutral with color - gray, brown, black, and a muted eggplant. It's at Flock, but I can make more.
28 was made with two little single balls of yarn, so it's completely one of a kind. It will be for sale on Etsy soon.
24 is indeed a copy of 10. 10 was sold and 24 is at Flock, but I plan to make more (and more and more!). It's one of my more time-consuming scarves because of the hand felting, but it's so scrumptious and versatile that it's worth it!

Alison said...

They're all gorgeous!! Why is it still 90 degrees here?? You're inspiring me to want to live in the north again!

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