Mike and I have always had a dream to buy a house on enough property to build little cabins and start a little artists retreat. Something with a little of everything so people could go on a vacation and work on their art or craft.
When I started selling on Etsy we lived in townhouse apartments. We had very little space. All my craft supplies lived in a small Harry Potter closet (the coolest thing about the whole place) under the stairs. It was a nightmare to try to get in and out of with supplies. I had to set up on the kitchen table & clear it off as soon as I was interrupted. It wasn’t all horrible, but it’s much nicer to have a studio with a dedicated space.
We had a miracle drop in our laps. A coworker of Mike’s was moving to Spain and was willing to rent to us our dream house. A four bedroom, three bathroom house on 7 acres of land with a pottery studio all ready on site. The owner used to be a potter but had to quit after it bothered his back too much. The plan was to build the pottery back up, pay down our debts, and buy the house. We were being very optimistic. Very.
Mike was happy to have a studio again. It had been years since he was able work on his pottery. We had a small studio back in NY. Here we have a nice big studio with two wheels, a wood kiln, a small electric kiln, and we’ve built a gas kiln. With Mike working full time, and having three girls to look after it’s been challenging to get the studio time we need to produce efficiently.
I’ve learned so much in the past two years. I’ve gotten better at photographing our work. Mike and I are getting better at working together well. We have started to branch out doing craft shows. We are finally getting a good following and some great products. We are selling at a gallery and doing very well.
Unfortunately it’s not enough to have great product. I know we still have a long long way to go. We need to polish our image, story, and get the word out there on blogs and articles.
Here comes the really depressing part… the owners are visiting this October to clean out the rest of their things to sell the house. We didn’t anticipate how much extra costs would be. We are paying a lot more for heating, paying for snow plowing to get out of our driveway in the winter, and just general upkeep. Every time we think we’re having a good month something unexpected comes up. There is no way we could ever afford it realistically. We have already cut every possible corner.
We aren’t going to give up. We are going to look for a home that’s more affordable with space to (hopefully) build up the pottery again. It will take time though. In the meantime we will continue to list what we have in stock & I’ll keep making and listing journals. Our dream is changing a bit, but we’ll never give up on it.
An extra special huge thank you to our customers who have made it possible for us to live our dream so far. We appreciate you more than you know!