Cons of Crafting During a Pandemic
- No in-person sales opportunities
- Lockdowns decreased consignment sales
- Many trips to post office standing in long lines
- Shipping Armageddon lost/delayed packages
- STICHES was virtual
- Buying yarn online
The realist in me also wants to point out the negatives of crafting during a pandemic because it wasn't all unforeseen positives. There were definitely some serious downsides that also need to be remembered. The first was time. I know this was also listed as a positive but it also was a negative. For the first time, I had the time to do all the in-person events that I wanted since I was furloughed from my full-time gig. The only problem...all in-person events were cancelled. I found it hard to continue to create when my inventory kept growing without any way of knowing if in-person sales opportunities would ever come back. I just continued to knit with hope of better days.
With in-person events cancelled my sales nosedived. Most of my sales prior to the pandemic come from in-person sales. With this no longer feasible, I really saw the affects of the pandemic. The only sales that I had coming in were through my Esty shop and my consignment through Modern Mouse. Unfortunately, traditional retail stores also took a hit during the pandemic. Modern Mouse did an amazing job adapting to the restrictions and closures but since California was hit so hard with Covid, they were closed or very limited for a big part of the year. This decreased my sales coming in through that avenue as well.
Fortunately, my Etsy sales increased during this time! Nowhere near to my normal in-person sales amounts but it was still exciting to see people finding my shop online. Unfortunately, this made me realize that my nonexistent shipping process needed help ASAP. Since my Etsy sales prior to Covid were few and sporadic, I never actually had a defined shipping process. I would pick up shipping supplies as needed, handwrite labels, make the trek to the post office, and stand in line to ship the packages off in person. This quickly turned bad. Since everyone was shipping, it was hard to find shipping supplies on an as needed basis and the many handwritten labels became cumbersome. Trips to the post office became a daily ritual, which in non-Covid times would be fine but again since everyone was shipping turned into me waiting in long lines. A trip that had taken me 5 minutes previously could easily turn into an hour+. This was also the first time, I had to deal with lost packages and delayed packages. This meant replacing lost items and constantly refreshing tracking details hoping for delivery status changes. At least I got to learn how to fill out a claim with the USPS....eyeroll! Because of this, one of my goals in 2021 is to create and fix this shipping fiasco!
When I wasn't standing in line at the post office, I was trying and failing at buying yarn online. I was excited when I finally made it through my yarn stash because that meant buying more yarn. I love buying yarn. It quite literally is one of the best things in the world!!! This excitement quickly dwindled when I realized that in-person yarn shopping was off limits. I mean I can rationalize taking the risk to go into a grocery store during a pandemic because you have to eat to survive, but a craft store??? If the pandemic wasn't going on and I had depleted my yarn stash, the first place I would go would be STITCHES. It's yarn paradise!!! But the pandemic made it go virtual so no huge convention center filled with amazing yarn vendors. I did end up buying yarn online, and it turned out to be great yarn, but the magic was lost. A lot of yarn I buy because it speaks to my soul in the moment. Having yarn speak to my soul through a computer screen is much harder.
So as the vaccines roll out and the end of the pandemic is possibly on the horizon, I continue to knit with hope for better days.
As always, use the code BLOGPOST on my Etsy shop to save 10% on your next purchase, and thank you for shopping small!