Three years, two months, and three days.
Three years, two months, and three days. That’s how long my side hustle has been my full time job. A few weeks ago I decided 2019 needed to be the year I reassessed the future of Ezra Creative Co. Just for the sake of getting straight to the point, here’s why:
When I first started making things to sell it was fun, and the first full year fit my definition of successful. The goal from the beginning was to replace the income I had earned while working full time in an office, and in that first year I did it! It was all the motivation I needed to keep going.
…Then we relocated from Atlanta to Nashville. I knew the transition would have ups and downs but ultimately I thought it would level itself out. I’ve never been more wrong. I tried getting my work into stores. I contacted locally owned shops directly and offered them samples of my product. Some ignored me completely, others told me straight out that my prices were too high, while still others offered the obligatory, “We’d love to have your work here!” and then ghosted me. Needless to say, it really didn’t take long to figure out that the Nashville market for handmade framed signs is super saturated, not to mention that prices are significantly lower than what I was able to sell the same products for in Atlanta. (Luckily by this time, I had enough of an online customer base that I was able to keep the ball rolling with online sales. Thank you Instagram friends!)
To meet the customer where they are, over the course of the last couple of years that we’ve lived in Nashville, my prices have come down, and further down, and now I’m at a point where, after factoring in supplies and store commission, I’m lucky if I make about $3/hr on my work.
Once I figured out the math on that I knew a change needed to be made with Ezra Creative Co. I mean…
…can you blame me?
So for now, and hopefully not forever, I’ve decided to put Ezra Creative Co. into somewhat of a dormant mode. I’ll still make things, it’s just that they’ll only be available in the few local shops that currently support me. I’ll never stop designing. Not to mention that I’m still crawling my way towards 10,000 followers on Instagram (my fingernails are bloody AF by now) and I refuse to give up on that goal! But for at least the early months of 2019 I need to regroup and figure shit out.
Are you a maker that has needed to take similar sabbaticals (so to speak)? I’d love to hear from you. Seriously. Solidarity, amIright?