This is Vicki Boster’s Blog Hop weekend; she asked us each to write a little story and post it late on the 24th of January. I hope Blogger is impressed at its spike in postings for this twenty four hours.
The purpose of the weekend is to increase our individual readership. And I have a reason for wanting to do exactly that.
Quite simply, I am a grandmother with some retired careers and one I looked forward to retiring shortly and one I want to get up and running.
My very first job was in a university library in 1964. I told my cat, $3,600 a year, we’re rich! I moved along into manufacturing, became an accountant and retired that career in the eighties, to join my sister as an entrepreneur. I spent the next twenty years exhibiting our handwoven clothing at art shows in the east.
Every spring, if I could lift the hand truck into the van to set out for the first show of the year I knew I had another year in me. All went well until my hip let me down in 2003. On the way out the door to my hip replacement that fall I put my resume in the mail to my township trustees, who needed to appoint a new clerk. It was me, and I have been running for office ever since.
I’m in my third four year term, which ends in 2016. The perfect time to not run again. I would turn 73 on my last day in office and spend my last decade at my leisure. That was the plan, which did not include taking custody of granddaughters and a grandson just as I started this last term. (Those are my granddaughters over in the side bar!) My goodness, I do not know how young parents do it. The time commitment has not changed, but the money! It’s been a long time since I earned anything like that kind of housekeeping money.
I’ll run for a fourth term as township clerk, of course, but what if…. I needed a new alternative plan that did not involve asking local businesses to hire an all around good worker. I bought a loom to think at while I mulled it over.
And it came to me. I still know how to weave. I still know how to sew. The new mystery is how to sell. How to market. In the olden days selling meant explaining the joy of cotton clothing to people, making things they wanted to buy. It meant being in my booth at art fairs, talking to people, helping them try on shirts and jackets, smiling, being sure they had a good day at the fair. Art fairs are a very personal and social venue.
But I no longer have a hand truck, and couldn't lift it if I did. I cannot put up a booth; I could not even stock a booth by myself. I asked folks about Etsy, then opened an Etsy shop. Marketing is still “social”, but now it’s social media. Like the hand truck, I am out of my depth. I decided I must cast a pebble in the water and see what happens, thus the blog hop.
In the olden days we exhibitors would look before the gate opened how many were in line for tickets. My rule of thumb for a two or three day show was, a “gate” of ten thousand meant perhaps a thousand would look at my booth and perhaps a hundred would buy, and that was a good show.
And that is what I hope for this blog hop. No longer thousands, but a lot of new looks at my Etsy shop; the first picture in my side bar is a link. If a lot of new people look and like and even mention, there will be sales and then repeat customers. The pebble in the water.
Thanks for stopping, for looking, and for all your comments. I’ll be around to say Hello.
At my favorite loom, back in the 1990's.
LeClerc helped me date the loom to 1940,
three years older than I am.
Everything Old is New Again.