Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Been a While

I can't believe that so many days have gone by without posting! We did have the first heat wave of the year--it reminds us that we are not in charge of the weather. It is also miserable as my house isn't that removed from the outdoors--hard to heat in the winter, hard to cool in the summer. Still I am grateful that it provides a roof over my head, electricity and running water. Definitely better than the farmsteads my ancestors lived in, with outhouses no less. So I will give thanks.

Opened up my Facebook the other day to find big and not necessarily welcome changes at Cafepress. Wouldn't have known without my Facebook and if I hadn't logged in just then. ("What! Did I miss the announcement?", a quote from Special Agent Gibbs of NCIS comes to mind here.) I have spent more time than I have to spend this way reading the forums and figuring out how I will be impacted by this and what I should do.

I have really loved Cafepress. It was exciting and pleasing and fulfilling all at the same time to receive the first package with a made object, the mug with my Fred is Peace design, come out of the wrappings. Soon I graduated from being a customer with some private designs to being a shopkeeper. My name on an Internet page! More goodies with my designs--and slowly over several years, a minor amount of sales. For the most part the prices of custom-made work are too high for most people, and I have never found a niche market of customers who could afford these high-end, equally high-quality items.

Then this St Patrick's Day and Easter I had a nice uptick in sales. I was inspired to spend time on my designs again, adding new products that I had not included, which meant templates and descriptions and all of that. I have made a whole nice new section for Mother's Day and I think these things are pretty. They are not terribly commercial though, or of the present moment. ( I have little or no interest in pop culture.)

Now the company is changing its business model so that it looks as though most of the designers--who have been setting our own mark-ups--will lose income as the company standardizes its prices. I won't give up yet, but I will try to expand to another POD company, one that I have had a small presence on for two years. It will be one more very time-consuming and energy-consuming thing to do. I am very tired. This was not how I was planning or hoping to spend the Spring days.

So mixed with the gratitude for my essential blessings is a fairly stiff measure of discouragement right now. The challenge is to take what looks like a set-back and turn it around so that it becomes a success and something to be grateful for.

My Zazzle url is in the column to the right in the links. Please click on it. Thank you.

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