I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂

 

00

Why I’ve decided to turn down work

This post is about my Oshun clothing business that you might have heard me mention one or two times, or have spotted the links on the right hand side there! I thought it might give food for thought or be useful for anyone else running a handmade craft business. I have recently turned down the opportunity to make a whole family different Clash of Clans costumes, and have since had two more requests for the Witch character’s costume for Halloween. This is why I said no….

There comes a point in everyone’s business when you need to look at whether you can actually earn a living from it. Yes, I probably should have done this much sooner! When you decide to change your hobby into a business or begin a one-man band, I recommend you take a good look at the beginning of your venture as to whether you can actually earn a decent wage from it. Look at how much you need to charge to cover your time and costs; look at how much people are willing to pay for them, and how many of those items you can make in one week.

I recently made a Clash of Clans Witch costume and it was the first one since Halloween season last year. I discovered that all my suppliers of the different

Clash of Clans witch costume

Clash of Clans witch costume

fabrics I used were either away on holiday or out of business or had simply stopped stocking that particular fabric. The purple crepe for the cloak was the biggest issue as I had charged for the costume based on last year’s fabric prices, £5 a metre for the crepe, but I couldn’t find it for less than £15 a metre and I ended up spending about three to four hours in the end sourcing all the fabrics. On top of that, when the t-shirt I alter finally arrived it was much paler in real life than the picture showed, so I had to order another one as that was still cheaper than dying it. Altogether it was an absolute nightmare, and I realised that the same situation could occur with any similar custom order I take on.

If I charged enough to cover the time it takes to look for the fabric, as well as the ever increasing prices of new material, the costume in the end would simply not look worth the money, particularly when we’re competing with cheap imports from China all the time. However, there is a more important issue to consider:

Custom orders that require me to buy new fabric at the end of the day are against the whole ethos of my business. Pretty much my whole point is that I’m using vintage and found materials to patchwork together and create something new with them.

So I’ve taken the brave (and hopefully not stupid) decision to take down the ‘Custom Order’ listing on all Oshun Etsy shops. I will still offer custom-made clothing, but it will be for wedding and special occasion dresses in my particular style of working. I made a few of these this year and I enjoy making them the most, and besides which, it’s the only way for my business to be financially viable. I’m excited to be working on a collection of dresses that customers will be able to order in a similar style. Every one will be unique, made-to-measure and in their choice of colours. I’ve just done a photo-shoot for the first wedding dress design, and here’s a sneak peak:

Mermaid wedding dress

Mermaid wedding dress

Handmade business, Threads of a Fairytale,
00no comment

Other posts you may like:

Glastonbury festival wedding dress
Making the Glastonbury Festival bag dress – version 2
June 19, 2019
Wishing Glastonbury Festival isn’t over, on the Monday afternoon when most people have gone home, the kids and I usually take a walk through the festival site. It’s sad to say that some people STILL aren’t taking any notice of the ‘Love the farm; leave no trace’ mantra, and during the years when we were given free tote bags on arrival, unfortunately many were left behind. Rather than let them go into landfill, from 2015 to 2017 I decided to pick up as many as I could carry to turn them into a festival dress…
blogger event advice
How to go to a blogging event as a shy introvert. My Next Blogger Network event experience
December 5, 2017
I recently went to the Next Blogger Network event in Shoreditch in London, and I’ll be honest, it’s one of the most scary things for me I’ve ever done! The week leading up to the event was spent either putting it to the back of my mind and pretending it wasn’t happening, or feeling so worried I got a massive ulcer on the inside of my cheek! However, I knew once I’d forked out the money for the train fare, I would have to go, so I went ahead and did that first so I couldn’t change my mind! In the end, I feel it was a very successful day and I’ve come away from the event feeling very proud of myself and ready to go out and find another blogging event to go to! Here’s how I managed it…..
Reaching a YouTube goal
A quick Vlogmas update + 1000 thank yous!
December 5, 2018
If you haven’t heard of Vlogmas, or aren’t entirely sure what it is, it’s when a bunch of entirely mad youtubers decide that in the busiest time of the year they will vlog every single day of their life from the first of December until Christmas Day and edit and upload the video the following day. There is of course the blogging equivalent: Blogmas, but as I’ve done Blogtober in the past, I’m not about to try that again! I was one of those mad youtubers last year and the year before, but in 2018 I thought I’d do something a bit different….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.