I'm on Etsy!

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Four Stages of Being Frugal

Stage One: You go shopping for fun and buy everything that you like. You say things like "There's a reason those things are on clearance." And you don't shop in that section because you worry about what people think of you, and you don't want to buy things that other people didn't buy.

Stage Two: Regret. You realize that you have a lot of stuff. You feel like you need to buy a new organizing system to store all of the stuff. You realize that you no longer use much of this stuff. You run out of places to put new stuff. You have a yard sale.

Stage Three: You go on a budget and only buy cheap stuff. You go shopping only when you need something instead of going shopping for fun. You don't have a clutter problem. You start to pay off debt and grow your savings account. You shop at yard sales.

Stage Four: The cheap stuff you bought has broken and you have a crisis of identity. You resolve to only buy stuff that will last. You save up in order to pay more for something of higher quality. You read reviews and make careful purchases. You do without rather than buy something that will only last a year or less. No more plastic spatulas for you. No more pressed wood furniture. You embrace stainless steel, solid wood, leather, and wool. And you still shop at yard sales. Because if something is used and it's still in good shape, then it is probably built to last. And you get it at a 90% discount when you buy used at a yard sale instead of new.

When buying more expensive things, ask yourself this question: If it costs twice as much, is it in some way twice as good? Does it last twice as long or function two times better? Don't assume that a higher price means better quality.

Can you arrive at stage four without ever experiencing at least some of the first three stages? I'm not sure. It might be that you need to experience all the stages before you can arrive at stage four. And there's probably other stages I haven't experienced yet because I'm so incredibly youthful.

I think that if you come back tomorrow, you will probably see a post about buying things that last. But I can't predict the future. You never know what is going to happen.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Exciting Announcement!

I am willing to admit that my "exciting announcement" might be more exciting for me than it is for you, as is the case with most exciting announcements.

Are you ready?!

I am opening my Etsy shop!

I have always enjoyed making stuff. And I have long been looking for a way to sell some of my creations at a price that is affordable for you, and still compensates me for my time and materials. When Gabriel was a baby, I knitted him an adorable green hooded sweater, and several people told me that I should sell them. But let me tell you: It took me so long to make that sweater, that I felt like I would have had to sell it for $100-$200 in order to make it worth my time. (I might be a slow knitter). I certainly wouldn't pay that much for a baby sweater that would only fit for three months, and I wouldn't ask anyone else to, either. 

Here's Paul sporting the green sweater, and Gabriel sporting a ketchup stain.

Until now, I have limited myself to making things as gifts. But I have finally found something that I can make and sell at a fair price. I have already sold a set of three that will be displayed in my husband's new office building. Well, they have to get it approved in the budget, but that counts, right? And he's not even the one in charge of buying art. So that's what I'm making: art. Hand-dyed wooden wall art.

This is one of my favorites. My art is all about vibrant color and texture. It might seem expensive. But if you compare it to something mass-produced in a similar size (two feet by two feet for this one), I think you will find that it is a good price. And it has added benefit that no one else will have the same one.

So check out my shop, CharlotteWoodArt. Since my name is Charlotte Wood and I make wood art, it seemed like an appropriate name. Better than Wood Wood, which I also considered. So if you like my shop, you can make it a favorite or like it on Facebook. If you click on an individual listing, you can pin it to Pinterest. If you really, REALLY like it, you can pay me money and I'll send it to you. If you want a particular color or size, I can do that, too.

Have you ever sold any hand-made items? Do you have any advice for me?

Didn't David do a great job adding my Etsy shop to the top of my blog? What would I do without him?!