(North Texas, USA)
I am female. Barely 30 years old. I live with my parents in North Texas, USA. I’m unable to work a “real job” since late-July 2011 after Bi-Polar / Social Anxiety / ADHD diagnosis. I’m currently on government disability. I have 9+ yrs of jewelry “experience” though the first 7-ish were for personal wear or gifts.
My mental illnesses tend to suck the enjoyment out of everything I do – despite what the rest of this post sounds like, I still REALLY enjoy doing making jewelry. It tends to be relaxing, something I can focus on despite my very limited attention span.
Selling what I make enables me to, A) financially be able to continue creating, and B) feel like a contributing member of society. I do and have done EVERYthing myself (aside from mailing orders – my parents help me with that) myself, including the actual jewelry making plus all the other stuff that comes with selling. After almost 2 years of this, I’m extremely worn out.
I know that if I could just get myself “out there” more, I’d do much better. People tell me that they LOVE what I make and that my customer service skills are uh-mazing. About 97% of my jewelry is one-of-a-kind and part of me feels like I’m not good at explaining this to potential buyers (since EVERYthing is OOAK these days).
Honestly, I should raise my prices.. but I’m already more expensive than most of my competitors (which is justified but again – I may not be explaining things well).
My disabilities and finances can be really limited as far as reaching “the next level”. I say this only AFTER countless hours / over a year spent doing – in my opinion – the best that I can.
I feel stuck, helpless, and discouraged. I mainly sell online via Etsy (ugh) but I’m trying to figure out a way to make selling on my site “worth it” enough to try it again. I used to, but am currently not where I need to be for it to make sense financially. I want to try local boutiques but my anxiety keeps getting in the way. I don’t really know.. what to do.
Any advice or wisdom for someone in “my situation”? I spent all 400 words trying to give enough background info. that I ran out of room for specific questions, haha.