Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Shops: Shop Two, Lesson Two

I started this series in December 2010 which I called “Everything I Know I Learned From the Etsy Forums “. As part of the series, I wanted to share two Etsy shops who inspired me and helped me - an Etsy ‘newbie’- find my way.

Here is the Prologue: from Everything I Know .... A Tale of Two Shops

and Part 1: A Tale of Two Shops: Shop One, Lesson One

A Tale of Two Shops: Shop Two, Lesson Two

“I’m a professional hooker.”

Those were the four little words which evoked such a huge emotional response from me that for the first time ever, I initiated a conversation (online) with a complete and total stranger.

This was the way Knotworkshop introduced herself in her Etsy Profile Page when I clicked to read about this very intriguing Etsy shop owner. I was thinking, "wow, this woman is nuts! But wow, she’s got real ... guts.”

I have always been a little timid to truly express myself so boldly in front of strangers. My husband could tell you that with him, I am a completely different creature. I am always funny, much more self confident and highly irreverent. To most of the rest of the world, I am much more POLITE.

I suppose you could blame it on years of practicing politics by being a middle child. Then, followed by being in a profession where I have to get many heads to agree in order to get something built. However, there is something about being able to say what you really think and to just express yourself no matter what, that truly attracts and intrigues me.

Knotworkshop’s forum posts were what drew me to her shop. It was her personality that made me want to know her and support her business. It was her non stop, laugh out loud, funny comments and sense of humor that entertained me and made me take notice. It was her very own unique voice which made me "click".

To me, Knotworkshop was like a Vegas ad - uncensored, all the time. But still, I could tell that what she wrote was what was out of heart and mind. She didn’t manipulate her Etsy Forum personality: she wasn’t a pleaser, and she did not hold back either. She had a strong voice and personality, and either you took it or you left it. She was just being, well quite frankly, herself.

Her fantastic and very creative lists like “Top 30 Reasons You Are Not Selling” (you can use one reason for every day of the month of no sales, she says) were refreshing. She managed to point out obvious rhetoric with a huge dollop of tongue in cheek humor.

Not only were her posts highly entertaining and comedic, she also spoke the TRUTH - always. She exposed the truth. She expressed the truth. It was uncompromising, but it was the truth. More importantly, she managed to speak it with style, grace, humor, and in such a readable way, that we all nodded our heads in agreement and a chuckle.

So, Knotworkshop is truly a breathe of fresh air.

When you see her Etsy shop, you don't see bland or beige, you see her. You see her express herself in her work. Her products are truly unique, clever and also highly irreverent. She has cornered the “for fun” niche market. Her products reflect who she is: her sense of humor, her fun attitude, and her unique ability to make people laugh and take notice.

In fact, her shop actually shows off who she is. She doesn't hide behind the work. She flaunts her personality. I feel like her attitude is - this is my shop and this is my business. So once again, people can take it or leave it. But in the end, it is uncompromisingly hers.

From my vantage point, this gal has never apologized for who she is. She is always herself and she is very great at it. I truly admire that in a soul. That is what I want to be when I grow up. She is who she is and you can deal with it.

So Knotworkshop went from writing very funny posts about not having a lot or any sales to suddenly having a shop that is soaring with lots of sales. (Take note: she had to put her shop on vacation at the highly saturated holiday market rush in December). So, I do believe this leads to our very important lesson number two.

Moral of the Story which is Lesson #2.
Quite simply - be yourself.

Express yourself through your art and your work. And most importantly, use your real voice. Always stay true to your self and your dream. Do not compromise your sense of self just to get sales. Being yourself is not a liability. It is the truth and you know what they say about the truth - yes, it will set you free. Then and only then, will your shop be a true success.

Find out more about Knotworkshop and read her blog

Editor's Note: Photographs are the property of Knotworkshop. This post is not endorsed by her, but I surely hope she will find it as it was meant to be, a huge thank you for helping me find my own voice.

A MUST read “Top 30 reasons you're not selling” by Knotworkshop

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  1. I'm notorious for sitting on the fence but I love those with a strong authentic voice. Great post.

  2. Yeah, me too. I really suffer from editing myself too much. It's a process really, so, like I said, it's a goal to work towards :)

  3. Such a great post!!!

    i think so many people get lost in trying to "please" others, they lose site of themselves in there work.

    kristanlynn @ adelynSTONE

  4. I love her work. Knotworkshop is one of those shops that I like to roam around in like once a week. :)

  5. I am totally honored by this post. I really appreciate all the kind words.

    It's nice to be commended for being my true, honest, swearing self, rather than condemned like has so often been the case in my life.

    Thanks so very much!

  6. Thanks for the thoughts everyone! It is definitely a challenge to speak up especially when it's not always a popular sentiment. But is it worth it for a few dollars of sales? I do believe it is better to get the sales AND keep my sense of self. :)

  7. @knot - thanks for stopping by :)

    Don't be fooled, I am sure many consider you a hero, just too timid to speak up.