Unfortunately, because things seem to be quite slow for us right now, it has given me too much time to think. When I am left alone to think, it generally turns negative.
Posting something like this online might seem a bit awkward, but it’s where I’m at right now. Perhaps some of you have had similar thoughts or situations in your lives, so maybe you can relate to this. The roller coaster ride of Crock of Shirt is definitely an emotional one for me. I suppose that makes sense because I am emotionally attached to it. The motivation behind starting the shirt business was because of job loss. Shit happens. But we decided to take a chance on creating something that would offer us the opportunity to grow ourselves by utilizing our individual talents. The emotional part for me is every design I do goes through a life cycle of thought, planning, creating, refining, and finalizing, which encompasses feelings of excitement, anticipation, satisfaction, and hope. I’m sure there are sometimes more feelings, but each drawing is different. Some stuff really pisses me off. As I recall, one drawing I was working on back in about 1995 resulted in a mechanical pencil fatality.
The part of this venture that buggers with my head is the sales side of it. Although I am trying to do something with my life that I enjoy, the bottom line is money has to be made somewhere along the way. To accomplish that, our shirts have to be seen by people so that word can get out that we exist. Hopefully along the way people will see something they like and make a purchase, then spread the word to their friends and family via word of mouth or with a link to our website. Unfortunately, flicking the “ON” switch to the website isn’t enough to spread the word, so along with social media and giving out shirts here and there to people, we set up shop in public places.
The head-buggering for me is I’m a fairly quiet person and I tend to avoid large crowds or being in the spotlight. Setting up shop in public places rattles my nerves. If you look closely when we’re out and about, I’m sure you can see my hands shaking from time to time. But I’ve managed to keep things under control with the hope that we are fighting our way forward.
Hmm, now I’m trying to think of what to write for this next paragraph. Fuckin’ lost my train of thought.
Patience! I’ve been told by several people that I must have patience when growing something such as a business. It’s tough to be patient, though. It’s tough to be patient when you don’t know how long you have to be patient for. How long is enough? How long is sufficient? How long is too long? Per the title of this lovely entry, do we quit this or not? I’d rather not, but at some point you have to ask the question if things aren’t really taking off. The thing is when we’re out and about, people really seem to enjoy our stuff and we make decent sales. We rarely go home disappointed. It feels great to see people excited and happy when they purchase one of our shirts! However, the online world is a complete mindfuck for me. We barely get any action online, which I must admit to be quite surprising. It’s frustrating, too. I’m missing something. There is obviously something I’m overlooking. Am I expecting too much too soon? Is the site design shit? Does my artwork suck? Too much competition? Prices too high? Do I just have bad karma? Did I somehow piss off the universe?
That being said, I am excited about our most recent designs. We have tons of ideas in the queue that I’m itching to get to. The anticipation of a new design keeps me going. It’s very satisfying to see someone out there wearing one of our shirts!
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