When Jewelry (and Other Crafts) Just Don’t Pay the Bills

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It seemed like the perfect time to follow my dreams. My husband had been promoted, I was making good full-time money at my part-time job, our savings were at record highs, the house was nearly paid for, the economy was booming here in Vegas.

So there was absolutely no reason in the world why I wouldn’t choose this point to dedicate myself full-time to my lifelong dream of making handmade jewelry and other crafts, and selling them locally and on the Internet (still a fairly new thing to me, and probably to much of the rest of the world, at the time).

The first year or so was a bit rocky (I second-guessed myself a lot, and the savings took a little bit of a hit), but things started to pick up a bit once I created my eBay store and word started getting around. A dip in interest rates let us save even more via home refinancing. And by that time, the kids were out of school and (for the most part) paying their own way.

Well, I barely had time to enjoy it before the first few rumblings of economic disaster started coming. We didn’t feel it much at first, and I’ll admit that I thought it would probably blow over like so many of the ‘financial outlooks’ that have come and gone.

Suddenly, our supposedly conservative and airtight investment portfolio disintegrated, rendering our savings and retirement funds worth less than they’d been ten years ago. Our house lost so much value that we found ourselves seriously considering letting the bank foreclose — it made almost as much financial sense as continuing to pay the mortgage.

I continued to struggle for a good long time as the financial landscape gave way time after time, reaching what seemed to be ne lows every single time. I was barely paying the bills and that really only allowed us to tread water. There seemed to be no end in sight unless we changes the way we were doing things. I was forced to reconsider my previous career choices. When I was done evaluating my choices the business was not gone but it had taken a major back seat to my job.

I was spending less and less time working on it and even with an Internet company that was doing very well at one point you must continue to market it. You have to continuously put effort into it or it will grow stagnant and fold over. This was what I found out the hard way. I really thought that I could just follow my dreams and the way would find itself but it did not work out that way at all.

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