Monday, June 25, 2012
The beginning of Conjured Cardea
At the request of a reader;
How this all got started...
Believe it or not, I was completely against selling my items on-line, and thought those who did were sell outs. In my tradition, if you wanted something, you learned to make it yourself. Once you've learned it, you never have to rely on another person again. So we did. We all knew how to make oils, salves, tinctures, candles, soaps, teas, etc. My philosophy with my items was that I made them for myself, family, friends, neighbors, students, and coven-sisters. And they were free or, at the very most, bartered for. Period. I worked liked this for over 10 years. Just giving my wares to the few people at a time who needed them.
Then, one day, a coven sister and very dear friend of mine said "you should put this stuff on Etsy". This was not only against what I believed but also, who the hell would buy my stuff? So I sat down and thought out my moral dilemma.
See, over the last few years I have changed a few major things about our tradition and I often wonder if my relatives are rolling over in their graves. For instance I changed the rule that new students are taught separately from elders. The new students went through their entire first year never meeting another member or being at ritual. What better way to get close and grow together as coven then to do it all together from the beginning?! So, I changed it and I know my relatives understand why I did it. Our tradition is so so small and slow growing that any path I see to encourage stronger growth, I am going to take it.
My thoughts became the same about selling my items. I realized, after YEARS, that not everyone was like me. Imagine that! They were not INTERESTED in making their own items and if they were the supplies you need on hand are a huge investment for most. I'm not interested or educated in fixing computers, so if I need something for mine I can't just do it or make it. I need someone specialized and reputable. It's the same with my shop. I also realized that I could reach more people, teach more people, share and grow with more people after I opened this shop. I have been so blessed to hear from so many people, all over the world about their paths, practices, lives, trials, and triumphs. I love people.
Another issue. I LOATHE computers. I think people who sit at computers all day are drones and wasting their time. Why would I "virtually" do something when I could ACTUALLY do it? I always had jobs that worked with my hands or with people. The idea of being chained to a computer was hell, and I still feel that way. I don't like being controlled by a computer. I don't like that it is between me and the people I want to see and listen to. I don't like that I am stuck inside all day. This is the world we live in though, and for those few dislikes I have-I love so many more things about it. Like working with my hands everyday. I love corresponding with people. I love doing something spiritual everyday for others. I love living my dream. I love having a business and trade I can pass down to my children. I love working at home so I can care for my children. I am blessed that this is my life and job. Alas, I am one of the drones;)
I still hate being on the computer and can't wait until my work day is over and I can shut it off:)
So, the next day, I opened my shop. I didn't even realize how huge Etsy was or that there were other people on there selling items like mine. I had never looked on Etsy. Which was a mistake and a blessing all in one. If I would have looked, I would have had a better feel for what I was getting into but by not looking I got to do MY own thing-completely. I had a couple sales in the first few weeks I think. Then one day I logged into my shop to find every listing missing. My shop had been deleted. Not really. Someone bought everything, but it never occurred to me this would happen so I thought everything had been eaten up by a glitch!
Many of those first clients are still with me to this day. My entire shop is for, and is because, of them.
I am an extremely sensible person and even though the idea of an on-line shop goes against what I initially believed was "right", it was not what was best. As humans is is difficult to sort through that what we feel is not always what is right. I am a teacher first and foremost and my shop has opened a huge channel for me to learn and teach. It was also a way for me to stand up for the seasoned, hard working, authentic root workers out there. I didn't want to be considered a hack or a charlatan which is why I didn't want to have a shop that would be lumped in with those. That was the easiest fix of all; then don't-don't have a shop that is seen a joke or not reputable. My shop is reputable because I am.
The shops that sell "haunted" items or items "owned by a witch" for hundreds of dollars, personally, I find difficult to believe and that they make witches look bad. I also have an issue with "weight loss" items or "spell rings" and the like. If it seems silly and over-priced, then it is.
My shop has nothing in common with these. I don't make promises or guarantees because I can't. I can help tempt The Fates to smile upon you, but I can't make them smile.
For anyone wanting to start their own business;
I began this shop while I had 1 and 2 year old babies. I worked a night job from 7pm until 3 am, breastfed through the night until 7 am when I had to get up to take my husband to work because we had only one vehicle. Throughout the day I cared for my children and made supply runs for my husband (he's a contractor) and listed items and filled orders until 5pm, made dinner, got ready and went to my night job. I did this for 2 years. You know how they say you can do anything you put your mind to? Well I am here to say, that it's true.
Owning a botanica was my dream. Once I changed the idea I saw in my head of my "shop", I was able to achieve my dream, just in another form. I just had to find another way to the goal- which is all life really is. One way doesn't work, so you try another.
I will have my brick and mortar shop but beginning with the on-line business has made a way for me to obtain my original dream. Something I never would have seen If I hadn't had a dear friend point it out to me. I trusted her, made a leap of faith, and worked hard...
Just do it.
This post is dedicated to Melinda. Without your support, encouragement and beautiful, bright ideas, I would not be writing this. Thank you.