I hate being vulnerable. But here goes. I’ve been on Etsy as a seller and worked my rear off to be a good seller. There’s so many things that go on behind the scenes that buyers don’t know about.
What’s going behind the scenes is something I just can’t reconcile myself spiritually with. I’m taking my jewelry sales and will slowly build something that allows me to maintain that personal customized service with heart and soul. It’s not you, Etsy. It’s me. You need the money from all the sellers and buyers but I need a little something different.
I’ll leave a few things in my Etsy shop so that people can find me and my jewelry… but I’m leaving breadcrumbs to the new digs. Wherever that will be. I have no idea – hence the whole “vulnerability” thing. Brene’ Brown, are you listening?
Creating my own website, selling on Instagram or Facebook…scares the bejesus out of me. But I have something that Etsy doesn’t. Heart and a real desire to connect with people through jewelry.
I’m losing my connection to people because Etsy is turning into a machine and losing its heart. My business – the whole “I am enough” thing…is very very VERY heart centered. I believe in the “I am enough” message so much that I’ve invested much of our life savings into becoming a silversmith.
And, I have built my humble studio with tools I’ve found on sale, sold a ring, bought a bit of silver to make more …and this isn’t unusual for budding ‘smiths. I’m not unique. Lots of us started this way.
I don’t want to lose what I have built. But most importantly, I don’t want Etsy, or any other entity to become a wall between anyone believing in their most precious place on this planet. You are valuable!! So am I!
See, “I am enough” is something that people need to believe in – so they can speak up, so they can summon up the courage and “dare” to breathe the same air as the rest of us and so they can get up and look in the mirror.
Without that, I believe… people just wither away and die. I truly believe that, yes, it does START with ME believing in ME…but it didn’t. I needed that jump start – that lift – that heartfelt hug and look in someones eyes before I could believe in it myself.
Once I started to believe in it and held my breath to believe in it just a bit more and more day by day… it grew. I want to pass that on. And I am hoping that you don’t need this message. But I’ll say it anyway, because we all have our moments!
The truth is, you don’t need one of my spinner rings to see the words “I am enough” and grow your own garden of new sprouts of self worth – you can write them on pieces of paper and “plant” them in places where you need to see the message the most. For me, it was taped to the damned mirror.
For more than 20-30 years I always felt like I wanted to smash that mirror. I cannot tell you the level of self hate I had…that whole “hate turned inwards” thing
And, through a series of “seemingly random” events people started entering my life. You know the kind – the people with warm hugs and that love unconditionally. Those people. Those “waterers of the garden of souls” … Long story short. The message ended up on my mirror and I was challenged to find moments in my day where I could see my worth. These angels literally spoon fed me a new belief system of self worth. What a gift.
What’s sad is that for some reason, I didn’t have the ability to hear the ones that were saying it my whole life. Kinda sad when I look back on it but that’s a gift too. That’s part of my swimming lesson. I value those people today more than anything. Why? Because they were up against a formidable thing called “depression” and “self esteem issues” (sister – you listening? thank you for loving me when I could not love myself – big hugs and kisses!!)
God, I hate blogging when I’m vulnerable. I’m crying right now because that gift of sister love at lowest points in my life just touched my heart for the millionth time.
Who loved you at your lowest? Why not thank them…go on, I’ll wait. 🙂
My gift is writing and reaching people. I really truly believe the world would be a better place if we all shared this message. Gave warm hugs and loved the unlovable – or rather “the seemingly unlovable” Because I think we’re all valuable and our swimming lesson in all of this thing we call “life” is to find our worth and purpose, and chase it like we’re running after the ice cream man.
So you can write the message on a mirror, on a small piece of paper in the car or keep in your wallet. You can also gift people the message – kid having a crappy week at school with bullies? A note in their lunch, taped to their bedroom door or a text message works wonders. You never know the moment someone sees this message how their life can pivot. Rick and I leave little random notes everywhere. The messages he leaves me are precious to me.
More than one of my customers has severe anxiety, depression and were suicidal. They tell me that spinning the spinner on the ring and saying “Linda says I’m enough, so I’ll keep spinning til I believe it myself” works for them. It has become their springboard to moving from lack of self worth to a sense of value as a person. I encourage them to get counseling or stay in counseling and keep spinning!
I don’t work as a counselor anymore but I still believe in lifting others up.
I do a lot of hand holding during orders as people tell me WHY they are buying a ring and having me make it most personal. They tell me their life stories – which include addictions, loneliness, incredibly deep shame …and suicidal thoughts.
I don’t believe my rings are magic and I’ll call bullshit on anyone who does say their product works like this. To me, our jewelry is simply an external reminder, that someone, somewhere believes in me. And if I’m the one who gets to start that message in your life, what a gift!!
The photo above is the last ring I made for someone that wanted an “I am enough” spinner ring. You can see the process on my blog at LindaBoBindasDesigns.com.
Anyway, I hand stamp each letter and really screwed this one up. It was a most frustrating day for sure. I was going down the path that led to anger and frustration and threw the second piece across the room.
In my studio, there are rules on the door. The first rule has to do with safety …blah blah blah but one of the other rules is “Positive energy only” and “Have FUN” or you can’t go in there. Seriously, I’m that much of a believer in passing on good energy. It’s sacred space, a space to create, be happy in my bubble and focus on each piece I make. That connection with people that is helpful. That love and positivity energy I proudly and sometimes not so gracefully pour into each piece. We’re not allowed to have arguments in there. Grumpy butts exit stage left (Hey, sometimes that’s ME!)
I remembered my rule of “positive energy only” and knew it was time to get out of the studio, refill my coffee and maybe do a reset – dishes, vacuum, walk the dog or grab a snack. Once I reset I walked back in – picked up the piece and tried hand stamping the @##$ thing again. A few more failures and finally, success.
Only this time I was actually looking at the message for ME. I messed up, it was ugly and so I showed the world by posting it on fb. I just cringed because I “failed” as a hand stamper, a silversmith and as a person, and here I was, showing it to the world. Crazy huh? I posted it to make it normal. To show people that yes, I make cool stuff but behind the scenes isn’t so pretty. Gawd, I get so dramatic but…hey…vulnerability, right? lol
So often I want to come off as this spiritually enlightened “spread the kindness, spead the “I am enough” message, badass silversmith vibe but behind the scenes …not so cool or spiritually enlightened so much lol
Back to the original reason I’m posting. I’m moving my energy from Etsy – the wall that’s blocking my connection to you.
I’m creating a space for sales and conversations and such. I’m scared and I’m feeling small again. But I know one thing. I’ll fall down 99 and by God, I’ll get up 100.
Follow me as I wander through the world as the wonderful spastic dorkolicious that only I can be as I try to learn code, (holy crap, do I even HAVE to know code? see my drama? I’m already pole vaulting over mouse shit!) – understand google SEO, produce BETTER photos, write descriptions that are accurate and learn how to do sales online.
Geez, I just wanna make jewelry, help people out a bit and put some food on the table, gas in the tank to visit my beautiful grandsons and put more money back into the business we have worked so hard to make.
Etsy is tanking right now. I hope it’s a ship that is just getting knocked about by waves and will right itself soon but I don’t have time for that.
You can find me on Facebook LindaBoBinda’s Designs facebook page or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lindabobindasdesignsoregon/ if you can’t find me on Etsy. You can always email me at LindaBoBindasDesigns@hotmail.com (if you don’t cut and paste, remember there are TWO letter “S” in my email.
God help me though, because I am a living, breathing “I love Lucy” episode of the most epic spastic proportions. I click on buttons and say “wonder what this one does” (doesn’t matter what it is, I love to guess at what things actually DO than read the instructions!) I won’t have the security net when working with code to develop my own webpage so wish me luck. If it’s like anything else I build, I will have nuts and bolts leftover and a lotta “oopsies” hehe
But like that sign on my door “Be safe” “Have fun” and “Positive energy only” will hopefully remain at the front of the brain!
I am enough. So are you. Double dog dare ya to say it to yourself in the mirror!!