Newsflash for you (and ramblings):
After much ‘umming and aarrring’, I have decided to enable the Request Custom Order button on my shop.
A peek at TheNavigatrix on Etsy
What kept me?
It takes time to find your way around selling on Etsy. I’m still finding my feet, really. I mean, I hadn’t even heard of WordPress or Twitter when I started and I had never sold online before (well, ebay, but not as a shop owner). So yes, the learning curve has been a steep one.
My daughter was three at the time so motherhood too was still relatively new. (They grow so fast, it is new almost every day!)
Almost a year later and I was diagnosed with FND…so I’ve had rather a lot on my plate.
With The Aether Nomads Project growing out of the convergence of a jewellery range idea and my involvement in Steampunk Hands Across the World, TheNavigatrix seems to be in rather uncharted territory (which is where she thrives best!) In order to make the most of the three types of Steampunk jewellery and accessories that my shop offers – English Steampunk, Steamgoth and Tribal Steampunk – offering custom items was the next logical step.
However…I asked myself how I was going to accomplish this with the challenges I face:
1) Limited time. I generally work when The Scamp is at school or when she is being entertained by her father. Though that can get rather noisy… 😉
2) Materials. Borne out of necessity, TheNavigatrix grew using materials found in charity shops which I ‘upcycle’. I became aware that this was actually a bonus. Nobody would be using the same items from which to craft jewellery and the fact that there were limited supplies meant that it was easier to choose to make one-off pieces or limited – but still individual – runs of similar themes.
Every item is unique. I will not, because I cannot, make exactly the same thing twice. This provides a personal touch to each piece and also keeps me creative.
3) Health. Chronic Fatigue makes no.1 all the more limited. Various subtle but annoying neurological things make handling tiny beads and simply thinking straight tricky some days. FND is a very variable condition but with a fair amount of help I am learning to manage it. This shop and the wonderful friends I have made through running it inspire me to keep going forth!
Customers, What You Need To Know
In a nutshell then**:
• If you ask for a custom order, it may take time but no more than 6-8 weeks. Faster, if at all possible, but I needed to give myself plenty of leeway, just in case.
• Communication is key. I can use Facebook messenger to chat with you real-time or Etsy convos to send messages and pictures. Together we’ll see what is possible and design your piece.
• I will only accept two commissions at a time. There will also be a waiting list.
• Lastly, a little kindness and consideration always make a difference. I appreciate being able to buy direct from a real craftsperson. It is why I love Etsy so much. I’ve bought a few custom creations myself and have been over the moon every time.
So, do spread the word and consider asking TheNavigatrix to create something to your specifications. Many thanks,
A separate interview featuring some fellow #SteampunkSpoonies will follow next month.
** Full guidelines can be found on my Policies Page