I'm bringing back the Crafter Interview feature that I ran on this site for the first year...but, with a twist. I'm going to be checking in with all the crafters I interviewed the first time around and seeing what they've done with their business in the two years since the first interview. I think it will be fascinating to get updates on everyone's progress, and really show how unpredictable owning your own business can be.
How many years have you been in business?
Well I started Sharma Designs in 2002 but I did take a year sabbatical when I was pregnant with my second daughter and into her first months.
Please update us on what has happened with your business in the two years since the last interview:
I have scaled down Sharma Designs since my original interview on Make It. When I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child I was coming out of a very successful Christmas season and I was burnt out and overwhelmed with the idea of being a mom to a toddler, a newborn and running a business.
I closed my main website and opened an Etsy store instead. Etsy allows me to make things work for me and my family. If I have a few weeks where I need to focus on my family and put Sharma Designs on the back burner I can do that without the stress of hosting fees, tech support, merchant fees and such hanging over my head.
Is your small business supporting you financially?
It definitely helps. With the birth of my second child I became a SAHM so the extra money is definitely nice to have.
Where/how do you advertise your business?
Since opening my Etsy store in February 2008 I have only advertised on Rare Bird Finds, which is a shopping blog that I co-run. I have had a great response there.
I have also had a few blog mentions which is always nice. I've also had a great response to sponsoring giveaways on various blog sites.
Do you think you've "made it"?
Ha ha. Well, I've "made it work" for me. This is a time in my life where my kids are going to get most of me so I have to be flexible with my business. Originally I was going to quit completely and I did for a year but I just couldn't stay away. I really love what I do and I need that "me" time after a long day with 2 little ones. I'm really happy that I have the opportunity to make and sell jewelry at all. My husband is very supportive of my efforts and doesn't complain too much when I head straight for the bead room once the kids are down for the night.
How do you plan for the future of your business?
Right now I definitely take opportunities as they come. Some day I hope to again have a more formal business. After leaving my job when the baby was born I definitely never want a desk job again so when the babies are all in school I plan to ramp things up.
What are your future plans?
Just keep doing what I love and accessorizing women across the country with one of a kind jewelry