Monetize, Optimize, Organize, Oh My! Or, "Is this thing a hobby or a business?!"

"We don't have to monetize or optimize or organize our joy." Thoughts on a Man Repeller article that resonated with Katie Heiselberg at Kismet Workshop.

For any maker or artist who has contemplated (or is) ‘monetizing’ their work, I highly recommend this article, “The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles”, from the Man Repeller. It resonated in SO many ways and had me introspective about why I want to turn this joy of creating w/ glass into something being sold. ⁣

I’ve discovered in this process that the *most* joy I’ve experienced has been 1) the making of the jewelry, and 2) the branding and execution of the brand (the graphic designer in me). ⁣

So, I built it. And that was FUN! But no one—ok very few—are coming. Because, duh: Marketing! Promotion! **Actually telling people about it!** These things feel less comfortable for me.⁣

I haven’t had the same time / energy / space the past few months to put toward this little baby business, leaving me scanning through a long list of “shoulds” on any given day / evening / weekend. Then I hear “but it’s not scalable” from my husband, who I know is my biggest cheerleader in life, but he’s also in the business of building businesses.

The conclusion I’ve come to is this: I will do this how I do this. 💁🏻‍♀️ If it means a loooong run-up to any sort of awareness or sales momentum, that’s fine. If it means months between completing new items and getting them photographed and up on the website, that’s also fine. If it means 1000% not caring if it’s ‘scalable’ or not, then great! We’re on our way, baby! 💃⁣

Of course my glass work could solely about creating for fun-not-profit. But I *also* get joy from the prospect of my work being a gift for someone’s sister / mother / friend / bridesmaids. Or a piece that makes someone feel unique and adorned. And I believe what I have to offer is good and people will want it. ⁣

My work is art. My art is wearable. My art is *useful* in its facilitation of self-expression. And - this is 🔑- its role is not to pay the bills right now. I’m chasing that “chill hustle”, that well-adjusted ambition, that joyful journey of putting something I believe in out into the world in exchange for a little 💵 appreciation. 

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