This is an unusual post for us. I have a decision to make and I'm having a lot of trouble making it. Why do I always have to see both sides of a situation. Anyway I'm asking for your advice in helping me make up my mind. But more about that in a minute.
First Norma Jean wants to thank all of you who sent her good wishes when she had her sick tummy.
Last week my friend Sue recommended a book, actually a series of books to me. She said they were light, fun reads and I immediately borrowed the first from the library. The author is Spencer Quinn and the books are Dog On It; Thereby Hangs A Tail; To Fetch A Thief; and The Dog Who Knew Too Much. They are all Chet and Bernie Mysteries.
Ordinarily I'm not a fan of mysteries, but these are amusing books about a somewhat inept pair of detectives. Chet is a dog and Bernie is his PI master. Chet is actually the better detective, but has a rather short memory. Although he has some great ideas, he's easily distracted by the scent or even the thought of bacon. Sounds a lot like my Morgan.
I'm only on the first of this series, but it's a fun read written from the dogs point of view and I'm sure I'l read the others. If you're looking for some light vacation type reading, try the Chet and Bernie mysteries.
Now for my quandary. Last week I posted pictures of my hand knit dog sweaters. Over the weekend I was contacted by an online site that handles dog accessories. They expressed interest in selling my sweaters. At first I was excited and started thinking of ideas for new sweaters, but as the week has gone on, I've had some doubts.
I don't want to devote all my time to making dog sweaters. I'm also enough of a control freak to want to decide how they will be marketed. I also want to decide what to make and when. Let me give you an example.
I used to sew most of my own clothes. Occasionally some of the women I worked with asked if I would make something for them. I usually agreed. At first it was fun, I was doing something I enjoyed and I was making a little extra cash, but pretty soon my 'customers' were getting more and more demanding. They'd bring pictures from magazines or describe an outfit in great detail and I was supposed to produce exactly what they had in mind.
The final straw was when a co-worker asked if I'd make her daughter's prom dress. Stupidly, I agreed. The girl, her mother and I went shopping for a pattern and fabric. She chose a pattern that I didn't like, but I agreed to make it. Then the pair chose the most awful fabric I'd ever seen. It was hideous by itself, but in the style of dress they wanted, I knew it would look awful. I tried to steer them toward other fabric, but they were in love with the hideous stuff.
Reluctantly, I made the dress. I hated every minute I spent working on it and the finished dress looked terrible. When I showed them the finished dress, they were ecstatic. It was exactly what they wanted and the girl wore it to the prom.
Well, you're saying, the customers were happy, so what's the problem? Maybe I'm being silly, but I hated that dress and was ashamed to admit I made it. It was not something I'd ever choose or make on my own. I stopped sewing for several months because I didn't enjoy sewing anymore.
Now, I can envision the online company coming back to me and saying "we want six of these orange and kelly green sweaters in extra large size." I wouldn't be able to force myself to make them. It would turn me off knitting as the prom dress did sewing. I like the freedom of making what I like and feeling the pleasure of creating something I feel proud of.
So, readers and friends, I value your input. Should I say no to the online store and either open my own Etsy shop or peddle my sweaters locally, or should I go along with a site that has wider circulation? Your advice is needed and welcomed.