A while back I decided to step back from the online whirlpool- I left my Etsy shop mostly unattended (no new items) and my mailing list run dry. I left the Etsy forums and stepped back from the online community and I built a tangible life.
I restarted my business as a craft show vendor and returned to the Portland Saturday Market. I made new friends that I spent time with, in person and finally, (at age 38) met the man of my dreams. I went from being an overworked and isolated single mom to an overworked, underpaied and surrounded by people satiated mom :))
It's been a lovely journey. I spent an entire summer camping with my son and the summer after that being way too distracted by a new love to leave home for 5 days at a time. I designed 3 new product lines and let a few of the old ones slide. I made great money sometimes and terrible money others. I learned how to be with customers again and how to watch their faces for genuine feedback about my work. In every way I feel like I grew into the person I wanted to be all those years before.
It's been wonderful. And hard sometimes, and scary but beautiful! And I think I'll post here a bit more and maybe list a few more things online and continue with craft shows and revamp my etsy and see if I can't make a better living doing what I love with the support and company of my new found community.
Peace and love and happiness to all!