Well this is a blog post that I honestly didn’t feel like I would be writing, but sadly here it is. The Crafted Life Shop is closing… well sort of. Doors aren’t going to close overnight, but I’m officially pulling back on physical product.
As you know I launched The Crafted Life Shop back in April 2020. Everything was in the works well before the pandemic and truthfully your orders that first year saved me as sponsors pulled out of contract work left and right. While so many businesses had to close during the pandemic, the amount of people who suddenly needed work from home supplies saved mine.
So you might be wondering, if it isn’t the pandemic, then what’s going on?
Why is The Shop Closing?
Two large things happened recently that caused my business a major set back. Let’s start with the one that a few of you have messaged me about.
1. Target is now selling a version of my rainbow mouse pad… for half the price. It’s really a punch in the gut every time I see their product listing. The rainbow mouse pad is so dear to my heart. It started as a DIY that I shared here and that you loved (Martha Stewart even shared it). I went down the path of turning it into a product, all by myself. I invested, I learned, I failed, but I got it done. It’s the entire reason that I launched The Crafted Life Shop. It was my signature product and my top seller. And just like that, overnight, a huge store with reach and foot traffic is selling the same thing at a price point that I can’t offer.
As a creator, it’s not uncommon to find knock off versions of your work at large box stores. If you make a product or have something you created take off, do yourself a favor and talk to a lawyer. Setting up protections for yourself is must because capitalism never sleeps. It’s something I wish I did before this moment and I’m kicking myself for not copyrighting it. Because when something like that happens, it’s beyond heartbreaking. You feel helpless and it’s hard not to take it so personally.
On top of all of that I ran into..
2. Manufacturing issues. I invested a good amount of money into two new mouse pad designs and a restock of both the rainbow mouse pad and color wheel mouse pad. And they were a bust. My manufacturer not only printed the wrong colors of my designs, but 99% of the mouse pads I received had flaws on them. I found this out two weeks ago when I went through the shipment. Even if I tried to compete with Target, I don’t have the inventory, or the means to take this loss to order a reprint. Essentially I’m forced to stop.
So what does that mean for the shop?
Well, a few things will happen. The shop isn’t going to close over night. I just won’t be restocking anything that’s in the shop now. If you’ve had your eye on something, ESPECIALLY a mouse pad, you might want to grab it now. More and more products will be removed from the shop as they sell out, eventually leading to limited inventory.
My hope is to keep the shop open in a much smaller capacity. I’ll still be selling signed copies of my book. I’ll also be moving to digital downloads (think helpful printables and art you can get for under $5). One day I hope to do small batch product releases too, but nothing is confirmed at this time.
I appreciate all the love and support you’ve shown the shop over these past two years and am thankful that it even lasted this long. I can’t say that I’m not sad, because I am. I haven’t even fully processed the grief because it happened so suddenly. Nobody dreams of their shops closing, but I at least wanted it to be on my own terms. Overnight it was taken from me and I have to deal with the fact that a large company is selling something that I created while I close up. I’m not the first person this has happened to and sadly I won’t be the last. So if you do anything today, I hope it’s that you support a small business. Like their posts, leave a positive review, shop if you can. Let’s rally and support those with ideas and dreams.