Failures with my MLM business

I’m just going to say it, I sucked at running a MLM Business. Before you scoff at the acronym “MLM,” hear me out. MLM stands for multilevel marketing and sometimes gets the incorrect title of “pyramid scheme.” Even though I said goodbye to my business, doesn’t mean that it is a scheme and we hate everyone who does them. On the contrary, I think they are still pretty great but just not for me.

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Note: This is a yarn lovers blog, but in order for you to understand how the yarn biz came to be, you have to understand some of my biggest mistakes. Six of them, actually.

  1. I gave in to the need for “freebies.” I believe in order to make a sale, there had to be some free item as an incentive to buy. While I still believe in the power of the freebie, it does not need to be with every. single. sale. In one month I gave away almost $100 in free stuff and guess how much I made…$100.
  2. I copied what other successful people were doing to an unhealthy degree. One of the top leaders in the company used twitter, I started using twitter. One of the top sales folks taught 30 classes in a month, I tried to teach 30 classes. I felt like doing more meant more success. So instead of doing a few things great, I did a few things okay.
  3. I wasn’t honest about how hard it was. How many times do you hear “it’s just as easy as inviting people” or “the products sell themselves”? I don’t know why I believed the fallacy that I could show up with my products and people would be buying hundreds of dollars of stuff in the first 10 minutes.
  4. I was afraid to say “no.” Someone would ask me to do a class and I would drop everything to do it. I would take off from my full time job to do coaching. I would put my life on hold because that’s what everyone else is doing.
  5. I didn’t keep good records. I struggled with bookkeeping, call logs, and member information. Some months I didn’t know if I had lost money or earned money. Some months I couldn’t even tell you who all I did classes for. I was keeping my head down and hoping success would just poof into my lap. In turn, I didn’t have concrete goals like make $500 this month, I would just said I wanted to teach 10 classes.
  6. If I made a mistake, I thought it was the end of my business. I would forget to call someone or accidentally place someone in the wrong spot then it was the end of the world. I was so indecisive that each decision I finally did make felt like it would make or break me. Like success was just one good decision away. BTW, that’s sooo not how it works.

 

So how did these six mistakes help me? I am glad you asked. The short version is I track my finances like a hawk, I became much more decisive and made peace with bad decisions, I am really freaking transparent about everything. The long story can be found next week right here on the blog.

XOXO

Evie

 

What to do in the “slow season” of crafting

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Depending on your craft, the spring/summer time is your slow time. For us fiber artists, the slow season graces us around Feb 1. (At least in the Midwest as I know the Northerners see cold temps way past March) So here are 10 things I have planned for the slow season this year.

  1. Start on Christmas Presents
  2. Work on Summer/Fall Patterns
  3. Determine what 10 items I am going to sell at craft shows
  4. Book Craft Shows
  5. Blog!
  6. Dye more yarn
  7. Learn a new knitting technique (lace, here I come)
  8. Start working on craft show goodies (seriously never too early)
  9. Make three million crocheted pot covers for my plants
  10. Make something for myself!

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Overbuying craft supplies?

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Seriously, how many times do you go to Hobby Lobby and come out with $100 worth of stuff and you STILL can’t finish your craft project? I have bought five pounds of glitter because it was on sale and didn’t have any freaking plans for it. So I developed this super simple and no frills list to help me out.

I also have two rules 1) I have to have a project in mind before I buy anything 2) Make a realistic deadline for your project. That means if it is a baby blanket that needs to be made in 6 months, I have enough time to wait on a yarn sale so no need to buy it at full price now.

So now to the super simple shopping list template!

Craft Shopping List
use this so you don’t overspend at craft stores!

Top Ten Crafting Lies

Girl, buckle up. This is a small list of the things I tell my Husband about crafting. Drop a comment below if you have said ANY of these.

  1. I have plenty of time to get that done.
  2. I don’t spend that much money on yarn.
  3. I can go to JoAnn’s and just look.
  4. I definitely won’t use that 60% coupon.
  5. It’s on sale, so I need it. (I don’t need it)
  6. …But I am out of yarn/hotglue/felt/ribbon.
  7. I don’t ever make anything for myself.
  8. There is no such thing as too much glitter.
  9. I can make something and not put it on instagram.
  10. I don’t have a problem.

What did I miss from the list?! Join my email list to get more truth time and check out what I spend so much money on at my etsyshop

XOXO Evie

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Why are your classes so expensive?

Okay, I know we all think it. Why does a pasta entree cost $35? Or why am I charging $50 a person for crochet/knit classes. If that is the first time you have heard it, I know part of you wondered if it is just plain highway robbery. So I am here to break it down in dollars and cents for ya!

One week before

I write a outline about what I need to cover in the class. It can take between a half hour to two hours depending on the skill level I am teaching. +1hr

I do the project. If it is a beginner class, a dishcloth takes me 30min of knitting and 15 minutes of note-taking. I could do a project 1.2 million times and I would still want to make sure the yarn, needles, and pattern work together. So beginner class is another 45 minutes.

Day before

Buy yarn, supplies, and food. YES FOOD!

Sister, if I am coming to your house for two hours I am going to bring food. If we meet up at Starbucks, your drink is on me. You come to my house, I am going to have wine, coffee, and snacks ready. So per person I spend around $7

Yarn and supplies are around $10 for a basic class. If we are diving into natural fibers, add $10 to that!

Day of

I spend money traveling to meet folks and I spend anywhere from 1 to 2 hours answering all of the questions and making terrible jokes.

Week After

I check in. I will also meet up with someone if they are having frustrations with their project.

Bottom Line

So let’s do the math. $17 dollars for supplies + 4 hours of prep/teaching + a lifetime of a skill = priceless.

Guys, these classes aren’t just about learning a skill, its about having fun learning a new skill. I love youtube, but for me it isn’t as great as learning from a friend, over a glass of wine and laughing when you mess up. Most importantly, you have someone right there to fix your mess up.

Free Pattern Alert: Kimona Kowl

As promised, I am sharing a pattern with you. If you are new here, check out my last post about my New Year’s Resolution. The Kimona Kowl is designed to lay flat underneath your coat or wear out in the open without getting in your way like a regular scarf.

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Kimona Kowl
Designed to be an easy, quick present for your loved ones…or yourself.
Design: @fiberflorafire | Evie Sehr
Supplies
Yarn: Big Twist Natural Blend (2 Balls)
145 yards, 7.5 grams
Other Supplies
• Needle: US N, 10.00mm
• Scissors
• Yarn needle
• Tape measure
Gauge (4”x4”) = 8 stitches, 8 rows
Abbreviation
• Ch = chain
• Sc = single crochet
• St(s) = stitches

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Pattern
Row 1: Ch 52 sts (38”)
Row 2: Turn, ch1, sc 52 sts
Row 3 – 13: Turn, ch1, sc 52 sts
Once you finish row 13, fasten off and lightly tug the finished work.

Sewing it together

Take your scarf and overlay the ends as such.

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Using a yarn needle and yarn left over from your project, sew along the edges using the mattress stitch as so:

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If something with this pattern goes wonky, please comment below!

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“You stole my pattern”

Happiest New Year to everyone! 2018 was awesome because I kept learning something at every. single. turn. That totally came in handy when I opened my instagram on a rainy December day.

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That’s MY kowl above

The first post on my main page was this beautiful cowl and my heart dropped. At first glance, I thought it was one of my pattern testers for my kimona kowl but upon further inspection, it wasn’t. It was a pattern for sale from another fiber artist. If 2018 taught me anything it was you can be angry, but you can’t let that derail you. So I got off the couch and showed Peyton the picture.

“Hey, look people do like your pattern! When did you put it on your etsy shop?” He said, smiling.

“I didn’t. Someone else created it and posted it and people love it and I can’t believe it and I should say something.” I said, kind of sweaty and out of breath from frustration.

I put on a kettle and started thinking about what I could have done differently to prevent this pattern thief from stealing my work. Then how I was going to tear her alive with my sharp tongue and some soft little fluff-ball of an idea entered my heart. You know, when you are so freaking angry and just want to explode then something touches your vortex of a black-hole heart and your edges soften, just a bit? Know that the details of the story are fuzzy and the author unknown, but the sentiment is the same:

She was hiding under her covers when she heard Inspiration knocking on her door. She had to welcome Her quickly or Inspiration will knock on someone else’s door.

How many times have you had a great idea, you did nothing with it, and a few years later you saw it online or in an infomercial? Last March I created the pattern, gave it to pattern testers, then told myself it was dumb, no one would buy it and who do I think I am to be a pattern writer? *insert self doubt here*

So as I finally made some coffee, I started to smile. Six months ago I told myself terrible things about my ability to create and here it was on Instagram with followers and everything. I started to laugh and clap my hands because the pattern was doing great! The pattern wasn’t dumb, because people liked it. People were buying it!

The fiber artist that wrote the pattern was greeted by Inspiration after I shooed it away. So I wrote her. I told her what was going on and how grateful I was for it. I know it sounds crazy, but her pattern doing well gave me a confidence boost and I shared that with her. Based on her platform size, I doubt I will receive a response but I don’t need one because I learned my lesson: Inspiration can only break bread with you when you open your home to it. In my case, I had to tell self-doubt and fear to get the hell out of my house before I can open the door to Inspiration. In the last week of 2018, I kicked them to the curb and wrote five patterns. The first is coming at you Sunday!

Want to see what happens in 2019? Read more here and find me on facebook, instagram, and etsy.