I'm 22 years old, and I'm not in college because until recently I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my life. Currently I work for the YMCA as a senior counselor for a before-and-after school program where I work with kids every day. Its a great job, and I love it, but the hours aren't enough to be part time, I don't really get paid a huge amount, and since its working at a school, I only work when school is running. Since its summer right now, you see my dilemma. After a long story and some late-night discussions with the boyfriend, I decided what I really want to do is open my own store, sell my own things, and be my own boss. Its the American Dream, or something, right? I'm a hardcore crafter - I love making my own clothes, items, etc. I love creating things out of items other people would just throw away. I'm pretty handy with my hands and I'm constantly creating something, whether its physical or in writing (I'd also love to be a writer).
Since I'm young, have no collateral, no savings, and horrid credit, there's no possible way I can open my own store right now. So a couple months ago, I jumped online, made a website, and tried to start up a business that way. I bought some books and really jumped headfirst into it, but I really have no idea at all what I'm doing. I tried to do it all myself, and I was trying to do a lot: creating a catalogue and selling items (for example, spa products, organic tea, clothing and costumes, art and photographs, etc), developing new things all the time, offering services like custom items, freelance work, etc... I was working longer hours on my home business than I was at my then-fulltime job, and trying to start it up, plus advertise, and everything, I was just spreading myself too thin at the time.
I stepped back and took some time to gather myself again, and I want to give it a go again. I've read more, made my files more organized, and I have some better ideas this time.
My question, I guess, is directed to anyone who's started their own shop or store online. What did you do when you were getting started that worked for you? How did you handle it all? What steps did you take to ensure you didn't get in over your head too fast? How did you do it, if you were successful? Any tips people can give me are welcome. I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'm so passionate about this vision I have... its just the initial starting that's stressing me out.
Thanks, and again, its great to meet you all.
[x-posted a bit, so sorry if you see this more than once!]