Sunday, January 08, 2012

The State of Yarndeavors

I'll admit it. I got lazy, and distracted, and a bunch of other things. The result was that my online yarn shop, Yarndeavors, was ignored for awhile. I realized this when I got the notice about the domain expiring soon, so I went to the site to remind myself why I did this in the first place.

Imagine my horror, upon typing in my URL, to be greeted not by my beautiful yarn image, but instead by a hideous image of a hooded red-eyed evil-looking figure and the words:

"You have been hacked by SaYmAn!!! Sorry your securty [sic] is 0%!!"


I bypassed the hacker's front page by typing in the URLs to each page individually and found everything was fine—until I clicked on "Shop".

404 Error not found.

What the—?!?!?

After a few calls back and forth with GoDaddy, I learned:
  • the approximate date of intrusion
  • which files of "his" to delete
  • that my shop database no longer existed
  • that I'd have to reinstall Zencart software
  • that I'd have to rebuild it from the ground up
  • oh, and I might want to add a $3.99/month Site Scanner to my hosting plan to prevent hackers from gaining access
I said "I'll think about it", and promptly went over to research Etsy.

True, it costs to list each item (20 whopping CENTS, but the listing period is four months long), and Etsy receives 3.5% of each sale (but only when it sells). A few quick calculations showed that my money was better spent setting up shop on Etsy with everyone else than giving it to GoDaddy and their "state-of-the-art" security (which did nothing to protect me).

Of course, then came the question of commitment. It's one thing to create a shopping cart using free add-ons and cheap hosting, toss a couple skeins up there and see if they fly. It's another to invest in listing items with the actual intent to sell, and then allowing a third party to take a percentage. That's almost like... like really running a BUSINESS.

I had to ask myself, is this something I really want to do? Or just a hobby I was hoping to squeeze a few bucks out of? Can I imagine doing this five years from now?


In fact, I can't imagine NOT doing it (unlike some other things). I can imagine dyeing yarn AND fabric AND making art quilts AND weaving things AND hand-painting items AND... the list is quite large.

It turns out the only thing standing between me and my fibrous fantasies was my limiting belief that out of all the things I could do for a living, the gap between passion and income was the WIDEST when it came to fibers. I couldn't see how it would ever support me. Then I look at the number of fiber artists who are living just fine from their art in various forms, and I wonder, how am I really all that different?

Sure, it'll be a lot of work to get this going and maintain it, but I love it. I love dyeing the yarn. My only wish is for a vertical "bullet" steamer and a couple of stretcher kits (from Dharma Trading) so I can add my silk scarves to the mix (did them at the University's now-defunct fiber arts program facilities). I suppose I could try the stovetop steamer, if it'll work on my stove... first I need to sell a LOT of yarn, or get a day job, or win the lottery, or find a fiber angel...

The website is being overhauled. I have a dedicated Page over on Facebook y'all can "Like" (see link in sidebar), and my Etsy shop is up and running.

Now, all I gotta do is dye some more yarn and unfold the loom. Considering it's 2:28 AM, maybe a nap needs to come first...


At 7:51 AM, January 10, 2012, Blogger Lola said...

If you can, move off GoDaddy. It's a horrible place to host websites. A good number of web designers and developers will not deal with GoDaddy. I've dealt with GoDaddy for a client and it was not a pleasant experience. In addition, GoDaddy supported SOPA and PIPPA, although they've "backpedaled" due to the backlash.


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