Rule #1 of using your blog as a marketing tool: blog consistently, at least once per week. Oops, I slipped up there this past week.

These past few days have been an emotional (and geographic) roller coster for me. I didn’t want to blog about it all, out of respect for the privacy of the people involved, and especially because this blog is supposed to be a “branding” tool for me. I’ve been trying so hard to follow all the rules of marketing, suggested by those more experienced than me, since I’ve never tried an endeavor like The Yarnery before. I’ve read dozens of books and advice columns on online shops and small businesses, and all of them say keep your blog positive. Sharing your personality is good, the advice-column writers say, but you wont sell your business if you’re a downer. 

The thing is, like everyone, sadness makes up a part of my life and personality. I hate feeling like I can’t be honest about that. So while I’m not going to share the details, I will say that this week I felt a lot like retreating into myself, sitting on my balcony, making myself cup after cup of comforting coffee, eating lots of cookies, and not talking much to anyone. I bet you all can relate.

Besides, I bet acknowledging the unspoken, yet self-evident fact that this blog is part of my branding, and even going so far as to directly express my cluelessness about marketing to my blog audience is against the advice of those columnists too, and I did that anyway.

For now at least, I am in my parents’ home in Oakland CA, being buoyed up by the support of my family.

And even if my marketing endeavors have stalled, I haven’t stopped knitting.

I designed this cute Christmas Mouse based on a custom request.

And I’ve been working on this clown. His design is still a work in progress, but it’s been so much fun to  throw together all the brightest, neon-est colors I could find. 
And being at my parents house has the wonderful surprise benefit of access to all the great marketing ideas my mom had to offer. From just one day of following up on her few tips, I now have my Russian Stacking Dolls going on a table at a Russian Heritage Tea, as well as some great promotional plans in the works for my UCLA Bear. I woke up this morning to the thought that my mom is so much better at this marketing thing than I am, just more naturally talented, even though she’s never had any experience with small handmade business stuff before either. This thought did not make me feel inadequate, or ashamed; quiet the contrary I felt tender and sympathetic with myself: I’ve been facing all these challenges without a mentor, and without much real life example. I have no experienced boss to observe and learn from. This whole process is going to be slow, scary and full of mistakes. I should give myself a break about my slip-ups (like not blogging for the last 12 days), and accept help wherever I can find it.