Etsy Seller Imposter Syndrome – Tackling Self-Doubt

This is kind of a hard post for me to make public on my blog since I do have an active Etsy shop, but I am going to make it public for the sake of other people who may be struggling.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with a flare-up of self-doubt – Especially when it comes to the creations I make for my Etsy shop.

Maybe it’s because I can see myself getting better at what I do, but I’ve been so tempted to remove some items from my shop completely, or lower the price of them because, in my mind, they just aren’t as good as some of my more recent creations.

And then there are days where I wonder if I’m even good enough to be selling any of them at all.

I’ve heard from a few different artists that this is a common problem that they have.

Artists have a tendency to under-value their work, and also tend to be overly-critical of themselves. I really have been needing to keep this in mind, and it’s a thing that I constantly need to remind myself of.

I do believe that I do good work, and need to remember that everybody can improve their crafts. Even the artists who I look up to.

Last year I bought a book to help me tackle my own self-doubt. It’s called “Playing Big – Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” – By Tara Mohr. I heard about it a while back when I heard a podcast in which Tara was a guest. I wish I could remember what Podcast it was. If I can find it, I’ll update this post with a link to it, but I digress. 🙂

I never finished reading this book, but I’m going to start reading it again as my self-doubt is creeping back. The bit I did read was inspiring, and I need to rekindle that feeling in myself. In case you struggle with self-image issues and seeing your own potential, this is a fantastic book.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject. I don’t think I’m the only one. It’s a topic that isn’t discussed often at all. For a while I thought that maybe I was the only one, but I was relieved to find that people who I consider experts at their craft even struggle with it.

So in case you haven’t heard this yet, you are not alone in feeling self doubt when it comes to the work you make and share with the public. For some people these feelings keep them from putting their work out there. I think it takes a lot of bravery to start an Etsy shop, or to post your work for the public to see, but it is so worth it.

Edit: I wrote about my self-doubt last year as well. In this blog post, I mentioned this exact same book and the podcast in case you’re interested. It’s been over a year and I still remember it, so it obviously made a pretty big impact. 🙂



Self Image and Selling Your Own Work

​Self image has always been something that I’ve struggled with as a person. I’ve never truly felt “worthy” or “good enough” to start my own business in which I sold my own creations. 

Having a Poshmark shop was the stepping stone that helped change that. It helped my gain the confidence I need to open an Etsy shop. (For those that don’t know, Poshmark is basically a “resale shop” for used and sometimes new clothing)

With Poshmark, I wasn’t directly selling my own creations, but I was selling things that I found that I thought were nice. I was able to easily turn a profit, and that was a confidence boost. It helped make me take the big step of opening an Etsy shop and listing my first items.
Not long ago, I made my very first sale on Etsy. I have to confess – I was a nervous wreck when I shipped that journal. I worried that the buyer would be disappointed in it. That constant self-doubt that always rests in the corner of my mind came out at full force.

When I saw the five star review and the feedback from that sale a week or so later, I was so unbelievably happy. A human being had spent her own hard earned money on something that I had made, and loved what she received! 

She could’ve bought from anyone else-there are so many amazing and talented artists and junk journal makers, but she chose me.

I’m not posting this to make sales. I just really want to express how exciting and validating it feels to be able to make things for fun, and have a little business doing what I love to do anyway. I sincerely hope that everyone gets the opportunity to having a similar feeling, whether it’s by selling their artwork, or working in an office. 

If you’ve always wanted to sell your crafts and haven’t taken the step yet, just do it. The feelings you get from your first legitimate sale are indescribable. 

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a nice week. I’ve been really busy with non-art related things and have been neglecting this blog as well, but will be getting back in it soon. I have a junk journal to finish up and a new one to start for a client (Sidenote: I still can’t believe that I get to say that I have a “client”😋). 

I’ll post pictures of both journals in the near future.  Maybe I’ll even find time to list new items in my Etsy shop soon. Thanks for all your support. 🙂♥️

Breakthroughs about my own Self-Worth

I feel like last month has been one of my most dramatic ones in terms of growing as a person.

I realized – fully realized – That I am capable of making doing what I love into a profitable business if I put in the necessary work.

I think that’s the key, though… It is a lot of work to start a business, and between my regular job and this new side-job, I have been working – literally from morning to the time that I go to sleep for the past week.

I’ll confess that it’s been getting to be draining. I was surprised with how  tired I felt at the end of the day yesterday, and I wondered why… My husband mentioned that even though I am doing what I love after my normal job, it is still a form of work and that I need to take time to relax.

It is very hard to do though because I really just want to get the groundwork laid out so that I can just focus on creating and advertising.

Between the time that I decided that I wanted to start a business selling my journals last wednesday and now, I’ve created an etsy shop, created an instagram account, created a facebook account, filmed a youtube video for my first journal, started a pinterest page for my journals in progress, started a twitch account, wrote down a list of small goals and timelines, created a trademark design, created a spreadsheet from scratch (complete with complicated formulas so that I can save time in the longrun) to break down costs spent on my journals and spit out a recommended price to charge for it, and working on journals and journal designs that I want to sell… And that doesn’t count the business I have going on Poshmark right now.

Honestly, it’s been a lot. I haven’t even started advertising much, because for one, I’m not at the point yet where it’s worth advertising (especially since I only have one journal listed) and I simply haven’t had time yet…

I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and expect to get a lot done so that I can start relaxing a bit. I’m going to some estate sales with a friend on saturday and am looking forward to it because it’ll both serve as a bit of a break from the running around, and I will hopefully be able to find some good stuff to use in future journals.

So, a thing I learned that I didn’t fully realize until last month: It is possible to have a business that allows you to be creative, but you need to put in the effort to make it successful… That means setting little goals to meet, creating spreadsheets, and figuring out how you are going to advertise your products. Customers will not come to you if they do not know that your products exist.

Anyway, I am going to continue on with this. I’ve been keeping myself motivated by listening to a Podcast called “Creative Living With Jamie”. It’s a really inspiring podcast about creative professionals and how they think, become successful, etc.

I also bought a self-help book called “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr. I heard her talk on the podcast mentioned above, and I really related to what she was saying in the interview. The book is about how we (as women) are much more capable than we give ourselves credit for, and about the importance of replacing self-doubt with self-worth.

This is something that I realize has been holding me back… It’s the core of why I put off starting my business for so long… A fear of failing, or not being good enough. In my mind, it wasn’t even worth trying. I am actively working now on getting past this, and getting my self confidence up.

Anyway, I feel as though 2017 has been- and is going to continue to be – a year of growth for me as a person and I look forward to seeing what it has in store for me.

Somewhat related – I got a raise recently in my full time job, and am going to splurge on some items to get my business going – I think that a big part of my business will involve having patrons and streaming my work and art, so I’m really happy that I’m going to be able to kick this off earlier than I expected.

I will be purchasing a good windows computer (The Surface Pro 4 specifically), some lighting, and a good webcam so that I can start streaming my work as I create junk journals, paint, art journal, or do any of those other artsy things that I like to do. If you are interested, feel free to follow me on Twitch. You can find me under the name “themermaidcove”.

I look forward to interacting with you on Twitch as I start live streaming my work in the next few weeks! 🙂

In case you’re interested in checking out my Etsy shop, here is my store: MermaidCoveArt. Keep an eye out for cool new things! Let me know if you have any ideas of what else you think I should sell. I am open to ideas, and don’t intend to just sell art journals there.


Journal 2 of 4: Antiqued Attic Journal

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I ended up making 4 journals – Each of them were made for some of the women I love the most. I want to share each of them, but I’m breaking up the posts into 4 so that each journal can be shared in detail without making the post stupidly long.

The second journal I’m going to share is the Antiqued Attic journal for my Mom. I never really thought about it much until I became an adult, but my mom and I are extremely alike. We are both worriers, and do our best to make the people in our lives happy – sometimes at the expense of our own sanity. We are also both very creative, and try our best to be organized. She used to draw and paint,  She is extremely giving, and caring, and I’m truly blessed to have her as my mom.

Anyway! To the journal! As mentioned, I wanted each of them to reflect their owner’s personalities. My mom is very religious, so I loosely based my design and color choices on antique bibles.  I decided to go with an antique look for her book, also since she tends to love and seek out antique style items to decorate with.. Hers was the first journal I made, and was the hardest due to the added flap… Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as nicely as the others did, but I hope that she will still like it.

All of the necessary supplies I needed came from Hobby Lobby with the exception of the cardboard box and magazines and vintage paper that I recycled. Also, the gold fabric was a scrap from my autumn dress that I bought from a large fabric store in Houston.

For most of the book, I used this damask print scrapbook paper in brown and metallic gold. The edge near the spine is trimmed with faux leather ribbon. The flap portion is made from a metallic fabric scrap that I had from a costume that I made, which unfortunately stained when I was in the process of gluing it to the cardboard.


I used an antiqued metal closure for the book… This was really tricky to add and took me a while to figure out, but I eventually figured out that if I use some stitching through the entire front of the book and gluing using E6000 it seems to be holding pretty well.The wooden flowers were stained lightly with a water based antiquing stain, and details were added using gold acrylic paint.


This book was stitched using a metallic copper colored embroidery thread. I used gold metallic photo corners on the corners of this spine. I hammered in an eyelet, and used 2 charms for this book. One is a coin looking gold and silver charm with a tree in the middle, and the other is a tiny glass vial that is corked off. In it, there is a gold acorn and a tiny faux evergreen twig. Cream colored lace is tied around the rim of the vial in a bow.


The back of this one makes me cringe, unfortunately… As I mentioned, the glue bled through the fabric and made it darker… This is especially visible on the left edge… Anyway, the damask paper wrapped around, and was met with the gold fabric. As a trim between them, I added a gold ribbon that was seethrough in the middle.


I wanted each journal to be a bit eclectic and mis-matched a bit to make them more quirky. The inside paper is wrapping paper that I had in a gold and black art deco inspired printed wrapping paper. Using wrapping paper was another unfortunate mistake since where the paper folds it ended up tearing a bit… Luckily it’s not very noticeable… I made the first page a scrapbook page covered in roses, and used a distressed looking piece of scrapbooking card-stock printed with bird cages and butterflies as the border for the quote I chose for this journal and for my mom.


I did my best to find quotes that match each person, and this one fit her the best. The quote was done with a calligraphy pen. I relate to this quote myself as a people-pleaser, and I really think that my mom will relate as well. This is a very good reminder for those of us that are apt to sacrifice our own personal needs for those of others. We all need to remember that it’s okay – and necessary – to put ourselves first sometimes.


Each journal that I made is a bit different from a traditional journal. Most of the pages are white and unlined, but I threw in some scrapbooking paper, envelopes, pockets, etc. to make it a bit more colorful and less traditional. The papers and patterns I chose correspond with the theme of the journal as a whole. My mom is a musician. She plays the piano so I chose to use paper with musical notes in her journal as well.


Each journal that I made was made with the same template. 6 signatures containing about 3 pages folded in half a piece.



Here’s a picture of it getting ready to be boxed up and wrapped!


This was actually the first journal that I made out of the 4 and I definitely learned some things… First, if you decide to use fabric, do a test on a little portion to see if the glue bleeds through. Also, it may be best to not use such thin paper on the inside cover since it can tear.

Despite the mistakes, I hope she enjoys it, and I hope you found this post entertaining. Iknow that I’ve mentioned it before, but if you want to learn the basics of bookbinding, Check out Sealemon on youtube. She has a bunch of unique, entertaining and inspiring tutorials for people new to bookbinding.

Basic bookbinding, in my opinion, is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most rewarding hobbies to get into. You generally have the materials needed to make a basic book around your house, and even if you mess up a bit the first time, the end result still looks good and is usable.

I hope you enjoyed this post! As mentioned, I will be making 2 more – I’m making one for each journal. Keep an eye out for those if you’re interested!🙂