Dear self: The goal is to MAKE. Not to sell. Before anybody thinks any of your stuff is cool or wants to buy something from you, they need to understand what you are all about. And before anyone else can understand what you are all about, you need to make sure you understand what Field Treasure is all about. The goal is not to sell. Now, selling is not bad in and of itself, and it obviously helps you do what you are doing. However, you need to understand that this is not what you set out to do, nor is it what you want Field Treasure to be solely about. You have reached over 500 sales on Etsy in just two years. You just launched your website and webstore. You are in the midst of the holiday season and everyone is pushing their product, whether it’s hand made or not, whether it’s American made or not. And you are in danger of thinking that this is what it is all about: selling. And it’s not. Remember how this started. Remember that you made a shelf out of old pallets that you found useful and so did others. Remember that you are telling the story of how God is redeeming humanity, and don’t try to make your name great. Stay true to Matthew 13:44. Stay true to making things you like and enjoy. Stay true to finding old tools and items that you enjoy and can restore. Stay true to helping others make things and empower that in others. Don’t fall into the trap of numbers, brand, image or growth. Keep the main thing the main thing.
Dear Makers, Friends, Buyers: I wanted you to read the letter I just wrote to myself. I want you to understand exactly what I need to preach to myself every single day. I want you to know that if I expect you to understand what Field Treasure is about then I need to make sure I understand what it’s about. And I need you to help me make sure that I don’t forget.
We just launched our website. Woohoo!! But wait. I need to hold on. I need to slow down. We are over 500 sales on Etsy. Woohoo! But wait. I need to hold on. I need to slow down. If I am not careful, Field Treasure will become all about “our brand” and “our attention” and how much we can “sell”. That is not the goal. The goal has always been to make. The goal has been to learn. The goal has been to enrich others. The goal has been to share the literal treasure of Matthew 13:44 through everything we are doing! (For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost! Luke 19:10) I want to seek and save things and traditions that have been lost by making things. I want to create things. I realize that to keep this going I need to sell things and I don’t think selling is bad, but it cannot be the end all. If I get to the end of my life and have sold a bunch of stuff, of what value is that?
Making things allows me to create things. Making things unlocks potential to problem solve. It reminds me that I was made to make and learn. It helps me remember that I can provide for my family and have value in this world. It also allow me to make things that I would actually want to own or things that are actually useful. Everything we make and sell are things that we actually want or use! And we definately don’t want to come up with a bunch of lame stuff to sell that nobody wants. I love rescuing old tools and vintage items. These are things that might be for sale. They are things we like! We will probably keep them and use them until they can go to a new home.
If you follow us or buy things from us, please know that this is the goal. And feel free to call me out if you sense that we are heading down the wrong direction. The goal is to make, not to sell.
Welcome to our journey. It’s a fun one.