I was petrified, I have to confess! 10 years ago, I was trying to figure out the way to live from my own creations. My husband at the time gave me an ultimatum “if you do not start making money from the business, you have to go out there and find a regular job”. For a creative person like me, that was something like a death penalty judgment.
THE STORY BEHIND MARIAPALITO
It was April of 2010 and I was ready to leave my skin on the business and make it work. I had spent 3 years working on my technique and my skills, learning how to code a website in HTML and learning stuff about business. I was lost and desperate and I was not willing to sacrifice my freedom for a 9 to 5 job, in a market where I was just another LATINA trying to survive.
That night, after that conversation, I opened my Etsy shop and everything just changed. It was April and I had my first sale on May 2, 2010.
Today 9.5 years after and 20454 Sales after I have to close the shop as it is, and It is breaking my heart.
I have to be clear I am closing this chapter of my life and opening new doors. I am not closing because I am not selling, I am closing because my life changed and I can not keep it as it is. It will never be the same.
I left 10 of my best years in Mariapalito. I sacrificed many things for that business and I also enjoyed traveling and living a creative life because of that. It was a wonderful time that I will treasure in my heart forever.
Nobody succeeds alone. I had Paulo, my exhusband there for me all the way from the beginning and I know I would never have done it without his support. He believed in me and that was what I needed to start. He helps me a lot! I am eternally grateful for his help. There are people in our lives who never can understand how their support has helped us grow. He is one of them.
I am really sad to close the shop. It is hard for me to let go “my baby”. I know it sounds weird, but Mariapalito represents my youth & dreams. I am only grateful for all the knowledge and experience I got from this journey.
The Product Journey
The early Stages: Figure out what to sell
Back in 2010, I was not clear about the kind of products I wanted to sell. I was just experimenting with all sorts of things. Jewelry, handmade cards & Handsew ornaments.
It is funny to find that picture of this card where someone is just blind. I was feeling like that at the time but 1 month after the shop was open I started selling. I needed that validation that my art has value and that I was also valuable.
It was a long journey of experimentation, using my favorite materials and trying to find my own style.
HANDMADE FELT ORNAMENTS & TOYS
After trying with handmade cards and jewelry people started getting interested in my handmade toys based on my own character design. There I was really in business. I wanted to get my own characters into a real and tangible ornament. Then I needed to increase my income so I needed to find another line to complement the shop.
THE DIE-CUT PAPER SHAPES
After the felt toys, I included the paper die-cut shapes. I had a small cutting machine at home and I started to create my own shapes to cut. It was an awesome addition to the shop.
HANDMADE PERSONALIZED PARTY DECOR
After I established my color palette and my base collection in the paper cut section I stated working with Party planners and clients who needed personalized party decor.
PRINTED COLORING BOOKS
After all these years working on Mariapalito, I let this chapter be closed and look forward to more creative adventures. I feel really proud of this journey and all I had accomplished because of this.
Being creative is in my soul. I do not conceive a life without creating. This is my life and I believe in the power of doing what we love. I am also grateful for all the clients who trusted their celebrations with me. I will keep moving forward with my Partymazing – Printable shop and with more creative ideas I have in mind.
Even though we are changing the path, MariaPalito will always be my first big creative endeavor and I feel really proud of what I accomplished. Thank you for visiting and for reading about this success story.