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The Market is Changing & its Time to Change With It

I have reached out to tons of small businesses to get a feel for what is happening to me, is it just me, am I failing as a business owner, or is there something larger happening?


Well, the polls are in and let me tell you, I am NOT alone. Out of 20+ business owners I have spoken with all but 3 have said they are hurting right now. Summer is notoriously slow, but this summer is just - just different. The ones that are doing well are businesses that randomly went viral on TikTok Shop, and that is because TikTok is pushing that content while slowing down all other sales content that leads outside of TikTok. An example of this, whenever I make a post not tagging something in my post it gets around 300 views (I have 115k followers) while if I do tag a product within the TikTok Shop I will get anywhere from a couple thousand to 1m+. BUT the TikTok shop has so many flaws within it that it makes it scary for businesses, especially made to order ones, even want to try it.


Otherwise, social media platforms seem to have come to a major slow down across the board, and sales have all but disappeared. This is a good and bad thing. Good because we can firmly say it isn't just us, but an everyone thing, bad because it isn't just something we can easily fix but collectively have to change with it.


Markets change, and they change constantly. Things are trending and these big corp. push one thing until they can bleed it dry then start to push the next. For instance, when I first started I started off with pour painting. This was being pushed to me like crazy on YouTube and all other social media platforms. At first it was difficult to find the products to do it on your own so the final pieces were selling like crazy and for a ton of money. People loved the way they looked but it was difficult to find supplies to make your own - and then BOOM cheap supplies were easily located at the end cap of every Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Paints specific for pouring, already pre-thinned so you don't need to hunt down the hard to locate Flotrol.


That's when I, along with everyone else, started to figure out that if you put epoxy resin over the art it not only makes the final look better but it also brings up the value of the paintings. And then I, along with everyone else, started coating our paintings in Epoxy Resin. Resin groups started up, buying molds was expensive because they were so illusive and hard to find. There were mold makers on Etsy but they were all limited designs as these were being produced by small businesses. There were the cheaper China made ones on Amazon, but even those were limited in designs, so all molds were "expensive" and resin was an expensive venture, not just anyone could afford to buy a mold, make something beautiful from it and profit off of it.


Then the pandemic hit, and everyone got bored and had extra money to spend. 5 min crafts came out with their little resin videos and everyone was wanting in on this fun. Molds were still pretty limited in designs so whoever was brave enough to invest their money into a laser cutter or acrylic blanks boomed overnight especially on Etsy. Now everyone can play with resin and molds, and not just the people trying to make a business out of it, but this expensive hobby was now an everyone can participate hobby.


And then you guessed it - BOOM molds are now available in an array of designs in Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Amazon. When there was only a handful of different types of resins there is now so many to choose from ranging at all price points. Molds are now more easily accessible and these big companies are making them so cheap its running the small business out. Why buy one of my $100 molds when you can get it for $20 on amazon. Sure theirs are thinner and wont last nearly as long, BUT its a smaller investment up front and now the pandemic money ran dry people are going to go for the cheaper versions of anything.


So people started to get creative and making exclusive designs that cant be found anywhere else, and people are flocking to acrylic blank suppliers so they can now make their own exclusive molds. Resin may be easy to get now, but silicone is still scarce and very expensive, so not just anyone can make a mold and these companies are able to survive and thrive. Exclusive designs that not even Amazon carries, they're a bit more expensive because of it but people are willing to fork out the money for it.


The winds started to change though - and the big corporations have the biggest of nostrils and they could smell what's going on. People are starting to make exclusive molds they cannot carry and they still want to get a piece of that pie - and yet again BOOM they're all now selling cheap silicone. Now, cheap doesn't mean good, most of these silicones are worth a lick to sell molds, but that isn't their target demographic, their target demographic is the mold sellers customers. Don't go to these mold sellers and buy these expensive molds, here's this cheap AF silicone and you can make your own!


So now here we are - broke from being drained by these companies constantly out to take our customers. Laser cutters are not only expensive but finding one worth a damn is just as difficult to find. Sales are dropping steadily and people are panicking. Resin is back to being an expensive hobby since the economy is going to shits - google silent depression - and the people who can work with resin are all making their own molds and just making their own exclusive designs.


That leaves us mold makers out here, alone and dry pocketed. People cant help but to buy from these big corporations, even though they're the reason why were all financially struggling in the first place, they're also the only ones who can foresee the changes coming (afterall they're the ones making the changes) and they're the only ones who can afford to make things extremely cheap. But that also means its time to change with it. We cant all just start moving into the silicone industry and make our own silicone brands, but we all have to figure out a new - different path.


What is it? I don't know, that is all up to each individual mold maker, but change is here and unfortunately its time for us to change with it. People cant afford expensive molds to just play with anymore, and molds are now cheap and easy to make for those who cant afford the better made molds.


I honestly say its time to eat the rich, but I'll digress on the political aspect of it all.

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