A Tiny TwitchCon 2018 Recap & Creative Streamer Suchikuchi Update!
Hi. It’s me. Suchikuchi. That one leather working streamer, who loves writing blogs but was struggling with finding the time to create one. TwitchCon is over… and although I didn’t really hype TwitchCon up enough in my blog world, If you had been watching my stream between the last blog post and now, you’d see just how CRAZY and hectic my life was while I was preparing for TwitchCon 2018. First of all, I kind of sort of had a feeling that TwitchCon this year was going to be busy. I prepared myself for it! And THANK GOODNESS that I did because I might have given myself a heart attack if I hadn’t! There were so many people~! And I had a castle! Mike, myself and my friend Lonnie created a booth that looked like a castle! This year, we were given a pretty large space. 10 feet by 10 feet! So I made good use of all that room! I also spent months preparing inventory for this. TwitchCon was an enormous success! I surpassed my goals! I told my community that I was going to get my first ever tattoo at TwitchCon if I reached my goal for total sales. We reached it! so I got tatted up at Kappa Tattoo booth!
Also, I was able to pay for all of my hotel, gas, food, a fun trip afterwards, plus a trip to the Pendleton Leather Show AND I even purchased fully my Cobra Class 14 Leather splitter. This splitter will change my life! It basically takes a thick hide of leather and splits it down to whatever thickness I need. So I finally have a use for all my scrap pieces. One thing that I have been doing is creating leather hair bows and pins to sell at the markets and conventions. They actually sell quite well because they are under $10. I split my thicker pieces of leather that are typically less than 4 x 6 inches down to about 2 - 3 oz and create pins and hair bows! Saves me a TON of money on purchasing those thin leather hides.
I’ve had a lot of my leather working friends tell me to stop selling at markets. I look at farmer’s and craft markets for artisans like myself… kind of like a casino. You get sucked in because SOMETIMES you actually make some good money, but most of the time, you end up breaking even. Why is that? Well, why is it that you don’t see too many artisans at markets? I know I don’t see a whole hell of a lot of them. I see a lot of new artisans, or hobbyists. But almost none of them make what I would consider to be a “living wage”. I was surprised to see that I was pretty much one of the only leather workers at mine… and for those that were selling things that sort of related to my line of work… I was shocked at how little they sold their stuff for. No wonder I was getting defeated every time I tried to sell my stuff at markets. I was trying to appeal to a crowd that just didn’t fit with what I’m trying to do with my stuff. I definitely feel that it’s still worth it to be a part of my local market. Not to make money, but to make connections! So this coming year, I will be at my two local markets, but only one time per month. I will not be dropping my prices or changing the look of my art to appeal to a broader audience, I will simply sell what I love and make connections!
I also sold at my Renton City Comic Con! It was another enormous success! Again, it was the audience that my stuff appeals to!
Guys, I LOVE streaming! I have so much fun streaming and chatting while working. I also like video games and I also like nerd stuff. I also like to have a clean house, like to blog, like to make videos, I like to game, I like social media, I like it all! I want to be involved in everything! And I want to do everything all the time! But there’s only so much time in my day. I started to kind of divide my hours by what is most lucrative… aka worth my time… like what is more of a hobby vs job? What can I actually count as job activity vs shootin’ shit with friends? That’s actually a tough line to draw for a streamer! Because, while yes, as a partnered streamer, we make some kind of income on Twitch, it isn’t very much by any means. I don’t know how it is for other partnered streamers, but aside from the rare and inconsistent generosity of certain individuals, I’ve never made more than $600 per month on average streaming in the three years that I’ve been partnered… I tried to see if streaming more often or different content would change that; to where being a leather working streamer could be my bread and butter, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’ve taken a lot of advice and community advice and there just doesn’t seem to be anything that I’m doing wrong… Though I’m sure there is something… I just am at a point where I don’t know what works.
This is what I have decided… I absolutely LOVE to stream! Ask anyone… it’s fun for me… but it’s only fun if I don’t treat it like a job that doesn’t pay me. So I have decided to treat it like my hobby. I do have a set schedule, but it’s only two days per week. I won’t pick up any more days… I can at least be VERY consistent on those two days and then I randomly stream whenever I can or want to during every other day of the week. This really helps me mentally with everything! As I am not canceling nearly as many days, which is in turn not causing me any anxiety over not being online when I said I would be and I feel really excited during my two stream days. Plus, I don’t feel like I’m wasting any valuable work time. If I’m too busy that week to pick up any extra days, then I don’t and I feel no guilt at all!
I also think I need to be going in the direction of influencer. My brand is solely focused around who I am as a streamer/online personality! I also think I can give people a new perspective on leather work. I’m a modern day leather artisan. I use lasers and CADs to make patterns and to do things on leather. I am a geek and I get super excited when I make something that functions quite well in our Twitchiverse. I love geeks and gaming and grungy rocker apparel. The people who buy my stuff aren’t really completely random. People don’t search for what I’m selling, people search for me as a person and then purchase things. What I sell is completely tied to my name, and that’s really not a bad thing by any means. But what that also means is that I need to do some extra legwork to make sure that more people know who I am and what I do. I keep saying this, I want to be known for my leather work. Maybe I want to be known for leather working in MY era. It’s like my slogan “A Legendary Craft For A Modern World.” It’s perfect! I want people to know what a Suchikuchi Deck Box is… and I know it will happen, if I can just do it right! I think I’m on the right path. I think I’m still figuring things out, but I think I’m actually finding something that may work to keep me happy and to keep me in business! I also think I am finding that I need some help, so I’m saving up some money to hire a PRO to help me with the odds and ends of the type of business that I have.
Love you guys! I’ll see you in the Twitchiverse!
Here's all my social media links!
Suchikuchi is a partnered creative Leather Working streamer on Twitch. You can read more about Suchikuchi here