The economy sucks. I'm finally on board with this analysis. Of course it doesn't totally suck. Gas prices are down and my wallet is super thankful for that. In less than 6 months I went from paying over $4.30 to less than $2! I'm loving it right now.
And while sales overall in my jewelry shop are down from last year I'm still getting sales. I think that people are being pickier and more selective. I know that I am.
If you look at the Etsy Alchemy (a place to request custom items) there are people looking to spend money on their exact wish. I try to watch these requests, not just to bid on them but to see what people are looking for over all. If you see a pattern you may be able to pick up on trends and get ahead of the curve.
Even looking at the Etsy time machine you can see that people are still buying.
I guess I am just an optimist and really try to see the best news. It's been very hard lately and my industry is being hit especially hard. I'm hoping to keep my job but you just never know what will happen.
All I can do is stay focused and do the best job that I know how.