I have learned a lot from this little venture. I may very well try again in the future to do something with my photography. There's a part of me that wonders about trying to do portraits, though I feel so uncertain about that that it seems a very slight possibility (or at least very far off). I could maybe one day try to sell prints again, or give the photo cards another shot. Paper goods are so tough, it's such a saturated market already, something I didn't really think about at the beginning. I go into different stores and see so many cute/funny/awesome greetings cards for sale, it's hard to compete. People seemed to love my cards, but not quite enough to actually buy them, and my guess is that was kind of a mix between the economy, the saturated paper market, and people plain ole not using paper greeting cards anymore. Though I think finding the right niche could still find you success... my sister recently forwarded me a blog post where the author complained of the lack of GLBT-friendly wedding cards (since almost all feature or strongly hint of a hetero couple). It's a thought.
I also learned a bit about myself. I knew the first year of parenthood would be really intense, and gave myself license to not really worry about anything else during that time. But it turns out it's still really intense, and I see other moms who manage to juggle all the usual mom/caretaker stuff and also do all these other commitments and I just don't know how they do it. It's dissapointing in a way to learn that you just can't (or aren't willing to?) take on quite so much onto your own plate, though at the same time it's also a bit liberating. There's definitely a part of me that feels like, if I'm taking this time to stay at home and not work, then I should focus my energy into being a mom and not letting other stuff get in the way or take away from that (this is completely aside from taking time for myself and things that replenish my energy tank, which add to what I can give as a mother-- I just don't think this venture was quite it, though photography as a whole can be).
So I'm taking a step back. I have ideas, but I'm putting them on the backburner. I have a lot of new criteria for if I try something like this again eventually-- like finding a better name (was never quite 100% happy with "mightymarce studio"); researching the market better to see what chance of success is really there; identifying more strongly which parts "hobby" vs which parts "legitimate business" it would be, as it's tough to have it be inbetween; and, if deciding to jump in to the "legitimate business" side of it, then treating it fully as so with the proper planning and also carving out time to devote to it, even if that means scheduling baby-sitters, etc. In the meantime I'll continue to have fun taking pictures and learning more about the process, both pre-and post-shutter click.