This is the story of how the unexpected change my niche. There must be something in the air because I am reading about influencers feeling burnout, depression and making changes to simplify. And, as women, we cannot shame each other. These are real things that pop up in life. These are situations that shape the route we take our businesses.

How the unexpected changed my niche. Life can throw a wrench in your business. Be open and figure out how you can come back stronger.

Just the other week I got emails from a few of my favorite industry leaders explaining their big changes. Facebook groups closing, simplifying and getting rid of content, or even taking a break because they were depressed. It was as if we were all connected because here I was facing difficult obstacles this summer.

The Unexpected

I was so lucky to travel to Mexico in April to photograph my cousin’s wedding. However, a few weeks after that I got a call that would change my life. My grandmother was in the hospital back in Missouri where she lived. Alzheimers. Doctors told her she could no longer live by herself.

My grandmother and I do not have the best relationship. We haven’t for years. But I am her next of kin (as is my brother). So of course, no matter how much I don’t get along with her, I jumped in my car and drove 15 hours from Colorado to check on her.

My brother flew in the next day and we both realized we had to bring her back to Colorado. How can we simply go off what a few friends have said without first-hand witnessing her lifestyle and daily routines?

So we drove back with her.

She and I traveled in June to go and pack clothes because I knew she wouldn’t be going back. It did not go well. The outbursts were getting worse. I cut the trip short and got in her car and we drove back to Colorado.

In July, my mother and I knew that we had to pack her small trailer in a very tiny town where there are no traffic lights. We had a buyer. So for a week after driving again to Missouri, we cleared her home.

Life Now

August has passed and all of the financial things have been handled. I have become her Power of Attorney and her Medical Power of Attorney. She is living with me for now. It’s not easy.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because life can and will throw things at you that you had no idea could take you in a completely different direction.

I have been running my blog for a few years now. I also sell SVG files on Etsy and opened a stock membership site earlier this year with my friend, Aimee.

I took the summer off from the blog because of my grandmother and the constant traveling to handle her affairs.

But now that the summer is over, and everything is settled and we are back in Colorado for good, I have had to make adjustments. I’ve been angry and depressed a lot this summer. It’s not a good feeling to have. It can hold you back from so much.

How The Unexpected Changed My Niche

That’s why I changed my niche and I closed my stock photography site.

You see, with the changes that brought depression, and the unpredictableness of my grandmother, I cannot commit to the same things I had before. It’s not fair to my audiences or my business partner.

It kills me to lose a little control because I am a control freak. So changing and simplifying is the only way I can give my all.

My blog will be more niched than ever, focusing on strategic Etsy growth and coaching. I will continue to design SVG files for Etsy when I have time, though I feel I can release three new designs a week.

Releasing all of the things I was doing before, sure it’s hard. And, I feel a little bit like a failure. But I know that I cannot give my all the way I had planned before.

Why I Am Sharing This

My point of sharing all of this is to tell you that it’s okay to accept the realities and do what’s right for you. If something isn’t working or you feel like it’s too much, then pare down. I fully believe that even though I want to do ALL of the things, I can really only be of that much value when I’m honest with myself.

I am an inventor and a reinventor. I believe in looking at how I can do better or add something in often. But I have to learn how to reign that in and approach it differently.

I humbly hope you understand and can find comfort that you’re not alone if you’re going through things that are out of your control.

Struggling to get sales on Etsy? Improve your Etsy shop with my FREE Etsy Makeover Challenge. Get started today and skyrocket your traffic & sales. via @hollymccaig

What’s Changed?

Branding & Blog

The brand has changed and the blog looks different.

A stronger design for my site was key to stand out and represent this business. I have a new brand style guide to show you! Yes, I did them all myself and I used Beaver Builder to build my site.

Brand style guide and logo design for Holly McCaig Creative for Etsy coaching business.

Social Media

My social media focus is simplifying. I am 100% catered to Pinterest with Instagram coming in second. Sure I post to Facebook and Twitter but they are automated posts. I cannot do all of the social media. I want to give my all where I am most comfortable and am going to be able to be consistent.

Content Upgrades

My content upgrade opt-ins have gone away. I am focusing on ONLY the strongest lead magnets and few. I feel that creating just a couple of really strong upgrades is best in targeting my audience and gaining subscribers that truly matter and don’t inflate my subscriber numbers.

Check out my current one that is a 5-day free email course on Etsy Makeover


My current courses are no longer available to sign-up for but are still there for current enrollees to access (find them in the link in the menu).

You see, my plan is to go to a Membership site with courses, webinars and more for Etsy shop owners. I do currently have coaching options available here, and you can sign up to find out when the Rock your Shop membership site opens. I have been able to successfully grow my Etsy shop and build a strong audience. My email list for my Etsy shop has continued to grow almost 500 new subscribers a week. It’s insane! So I am excited to share with people that are serious about their Etsy shop how to get more sales, how to SEO your listings and how to get subscribers.

So That’s It!

So that’s it! That’s where I am in my business and blog. I continue to update blog posts so they feel more relevant to my subscribers now that want a strong online presence with their Etsy shops or online stores. It feels good to know now where my direction is.

Holly McCaig

About Holly McCaig

Hey you! I'm Holly McCaig and I'm super excited to help you love and ROCK your Etsy shop. I will help you have an amazing online presence so you can build a strong business and attract more customers to your shop. Let's do this together! Let's connect on Pinterest or Instagram, k?

About Holly McCaig

Hey you! I'm Holly McCaig and I'm super excited to help you love and ROCK your Etsy shop. I will help you have an amazing online presence so you can build a strong business and attract more customers to your shop. Let's do this together! Let's connect on Pinterest or Instagram, k?


  1. Jenn Gigowski on September 5, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Hey, Holly! Thanks for being honest. Your transparency really helped me figure a few things out!!
    So sorry about the family difficulties. Will be praying for you and your grandma.

    Will your business partner keep up Hello Darlin’ by herself?

    God bless,

    • Holly McCaig on September 5, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! No, we decided it wouldn’t be fair for her to have to make up those extra images each month. So we are going to sell our bundles separately in our Creative Market shops.

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