Being an entrepreneur is scary, but in many of the same ways 9-5 jobs are. How do I get to the top? What do I do when I get there? What if I get there, then lose it? Or worse- hate it?
When starting this venture almost 3 years ago our big question was- how can we make money from this? We couldn't find jobs so figuring out the answer was more of a necessity than an answer to some entrepreneurial passion we had. And at first, we just didn't know. We knew family and friends supported us, but that's the easy part isn't it?
We just kept making stuff, and lucky for us it was stuff people wanted. We set up the Etsy store and looking back it was just terrible. Our pictures were dark, the paintings were not even close to what they are now, and our descriptions and titles barely made sense. But we can say that knowing what we know NOW. We just didn't know, so we tried everything! And I mean EVERYTHING! We went to stores, found consignment opportunities, opened up social media accounts, and finally resorted to selling Christmas trees so we could continue to pay our rent that year.
2015 started out even worse. We read article upon article about what we were doing wrong and we corrected whenever possible. At that point Matt was folding pieces of cardboard we collected from local businesses for free to package our signs. WE DIDN'T EVEN USE BUBBLE WRAP (what!?!?!?!). We kept asking questions, stayed flexible, and finally in April 2015 we had a sale a day for an entire month. We were AMAZED!
Many people know the story from there. The store blew up by Christmas and we have been mostly maintaining ever since. We moved 3 times, made new products, continuing to save every penny we could.
Here's the weird problem. We are comfortable.
We have a house. We have a convenient work space. We have consistency in sales.
And we are scared.
Now what? We have ideas for new products like candles, stockings, pillows, mugs, etc. but I haven't even looked at the sewing machine Matt bought me for Christmas last year. I have ideas for new framed signs and colorful art but it won't be made to order, and what if it just sits there? We know we should be more active on social media, but how do you create cute pictures and fun videos when it is forced?
Going back to the initial question, we met our goal. We got "to the top", at least in the sense of what we were hoping for- financial stability paired with work flexibility. But we are in a retail market, and success could be gone any minute.
So that's what has been consuming us lately. We got so busy last week I didn't even post, and this week here we are. We have a bit of a breather, but we are just mentally exhausted. We brainstorm and brainstorm, come up with great ideas, then wonder how to implement them so we aren't overwhelmed and unable to put the right amount of time into the products we currently have.
The good news? We have a vacation coming soon. We won't be closed, we will still be posting, but I think it will bring some clarity. And you can too! If you have an opinion on where we should go from here, let us know! For now we will keep doing what we know while we cross our fingers and hope it continues to work out. So far so good :)
Have a great weekend, everyone!