Going into my third year of my handmade business

As I enter my third year of business, I tried to take on a new approach. You may ask what was wrong with year one and year two. Well, in year one I was operating like a deer in headlights just making stuff, putting myself out there, and seeing what stuck. It was extremely invigorating, and I caught the small biz bug. 

Last year, in year two, I started by creating my website, tried to be strategic about what shows I was going to be at and had so many ideas and thoughts that barely got implement. While my sales and customers increased, I was knotting and doing markets like a chicken with its head cut off. I started with good intentions but got caught up in saying yes and yes to so many (what seemed like at the time) events that were going to be great. 

Well, guess what friends, lots of those markets were stinkers. Not that the markets were not quality or well run or didn't have some great vendors, but they were not right for me and my brand. Meaning, the folks shopping there were not interested in the handcrafted macrame handbags that I put a whole lotta love into. And, well, it took me until now to be okay with that. I'm only one person with a very, well if I do say so myself, pretty darn awesome niche product. It’s not for everyone, which is what I love most about what I do, it's handmade with my two hands and not a quick process. 

While I did have some not-so-great markets, I also had great markets, where you incredible folks loved my products for their uniqueness, sustainability, and dreamy earth tones, made locally and women-owned. Lucky me, there were enough of you to keep me busy, and I am so grateful for that and your support. 

Back to what I'm up to. I started the year off with my usual 8 trillion ideas to do this that this... you get the drift. So, while I created a collection of bags in sigh...gorgeous colors and styles...I still held back on the other aspects of my business. This means, there's no way for you fine people to know what's sitting in my studio if I don't show you or tell you about it or find other people that may be interested in my product. 

Listen, it is overwhelming to run your own business, and I am a former corporate gal (think rule follower, deadlines, someone else in charge, etc.) so I just kept knotting since it's what I do best. And I love listening to audiobooks while I do it, so why would I stop? I am getting to the point, just a bit longer. As an avid list maker, I ordered all my supplies, and packaging materials, applied to craft shows, and kept knotting, but still neglected so much of my business. I can't do this without you. 

At the end of February, I had a killer toothache that woke me up at 2 am. As someone who has a punch card for root canals, I knew exactly what that pain was. When the pain did not subside in a week or so I had a dental visit only to confirm I required a root canal. Several days later I had the procedure and it sort of knocked me out, so I hung in my bed with my laptop for a few days. Following this procedure, I caught a cold that also had me confined to my bed and couch. 

Since I was too tired to knot, I finally started taking care of all the things I had been avoiding. I finally wrote and designed my new thank you cards that I like to give to you lovely folks when you make a purchase. I created my newsletter template and even wrote a newsletter. I know I just need to push send. Stay tuned. I had a website review to see what I can do to improve it, then hired someone to do it for me. I am all for outsourcing. I finally got a lightbox to help with photos since I don't love setting up foam boards all over my house. I came up with a fun idea for my product names and descriptions and wrote them. 

Lastly, I read the most amazing book "How to get shit done without overanalyzing everything" by Megan Auman. Just wow, what a life changer. One of the main things that struck me was Megan's approach to just doing it and not waiting until everything is perfect. Guilty Ms. Type A over here. All I do is say, I'll post my newsletter when my website is perfect and when I have enough subscribers, and what if they unsubscribe? I'll show my products when I have enough and when it's a perfect time to show them (whenever that is, right). 

The point of all this is that being a small business owner is about taking risks and trying new stuff that may or may not work. It’s not all pretty and tidy. It took me to be kicked out of my studio to walk away from my usual behavior of just making product as there is just so much more. I am up for the journey of year three and so excited to take you along with me. Make sure to check out my events page so I can say hello.


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