The Courage To Fly Blog Hop :: How To Crash & Burn & Soar

28 Mar
The Courage To Fly Blog Hop :: How To Crash & Burn & Soar

For those of you who stumbled across this post as part of Stephey Baker’s Blog Hop, you are in the right place. For my regular readers – you are in for a treat! Today I am participating in The Courage to Fly Blog Hop. I am one of thirty-seven writers who have committed to sharing a personal story of embracing life, taking risk, and daring to soar.

When asked “What do you feel keeps a heart light?” I knew I wanted to share part of my story with you. The part that involves trying oh so very hard, but missing the point and how to remove that heavy burden.

This story starts last May. I sent my mom a card, something simple just to say I love you. In the months prior I made a habit of sewing a border on some plain cardstock every time I got my sewing machine up and running. It didn’t take long and the end result was a simple, yet charming card. It also confirmed I had my sewing machine set up correctly before I tore into my next project! Upon receiving the card my mom picked up the phone to say, “Emy, this card is fantastic! You could seriously sell these!”

The seed was planted, the wheels were turning, and new inspiration was born.

One thing you will notice about me: I like to move quickly with new ideas, I tend to stay busy [although I have recently learned the joys of “relaxing”], and I love forward movement. Considering all of these things I guess it’s no big surprise I stumbled upon Etsy and opened my own Etsy shop a mere two weeks after the affirming conversation with my mom. Was I fully prepared? No. Did I have enough motivation to move mountains? Yes. It was official, Pink Button Creations was open for business.

Flying by the seat of my pants was thrilling. I had my first sale within a few days and needed to come up with a solid solution for shipping and tracking my expenses. I spent the next few weeks designing, blogging and crafting in my cozy little apartment [read: small and no air conditioning in the San Diego Summer]. A few sales trickled in and I was elated by the idea of doing something that I love and making a few bucks! In the midst of all this, my focus started to shift – sales, views and hearts started to gain a growing importance in my life. This was no longer about the joys of crafting, it was about the strategy of my new business.

Caught up in the thrill of forward movement, I spent my time getting the word out about my shop any way I could. I created a Facebook Fan Page, contributed to the Etsy Forums on occasion and kept up with my blog. However, with time I began to lose steam. I was exerting copious amounts of energy without clear direction. I had a quality product but no target market, business foundation or advertising strategies. If you don’t have direction, you don’t know where you’re going. This is when I realized I was no longer on the road I started on.

I broke down. I cried. I was frustrated and felt lost. Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself why I was doing this in the first place: I love to create. I love the process. I love giving handmade gifts and I love receiving them. I love the story behind each piece and the thrill of inspiration. Yes, I must admit I do love logistics and business strategy, but I don’t love when they take over and smother something that is life-giving.

At this point I reset my focus. It is no longer about how much could I sell, but about my personal growth. Crafting is about my journey, not a bottom line. This new focus has been essential as I develop Pink Button Creations. I’ll be honest, it is easy for me to lose this focus and define my success by sales, views, and ‘likes’. However, it’s a daily choice and in my book it’s worth choosing.

If you would like to know more about me, click here. To view the Pink Button Creations Etsy shop, please click here or visit

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. For those of you continuing on the hop, please visit Cindy Jones Lantier’s wonderful blog at:


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


20 responses to “The Courage To Fly Blog Hop :: How To Crash & Burn & Soar

  1. terri st. cloud

    March 28, 2011 at 5:20 am

    enjoyed this post. and smiled big at the end when you ‘reset your focus.’ i so get that! and it is so easy to get distracted from it, isn’t it??? i love what you do and am going to go share your link on my facebook page….
    great stuff!

  2. Debi Nowak-Hawkes

    March 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Dear Emily,

    Your story is very inspirational as I too struggle with staying focused and constantly need to remind myself why I am creating my art. I’m actually trying to decide if I should go to a class today. I feel burned out then I end up going to class and “magic happens”. You have to keep creating because you never know when the magic will show up too. That’s what keeps me going. Art and creating is part of who I am. It makes and keeps me happy and that keeps me motivated.

  3. Brandi

    March 28, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I think any artist can relate to your story! I think most of us should check-in regularly with our original goal, and our thoughts and progress. Then you add in all of the things it takes to run your Etsy shop, and of course burn out happens (or at least, it did with me!).

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story of flight!

  4. Kristen (

    March 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I related so much to this post. It’s always been kind of tricky for me to combine my creativity with commerce, but I have noticed how great it is to have a place to show and share and sell creations, and how much that can fuel more creativity. But, like you wrote, it can be hard not to get caught up in hearts/favorites/statistics/etc. I am so glad you shared this and so glad you were able to get back to what it is all about, your own personal journey, and creating ultimately for you.


  5. Alexis Yael

    March 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I’m in the midst of revisting/ revising my etsy shop (moving from selling knitted and dyed clothes to photography) so I can totally relate to this, as well!

    I think a lot of us creatives pounce on ideas (and often, other people provide us the seed) and then lose steam… this is a great reminder that we don’t need to judge ourselves by the externals (likes, sales, stats) and instead stay with our internal — our personal journey.

    Thanks for sharing yours!

  6. agirlandherbrush

    March 28, 2011 at 10:47 am

    It is so easy to get caught up in the logistics of running a creative business. I think it all comes down to balancing the creative with the practical. I find that if I just make time to get into the studio it really helps me keep a level head on the business side.

  7. Sandy Van Nocker

    March 28, 2011 at 11:13 am

    You should applaud yourself for taking that leap and putting your creations out there. Then again, for reminding yourself what it’s all about – love! For me, knowing that something I created made someone else happy or smile just warms the heart.

    Your ideas are so clever with the buttons…just love it!

  8. Cindy Jones Lantier

    March 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Like many others, I could so relate to your post. I agree with Alexis — that a lot of us creatives jump on new ideas and then lose steam somewhere down the road. I know i do that. A lot. Thanks for the reminder that the journey — the actual creative act — is what’s important!

    Oh — I snooped around a bit on the rest of your blog. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope you are half as happy as I am, 12 years in!

  9. bonitarose

    March 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Your post touched my heart.. gives me hope to fly higher xo hugs

  10. Miss Eva

    March 29, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Emy, You’re an excellent writer and I can totally relate to your journey. You’re an inspiration to artists and women everywhere. Love you. xo

  11. Jen

    March 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Your cards are adorable. And I love your blog.

    I can very much relate to losing focus of what’s important. There is so much out there to distract us. So much business/blog stats to follow. In the end, it’s important do what makes us happy. Happy creating!

  12. Valerie

    March 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I’m impressed by your gusto jumping in. And pressing through when things got hard!

  13. Stephey @ Marked by the Muse™

    March 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I love your site and shop. I applaud your ability to get things moving and act! That’s so important. It’s one thing to talk and plan and think and strategize but none of that can do any good if not acted upon. Also, it’s much easier to keep the ball rolling when all ready moving. You truly can’t know how to make adjustments in your plan or on your path until traveling the path itself.

    When I read this:
    “If you don’t have direction, you don’t know where your going.”
    I thought wow! NOW THAT’S A GREAT PIECE of wisdom! I also think you’re spot when when refocusing your attention to creation. I’ve found a healthy balance of the two, creating plus getting my work out there is the only way it works – PLUS tenacity – which you have! Thank you so much for sharing + adding your heart and insight to the hop! I’ve enjoyed visiting and can’t wait ot get to know you a bit more!
    Cheers! Stephey

  14. toliveinspired

    March 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Great post.. Good for you for following it through and allowing yourself to love it again and refocus to what you wanted to create!

  15. sonyamacdesigns

    March 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Wow! EM. may I call you em … this most def. is a CBS … journey (crash, burn, soar) Thanks for shareN

  16. April Cole

    March 31, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    So beautifully written… you touched my heart. Thank you for the inspiration to fly! :]

  17. kelly

    April 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I could so relate to this, it is so easy to get caught up in the business end, especially when things aren’t going the way you wish they would. But you are so right, you need a direction, and maybe even a sketched-out map to help you stay on the right path.

  18. creatissimo

    April 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Very inspiring post. Sometimes we loose focus and forget why we’re doing something… We should listen to Ourselves more often.
    Have a wonderful, creative spring!

  19. Maureen Wheelehan

    April 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm


    I am so proud of you! Look at what you have done with yourself! What I found most inspiring, is that you have found something that you love to do. I remember you always to be one of the most creative, fun, and cute individuals that I have ever met. Congratulations on your store and a cheers to the forward movement you bring to yourself and all those who are touched by you! I love you much!


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