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.
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: http://www.lantier.org.