It looks extrememely romantic from the sidelines but running a handmade business is hustle. Behind the scenes of whimsy and wonder are many components you never do see (for real).
- There are the countless sleepless nights finishing orders, producing product, writing, publishing, and just thinking
- A army of journals follow me wherever I go. There is one in the car (you never know what strikes you at a red light). I carry a 2 journals in my bag. One for business ideas, the other is a gratitude journal where I often write sermon notes or other things to think about. A legal size notepad hangs on a clipboard in my sewing area. And at the kitchen family desk area, yet another journal.
- Research. Seriously I am still doing research - just not writing the papers to go with it. I spend a bit of everyday seeing what other artists are doing. Reading helpful articles on Etsy. Sometimes I can be found digging into the trenches of social media to get a pulse on trends.
- Then there is my love hate relationship with marketing. I love to brainstorm about it, scared as hell to implement it. See when you make something and ask people to buy it, you are being judged. Really, you are asking people to judge you. Scary. Extremely vunerable. But at the same time so fun. I mean who doesn't like business card design, connecting with people, blogging. The list goes on and on.
There are so many exciting converstaions I have with dreamers that want to jump into a handmade business. I love these convos -- they keep me going. But in all honesty, you have to love what you do to do this on your own. It is a ton of hardwork. A bit of a marriage if you will. You must love it. I do.