In 2011 we moved across the state after my husband accepted a new position at a great company, and I left nearly full time work to become a stay at home mom. Which was great for our family, but I needed an outlet and still wanted to work. So I decided to focus on what was a hobby prior to our move and built an Etsy store selling custom stationery. Several years have gone by since our move, with many life events thrown in the mix; we had a baby girl, lost several very close family members, built a house, and our youngest son had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Life was busy. As a mompreneur, I worked on my business when I could, which was, during my daughter’s naptime and at night after everyone was in bed.
One warm spring evening about a year ago, my husband and I went on a much needed date night, and he could see the frustration that seemed to seep out of every pore in my body. I was struggling to handle balancing our family life with my desire to work. Our conversation turned to my career, or well, lack thereof.
We discussed many things on our date, but mostly what I wanted my career to be. During our frank discussion we discovered what I loved most and what my passion was, and is, - creation. I realized I wanted to do more than just create elegant designs on paper, and therefore my company could not solely be a stationery shop. This was because I needed it to be something else since my desire to learn and create new things is what made me want to design in the first place. This meant changing my business model and becoming a designer and marketing myself as one.
There still was a problem though, I did not know what I wanted to do as a designer. What will my studio create? How do you market yourself? I was back to square one!
I had already taught myself the Adobe Creative Suite years ago, but I thought it was time to learn new things and expand on my creative knowledge. Over the past year I have immersed myself into absorbing the wisdom of so many blogs, tutorials, and read truly inspiring advice on business. They have transformed me in so many ways, and I am so thankful for these amazing fellow creative mompreneurs willing to share their process and vision! I have learned how to be more organized, and prioritize my time, which has made me much more efficient. Between Skillshare and my favorite blogs, (I will be sharing them in a future blog post) I am ready to move forward as a creative entrepreneur.
One of the things I read about was branding. Branding is a concept that can be very hard to put your finger on since everyone seems to have their own definition on the subject. What is a brand? My takeaway is, a brand is defined by more than just a logo, it is the overarching story of your business.
“Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be." Entrepreneur.com (via source Elle & Co. - hint one of my favorite blogs)
And here I was redefining my business as a design studio. Now was the perfect time for a completely fresh start.
SO I SCRAPPED EVERYTHING AND STARTED OVER
Branding was a marketing thing that this southern gal did not have in mind when starting out. So many things about my business were not a reflection of the above quote. My web site was a free theme we selected to save on costs, and had virtually none of the features needed to nurture growing a small business. I was not particularly good at logos a few years ago, and it showed in my logo design. Starting over meant a new logo and website to reflect where I was going with my design studio. But I still could not afford to pay someone to do these things for me, and even though my husband knows how to code websites, he works a full time job engineering code for his employer. It would not be fair to expect him to do this for me after working long hours. So, I did what I always do, I decided to teach myself how. Though, in the back of my mind I knew that I could always count on my husband to help me if I needed it. He is a great guy who always has my back every step of the way. We have a wonderful relationship, and it is our close bond which has helped us through life’s toughest moments.
FOLLOW ALONG IN THE JOURNEY
This is an exciting new beginning for me, and I will be using this blog to document my journey. I will be sharing with you; how I created my brand; an inside look at my design process; really inspiring tutorials; and wonderful resources for both creative consumers and entrepreneurs. It is my hope that this inside view of the steps I am taking to grow my company will; give you ideas and approaches to help you reach your dreams; bring creativity into everyday experiences; and will help you achieve what may now seem like an impossible dream.