because having a business sucks

actually, because having a business that is going largely unnoticed, and struggling to survive, sucks.

i know, woe is me. but i think we all need a little ‘woe as me’ once in a while, because (hopefully) it leads to some reflection as to why things are in the disappointing state they’re in, and some brainstorming on how to amend that state, and, ultimately, some smart and efficient implementation of strategies that will shift things in a better direction.

i have been ruminating on the fate of my shop for a while. i know that i make great stuff, take pretty good photos, and i am a decent writer. what appears to be lacking from my bag of tricks is hustle. this elusive ‘hustle’ means that i need to be doing the following:

a) making items on a weekly basis. this means new pieces, generally, but when i am feeling uninspired, i should be making more of the existing items in my shop…particularly the ones that sell well and/or are the most labor intensive. this last bit will save me from procrastinating when a new order comes in. my dream is to sell out every time i do a shop update…wouldn’t that be grand?!

b) boosting my social media presence. i tend to get some momentum going here, but it tends to come in spurts. this needs to be amended. i don’t use facebook much anymore, as it doesn’t have much of a reach without spending money to boost one’s posts. my best bets are instagram and pinterest. i prefer the quickness and ease of instagram, but my efforts there have yet to bring me any sales so far. (this will hopefully change, once i am steadily making things and posting shop updates there!) on the other hand, pinterest has definitely garnered me views and sales. i need to be spending a little time there weekly to freshen my boards.

c) blogging more often. with more varied content. meaning, some DIY stuff, or possibly some tutorials. not sure yet. i welcome your ideas.

so that, friends, is my recipe for some much-needed hustle. i hope that you will see me following through on these plans ASAP…and if you do, please let me know that you are seeing it. i can always use some encouragement!

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and then it hit

i have been hit twice in the last month or so with a nasty head cold. the one that i’m grappling with now makes the first one look puny. and, of course, i have my wee one to thank for the cooties. kind of hard to avoid them when you are blowing snot from her nose every five minutes, or so.

to say i have been a little under the weather would be an understatement. every morning when i wake up drag my sleep-deprived, oozing self into a vertical position, all the nocturnally thickened mucus drains from its cavernous recesses and makes a symphony of disgusting sounds as it’s being evacuated. not all of it, of course. the rest hangs out, waiting for the opportunity to make me dizzy when i: walk around, take a drink of water (which i do a lot. fluids, you know.), sit down, turn my head…well, you get the idea.

i can’t say that the state i’ve been in has contributed to much creativity, i’m afraid.

my shop has been really slow, which is sort of a blessing, as i have been feeling so poorly. on the other hand, it hasn’t done much to foster creative enthusiasm. i just have to learn to be diligent, whether i’m feeling a spark, or not. that is the mark of a true artist. and i’m just not there yet.

i have been following artist lisa congdon’s instagram feed, where she shows what she creates on a daily basis. seeing such dedication to one’s art makes me feel ashamed and inspired at the same time. it is easy for me to tread in lukewarm waters where i don’t make much new stuff. but i have to come to realize that i often wallow there, too, feeling like everyone else is doing better than me…making better stuff, selling more stuff, getting more exposure for their stuff. it is not a happy place to be. i have vowed, in between nose blowings, to spend as little time in that puddle as possible.

so, in this place, ye olde blog, i am working out a schedule that will keep me on track for weekly posts. i am thinking some DIY, some recipes, and some vintage finds. if i’m not creating, i can be connecting with you!

an undesired manicure

well, it’s official. two of the adjacent properties to ours are now vacant. and being flipped, apparently, as the sounds of renovation have become a daily occurrence. the house just behind us went first, which i can’t say upset me much, since the tenants were hoarders and unwitting beekeepers, apparently. (wild bees were building a hive on the back corner of their house and drifting over to drink out of my potted plants.)

the emptying of the second house has had a more notable effect on me, however. our backyard is home to a glorious old cork oak that shades not only our yard, but those of the rear adjacent homes. and well, part of its glorious charm was that it was a little unkempt and massive. a portion of the renovation in house number two has included the pruning back of our well-meaning giant into a more respectable volume. it breaks my heart a little to see the light breaking through above the fence, since it means that the very busy street now features more prominently in our backyard view. plus, my little haven there in that back corner where our hammock hangs is a little less welcoming with all that horrible, wholesome sunshine.

i can’t help it. it bums me out.