How’s your week been? I’ve been wanting to share this with you for some time but I couldn’t find the right words. I’m on this deep journey to understanding myself and feeling proud of the things that I create and this is one of mine passions. I know that you guys are aware (whether through my Twitter, Instagram, Youtube Channel or any other social media that I’ve posted them on) that I have an Etsy shop where I sell handmade, custom journals. I started creating these journals last year before I got pregnant with Naomi and I was on the fence about doing it. I was afraid to fail, afraid that no one would want to buy a journal, afraid that I couldn’t make a good product. Then we found out we were having a baby.
I allowed this to be used as my excuse to not make journals or start the business. “I don’t have enough time” (back then I was working, on pregnancy bedrest because I was high risk, and a full time student) and therefore I needed to wait. I said, “How can I start something new when there’s so much going on?” I don’t know how many reasons I gave to not start it but, to be honest, I knew what was really going on.
I’ve always had this issue with appearance. No, not physical appearance (you guys can clearly tell that I’m not the best in the fashion department nor do I try to be). I want to appear to have it together. I want to feel proud of myself and, sadly, I’ve always wanted others to be proud of me (yes, that’s also something I’m dealing with during this month of Introspection). But then something silly happened.
This summer, I had the sudden urge to write in a new journal despite having several unfinished ones at home that I’ve bought over the years. You know writers, this is our thing. Our JAM! I browsed online and couldn’t find one that I wanted. Then I almost slapped myself. I could just make my own. I looked at the many prototypes I’d made in Summer 2018 and I was vastly disappointed. I scraped all of those ideas and went to the store. My guy was with me, along with our little baby, and he helped me pick out materials. What are the best colors? What thread is going to work the best- turns out I’m obsessed with waxed linen thread, so that’s what I use. We stood there, going back and forth. Real leather? Vegan leather? Vinyl? Copy paper? Sketch paper? Black buttons? White buttons? So many questions, so many thoughts, way too complicated. I’m already indecisive. Why can’t it all be simple?
Then my guy said what do you want it to be. So I cut out all the noise, I picked out the materials and I made something new. Something simple, with a button, a flexible cover for bending or sketching across a knee, and several different page pattern types. Grid. Blank. and then later, Lined. Then, I held the finished product in my hand, (yes I’m always, actively, trying to make them better) and I cried. I had finally finished something, I FINISHED something, without quitting “before I could fail” (ironic and all that), and it actually looked great. The quality was great.
So then, with loads of encouragement from several friends and my guy, I started my Etsy shop. (check it out here). I am not here to make all of these vast claims that it is wildly successful. I’m proud that I started it but I haven’t been able to put my all into it as I thought I would. This semester has been hard on me, as it was my first at the new University and I have Naomi to care for, and I haven’t had much time. That being said, 2020 is a new year. It’s time to look forward, not backward, and so I’m going to be implementing all of the things I learn over the next month.
And that’s why I’ve taken it an extra step. I’m really excited to say that I’ve finally created a website for my journals. It’s very new. Very, very, very new. I do not claim to be an expert on all things small businesses or to know all there is to know about being a founder/owner, or life, in general, but I’m doing the best I can. As an aspect of my 31 Days of Introspection, I’m taking a long hard look at my skills as a business owner, taking steps to growing my business, and will be learning all I can about marketing, product photography, and SEO. I’m also in the process of creating a logo that will perfectly fit into the brand of my small business. One that aesthetically fits with my photos as well. I am very excited about this! This is one journey I’m ready to take. Keep an eye open for more updates. If you’d like to support a small business, please buy a journal!
Check out the tentative website here!
Check out the Instagram account here!
(All photos on my instagram and other social media sites have been taken by me or my friend Colleen Watson. If you like them, feel free to like or leave me a comment!)