Sunday, July 22, 2012

I get by with a (lot of) help from my friends..

My real desk! Aaak!

So much has changed since I last posted on my business blog! Last time I was reflecting on the craziness that was the holiday season and now I'm preparing for another season to start!

My business has grown by leaps and bounds since January. I now sell at a great boutique and am about to take on another, and I'm confident enough to approach larger retailers. A year ago I could never have imagined doing either! I am very lucky to have had (and still have) a Obi-Wan of sorts that helped me focus on having a plan for my business. I'm a very spontaneous person by nature and probably would still be flailing about if not for her advice. It's funny because I always think of myself as being a very logic-driven person but in reality I'm just not much of a planner. When the going gets tough, I have a tendency to become frozen with fear of failure or indecision.

Luckily, James is a very grounded person and is able to pull me out of the ruts I get into. We recently made the decision to have him take charge of productions schedules. I'm not a lazy person by far, but lately I've had so much trouble keeping up with production, mainly because I was never sure WHICH fire to put out. Out came his favorite clipboard (that I bought him) and he clearly laid out which items to make and when and actually works with me when I'm making things, both to keep me on track and to learn. I'm also quite legendarily unable to find things. TERRIBLE at it! So James organizes my stock and finds ingredients and "things" for me. Without him, I'd be still desperately searching for the ONE ingredient I need to make something for an order. I really need all the help I can get in this regard!

James put these shelves together, built dividers and attached these boxes, perfect for holding lip balms

 I took another big step this month, hiring my first employee. When it became clear to me that my growth as a business and my family life were being hampered by not having enough help, I sought a one day a week assistant. Jordan is an etsy shop owner and a VERY talented artist. She was looking for a one or two day a week job to work toward her goal of buying her first house with her husband, and the fact that I know her in real life AND she already knows the ins and outs of etsy shop ownership was perfect! She's also from a big family (4 brothers!) and was not horrified by the idea of spending the day in a very small house with five boys. Having her help has been tremendous, a huge relief to me and I was gratified to see how well my boys took to her and she didn't mind being cajoled into playing Chutes and Ladders at one point, freeing me up to get some serious work done.

Jordan, my new assistant!

I am incredibly lucky to have such people around me and I would literally be NOWHERE without them!