I'm asking the questions you didn't even know you wanted the answers to! Running a successful shop doesn't just depend on having good business sense. You have to have the personality and the perseverance to pull it off. Let's get inside the hearts and minds of up-and-coming artists, as well as those who are long in the tooth. Between all of us, maybe we can figure this thing out!
One of my first childhood memories is my mom reading "The Little Engine That Could" to me at bedtime, me begging her to read it "just one more time". And she did. Even then, the power of positive thinking amazed me. I was raised with the knowledge that I could do anything that I set my mind to. Unfortunately, there were quite a few bad spots as a teenager and young adult when I put that into action when I shouldn’t have. I’m thinking they should have taught me a little bit more about submission to authority. But now, pushing 34, I have leveled off and have got my focus on using the power of positive thinking on positive ideas! My time in the corporate world proved successful but lacking. My mind abounded with great ideas but often times they were met with resistance because the older generation wasn’t ready to take the technological steps that needed to be taken. I was always limited to someone else’s idea of success for my life. I was great at the various jobs I held (and well paid) but unhappy. I wanted to be home with my family. I wanted to stay home on rainy days. I wanted to stay home on sunny days. I just wanted to be home!
Three years ago I was able to realize my dreams and become a stay at home mom. For a little while, I had income still arriving in my mailbox. But after the piggy bank ran out, the worrying set in. Thankfully, we are debt-free except for our small mortgage. My husband is a state employee with great benefits, not so great pay. I have learned a lot about living frugally the last two years. My husband amazes our friends with my penny-pinching abilities. Hey, I even amaze myself sometimes! However, a girl can only do so much. I need a tooth filled (did you know fillings don’t last forever?). I need a brow wax. And, yes, that is a need! I need to have some mad money every now and then. You know you’re broke when you can’t even shop at Goodwill.
I decided I wanted to learn to sew. Out of the blue, someone gave me a sewing machine. It is quite the vintage item, but runs like a dream. I said I really wanted a serger. Someone else gave me a serger. Three someone elses gave me bolts upon bolts of new, uncut fabric. So I began to sew. If you need a sewing machine threaded, I’m your girl. Want to hear a lecture about the importance of removing the needle before you wind your bobbin? Chat me up. Granted, I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve come along way, baby!
Along the way, money was a constant worry. We had just enough money to pay all of our necessaries but no extra. Peter and Paul can tell you all about it. We needed tires. It had to come out of the house payment. Taxes came due. We couldn’t pay them. It was getting scary, folks. In the summer of 2010, I started cleaning houses. (Insert joke about mechanic with broke-down car here.) I would put my 3-year-old in a Mother’s Day Out program in town, leave my 8-year-old with a friend, and go clean houses. The money was great, but since I homeschool, this was not an option anymore after school started back. What to do?
The inspiration for selling cord covers can be traced back many years. Since I was roughly 17, I have worked not only on a computer as an end-user, but I have worked installing and maintaining entire networks. Large networks. Look behind or under your desk. See all those cables? Now, imagine that times 250. In a business, all of those cables lead to somewhere, whether electrical or network. I was the girl running the network cables, binding the cables, caressing the cables. Okay, so I wasn’t caressing them, but I was involved with cables. If only I had been selling cord covers back then….
Bottom line, I enjoy doing what I do, because I know there are other people out there that shrink away at the sight of messy cables. I know there are names for people like us, and I’m sure there is a self-help blog out there somewhere. For now, though, I’ll focus on helping you instead of myself.
The hymn art was a compilation of different ideas that evolved into the product that I have today. While I enjoy the contemporary Christian music and am often moved by it, nothing strikes a chord within me like "Amazing Grace" and "I'll Fly Away." I hate to start naming them, because I really could just go on and on.
Most of the vintage items are from my own personal collection. Parting is such sweet sorrow, because I hand selected each piece specifically for my home based on my love of colors and uniqueness. However, there are times in your life when personal sacrifice must be made, and starting a business is one of those times. But I’m not letting go of the goose decanter. She’s oh so kitschy!