Eeeek! I'm a baby in a land of giants!
So it's official. I have moved from 3 days a week working at the juvenile hall, to one - and I am going to devote the rest of my time to building up See the Skyline Designs.
I feel so incredibly thankful to the Lord for giving me a gift that helps me do what I love and work in the manner that best fits my personality. When I was in high school, I really felt the Lord tell me pretty clearly to call off all my plans for attending college. At the time, I didn't really understand - just was learning how to follow the Holy Spirit's leading... and my mom and dad SURE didn't understand, as I was a great fit for a collegiate. But now I understand the wisdom and leadership of Jesus. Not only was I able to attend Teen Mania's Honor Academy for 2 years where I met my bestest of friends, 75% of my bridal party, and my husband! After that, I spent 2 years at International House of Prayer living in the prayer room and working with The Call. Both at Honor Academy and IHOP I got jobs doing graphic design - and learned everything I now know. It was a relatively free education that gave me the job training that college would never have given me - and a massive portfolio.
Isn't he SO wise? SO WISE.
The other person I have to thank is my wonderful husband, who has been on me since the day we met to start putting my skills into action. I remember when he finally bugged me to the MAX and I sat down for 10 hours in the middle of the night building my etsy. The next morning, when I pulled Amos out of bed and checked my computer I had 4 orders!!! If I knew it was that easy, I would have done this all a long time ago.
I am still learning. I am learning how to give the absolute best customer service and the smoothest ordering/design process possible. I'm learning the endless possibilities of creation - as I am wanting to start making stationary, cards, buttons, banners, art pieces, and more. I am learning how to market and move among the small business arena - both in my city and online. I am learning how to figure everything out financially to produce the most profitable results without compromising on quality or customer service. I'm learning how to juggle all this with mommyhood. AND I'm learning how to market myself - how to find brides, bazaars, craft fairs, etc.
For anyone out there who has considered, even for a moment, to start their own business (especially moms and wives who want to work from home) - I really encourage you to just GO for it. Save up the money you would need to start (as I assume some require more than others) and put yourself out there. People LOVE handmade goods - not only is it GREEN, but it's unique and trendy. Now is the time to begin. I say this, also, to men and women who have thought about writing a book - start with a blog (as I am) and get your words flowing.
God has given us all talents - and each is so unique and individual. Yes it's cliche - but it's the truth. You may be sensitive or insecure about those talents - but in the end, you probably will bless and brighten the world by offering them to others.
I also encourage you to consider taking these classes on a blog I follow of a very successful blogger and small business owner: BLOG LOVE - an e-course for bloggers and DREAM JOB - a creative business e-course. These brought a lot of clarity to how to start building my brand and seizing opportunity, both in the blogging and small business world.
I'm not there yet, by any means. I have a slow, but steady readership here at See the Skyline - and my business is about 1/2-2/3's of matching my previous income from my Monday through Friday, 9-5. And, also, small business building is NOT for the faint of heart. You put in WAY more hours in the beginning than your bringing money in for. It is LONG hours. I have spent many of my Sunday afternoons (1PM-12AM) since Amos was born sitting at my laptop whilte Ricky's family hangs out with Amos. I have spent MANY of nights, while my Amos and Ricky were sleeping, sitting at my computer working until 3AM - to wake up with Amos in the morning exhausted until we can take our joint morning nap. I have spent MANY of afternoons, lugging Amos around downtown to get to my incredible printers to pick up work and many of sweaty, stressful times with Amos on my hip pulling out my hair while I addressed and packaged goods to ship out to clients. It's been HARD WORK, but so rewarding to see my brand and business GROW, to allow my work to bring originality and creativity to bride's weddings, and to know I am doing what I love.
All of this is inspired by the fact I have my first bridal expo tomorrow morning. It is for local wedding planners, and I have to set up my own little table. I am very excited and nervous. I feel like a little girl and have NO idea what I am doing. The good news is, I know the Lord's hand is on this business - not because He wants me to make tons of money to have a huge house, a famous name, and the ability to afford every anthropologie dress I drool over. It's because He has called me, in this season, to be a mother, to build a family, and to support the house of prayer - both the literal sustaining of it's building and the financial support of those within it. This is what I am made to do, and See the Skyline makes that a reality.
So I'll let you know how it went. :)
If you have any advice on starting a small business, doing design work, blogging success, etc - I WOULD LOVE IT!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
Next step for me, WRITE A BOOK. Until then, we thank Him for He's given us all we need for life and godliness.
oh, and if you could - do you mind voting today? just clickity click the left owl - and it helps me out! i love you all.