Spinning round and round and round …

30 Jun
JSJ @ Umass

Running with my Teammates

Isn’t it funny how one meeting can turn your whole mind upside down? My mind has been spinning round and round. I know starting a business is part trial and error. I am plagued with so many thoughts about my business, what to make, how to run it and where I want to be. For all that know me well; you would remember that I always have a 5-year plan. Having short term goals and a long term plan is how I’ve done everything in my life. But sometimes the noise around me telling me what to do is distracting, emails from Etsy on how to quit my day job, grow my business, and succeed. I need to feel in my heart what I want do and having this clarity and calm in my life is essential to my being. If I don’t have inner peace, I am not fun to live with. Running and sewing bring me peace. So perhaps if I need clarity on sewing, I should go for a run!

Being a small shop affords me the opportunity to let my creativity take me where it wants to go that day. I love that my items are unique, fun and preppy. I also like to think of my style as classic 1950’s.  So despite the noise around me, I will continue to march to the beat of my own band and do my own thing regardless of what the words, sounds or images of what is going on around me.

I hope I will be fortunate enough to be able to continue taking orders from small boutiques but only on a case by case basis. They are exhausting. When I work on boutique orders, my Etsy shop is neglected, I don’t get much time to run, and all other spare time is spent doing what I intended in the first place which is being a stay at home mom. When I am not adding new items daily, it is hard for my fans to know what I am up to, and I know my fans love to see all my new creations. I know I am not ready for a bigger job or additional staffing until my littlest one reaches kindergarten. But some days even with a small shop I feel like I am being pulled away from my family. Do I sew during naptime? Do I run? Do I hang out with my sweetie pie or sew? I just can’t fit it all in.

I want to thank everyone for their continued support and encouragement. I especially want to thank Liz, who encouraged me to ask myself the important questions that still need to be answered. I can’t thank her enough for her kind words, praise and thoughtful advice. These words were not the ones I mentioned spinning me round and round. I am hoping that with time the clarity and purpose that I seek will come to me and I’ll know exactly what I need to do.

My best, Jen (Wife & Mom & Designer & CEO & Hardcore Runner)

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6 Responses to “Spinning round and round and round …”

  1. Carolyn June 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Jen~

    I have no doubt in my mind that you will succeed. Sometimes when tackling the hard questions you will reach deeper inside than you ever thought possible and the answers will amaze you. You create a beautiful project that is quality and made with love and inner peace, you can see that with each and every piece you sew. Liz is a great cheerleader and I hope that I can be considered one as well. Best of everything!! Carolyn

    • ittybittybag June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks Carolyn! I can’t thank you enough for your support and referrals. It really means a lot to me when people support not only my business but the concept. It is a tough market out there with the Vineyard Vines & Kate Spades of the world to compete against. Hope to see you again soon. Maybe we should have a ladies night out soon and celebrate life. My best, Jen

  2. Andrea June 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Jen,

    I am nowhere close to on your level of design and distribution but it is so refreshing to hear you being real! I have the same things going through my head on a daily basis! Oh my goodness! It sends me spinning to where I can’t sleep some nights. I juggle thoughts about how to cut cost and keep quality, whether or not to move to a bigger home so I can have room to sew (as I take up my family’s living room every time my sewing machine comes out) and ultimately how I can fit my wifely, motherly and childcare provider duties in and still have room to sew.

    You are, and have been longer than we’ve been talking, an inspiration to me. Trust me when I say there are many people watching you and learning from you. You are an amazing mompreneur. Keep up the good, consistent work and customer service.

    I’ll be praying for you!

    Andrea
    PC2540

    • ittybittybag June 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

      Thanks Andrea! You are an inspiration to me as well. I love that you are always thinking and doing for other people. It reminds me to always give back.

  3. Tehlia June 30, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    So glad you wrote this. I am not even close to what you have done with etsy and your Bags. Yet I am running in circles too. Every thought is about a better way, different product, a side etsy shop or giving in completely.

    I won’t give in, I love this too much. Hoping to find a balance and continue on this journey with a few less “what am I doing?” type moments.

    Really appreciate that you shared this.

    • ittybittybag July 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

      Thanks Tehlia,

      I am happy that so many could relate to my situation. Sometimes being a work at home mom can be isolating. I am so happy to have met so many great people, friends, etsians all through social networking. I never would have believed it before I started. Thanks for being a great friend.

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