Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lessons From My First Year

Just some random and in no order of importance observations after one year.
New Ark Listing

  • I never imagined that I would  love my customers so much. If I could, I would ship myself in with the box just to see it opened.  I could become a crazy stalker lady and peek in the window to see my products in a home.  That someone would shell out their hard earned cash for something I designed and made makes me adore them. 
  • I have the best and most supportive family ever.  They are also talented and have contributed said talents whenever I need them.  Whether it's  BLHubby's woodworking skills, BL SIL's graphic art talents, comments on the blog, shout outs on their blogs, or marketing expertise, they enthusiastically support me. The BL Biggest boy and sweet DIL got me a web site for Christmas!
  • Designing takes a lot of time, even though it's what I love the most. It also seems that I get my best ideas while working on an item, so the products evolve - for the better I hope.  It also means that I know why custom work is so expensive and why so many of my favorite artists don't do it.  I've started turning down custom requests unless they really interest me.  It's really hard to make my vision match somebody else's vision and it takes so much time it's hard to justify the work.  
  • Quitting the day job means less money but more flexibility.  It also means more work but less stress.  Currently I strive to make minimum wage.  I didn't have any benefits with my day job (insurance, retirement, vacation) so I don't miss that.  I don't miss having people call me at all hours either,
    but I do miss office friends.  (Where I worked was a happy group without much "office drama".)
  • I've been pushed to learn so much, and I have. I just want to paint pretty stuff but I have accounting, web design, lessons in pricing, business, marketing, etc.  I never seem to learn it all.
  • Though I'm working on other marketing venues, Etsy has been the gateway to a business.  Some small craftsmen have complained about Etsy but I'm a fan.  Yes, it's huge and you have to work to get noticed but  they've been responsive and it seems to work. 
  • If I get big enough to hire an employee they will be assigned to sanding.
  • My worst day painting beats firing people. 


  1. you didn't give any further hints on the latest creation you teased us with in the prevous post.. don't forget!!! love you!!!

  2. I love that you are learning so much. I'm so glad this has become a successful venture. Keep up the great work!