Cultivating A Creative Business: Keeping the “why didn’t I…” away

A few months ago I started focusing my creativity into building a graphic and web design identity. Finding and working my way through as many free tutorials that I could find. Building and adding to my tool box. I would work on small projects to help friends out on their journey through starting a creative business, and volunteering to design flyers for elementary school activities. Liking, even loving what I was doing but knowing I needed to do more, learn more and work harder.

Then I came across a quote from Laura K Roeder‘s Fanpage

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

handmade stamp from foam

handmade stamp from foam on a blank canvas

All the… I wish I had have just jumped. I should have done this last year. Why didn’t I start this sooner. I would be making money by now if I started a year ago. I didn’t want to have  any of those words come out of my mouth ever again. So I hopped online and asked a friend his opinion about a few online courses and he came back with wonderful advice. Next thing I knew I am investing in me, and signed up for a year of learning.

I am a few steps further from that quote and although nervous I am happy I took the leap. As I get more into the course my nervousness fades and my excitement builds. The more designs I create, lessons I learn with photo editing and design the more I see where I am supposed to be. These classes are giving me a greater ability to create, build, design, share and teach, which allows me to give even more to you. Empowering myself and investing in me, means I can then give you better tools and products to cultivate your creative business dreams.

What are you going to do today, this very minute, that will keep you from saying

“Why didn’t I do this years ago”?


You Don’t Have To Get It right The First Time

I usually put a lot of pressure on myself to get something out of my head, on to paper and turned into a touchable product immediately. I will work for endless hours until it feels right and then work on it some more, because ultimately it could always be better. On rare occasions it becomes something close to perfection, but that is rare and I usually feel like I need to compromise on my name or trash it and start a new project.

So many things can be created. But will they be created perfectly?

Going along with my lesson on Patience I am trying to also get a handle on the need to be perfect the first time. I have to remind myself that there are lessons to be learned and sometimes there are perfect moments in the imperfection that I create. Some of the most cherished items are works of art that are not complete.

You know the painting of George Washington, United States First President?  That painting is in fact an unfinished piece. And we wouldn’t think of changing it.

While I work on patience with my business and building upon it, I will also start thinking of my projects, the material I use, as already perfect.  Anything I do, in addition to what it is in its raw state, is a bonus.

How do you control your need to be perfect?

A Lesson I Learned While Crafting A Creative Business

Most creative folks have a common dilemma. Tons of ideas, a need to get them out of their heads quickly and then hurry to the next project, next thrill.

tulip I did not plant next to my front porch stairs. Thanks previous owner.

I am absolutely guilty of being so excited about an idea that I drop what I am currently working on and start in on the new fun pretty things around the corner. Telling myself I will get back to the older project. I have done this many times with small projects, big plans and items in my shop.

Started working on the new and adding them to my shop or even creating a new shop, only to move on to the next project before finding out if what I last created is a keeper.

You can’t rush through life, business or blooming

Perhaps if I waited, took a breath between projects I would have found out a lot more. Learned something from my success or my failure. Instead I let it jump from my lap to flop on the ground and not build upon it. To think of what could have been with some of those projects is forehead slapping worthy and a lesson in itself. If you don’t want to slap your forehead in the future slow down and finish what you start.

The Lesson Learned: Patience. Learning to have patience with myself and my business is constant work. For so long, I have moved so fast onto the next thing without giving it time to simmer and slowly come to a rolling boil, such a hard habit to break.

Amazing what happens when you give it time.

4 Ways that I am incorporating patience into my business that you can try.

  1. Work on one project at a time
  2. Commit to finishing it before moving onto the next
  3. Don’t publish – post or add an item to your shop or blog unless it fits the current mission, theme, style, esthetic
  4. When an idea strikes – jot it down – it will be safely waiting on paper, while you complete your current project.

How can you or have you, incorporated patience into you business?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

The Color Red, Rockabilly and Great Photography

I would love to take credit for this treasury but ALL the credit goes to Michele from Liperla Handmade Glass Jewelry  Her treasury doesn’t need much explanation. It is vibrant and fun. What caught my eye, you might be shocked, the photography of the items and also the color.

The hand holding the travel case. Movement in the dress are great.

Check out the dice and those roller skates.. I show you these images not so you copy them, but for you to study the light, practice capturing movement and seeing different ways to make your items pop. Again it doesn’t take much, some practice and it absolutely does NOT mean you need a fancy camera. {spy on mine}

Check out the full treasury here

Were you featured here?

We would love to hear some tips on how you took these shots.

Forging A Cohesive Brand part II: My Homework

Earlier I spoke of having a cohesive look with all of your social media profiles and your blog. Making it easier for people, your audience and random yet completely awesome strangers to find you and recognize, without hesitation, that you are YOU. I left that post needing to do a little more homework myself.

Screen shot of old twitter profile & background

And here it is my brand new Twitter background! I kept it around 600x600px and mostly white edges so I wouldn’t need to tile it. Also wanted to allow room so if you had your view on your screen reset to its default setting or zoomed in you could still see and read most of the wording on the image. I suppose I could have left this wordless but, if you know me, words just happen. Any who, looks like a tutorial is getting written next on changing your twitter background.

Screen shot of NEW twitter profile & background

Show off your backgrounds.

Leave a link in the comments below.

Color Trend: On the Scale of Gray to Gray

Inspired by the gray skies here in Seattle today. Hope you enjoy the selection and if you want to see each shop up close visit it HERE!

I can’t say it enough, your images speak more than your words when it comes to getting into treasuries. I picked every item based off of the look of the image and how they all looked together. None of them are “friends” of mine. I just admired their look. You can get the look by following very simple steps in this GUIDE and you don’t need a fancy camera.

If you were featured we would love to hear a few of your photography tips?

Forging a Cohesive Brand. Looks Like I Have Homework

Something is in the air. Almost every blog that I usually frequent is talking about branding, YOUR branding and taking a look at how others see you. So here goes.

I started with my blog. The banner, my signature, the logo and images. Using the logo on a few side bar images and in a few posts. Also making sure all the pictures that accompany posts look similar in esthetic and have my touch {with my secret weapon}.

Next up… the Fanpage. Having the profile picture match my blog profile picture is huge to me. It isn’t life or death, but I have to say I am much faster at clicking the follow button or like button if I can immediately recognize the person or product I am looking for. Notice what you appreciate from other bloggers when it comes to recognizing them and try to utilize it.

I love how The Hungry Goddess has her profile images matching, from twitter, to her fanpage and Blog. I know I can trust it and that she is THE Hungry Goddess I am looking for.

Fanpage Screen Shot

Twitter Screen Shot

Now my homework. My Twitter profile has a similar image to the fanpage and my wordpress profile, but the background image could speak more of the site. So tonight I will be working on that.

My other dilemma is my etsy shop. I have been branding it a certain way for over two years, have business cards printed and all that jazz. To change it might be detrimental to further sales from repeat buyers or referrals by business card exchange. That is something I will have to sit on for a minute. So, I will do some work making sure I look like one person and not many personalities.

Share with us some of your tricks and tips: How do you keep your Social Media profiles and Website looking like they belong to the same family? or What changes will you be making?

**Image credit for the feature image: The Hungry Goddess

Take a fragmented creative living & merge it into one kickass business

Do you have, at minimum, 5 different ideas for the next thing you could make, create, start or build? Do you start each one with zeal and crank something out only to feel it doesn’t fit in with your last creation? Prompting you to start a brand new home for it on another site, blog or handmade shop?

Are you creating but feel fragmented?

I absolutely do that. I have always done it. I love the start of anything, love it so much I start new things everyday. Sometimes it has to do with Laundry and let me tell you that is not the way I like to start my day.

But, for a few years I have probably started over 100 new and different projects, completed half and created a shop or blog for the 5 best ideas. I was fragmented all over the place. I loved creating the new sites, shops, items and sharing them all. I loved being able to switch up designs, styles and images depending on how I felt.

Start organizing your ideas and see how they fit together.

The problem with that? Not one project was getting the time and attention it deserved. They were each only getting a small piece of me and I wasn’t getting everything I could out of them individually. So why not sort things out and start fitting them together as one happy family.

  • I began looking at what I did everyday that made me happy, that if I didn’t do it daily I felt off.
  • Then I looked at each individual creation, blog, website and shop and found the common ties.
  • Once I worked all of that out I could narrow down my fragmented self to a few very similar but still unique qualities and creations. Giving myself and my craft clarity as well as the power to keep being me but a more Merged Cohesive  ME.

Somethings might need to be shelved until you can see how they fit, but others, the ones you think about and immediately start to make you smile, those are the ones that might fit together.

What talents can you Merge into One KICKASS Creative Business?

Find more Creative Business Advice, Tips and Pointers HERE

How To Get Organized By Making A Mess

Today I gathered all of my Journals, Planners and Notebooks. I have great things in each one of them. But when I reach to look up one of those Ideas I can’t remember which book it was written in. Then I spend minutes, if not an hour or more, looking through all the books only to get distracted and move onto something new.

Getting organized starts with making a mess

I have a funny way of getting organized. I first make a mess. It might sound a bit backwards but that is how I work. I pull everything out and start going through each item. Some I keep, others get recycled. My reason for making a mess is a lot like the way I pack up my house for our many military moves. After a few days of packing, things tend to not look any better than they did when you start, so you begin to really purge. Getting rid of that maybe pile and breaking down the must haves to really truly MUST HAVES.

  • Create a mess
  • Keep the truly good stuff
  • Let the other things get recycled, literally and figuratively

Ideas are only great if you can find them and share them. {retweet that}

When you organize how do you go about it?

How To Edit Your Etsy Listings To Sell More

Have you been revamping your shop? Working on editing pictures and getting great item descriptions to pull it all together? Good! GREAT! One more thing… Making sure your shop looks amazing on Etsy, next to other shops in treasuries or during searches, can be as simple as the click of a button. Have you seen this new little addition to Etsy’s editing section in your shop?

edit your etsy shop listing thumbnail

adjust your thumbnail photo

As you are about to publish your listing, in the preview, this nice side note appears. Guess what happens if you click on the button perfectly titled “adjust photo”? Yep you guessed it, you can move your already awesome picture to make sure others see exactly how great it truly is even before they read your description. Cause truly, what do you notice first, the title or the picture? So, start clicking on that adjust photo button and get to cropping your shop into the Treasury Happening maybe even Front Page glory you deserve.

Crop and adjust your listing photos & thumbnails to ensure you get seen.