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fgi rising star nomination & other press
July 31st, 2010     |    Life

Hot off the press! I have been nominated for a FGI (Fashion Group International) Rising Star Award. I am super excited about this because the last award I won for my business was Entrepreneur of the Year in my graduation class at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. And that might sound cool… until you realize I was the only person with a business to be nominated – and therefor won by default. Ahem.

Anyways, I’m in good company with this nomination! Some of the nominees are my friends, like Kate Boggiano and Jules. And then there is Summer Thornton in the interior design category who has also participated in the DESIGN YOUR LIFE series this spring as well. The event will be held on September 16th. To buy a (pretty expensive) ticket, go here.

#10 Stiletto Woman of the Year

In other news, I was featured in Stiletto Woman’s Top 25 Women of the Year. I clocked in the top ten by a hair (at #10 exactly, in fact). So honored to be included!

Utterly Engaged Big Talent Big Heart Feature

And last but not least, this stunning feature in Utterly Engaged debuted in their most recent issue. Um, forget what they say about Jess LC and just check out how gorgeously they’ve designed the article! That graphic designer knows what she’s doing. As part of their Big Talent Big Hearts series, they interviewed me about Jess LC and our Soc Chic necklace helping social causes.

Whoa. In putting these pieces all in one place, I realize how incredibly thankful and lucky I am to have this amazing support from so many people. Back when I was a freaked out Pilgrim, I never would have imagined that I would be in this position three months later. And what I think this goes to show is that we are all Pilgrims, building our lives one brick at time. And this is just proof that we all can do it- we just need to have patience and faith.

piper’s dream report: week twelve
July 30th, 2010     |    Life

Hi everyone!  Phew, three months I’ve been reporting – where did the time go??  I hope you’ve been enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed getting to know you guys and hearing from you.  The past few weeks have been tough ones for me.  I’ve hit my point.  You know the one?  The breaking point.  Where you’re just swimming to keep your head above water?  (and right now, I feel like I’ve forgotten how to swim!). You can add a bit of worry to that too since I haven’t sealed the deal on a web designer yet – and I know that even once I get past this hurdle of web design, there’ll be lots more hurdles to cross!

I’m just taking it day by day at this point so it was interesting when Emma asked in her comment last week about my dreams and expectations for the store.  I thought “what a wonderful question”!  Which was then followed by…I don’t know if I have the answer for that!  Partly, I think it’s due to not having the website in the process of being built.  I can tell that once I get that going, I’ll have time to work on other things (much more fun things!).  Also, right now I’ve been so focused on doing all the things that need to be done to open a store and trying to keep up with my to-do list:  financial sheets & budget, inventory planning, contacting artists, what will I use for packaging, setting up an accounting system, sales tax, lions & tigers & bears, oh my!! – that I haven’t even thought much to the future.  The day my store opens for instance.  Or what will my first year be like?  And can I just tell you what a difference that is for me…I usually ONLY think about the future!

I can answer one question off the bat – life has changed a lot so far!!  I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur yet – I think I feel that until I actually “open the doors” on my online store, that I’m not an entrepreneur yet.  Although that brings up an interesting thought – when does someone become an entrepreneur?  When you decide that you want to be your own boss?  Or when you actually are your own boss?  The one thing I have noticed as I’m getting more into the entrepreneur mindset is that I’m more focused on action rather than dreaming.  Which is why I think I haven’t spent time visualizing what the store opening will be like that first year.  Now I’m making that transition where I’m taking those steps that will actually one day allow me to be my own boss!  Before I would have spent months and months pondering the idea of web design.  Now, I’ve actually printed off pages of other sites I like and made lists of why I like them, sketched out what I would like mine to feel & look like, and blanketed the web design world with emails.

So funny enough, actually staying in the present moment (not in dream world!) and not looking too far ahead has helped me.  By taking things day by day and not thinking about all the what ifs, I’m making more progress than I ever have before. This is a good thing for me because I have to admit that sometimes I’m a “glass half empty” kinda gal.  One of those personality traits that I keep hoping I can trade in someday!  It’s bizarre too…because I’m a very cheery, fun loving person in life…let’s just say I have this other side that’s “realistic”!  On the good side, it does allow me to plan for things that can go wrong (and trust me, planning and working out all the “what ifs” is something I excel at!!)  But the bad side is that my “glass half empty” mentality doesn’t let me off the hook and just say “hey, this store is going to be successful”.  Lucky for me, my hubby is about as optimistic as you can get. So, thank god for him, because he reminds me that things are always possible – something I deep down, truly believe and sometimes just need that nudge in the right direction.

So Emma’s thought got me thinking…What WILL it be like when I open the store?  What are MY DREAMS and HOPES for it?

Then I remembered the book “The Boss of You”.  One of the first things they have you do is make a couple of lists.

One was “why do I want to start my own business?”  Hmm, very interesting.   Especially since nowhere on the list I created was the statement “make tons of money”.  My number one reason?  So that my husband and I can work together (i.e., we can spend more time together) and have more freedom/flexibility in our lives.  Number 2?  The ability to spend my day doing something I’m passionate about.  Talk about an eye opener.  It’s as simple as that…that’s what I want and dream about.  (not to mention, it would be cool to work from home and hang out with our dogs!)  Yet a lot of time is spent fretting over the money side.  Which completely makes sense (you need to make money to stay in business)…but honestly I’m not looking to make millions.  It would be nice, don’t get me wrong J  But, I just want enough so that I can work for myself and do something I’m passionate about.

Which brings me to the Ladies Who Launch workshop I took a year ago.  One of the things they talk about is how it can be hard sometimes for women to think BIG.  As in really, really BIG.  And you can count me in as one of those people!  So what they have you do in class is have all the other students write a vision for you.  Because amazingly it’s so much easier to write a vision for someone else.  And when we got our visions back from the other students, it was such an eye opener.  Things I never dared to think about (or at the very least tell anyone about) were in these visions.  Things like “your store will be featured in a magazine” all the way to “you’ll end up writing a New York Times bestseller and have your own show on HGTV”.  If I would have written my vision, it would have been much, much smaller.  So it was such an eye opener to remember to think BIG – you have to think it for it to happen right?  So thanks for reminding me that I need to still dream and think BIG.

So here goes  (boy, this is not easy to put out there!!) My dreams for that first year once the store opens:

  • I make enough the first year to enable me to work full time on the store.
  • My store gets featured on 2-4 of my favorite blogs. (that would be amazing!)
  • I get to spend time working with indie artists and designers and helping to get their products seen.
  • I write a bestseller (okay, I’m kidding about that one!  I’m so not a writer!)

Here’s my challenge to you – create your own vision statement and make it BIG!!!  Fingers crossed that, hopefully, next week I’ll be talking about my web designer!

new york press tour!
July 29th, 2010     |    Business AdviceLife

At long last! I am proud to say that we are all caught up with work from the past few weeks and I finally have a chance to sit down and tell you all about the press tour in New York.

I will start by saying there was incredible amount of clarity and purpose throughout this trip. As you know, I’ve had a lot of uncertainty in my life over the past year. And now that I’m heading out in a totally new direction, this trip helped clarify what my future might hold. It was also fascinating to reflect on my last trip to NYC two years ago. At that time, Jess LC was a 90% wholesale business and I was checking out trade shows like ENK and Moda tricking myself into thinking that I might actually want to be in a booth at one of these large huge scale events. But the reality was that I disliked the whole trade show process from participating in Magic in Las Vegas and StyleMax in Chicago. And I was just trying to do what other people told me would be best for my business. (Note: Trade shows are a great way to grow a business (and I might do some in the future), I recommend them for those looking to increase their wholesale business. However, it’s not my cup of tea nor part of my intentions at this point in time.)

Since that trip, I have decided that what was really important to me was working with retailers and customers one-on-one via my website and by spending time doing what I am meant to do: help people design a life with intention.

I decided upon this press tour and desk side trip in order to broaden the Jess LC audience and customer base to include those who are not already plugged into social media and blogging – magazines and traditional media still play a huge role in raising brand awareness.

So I had the amazing team at Red Light PR, my PR firm, connect with magazine editors at Lucky, Real Simple, People StyleWatch, and Brides Magazine. They scheduled appointments for me to meet with these accessory editors one on one in their offices. Here’s some snap shots in between meetings (apparently I’m not very good at remembering the camera when around actual people, just buildings).

Day One

Hello, Conde Nast. One thing to note about the building and lobby was that it was full of beautiful people. Some of the best fashion from the whole trip was seen while waiting for my press pass to enter the offices.

My first appointment was with the editor at Brides Magazine. She was super nice and low key, I felt immediately at ease and ready to chat about anything and everything. I instantly realized I wanted to do desk sides like this All The Time.

I had a bit of time between the Brides appointment and the Lucky meeting, so I hung around the block and tried to stay dry during the random showers that hit the area. Trying to look cute with 13 bug bites welts on my legs, frizzy hair, wet wedges, and 90*+ weather was Not Easy.

Here’s a quick shot of the Lucky office (cue the harp). I have imagined Jess LC in the pages of Lucky Magazine since I was in high school. When entering this space I’m not gonna lie, I had A Moment.

As expected, the assistant editor at Lucky was laid back, friendly, and inexpressibly chic. She looked like she walked out of one of the pages in the magazine. Not to mention that she was my age and totally living a life I would love to have in an alternate universe.

After the first day of desk sides, I headed out to Brooklyn for the first time to meet up with Jessica of WhatIWore. We’ve been online friends for about a year now, and it was great to chat with her in person. Of course, I again forgot to whip out the camera at Dizzy’s the adorable coffee shop we went to. But you can see how cute she looked here.

By the way, how much does this area look like San Fransisco? I was mesmerized by the homes and totally imagined walking my future kids to school on this block.

Day Two

On the second day of desk sides I walked up to Time & Life to see the editors at People StyleWatch and Real Simple. They happen to be right across from this iconic building.

(I will also mention that I was much smarter on the second day and packed my heels in my bag and wore sandals up to the appointments. Though the wedges may be comfortable, there is only so much walking one can do in 4″ heels.)

When I met the editor at People StyleWatch I immediately felt like I was talking to someone I had known for years. She was engaging, witty, and obviously was great at her job. She mentioned she was working on a big boot article for the October issue and had dozens of pairs in the back room (she recommended I get suede wedge boots for fall). The entire office, I might add, was covered in magazine tear-outs. It was like the office was wallpapered in inspiration. Such a creative and exciting space.

Then I headed over to Real Simple. What I realized immediately was that if I was ever to really actually work at a magazine personally, Real Simple is where I belong. It had a fresh, fun, clean look which was totally the intersection between Jess LC and MML. The women there were all equally intelligent and adorable. Plus, the editor was down to earth and also happened to grow up near my parent’s new house in Pennsylvania.

When she nonchalantly mentioned they did a segment that morning on the Today Show it took me a minute and a half to realize that she personally had been on the Today Show that morning. The segment was about transitioning your summer wardrobe to fall. So Cool.

What Desk Sides Are Like

As you can see from the descriptions above, I totally loved every minute of the desk sides. Though I went into them with no idea what to do, I quickly learned that they are meant to be an informal introduction to your brand, line, and story. I shared how I started, what I was doing now, and showed them my samples. They in turn told me about themselves, the stories they were working on, and what they liked in my collection.

The goal is essentially to develop a relationship with the editors so that when they have a new story about “Jewel Tone Jewelry Under $50,” they think about the adorable paisley post earrings that I have coming up in Fall 2010 and request a sample for the shoot. It’s about being on the top of their mind when they are considering features. The appointments themselves can take place at their desk, in the lobby, or in a conference room. In general they can be a quick half hour, or a relaxed sixty minute conversation.

What’s Next for Jess LC and PR

Now that I’m one week out from the trip, I’ve already had a new sample request from People StyleWatch. Though I can’t say that this is strictly due to the meeting, I can say that it didn’t hurt. And my fingers are crossed that Jess LC jewelry makes appearances in the holiday/winter 2011 issues of all four magazines. But there is definitely a waiting game in PR. You don’t know whether your styles make it in the magazine until the PR firm gets a credit request (which basically means they shot it in a photoshoot and intend to put it on a page in the magazine and need to know where to say the product is available). And even after the credit request there is the chance that it might get deleted from the pages as layout and content changes are made closer to publication.

Going forward, I’m pumped to revisit New York again this October to debut new samples from Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. My PR firm is having an event at their showroom in Soho which will bring a lot of editors into the space at one time. So I’ll be there to introduce myself and the samples. And of course, I’ll be sure to recap that event as well, hopefully with more photos of people this time around!

shabby apple dress giveaway winner
July 28th, 2010     |    Life

Phew. Thank you all for your awesome comments yesterday on my “freak out” post. I rarely do that here on MML, but I think it was nice to let you all into a less than graceful moment of my life that wasn’t full of self-reflection. Though I do my best to keep the bigger picture in mind, that isn’t always how I feel. Not to mention, it was incredible to hear your words of encouragement and understanding. Thank you.

I’m also excited to say that I have gotten back to a sustainable daily pace with work. We have caught up on all our orders and can now look forward into fall preparing for the holiday season, our fall photo shoot, and sharing a lot of new things here on MML.

I have to admit, with all of the growth in Jess LC and with my move in 4.5 weeks, I have a lot of things I’d like to get and it’s a bit dizzying determining what I should pay for first. But I’m trying to be patient and realize that at this moment, I don’t need anything. And I have faith that what will be needed will be very clear when the time comes. Until then, I’m just trusting that it will all work out.

sometimes you crack…
July 27th, 2010     |    Life

Hey guys. I just wanted to jump in and let you all know that I have intended to write this awesome post all about the PR and desk sides from last week. It was going to be awesome. I was also going to announce (and randomly select) the giveaway winner from the dress contest last week.

But the reality is that though I took two glorious days off from work this weekend, I am still up to my chin in work (had to work until 10p last night which is incredibly rare). And I’m feeling like it’s almost impossible to ever catch up. Which is a good thing, I want things to grow… but there is only so much I can handle on my own (with the incredible Susie by my side). And let’s just say, that I’ve finally hit the breaking point. There is so much to do and so much change coming as I navigate the move, my relationship changing, and the company growing at an unprecedented pace. And oh, there is MML and all the wonderful things I’d like to do and say here but don’t have time to even though it’s my purpose and most important contribution.

So anyways, I guess I’m breaking my code of “learn then share” and saying, “though I know I’ll be fine, right now I’m feeling over my head, overwhelmed, and just plain frustrated.”

You know what? Everyone feels that way sometimes. This just happens to be my time.

And with as much work as I have to do, I think the most productive thing I can do is to take a break from everything for a bit and come back with a cooler head.

Thanks for understanding.

6:01: Update

Phew! Okay, took a break and went in the other room (aka: cried for five minutes and let the storm pass). I felt a lot better right away. Came back and finished the day out and decided to make a few changes to keep my life sane:

  1. I am definitely getting an intern to help us this fall.
  2. Looking into getting an inexpensive (used?) laptop for Susie and the intern to use to help process orders and email customers.
  3. Responding in individual comments will become an ideal, but not required part of my day.
  4. I am going to do my best to post five days a week on MML, but understand when that is not possible.
  5. Enter sales into Quickbooks at the end of each most days.

With these actions I hope to free up more time to connect with store buyers, magazine editors, my PR team, MML readers, blogging, and designing. These are my essential actions which I need to put more time into for long term growth in the business and in my sanity.

makeunder my week: july 26th, 2010
July 26th, 2010     |    Life

(working from my parents’ deck last week)

Hi Guys,

I hope your weekends were great! Chicago has had quite the heatwave lately but yesterday the humidity and stickiness broke and gave way to a gorgeous and breezy afternoon. I spent it walking along the lakefront with a friend and catching up on chores like cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, and grocery shopping. I feel like the whirlwind of the Philly/NYC trip is finally settling and I’m excited to get caught up with work this week and move forward.

To be sure, there are a lot of online orders still left to fill from last week which Susie and I have worked hard to fill, by tomorrow my goal is to have everyone’s orders out the door and on their way. This Franklin discount has been incredible in terms of sheer volume and we are so excited to be toting so many packages to our UPS store each day. I’ve also been getting photos of our fall pendant designs and they look incredible. I cannot wait to wear a winter white and gold paisley necklace! But the samples being finished means that we are that much closer to doing a photo-shoot, lookbook, and collection launch. So I just need to take a deep breath, pace myself, and do the best I can to keep the momentum high.

This week I’m also excited to finally have time to really nail out some awesome posts here on MML. Since PR is a whole new animal for me, I will do my best to explain what my experience has been like. I won’t have lots of advice for others at this point, but I can speak first-hand from what I’ve seen with Jess LC.

Other than that, I am starting to reflect even more, if that’s possible, on what I want my new apartment to look like this September. I’ve signed a lease for a one bedroom in my current building which overlooks the roof deck and faces east, bringing lots of light into the space. One big purchase I will be making is a bed, and I’m still deciding between a West Elm bed and an Overstock.com bed. What do you think? Any suggestions? Until I make the choice, I’m on a “savings spree” through August.

Have a great week,


franklin inventory update
July 23rd, 2010     |    Life

I just want to pop in and let you all know that I temporarily pulled the Franklin collection off the site while I was in NYC so that I could come back and do a proper inventory. Once I mentioned the mistake in the braille and marked them 50% off, there was a flurry of orders.

Now that I’m back in the studio, I’ve had time to count the pendants remaining and re-posted the collection online. Here’s what’s left:

(UPDATED 7/26) Updated 7/28

Be Present13 8 left 5 left

Be Brave – 3 Sold Out

Breathe17 15 left 14 left

Be Thankful19 18 left 13 left

Dream Bigger14 8 left 5 left

Get them now at the discounted rate or wait for the corrected pendants at full price closer to September.

piper’s dream report: week eleven
July 23rd, 2010     |    Life

What a week I’m having!  Have I mentioned how much I dislike techie things?  Because hold on, I’m about to!

I should clarify – I love technology and what it can do.  I just don’t like the back-end part of it.  Like when your computer won’t work or you have to add a buttons & badges to your blog or have to figure out why your search feature doesn’t work anymore (this is one I’m currently dealing with!)  This is the part that makes me want to pull all my hair out.

It’s not that I can’t learn – I was able to do my blog on my own (such as it is!).  It’s just that it’s not something I’m interested in learning.  It involves a level of detail on technical things that I don’t want to spend my time on. (not to mention html code is like learning a new language!!)  My time would be much better spent on things I enjoy and I’m good at – especially when it comes to opening my store.  I’ve read so many books and interviews by entrepreneurs and one of the commonalities seems to be to play to your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.  Sounds great to me!  So that was the plan.  I knew that web design would not be my forte – especially when doing something as complicated as an ecommerce site – so I was more than prepared to delegate this work.

I even did my due diligence.  About 6-9 months ago, I sent emails to web designers whose work I liked so I could get an idea of how much it would cost to design a site, as well as, the time frame needed.  And I got lots of responses with ranges that seemed like they would fit my budget.  Well, note to self…when they give you a range, ask questions & assume that it’ll be the higher end because that’s exactly what has happened.  Once I was ready to commit to having a site built (and assumed my only problem would be deciding which designer to go with – oh, how naive!), I quickly learned that building an ecommerce site takes you pretty much to the high end of the range.  And well outside of my budget.

image credit

So I went from thinking my biggest problem would be deciding which designer to go with…to basically having to start my research on web design from square one.  And to top it all off…the more I talked to people and really thought about my first year as a store, I realized I was no longer comfortable with spending a good chunk of my budget on just building a website.  My original thinking had been that since I wasn’t opening a retail store front, I could spend the money to build a website.  But with a limited budget to work with and the fact that I’m just starting out and don’t know what kind of sales I can expect for the first year, I really started to question whether that would be a good decision anymore.  I realized that I would feel more comfortable spending less so that I could have money for other things such as marketing and growing the store.  Plus, as a brand new store, I’m still learning who my customer is… so shouldn’t I start somewhat small at first to gauge the market and see what it’s like…and more importantly, what my customer is like!  What if my sales are slow at first, and because I’ve spent a good chunk of change building the website, then I may not have money for inventory or marketing or even my own salary!

So, I’m back to square one and it feels a bit disheartening.  Actually it feels like square negative 10 because instead of being able to delegate web design to someone, so that I could have a well designed site along with the comfort of having an expert take care of all this tech stuff that I find confusing, I’m now spending my time researching how to build an ecommerce site that’s affordable.  (can we cue a good old-fashioned melt-down?!)

However, it’s times like these where I’m amazed at how helpful and kind people can be.  Like you guys – thanks for sending me links or advice or offering help…it’s so nice to know that I don’t have to go at this alone.  And the same I’ve found with friends and people I’ve met through blogging.  Once I put the word out that I was struggling, I couldn’t believe how many people were willing to lend a hand even if it was just to help me understand the whole ecommerce process!!  It’s another “note to self” – remember to ask for help when I’m struggling!!

So I think the unknown, the questions that I have right now are whether a fancy website matters when I’m just starting out.  I know, for me personally, if I like what a store is selling the website doesn’t matter – as long as the checkout process is easy, I’m a happy camper.  But I’m also an online shopper.  I have noticed though that some of my favorite store sites have simple websites.  And they seem to be doing well.  I think it can be done as long as you have good products, good style and a whole lot of passion!

I was really hoping I’d be able to tell you guys this week that I had hired my logo & web designer and that my store was getting closer to being a reality.  Looks like I may need more time…keep your fingers crossed for next week!!

And let me know if you guys have any questions about my posts – not sure if there’s something that you would like to see more of!

Hi everyone! Though I can’t upload any images at the moment, I want to check in and let you all in on a sweet post I just discovered while reviewing the backlog in my blog reader. Chris over at The Art of Non-Conformity recently posted about:

I like this quote from a David Sedaris article. Sort of an adapted ‘carpenter’s triangle’:

“One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work.”

The gist is that in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.

The Art of Non-Conformity

There is an amazing comment section devoted to this concept and whether it is true or not and I think it ties in perfectly to my goal here on MML about designing a life with intention. Definitely worth checking out if you have a chance. I have no idea whether I think this is true or not, but it’s fascinating to see all the different perspectives.

Franklin Inventory Update

In other news, I got back from NYC last night and have been working with Susie to get out all the orders from the past week. We got about half of them out the door today and we have the other half to complete tomorrow. Since we had an unprecedented number of Franklin orders, I took the Franklin necklaces off the site until we know the exact quantities we have left of each of the misspelled braille necklaces. I have a feeling we might be able to post more Breathe and Be Thankful necklaces online Friday afternoon at the same 50% off discount. Any phrases that are completely sold out will return once we get the corrected pendants closer to September.

If your heart is set on a misspelled Breathe or Be Thankful necklace, feel free to email me tonight or tomorrow morning and let me know. I can give you a heads up tomorrow when I post the quantities so you get first pick from what remains.

Though I am mostly excited for the weekend to finally come after all of this hustling over the past two weeks, I also look forward to sharing all about NYC and the desk sides next week. So stay tuned!

sidewalk sale today and tomorrow
July 20th, 2010     |    Life

Good morning! I am on my way to the second day of desk sides: People Style Watch and Real Simple are on the agenda today. Then I visit my PR showroom and meet the girls at Red Light PR for the first time in person. And after that I go to American Express to talk to the awesome marketing department about their Open for Business campaign.

In the meantime, Susie, my incredible assistant is in Daley Plaza in Chicago manning the Jess LC booth today and tomorrow. Everything at the booth is 20% off for the show only and if you mention “I Heart Susie,” you can get 30% off for supporting her and for reading MML!

July 19th, 2010     |    Business AdviceLife

Hi Guys,

As you know, I am now in NYC and will be doing a press tour of sorts for Jess LC. I’m going to do my best to photograph and document the whole process so I can share it with you here on MML next week.

In the meantime, I want to share this awesome online magazine I’ve finally gotten around to reading (it’s been on my desktop for months now). It’s called fear.less and is dedicated to helping you get motivated and pursue your purpose past fear. Though I’m still going through the first issue personally, I thought you might like to browse their newest e-mag and check out their archive.

Have a great day,


piper’s dream report: week ten
July 17th, 2010     |    Life

I’m finally coming out of vacation mode and getting back into the real world.  It was a struggle…my mind has wanted to stay back on the beach, sipping drinks and reading!  But once I started getting back into the groove, I realized how much I missed blogging and working on my store.  And the more I work on my store, the more annoyed I get that my day job takes time away from it.  I can’t wait for the day that I can devote 100% of my time and energy to my store.  It’s hard to split my focus right now when my heart and head are with my dream of opening my store.  Okay, enough venting…on to what I’ve been up to!

First of all, I have to go back to before vacation.  It was a couple of days before I left that I had my last phone conversation with the biz consultant.  She suggested, as a way to clarify my idea and concept, coming up with statements about One Sydney Road that will help me define what this place is (especially since the store name denotes an address!) and who would shop here.  She suggested just starting with things I enjoy doing since I would consider myself a customer!  I didn’t end up working on it though until after vacation when a friend of mine (who is like my pseudo life coach!), upon hearing that I hadn’t done this yet, forced me to write down a list of things I like right then and there.  Sheesh, talk about much needed tough love!  And of course once I wrote these statements down, the picture became much clearer of what my store would be like.  Very exciting!!  The statements are nothing fancy…that can come later.  Right now it’s just a list.  (see pic for some of the things I listed…what do you think?)

(Image credit)

And then it was on to one of the biggie’s on the giant to-do list….picking a logo & web designer.

I’ve had “pick logo & web designer” on my to-do list for months and months now.  At first, it was understandable that I hadn’t done it yet.  I needed to understand what my store was going to be, what it was going to sell and who it would sell to before I could think about a logo being created for it.  Well, over the past month or two, I’ve really started to hone in on what the store will be like and now that I have my list of statements, it’s even further defined.  But everyday I get to the item on my to-do list that says “pick logo & web designer”, I just move it to the next day, and then the next day, and then the…well, I’m starting to run out of days to move it to!

So obviously something has been holding me back from doing this.  And I think it’s a combination of things.  First of all, I’m a planner and a researcher (I’m sure you’ve already noticed this!)  So I’ve spent time looking into designers that I like and/or emailing them for information on their services.  (let’s just say that I have a spreadsheet titled “web/logo designers” that has over 35 people listed…I’m thinking that’s got to be enough to pick from, right?!)  There’s a good side to this in that I don’t rush into things and I like to make an informed decision.  But the down side is that once I do my research…I feel like I need to keep doing more instead of stopping and making a decision.  So why am I not making a decision from this list of designers?  Hmm…

First of all, they’re all really great.  It’s hard to pick from one great graphic designer to the next.  Secondly, I’m a bit confused on how the logo/identity/branding process works and who really comes up with the idea…me?  the logo designer?   the web designer?  I hate not knowing things like this…so it makes me avoid them like the plague.  I get that the logo designer will help me create my identity and logo…but how does this then transfer to the web design since that would be a different person?  Not to mention that logo and web design can be very pricey.  Since I’m going to only be online, I feel that it’s a worthwhile investment but it’s still a bit nerve-wracking to plunk down that kind of money before having any sort of sales!

And lastly, let’s not forget the perfectionist part of me that wants to make sure I get this absolutely right…because of course the logo could never be changed, right?  See even I can see how silly that sounds!

I received some gentle encouragement from friends and family and then Jess who really summed it up perfectly.  She said:

“Decide to make a decision about the web/graphic designers soon, it is a hard call, so go with your gut.  Waiting too long is just delaying something that will happen now or in two weeks – either way, the result will probably be the same.  So sitting on it too long is just wasting time before October.”

(reference jess’s getting off our butt’s post!!!!)

So, so true!!  And exactly the push that I needed to get me moving…it put it in perspective for me that this decision has to be made if I want to move forward with the store.  Putting this decision off just delays my dream further.  And really it’s just a matter of getting a few more questions answered and then going with my gut at this point (something I have a hard time doing).  I can only imagine too how nice it’ll be to not have this decision looming over me.  Once the logo and web design is in the works, I can finally focus on other things!!  Finally, lightning struck…why not reach out for some help on narrowing down my list?  I shot a quick email to the biz consultant to see if she had any ideas/advice on the people I had picked out.  And would you believe that she actually did?  Ha ha. (Seriously, why can’t I remember to reach out for help more!)  So, I was able to narrow down my choices…and hopefully by next week I’ll be able to say that my logo and/or web design is in process!!  Sigh…decision time!

Btw…thanks for following my journey and for taking the time to send me links to articles you come across that you think I might enjoy.  They’ve been very helpful!!  I can’t tell you what your support means to me!













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