I’m so glad to hear that I’m not alone in sometimes feeling like the grass is greener on the other side.Â And as so many of you pointed out – it especially feels that way when we’re online.Â Because honestly we can all put our best foot forwardÂ online and so I think it can feel as if people who we admire or we feel are living out their dreams never have any struggles or challenges.Â Which is so not true.Â And I think it’s something important to remember.Â I definitely need to stop thinking that the people I admire for living their dream somehow have it easy or have all the magical answers.Â I think that just ends up stopping me in my tracks and thinking “why bother”!
So with this new thinking in place, here’s how my week went.Â I was determined this weekend to combat my giant and now ever-growing to-do list.Â Note to self:Â going out the Friday evening before and getting up at 10am doesn’t start the day off on the right foot.Â Once I had some coffee in me though, I got to work.Â Sat myself down at the computer…and just stared.Â Where to even start?Â I’ve been working on this for so long…yet I don’t feel like I have much to show for it.Â Everyone keeps asking me things like “do you have your logo yet?”Â Nope.Â “Is your website being built?”Â Nope.Â Which is so frustrating…because I’ve been running myself ragged working on this…it’s just that it’s nothing tangible yet.Â It’s still a lot of brainstorming and compiling products and images and trying to answer questions.
Like the questions the consultant had for me after I sent off my catalog of product images.Â I think there was a part of me that felt like I worked darn hard compiling this catalog of artists and designers.Â And you know what I wanted in return?Â Have you ever taken one of those online quizzes where you pick a color you’re drawn to and it spits out what your personality is and what career you should follow?Â Well, that’s what I wanted!Â Here are my ideas of products I would like to carry…now spit out my business plan, tell me which products will sell and oh, while you’re at it, tell me what my branding should be.Â But sadly it doesn’t work that way.Â And if it does…it costs money and it’s more than I can afford to spend right now!
So we’re back to the questions.Â Like the one that has become my absolute nemesis.Â “So what kind of business are you starting?” Oh, I can’t tell you how much I hate that question.Â Why?Â Because for some reason I have a difficult time answering it.Â I stammer my way through it “oh, um, it’s going to be an online store that will sell homewares, oh, and personal accessories like jewelry and handbags.Â Oh, and it’ll be things that are by indie designers, so not mass produced items.Â Oh and it’ll be a great place to shop for gifts.”Â Not very exciting, is it?
I have been struggling with my elevator pitch for awhile now (again reading and reading everything I can get my hands on)Â I’m not a writer – I’m not great at conveying my thoughts through words.Â I’m a visual person.Â Too bad I can’t just have flashcards of images at the ready when people ask that question!Â But it is something that I need to work on so that I can confidently and excitedly describe my store.Â I think I realized why I can’t quite describe it…because I have so many ideas and haven’t confidently decided – this is EXACTLY what I’m doing..Â So how do I take all these ideas and images and products and figure out what that equals?Â Because these days it’s all about branding.Â What’s your brand?Â What’s your aesthetic?Â This is the part that makes me want to pull my hair out.Â It’s all in my head and in images I’ve collected and in the ideas I have…now how do I get it to become my brand?Â That’s a bit where I am right now.Â I feel like my next steps, like working with a logo & web designer, can’t happen until I can explain what I’m doing.
I know that it will be an actual online store rather than a curated gallery.Â I thought this through and realized that since my dream was to have a brick & mortar store, I would like to continue this feel online and actually carry the products and be able to package them in my own personal way.
I have a fun concept for my online store that I’m really excited about.Â (I can’t share too much about it yet – but I will as the time comes closer!).Â The question now is figuring out how to accomplish it!
I have a large selection of artists and designers that I love and would like to carry in the store.Â I just need to narrow this down!!
I have a definite aesthetic to the products I like and have chosen…I just don’t know how to describe it yet!Â Is “cozy, fun modern” a term??
In order to answer the other questions, I’ve started to think that maybe I need some time to breathe and relax.Â I’ve been going non-stop for 6 months now…and that doesn’t leave time for creative thinking and just having fun with all these ideas.Â My life has been lived via my to-do list for a long time now…”what’s next on my list” has become my mantra.Â I’m starting to think I need a day (or 2 or 3) of not starting at the computer or working on my to-do list and letting myself have a chance to just develop these ideas. Maybe journal or do something creative – something that will allow all these thoughts in my head to have a chance to develop, so that I can confidently say “this is exactly the type of store I’m opening and what my brand is!”
And I just have to say THANKS – I can’t even begin to tell you how much your comments/advice/ideas each week mean to me and how they keep me going!
(images above were taken by me from the Made in the 216 event)