piper’s dream report: week ten

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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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  1. If I can offer you design guidance in anyway, just give me a shout. I have created logos/brand identities for many business in my graphic design past (although now my passion is interiors) and could give you some honest feedback on the process in order to help you create the image that is best for you. It is an important and lasting first impression, so getting it right takes a lot of thought (and experience making those creative decisions can really help!)
    Wishing you the best, Yvonne

  2. I’ve really been enjoying your dream reports and seeing the progress you’ve made over the past couple of months.

    I totally get the desire to have everything “perfect” before you launch your boutique.

    A few years ago I started my first creative business (now closed as I recently refocused to follow my own dream based on my real passions). A friend told me before I launched to just put myself out there in a scaled back way and see what happens before investing too much money. Of course I didn’t listen to him. I spent way too much money on start up costs (mostly manufacturing and exhibiting at a trade show) and it ate up my profits for a long, long time.

    In terms of website design, may I suggest you build on the self-hosted WordPress website you’ve already got on onesydneyroad.com and add a premium ecommerce theme (around $100). This is an inexpensive way to get your own online store up and running fairly quickly. There are some nice looking ecommerce themes at Templatic (this is the company I decided to work with after much research — yes I’m a researcher like you!) that could be customized to fit your style, logo etc (though the basic layout would remain the same).

    Then later when your shop is established and you are getting regular customers and have a profit, you can rebrand (as Jess did recently) and hire a website designer to create a completely custom design to take it to the next level.

    In the meantime, investing in a logo by a talented illustrator/designer would make sense to me. The logo file would just be forwarded to the website designer (unless you find someone who has both skills) to upload to your site and give inspiration for website customizations, so I don’t see a problem there.

    Anyways, this is just some more food for thought. I hope it is helpful. 🙂

  3. Julia

    This just goes along with my shoot for the moon theory! I totally believe in reaching out to even the most seemingly out of reach people. Just see! If they don’t back to you, you’re still you, you still can dress yourself and prepare food for yourself every day. And if they do get back to you, well, you’ve just learned a whole lot more.

    And as far as getting back to non-vacation mode… what about incorporating more of those things into each week, or more days of each week? Why not take an hour and tell yourself,”Okay, all I’m going to do now and all I’m responsible for in this hour is to sit here, read this book, and sip this wine”? I think we should be doing more of this, anyways.

    And as an aside, am I one of the only people who sometimes has the best ideas when I’ve had a little liquid courage? For me, this means both coffee and wine!

  4. Julia

    Wow, and Lisa, your story is really good! Thank you for providing that perspective. Definitely good food for thought!

  5. Emma Jo

    Hi Piper!
    Maybe I am giving you more headache now but I just wanted to share with you a site where you can post design projects to graphic/web designers who then competes to be the best suited one for you.
    It might be worth a try.

    Other than that I just wanted to wish you a good and productive week! See you!

  6. Paula

    Hi — Welcome back from your lovely vacation. I am with Lisa above. Don’t spend money on a website unless you are very clear what you want. In my experience, as pretty as websites can be, easy maintenance and info/picture editing, and navigation are key. Good luck with everything, Paula PS Even logos can be changed – look at IBM, British Airways, American Airlines over the years:)

  7. Thanks for sharing! I too am a perfectionist/researcher! When I started my company, I wanted the website to be perfect…from every font, to every word, to every photo…I think I was driving my web designer (any myself) nuts. Finally she said to me no one can hire you if they can’t find you, just release it to the public and tweak as needed. It was the best advice and so true. As soon as I put it out there I started to gain clients and press, all because they could find me via the website and they all thought it was perfect!! Go for it! Good luck

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