It's been six weeks since I attended the Midwest Craft Con (see my recap here, if you missed it)
While I waited at the airport on my way home, I took out a notebook and made a to-do list. Actually, it was more than a to-do list - it was an 8-week plan of attack. How am I going ot maximize everything that I learned? And how fast can I start to see results?
I am almost at the end of my list, so I thought it was time to take stock.
In all honesty, I've done pretty well. I've made steps to build a more cohesive and articulate brand. I focused on creating more and better instagram content. I pushed myself to use photoshop, and I learned how to create repeat patterns in illustrator. I moved my business from Sole Proprietor to LLC, have a business bank account, and purchased an email address (you can now find me at firstname.lastname@example.org!). I got my business up and running on accounting software instead of only relying on my messy excel grids.
Overall, I took Abby Glassenberg's advice - show up like it's your job and it will become your job.
But it's still not my job. Not at all. And the results haven't been what I expected. All that work on instagram, and I only gained 30 followers. Sales have been about steady on Etsy. And it's been a lot of work. And a lot of time. And it hasn't been easy.
But it has been worth it.
I now have an official business.
It has an identity that I continue to find new ways of articulating. It has a solid foundation and the right tools and resources put in place to allow for growth. It is something I am proud of. And I am not giving up.
I haven't gained many instagram followers, but I have generated a lot of new artwork that I have been able to experiment with, reuse, and repurpose. I also have a collection of work that is starting to tell a well-rounded point of view.
I haven't had an uptick in etsy sales, but I gained 2 very large wholesale accounts. And I am poised to begin to pursue many other wholesale opportunities - which is even closer to my long-term goals for the business.
And I am also growing as a person.
I haven't done everything right, or as planned. I went out of order. I probably paid too much for certain things. I am sure I will find that I made mistakes. And I still haven't checked everything off of my list (new business cards were due last week, and I haven't finished that up yet!).
I also need to think beyond myself, my work, and my business, and figure out how to be more of a community. I am tasking myself to be a better peer. Attend more art shows. Talk to more makers. Share the momentum.
And I need to keep finding time to take a break, slow down, be a good husband.
Keep me accountable, ok?
PS Stanley got a new haircut and he couldn't be more handsome!