Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Reflecting on Four Years of Being Self-Employed

It's hard to believe that it has already been four years since I left my job to work from home full time.  This is also the point where I have officially been working from home as long as I was at my job, and longer than I worked at my previous job (3.5 years).

I've done a little bit of self-reflecting and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it... 

Before I say anything else, I need to state that I'm so proud of our accomplishments.  

I'm so proud of how much Snowblade Creations has grown since we pivoted and really started pushing to make desk accessories in 2020.  I'm so proud of how well the businesses are doing now after all of the struggles of the past few years and COVID.

I'm so proud of how Eliot and I handled COVID and our small businesses.  It would have been really easy to throw in the towel when things looked bleak.  When the parks were closed, we were down in our Happily Ever Hatter sales a lot.  I was nervous since this is my full time job.  I didn't know if we should hit pause while I got something to tide us over, or if we should just hold tight.  Eliot and I both agreed that we should hold tight and see how things went.  We didn't panic, we continued to work hard, we added more items to both shops, and we stayed the course... and our businesses bounced back.

In my moments of reflection, I also found some points of disappointment.

I'm disappointed that Eliot and I still haven't launched our home decor line yet.  We have a laser cutter sitting in our basement that we've only used a few times.  Granted, we need to learn how to use it.  We have big plans and ideas for what we want to do with it.  But we need to find the time to learn how to use it to accomplish those ideas.

I'm also disappointed that I haven't launched my clothing line.  This is beginning to be a joke... I've talked about it for years but I've struggled to take the plunge.  I have some new ideas of ways to get myself to jump off of the end of the diving block though.  So hopefully this will be something I can dive into sooner than later.

Finally, I'm also a little bit disappointed that we haven't expanded Happily Ever Hatter's product line more.  I have so many ideas, and I think that's part of the problem.  Eliot and I don't have the capital to do all of them at once, so we've got to focus on one thing and see how that goes.  The hair clips were not as successful as we had hoped they'd be, but I have a lot of other ideas that I think will be great additions to the shop!

The most exciting thing for me is how inspired I am.  Being home full time has allowed me the time and space to explore things I wouldn't be able to at a "normal" job.  If I think of something in the middle of the day, I can stop what I'm doing and brainstorm, research and flesh it out.  These are my favorite days... hours can pass with me on my phone or laptop while the gears in my head are spinning almost out of control.

In fact, I think I have more ideas flowing through me right now than I have in the past four years.  I've got a few new business ideas that I'm kicking around and I'm hoping to dive into a few of those, as well as the clothing line, in the next few months.  

Winter tends to be quiet (sales-wise) after the holiday rush, so I'm hoping to use that to my advantage to get caught up with business stuff, ahead on other stuff, and to get my supplies organized.  Once I'm a little more organized, I'll be able to tackle some of these new business ideas, and make some new products for Happily Ever Hatter.  

Hopefully Spring of 2023 will be full of new products and surprises!

As you can see, there are so many thoughts bouncing around my brain right now.  But the overwhelming sense I'm feeling is that I'm proud that I believed in myself enough to take the risk.  I'm proud that we could do this.  I'm grateful to have a husband, family and friends who support me.  And I'm forever thankful for every one of our followers, supporters, and customers... because without them, none of this would be possible.

Make a wish, and do as dreamers do... and all our wishes, will come true.  °o°

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