Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dreamin' and Hopin' and Wishin' and Doin'

As 2011 comes to a close I have been doing a lot thinking, brainstorming, planning - as in my brain actually hurts and you might find me staring blankly off into space at any given moment. There is so much in my heart right now just trying to bust out and I have been working on figuring out how to make that happen. Because, as it turns out, just because you are on fire about something doesn't make it easier to obtain.

This past year has been full of change for me. I decided to leave my job to stay at home with Eli and pursue Truly Noted full time. There have been so many ups and downs since then, including an anxiety inducing August and September with virtually no sales, and I think I learned a lot. I have always subscribed to the idea that as long as you learn something, every trial is worth it. Throughout all of it, though I have tried my hardest to keep my thoughts on the reason for it all. The awesome rewards of being able to be with my son and experience every little milestone along with him. To give him all of the nurturing, love and attention he deserves.
So what if that means I had to give up cable, a fancy cell phone and going out to dinner? Who has time for that stuff anyway? Especially when you are working your little behind off trying to grow your business into something awesome. Something greater than you ever thought it could be. Something to give me pride, joy, fulfillment and a decent paycheck.

And I really did work my behind off and I did make progress. I did have more sales than 2010. More sales than I ever have had before. I created new designs. I launched a new website. I forged new friendships and partnerships. It wasn't perfect, but it was in the right direction. And I learned so much.
I was also inspired by some pretty amazing people. Other women who intimidated me at first. Who made me want to go back to bed, crawl into a ball and cry about how lame I was. But I wouldn't let myself. Sure, I might have had a pang in my heart of jealousy towards their awesomeness, but then I let it inspire me. I let it fuel the fire inside of my soul that wants to achieve all of my dreams. And then some. I read what they believe, what they do, who they are and I tried to learn from them.

Then I reminded myself that they were once where I am now. They didn't start out ridiculously successful and awesome. Once upon a time they were just girls sitting at a computer with an idea and $2 to their name just like me. They had jobs that they risked leaving to pursue their dreams just like me. They had fears and made mistakes and questioned themselves just like me. But they pushed on and worked hard and eventually made it through to the other side. Just like I am going to do.

So, 2012, I have a lot in store for you. A lot of goals. Some of them might sound crazy and unachievable, but if you shoot for the moon and miss at least you end up in the stars. In the next year I hope to accomplish some amazing things, such as:
  • Get Truly Noted set up as an LLC
  • Trademark the Truly Noted name
  • Sign at least two wholesale accounts in Vermont to carry my invitations
  • Forge a relationship with area venues to carry my event stationery line
  • Attend at least one seminar or conference geared towards stationery or wedding professionals
  • Get to the point where I can pay myself a regular paycheck each month
  • Expand the Truly Noted product line
  • Teach DIY Invitation classes in my area
  • Be able to afford to send Eli to daycare two days a week (I really need this!)
  • Blog at least twice a week
  • Tweet at least once a day
  • Update Facebook at least once a day
  • Hit 500 sales in my Etsy store
So there you have it. My goals for the new year. There are a few other, personal goals I have as well just to spice it up. I used to think, when I first started out on this business owning journey, that my goal was just to be able to afford staying home with my kids. If I could make just enough to pay the bills and stay home that would be enough. I didn't want to push it, to try and have my cake and eat it too. But now I realize that I am capable of doing so much more than that and I shouldn't try to limit my expectations of myself. I am looking to the new year like the sunrise in the picture at the top of this post. Beautiful, breathtaking and amazingly large.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

A very special project I have been working on for the last several weeks has reminded me just how precious family is. How, as we grow up, it is easy to forget the simple joys of togetherness and unconditional love from our youth. Whether your family is parents and siblings, or friends and neighbors, I urge you to recognize the blessing they are to your life and take a moment to cherish them.

All too quickly this too will pass and the future will be upon us. Don't let the simple beauty of this moment slip by unnoticed.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday that is unforgettable.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Real Weddings | Kim & Shane

 Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working on invitations for a lakeside wedding featuring our rowboat illustration. One of my favorite and beautifully simplistic designs. The bride, Kim Grassie, works at Etsy so it came as no surprise when the most recent Etsy Weddings e-newsletter arrived in my inbox and her wedding was featured!

I get so much joy out of seeing pictures from clients weddings. Being the invitation designer my work is usually done and over with weeks before the wedding even takes place, so I rarely get a glimpse into them. Kim and Shane's lakeside ceremony and reception in Wisconsin is absolutely idyllic! And I love that Kim worked with so many Etsy artists to make her wedding special.

Check out more about Kim and Shane's wedding on the Etsy blog.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Savvy Couples Wedding Solutions

I am so excited to announce my participation in the Savvy Couples Wedding Solutions seminar series! This seminar series was put together by Jackie Watson at VT Enchanted Events and Nick de Tarnowsky of Blue Sky Weddings & Events to help couples plan their perfect dream day! They understood that not all couples can afford to hire a wedding planner but still could use some tips and tricks on how to navigate all of the different aspects of planning such a huge (and momentous!) occasion.

When they asked me to be a guest speaker to talk about invitations I leaped at the chance! I have been wanting to offer seminars on invitations, especially DIY, for a while now but just didn't have the venue for it. There will be a series of four seminars and I plan on bringing lots of resources and inspiration to help you on your way to making your wedding stationery dreams come true.

If you are planning a wedding and can make it to the Hilton Hotel in Burlington on January 22, from 1-3 pm, please join us for an amazing afternoon! There will be a drawing for a romance package for two and a sampling of some local Vermont wine,  not to mention tons of info and a chance to ask us all your burning questions!

You can register for the event on VT Enchanted Events website, here. Can't wait to see you there!