Today ‘Sew a Fine Seam’ as a business is 3! To celebrate I’m kicking off a series of blog posts about how to start a business, how to run a business, and lots of tips and advice, and mistakes-not-to-make when running a business. And tomorrow, come back cause I have a really fun giveaway planned to further celebrate!
Business is Bliss 101
I’ve been contemplating a series about business for awhile now. Procrastinating really. somehow it’s easier to think about doing things and talk about doing things, even anticipate doing things, than it is to actually buckle down and DO said things!
But Someday either never happens, or you pull yourself up by your bootlaces and declare the day is NOW.
As I contemplated writing this series I tossed around a few names for it, but always came back to ‘Business is Bliss’. In the past couple months in my mind I changed it up a bit and it read more like this, ‘Business is
Brutal Bliss’. A few times I’ve actually called it ‘Business is Brutal’ and forgot all about the Bliss entirely.
And I told my husband a couple weeks ago that I had decided I wanted to just be a housewife after all. Because you see, sometimes Business is NOT Bliss. Because as fun, satisfying, fulfilling, income making, and wonderful a creative, home-based business can be, there are times that it is completely and purely Brutal.
It can, and it will, sap you of your energy, your vitality, your creativity, and your complete reasoning for ever beginning the business in the first place!
But then when you stop and think about it everything in life has times that aren’t exactly blissful.
And the things that really matter require some sweat, blood, and tears to make them really successful.
As I said, ‘Sew a Fine Seam’ as a business is 3 years old today!
I honestly feel a bit giddy writing that! It seems so surreal that this blog name I picked way back when, has stuck, been transformed from a hobby to a real-life, multi-layered business. A business that is adding income to our family budget and helping out a friend I’ve been able to hire as my assistant. It’s providing opportunities for my girls to have an outlet for their creativity. Because it keeps mom so busy, those girls also have to learn to take on more responsibility around the house – something they needed to be doing anyway. But when I’m not busy with other stuff I tend to do the household chores myself to get them done quickly and the way I want them done. It’s been good for me to let them take over more chores and be satisfied with the job they do and train them along the way to do a better job each time. It’s been good in so many ways and I’m ready to start sharing that journey and some things I’ve learned along the way these past 3 years.
So you want to start a business you say? You want to use your creativity to bring in some extra income for your family. Or maybe you want to support yourself, from home, without having to join the workforce out there and endure the rat race. Maybe you have started your own business and you are floundering a bit as to how and where to go from here.
I’m by no means the solitary, most knowledgeable voice on good business strategy! In fact, I feel very inadequate to be offering advice or tips about business. Things like accounting, strategy, biz decisions, taxes, legal stuff, etc. makes my head spin. I like the creative part, the design, the display, but you have to have the business side of things too so I endeavor to accomplish both!
I am sharing here my experiences, my tips, my advice, my mistakes, and whatever I think of that might help someone else – in hopes that at the very least it might entertain you 😀 Maybe someone will find some encouragement. Maybe someone will make that step into the unknown and unleash their own brand upon the world. Maybe it will answer questions for a few and hopefully amidst it all God will be glorified. That is the ultimate purpose of my life as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Today’s edition, ‘Business is Bliss 101’, I’ll share how Sew a Fine Seam got its name, a bit of history, and how the business came to be.
August 2008 my blogging journey began. I’d thought about it a few months and pondered over what to call it. I’d been introduced to the blog world less than a year earlier, and had enjoyed reading several blogs and had a growing list of home decor and family bloggers I followed and checked in with daily.
When thinking about a name I always came back to something about sewing. I was always sewing something!
The little nursery rhyme kept running through my mind too – ‘Curly locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be mine? You shan’t wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine, But sit on a cushion and Sew a Fine Seam, and feast upon strawberries and cream.’
So one August day as I was browsing my blog list, I clicked the ‘Create Blog’ button, filled in all the blanks, called it Sew a Fine Seam, which happily was available, and the rest is history.
From the moment I uploaded my first photo and wrote my first words and hit ‘Publish’ I was hooked. Blogging was in my blood.
I’ve always liked to write. As a young girl I daydreamed about writing my own novel. I was a bit obsessed with Christian romance novels and deep down I wanted to write one. I even started several. I found myself a bit like Emily of New Moon in the books by L.M. Montgomery – I wrote way too many descriptive scenes and added way too much detail. Unlike Emily, I didn’t finish my novels. Except one.
In High School English we had to write a short story. I wrote a small novel. Or a very long, short story. A Novella I guess you would call it. My teacher told me in amazement ‘You wrote a novel!’ after he finished reading it. He also said he had a hard time remembering to actually grade it as he read, because he was too caught up in the story I was telling.
I still have that short story, it’s tucked away somewhere. Perhaps I will publish it someday – right here on the blog!
As the years have passed the blog has evolved and changed from a hobby to a thriving part of my home-based business. It has rather found it’s niche in the sea of DIY/creative/lifestyle blogs out there. I’ve recently teamed up with other bloggers to promote and share each other and keep the projects coming. I’ve joined fb groups that have helped me in amazing ways. I just came through a blog audit with the very talented MaAnna over at Blogaid, who cleaned up the back end, code side of things immensely. SEO optimization is up next.
Sew a Fine Seam as a legal, registered business began 3 years ago. In the months leading up to that I had contacted a friend who was an accountant and he gave me some advice on how and where to get started. Paperwork was filled out and sent in, fees were paid, and without a clue as to what I was getting myself into I created a business. Because the paperwork sent to the state had to have a starting date I used July 1st as that date – my sales tax was to be paid every six months (more on this at a later date) and it just made sense to me to start at the halfway point of the year.
My business includes a wholesale line, selling retail in a couple shops, a paint line, doing pop-up shop events, the blog, sponsored projects and posts for the blog, photography, and the occasional custom job. Teaching classes about paint and possibly sewing will be added as well in the near future.
There are lots of things I want to share with you in this ‘Business is Bliss’ series. In no particular order, this series will include, but is not limited to, the following:
How I started my biz – paperwork, what is required, etc.
How my wholesale biz evolved
Tips on selling both wholesale and retail
How a blog can help your biz
Dealing with clients without losing your sanity
Buying from wholesale companies
Debit/Credit cards and freezing your credit
Hiring an assistant and how this can save your sanity
Sacrifices you and your family may have to make
Taking on too much too fast
Pop-up shop events
Balancing your time
When you’ve outgrown your home and the business needs to move
I’m sure there will be more as I continue to grow my business and learn from every success and mistake made.
One thing I want to express now and will probably repeat several times, if not in every single post:
Nothing is truly a failure – everything is a learning experience!
If you are starting a home-based business or contemplating it please remember this! Every time something goes wrong or seems a failure you can turn it into a stepping stone, learn from it, and ultimately use it to make you a better person and to make your business better too.
I’m not going to promise you this series will always have a new post on a certain day of the week or month. I have found that when I do that I invariably miss my own deadline. Instead I’ll say that my goal is to post at least once a month and perhaps twice. I hope you’ll come along on this series about my business, how it started and what I’ve learned along the way.