Welcome to my portion of this virtural career day hosted by the lovely Gina from Hiya Luv . Its like a peek into the lives and careers of a part of the blogging community, you can see where everyone has come from and hopefully make some new friends and find some new blogs along the way 🙂 Gina has the entire list up on her blog so when you’re done here hop back and take a looksy.
This is a dream.
Maybe not every facet of how my life sits right now would be considered as part of the fantasy but I am still going to go on record and call it a dream. Dreams evolve and grow and change, sometimes the heart of the matter stays the same.
Growing up I knew I always wanted to be an artist. What that meant to me was an evolving definition as I grew and learned but I always wanted to be able to show the world what I could do with hands and imagination and have them take notice. Its a weird definition to have, by nature I am NOT an outgoing “look at me!” kinda girl. Laided back, opinionated but timid. I thought for a while that I wanted to be a master carpenter and woodworker like my grandfather, then I thought a seamstress was the thing to be. My grandmother was an artist with anything to do with needles and thread and fabric. She sewed her own wardrobe, embroidered large gorgeous hangings for their home. I was in awe! My parents being divorced and all I didn’t see my grandparents on my father’s side who had all the artistic talent but once a month at the most. These short couple days stuck with me. I remember being in about the 4th grade when my attention shifted to drawing. Grandma got in the mail, all the way from Latvia, where they lived until my Dad was 5 and they moved to Kalamazoo, MI, a beautiful self portrait completely done in pencil. Hair swept up, face looking so regal yet soft and sweet, my cousin had sent this as a gift and I was infatuated! Grandma could tell and sent it home with me. She taught me everything she could about drawing in our short time and I practiced and practiced.
Art was for me.
In school I took every art class I possibly could, there really wasn’t much to choose from but that didn’t matter to me. In Highschool, I thought I wanted to go into Commercial Design, I even did one of those follow arounds with a local business for a day. I won the Rhode Island Institute of Art Award my senior year, first year that it didn’t come with a scholarship. Bummer. After graduating I applied to Western Michigan University and the Philadelphia Institute of Art and was accepted to both but because I didn’t have a scholarship and knew I couldn’t afford loans and my mom wouldn’t sign forms for financial aide I took a job at a grocery store working full time with the aim to save up and wait until I could get aide on my own. At that store I ended up meeting my now husband. A writer and artist in his own right so we hit it off right away! We move in together, sold a bit of art on Ebay, I moved back home with him, we got engaged and stayed that way for 3 years and got married in fall 2003. By Summer 2004 I was pregnant with my daughter so I put my college aspirations on hold to keep with my grocery job and be a good mom 🙂
While I worked grocery retail I was a deli clerk, dairy/cheese island (where the fancy cheeses are lol) clerk, produce clerk, Food Saftey and Sanitation Employee Trainer, then after our move I was hired in another grocery store and became the head cake decorator, Bakery Assistant Manager, then Produce Assistant Manager, and Floral Specialist. In total I worked grocery retail for 11 years. When I left the store in November 2010 to become self employed it had been my job for 8 years and even though people came and went it was like leaving my family. Even though I was leaving to really pursue my dream it was so hard and I still miss them terribly!
I officially opened Some Odd Girl in January 2010 and with 35 digital stamps and alot of determination. Its grown alot since and has allowed me to be here. We still need to grow further and have a long way to go but I couldn’t be happier with our progress! Since becoming self employed and going from what was really 2 full time jobs (not to mention being a mom and wife to now 2 kiddos) down to 1 full time job I felt comfortable adding a handmade side to Some Odd Girl. We sold a few ornaments over the holidays but I reopened my Etsy at the end of January with new products and ideas. I would really like to grow both as we go forward and get to a point in my business where I know I am helping my family live happy and comfortably. I’d like to think that Some Odd Girl will be my forever job, growing and evolving along with me.
If you are still there I seriously applaud you! I really tried not to ramble or as my aussie friends say waffle too much. Not sure I succeeded looking at the above. Gina did say “how did you get where you are?” then she said “what do you do in a typical day?” I can’t say my typical day is very interesting. Working at home with a 3 year old and a 5 year old I am Business Owner/SAHM with all the duties of both. I start my day at 6am when I wake my poor daughter up for kindergarten and get her around and on the bus at 7. She’s not a morning person at all! I’m not either but when I worked retail I was up at 4:30am daily so its still like sleepin in! Then my dude and I have the day. Between 7 and 8 I do my emails and take care of urgent things while he is still waking up and eating his breakfast. I’ve been trying to keep a schedule that gives me work time and us play time together. It works some days and some it doesn’t but we still try. He’ll be going to preschool this fall 4 days a week so we’re both excited!
Every couple days I try to hit most every part of my business, except book keeping! Thank my stars that my hubs has a good head for numbers and has taken that portion off my plate! I’m sure I could do it but simply put I wouldn’t want to so it wouldn’t get done for months at a time if it was left up to me. I try to work on samples for my stamps, cards and colored versions for the shop, sketch new images, look at ways to improve or redraw exisiting ones; for my Etsy sketch new designs and make samples, list product if I have some to go, photograph and brainstorm and blog. Blog for both :).
I find blogging to be an outlet, sure I talk about my biz, my life (what life?!) and whatever is on my mind but I’m mostly here to connect with people. All people. Creative people and anyone who can relate and happens to stop by. A human connection is the best part of life and business. I’m happy Gina made this crawl, and by now crawl is more literal than figurative, so I could make more of those important connections. I’m going to be talking more about running a small biz, or at least how I am experiencing this ride, something I’ve really been wanting to do. Blogging is never a detractor my biz, but an enhancer.
For me the biggest challenge of working from home is my office is just on the otherside of my couch. We don’t have an extra bedroom to turn into a home office/studio so I’ve kinda taken over part of the living room. Luckily the living room isn’t tiny (not huge by any means but big enough) but its there. Right there. It stares me in the face and basically calls out to me all the things I could be doing…
“have you scheduled the new release?”
“did you order enough stock”
“weren’t you suppose to email her back about sponsoring?”
“you could just get those pics taken and out of the way…”
After dinner and the kids get off to bed, its 8pm and really, sane people would be settling in for a lil TV or a read or a game with the hubs. Especially after being on the job from 7am but no, I find myself drawn back to my nook working… I went to bed at 11:45pm the other night then couldn’t fall asleep. What was that about? Its a repeating cycle. We’re talking about curtaining it off or something. Time of night is the only thing keeping me from sewing. Its a creativity monster lol. Its hypnotic eyes just confuse my senses and I get suckered in. I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I get after things get done but shutting it down and calling it quits for the day is my biggest job problem. Tell me how you do it! Share oh indie biz friends! Anyone who works at home explain the madness?
Thanks for stopping and reading my book post. I have no idea how it got to be so big.