Monday, July 22, 2013

shop re-opening and a few words on identity.


Tomorrow I'm planning on opening up shop again. Being productive in my new studio feels so good and I can't wait to show you all the fun new designs and products I've been working on. 

Here's the thing though. I want to open with a bang and throw confetti in the air and have a shop absolutely brimming with new products. But even though I've spent many hours in my studio, there are only a handful of new pieces ready for listing. Life has changed so much since I first opened shop almost four years ago. Back then, I could sit and paint for hours on end without even getting my tush out of the seat. My days look different now. I alternate between drawing new designs and throwing the ball with Si. Painting canvases and feeding him lunch. Not to mention keeping him from eating every little thing on the floor and sticking his hand in the toilet bowl. It's a disjointed kind of work day and I'm still working on the balance of it all. 

I had a very eye-opening conversation with Chris a few days ago. We chatted about my role in the family and what I want it to look like. He left it wide open for me to say that I want to pursue blogging and art full-time. He knows that's a passion of mine and has always encouraged me in it. But I know without a doubt, that right now I'm called to be a wife and a mom first. With this realization, it occurred to me that it is completely okay not to have a massive grand opening for my shop. It's okay that I probably will only be able to have a handful of pieces for sale at a time and heck, my shop may even sit half-empty for awhile. It's okay for my online life to be a hobby and not a career. 

I absolutely love calling myself an artist and a blogger. I love sharing my art with you and hearing how it brightens your day and your walls. I love that part of my identity, but it is not and cannot be my whole identity. Ultimately, my identity comes from the One who made me. Resting in Him for my identity gives me more peace than I could ever find while struggling on my own to be successful as a blogger, artist, mom, and wife. It feels like a sigh of sweet relief when I can just 'be' instead of 'do'. To not struggle to be everything to everyone. 

All this to say, things will be a bit more chill in the shop, but still just as colorful-- don't you worry about that part. 

How do you balance family and business? Did you ever have a time where you felt it necessary to slow things down a notch? Do you struggle in placing too much weight in certain parts of your identity? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

20 comments:

  1. I recently became a Mary Kay consultant and one of the biggest things Mary Kay Ash believed in was the idea of "God first, family second, career third." If you follow that thinking, everything will fall into place. This post totally made me think of that! And congrats on the shop reopening!

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  2. I think there are different seasons in business to...now my kids will play for hours, allowing me to have studio time when a few years back it was all about caring for the kiddos. I just make sure to plan my time around their schedules, even working at night after bed if hubby's working. Soon the kids will be in school all day and I'll have so much time I won't know what to do with myself :) can't wait to see the new items!

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  3. I go through a similar struggle because I want to be able to spend SO much more time creating than I have time for. I work full time and have two little ones myself so I basically just have to squeak out whatever time I can to work on my shop and blog. It is a difficult balance, but now that my boys are 5 I can look back and already see phases when things were easier/harder. They are starting kindergarten in three weeks (yikes!) and I will miss seeing them on my lunch breaks, but I will have that time to myself which is something to look forward to. Love your little journals...and anyone that loves you/your shop won't care how full or empty it is. :)

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  4. I have the same struggle too. I am a stay at home mom to three, and running a (growing!) etsy business. My business is demanding more and more time, but I didn't quit working full time to start working at home full time, I quit work to raise my children. So, I try to keep that in mind, and be with them and teach and learn with them when they need it, and naptime, quiet time, and bedtime is also MOMMY TIME. It is SO hard, and some days are better than others for sure, and I am tired pretty much constantly, but I try and remember, just like you are realizing, that my business does not have to sky rocket overnight. It can grow slowly and I can just give it as much time as I can now, because my kids, my family, my husband, are ultimately most important. I wish you luck in finding your own balance!

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  5. First of all- love your shop and love the canvas I ordered from you a while back. I struggled with where to focus my energy last year at this time and decided that as much as I loved my etsy shop and creating and running a business, it just wasn't my season for it. I decided instead to focus on being a better wife and a better teacher. Probably one of the best decisions I ever made. You'll do what's right for you... finding that balance is always hard!

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  6. Finding balance in all seasons of life is hard, but definitely with kids. Shortly after the birth of my second child I took on a project (I'm an editor) and was quickly slapped in the face with the realization that in order to be the best wife and mom I could, I just didn't have time to do side work anymore. I have found a couple "hobbies" that I enjoy that have become my outlet, but don't come with deadlines from other people. It has been a win, win for me.

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  7. I remember being SO excited to quit my career job and become a full time mom, ironically I feel like I'm busier than ever learning how to be a full time HOMEMAKER. Trying to get everything cooked, cleaned, and laundered during nap times alone is tough. And although I've quit the career world, I'm an entrepreneur at heart and my mind is always thinking of creative things to do...I'm not sure if "balance" really exists, perspective however, that has helped me get through the days!

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  8. This is so great, Lindsay. And while I can totally relate to wanting to open with a bang, I think it's also fun to just see a few things pop up every now and then. :) :) I just recently felt the need to close up my shop for a little while until I feel a more clear direction of where I should go with it. And balance between work (even housework!) and kids is a constant struggle for me. Something I don't feel like I'll ever master!

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  9. Oh man, I just love posts like this. It's so refreshing and encouraging to hear women talking honestly about the identity crisis that comes with a new babe! Creativity and art and blogging are still a big part of who you are but I don't think you'll ever regret stepping back from that to embrace the short and sweet baby years with Si. You're a good mama, Lindsay. And a good artist and blogger too ;)

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  10. Can't wait to see the new items! And I think this bloggy/creative world is a difficult balancing act. I remember the days when I could sit and write undisturbed for hours. Not so anymore! I'm not sure I'll ever get the balance quite right. But I'm trying! Si will love the memories of all that extra mommy time.

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  11. I struggle with the work at home thing, because I hold a job all from home while momming my two girls and it is harrrrrd. Some days I tell Declan I know going to work would be easier. But ultimately I know I am called to be here with them for now. I love it. Some days I'm exhausted (okay, MOST days), but basically, I know that these days are short in the grand scheme of things. I use naptime as wisely as I can (and sometimes that means just sitting in quiet for mental sanity, and sometimes it means working). I use bedtime hours. And mostly a good Sunday afternoon can catch me up for a while if Declan is around to be on full time parenting duty while I do stuff. It's a challenge, but the truth is, my husband and girls come first and that's that. :)

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  12. I've learned that it's ok to step back and re-prioritize every once in a while. When I start to get too busy with work, I cut back on orders or close for a couple of weeks until I'm caught up and have a workload that's more manageable. My family has to come first, not just my son, but my husband, too. While he can be more understanding, my relationship with him is the most important. I use a timeline for new product launches to help keep me on track, but if I get off, no one knows but me! And that's ok. I'm fortunate that my handmade business is a "nice to have" for us and not a "have to have", so I do what I can, when I can, and when I can't, that's ok. Oh, and finding a good mother's day out program has been wonderful. He gets a few hours of socialization and I get a few dedicated hours of uninterrupted work.

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  13. I can definitely relate. I opened an Etsy shop this year, its picking up speed and I want to list every single item. But I also want to give my kids the attention they need. Its definitely a phase of life and when I have a busy day with the "shop" I try to take the next day off and enjoy time with the family.

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  14. oh and another quick thing. The more time I spend with the shop, the less time I have with blogging. Haven't figured that one out yet :)

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  15. Can't wait too see your new designs in the shop! The new florals look so pretty!

    Have you ever thought about creating some nautical-inspired designs? I'd love to see your take on the beach, seashells, hydrangeas, etc. Tell me you're planning a trip to Cape Cod this summer...great inspiration/photo opportunity!

    I always loved your 6x6 typewriter canvases, too - any chance they'll be back? :)

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  16. If I had my way I would blog and write full time. Unfortunately, those things cannot pay my bills (at least not right now). Sometimes you just need to realize what comes first and then put it first. And that's totally okay. You're a mom and wife first and those are most important. The other things... they'll fall into place as they need to.

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  17. 'Life is short, fragile and does not wait for anyone. There will NEVER be a perfect time to pursue your dreams & goals.'
    Which is why with my 3rd and final baby due this Friday, I am taking on a kind o BIG job opportunity with deadlines that is a significant step to my dream. I am TERRIFIED and EXCITED, but ready to work and there probably be another chance ilk it.

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  18. cant wait to buy the little produce notebook for my friend!!!

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