Celebrating Success- Making It Good + Easy

I’m all for celebrating the little things.  Around here we like to celebrate the sunshine with ice-cream parties and I’m known for baking cupcakes honoring the smallest of occasions. Right now, I’m in full high fiving and woo hooing mode – cheering for recent success with my business.  I’ve been working hard for a couple years and it’s all seemed to come together in one fantastically wonderful boom!

But, I’m not here just to toot my own horn…I want to share a little of what I’ve learned too. I have to be honest though, it’s super obvious. In fact, it’s one of those things where I sit back and wonder, “why the heck didn’t I do this sooner?!”  I almost didn’t even want to admit that I’d gone so long without making this change. But, I realized that we’ve all got those kind of business decisions where it’s painfully obvious, yet crucially important.

So, what was my big aha moment? Well, I made things easy. After happily making handbags and clutches in my shop for years, I’d occasionally create a custom wedding order. But you know, it was a lot of work….for the brides. It required a lot of discussion, a lot of me sharing ideas and fabric choices. Basically, it was difficult.  Then, this past January, in a glorious moment of clarity, I decided to make it easy. I designed print availability charts, displayed fabric choices, showed examples of each style, created listing specific to various quantities brides ordered, offered custom embroidery options, and positioned myself as a player in the wild world of wedding vendors.  And then, it all just skyrocketed!

What took me so long? I knew (deep down) that there was this side of my business I enjoyed but wasn’t really tapping into because I was a little afraid. Kind of worried about losing some of my creative control. I so enjoy making new designs, combining colors, and finding amazing prints, I thought maybe handing things over to buyers would take away some of that. But, I’m happy to say it’s been the absolute opposite.

Not only do I totally love working with and getting to know the brides, they often offer inspiration for new ideas. The booming success allows me to invest more into my business, which means new materials to work and experiment with. And making things easier has actually freed up some of my time and thinking – allowing me to create even more goodness!  Right now, I’m working on new ways to personalize bags, designing a few new clutches, and even designing my own fabric!

So what’s the lesson? Well, for me there’s a few things here I chalk up to learning the hard way (but so glad I did!) – sometimes there are really obvious, neon sign kind of opportunities for our business (and life) that we miss. There are those little nagging feelings deep down, calling out to us. Maybe we’re just too busy, preoccupied, or scared to take notice. But those opportunities are there–however obvious and overdue– they are waiting for us to grab hold and take flight!

Tell us about your revelations and similar experiences – I’ll be here with high fives and cupcakes all around!

8 comments

  1. Joanne says:

    Pretty and smart. I really need to create this visual choice format for my custom books. Most people want personalized products in their control without all the communication!(Creative makers don’t think like “most people”.) My personal best wishes on your growing business!

  2. Hi Allisa, great post which I can relate to 100%. I handmake keepsake books which I also personalise. I’ve been happily doing it for years, but at a point found I could no longer keep up with demand. At the same time felt apprehensive about handing over production, outsourcing or even getting someone in to help! I always felt that I would be “selling out” if I no longer made every single book by myself. My aha moment came when I realised that outsourcing or getting helpers did not equate to giving up control over my product. In fact it meant I now had more control because I was not only still in charge of how they got made but now I was also in charge of my time which was freed up by getting some help! So simple and yet took me a few years to get there! i still finish off each book myself and like you, I love the personal contact with clients who personalise their product.

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