Monday, April 27, 2009

Full-Time Crafting Six Weeks In

I had a friend ask me this weekend how running my own business full-time is going, and honestly I have to reply that it's somewhat mixed. It's been about six weeks since I left my non-profit job to work on piddix full-time. I of course had dreams of 1) making enough money to support my family, 2) getting to spend more time with friends, 3) working out more and eating healthy, and 4) having a better work-life balance. So what's the reality? I feel like me two-year-old when he says "It's haaaaaaard."

Around the time I left my "day job," piddix's sales dropped dramatically. We questioned whether to still go ahead with piddix full-time and decided to take the leap, betting that the increased hours I'd be able to put into it would make up the difference and we could live on savings while things grew. February and March are typically my slowest months and this was especially true this year. Savings were getting eaten up more quickly than planned and it's definitely on the scary side.

Since then, I've come out with several new lines of collage sheets, different items in the shop, and a couple of marketing campaigns. Things are sloooowly coming around. Whether it will happen before savings run out is still to be determined. To make up for the lower income we've also cut back on a ton of expenses and this will be hard, especially, on my family as things like new shoes or a dentist appointment become luxuries. I feel very supported but also don't want to be selfish in my pursuits of new challenges.

On the other hand, I've actually made it to bed before midnight a couple of times--which was unheard of while I was working two jobs. I feel significantly more rested and have discovered that I'm a better mom and a generally more happy person when I get 8 hours of sleep. I've been seeing friends and neighbors more. And the funny thing is that now that we have less income it actually makes me rely on other people more (in a good way). Since we can't afford to hire any extra help, I'll be trading babysitting, nights-out, dog sitting, extra produce, and hand-me-downs with friends and neighbors.

Other highs and lows come and go. I miss my former co-workers much more than I expected and working from home can sometimes be challenging. At the same time I'm so excited about the new work I'm doing, a new book coming out with piddix images in it, the design classes I'm taking, a potential article in USA Today, my new twitter account, and on and on. It feels great to be able to focus on one kind of work instead of spreading myself too thin.

What's next? That's the big question. At this point my main goal is to stabilize income and expenses so that we're not hemorrhaging savings. If that can be accomplished within the next couple of weeks then I see great potential for future expansion. As always, wish me luck.

11 comments:

PipingHotPapers and RunAliceRun said...

Now you'll need to make virtual friends! Give us a chance to get to know you better!! Make treasuries!!

piddix said...

You know, the funny thing is I actually do feel much more connected online now, especially to other etsy folks. And I like that you're trying to spread your treasury addiction.

Frenchell said...

I loved this post! kudos to you for making the leap. I know it can't be easy...but you said it all when you said "i feel like a better mommie" because you are well rested. I love your shop, and i always get excited when you have something fun and new i can use!!I know you are going to do fabulous! i can't believe you have a book coming out with images, that's amazing!I am so excited for you!!

piddix said...

Thank you Frenchell. Yes, I really wish I could have bottled up some of the sleep I got as a teenager and use it now.

I'm off to see what's new in your shop now.

Tracy said...

I really enjoyed reading about how you took the plunge to manage your business full-time. This is something I often think about doing, mostly because I feel that I can't give my shop the time it needs while being away all day. Hearing you talk about how great it feels to devote yourself to your shop (not to mention your family) is really inspiring. I wish you the best of luck!

piddix said...

Yes, that "pull" can be hard, knowing I couldn't quite give 100% to everything with so much to focus on. But there's also something to be said for not having all of the eggs in one basket income-wise. So far, so good, though.

Sara said...

Wow, so inspiring...and scary at the same time! I really admire your courage and wish you continued success. (Meanwhile, I'm unable to muster the courage to even open my etsy shop...)

SO exciting about your new book and the article coming out! Congrats on all the good things coming your way.

Buttons By Robin said...

You'll do great! Your images are awesome.

piddix said...

Okay, I love the fact that I'm all "wah wah wah" and everyone is so positive. Thank you!

Susan said...

Working from home is a challenge and can be isolating. I ran a restaurant for almost 20 years then quit to be home with a new baby and a new business. For awhile I though English was optional! (too many hours of goo goo gaa gaa!)
You have a great product and you'll make it! Keep at it! Thanks for all the great stuff!

alexkeller said...

I think it's great that you took the chance on yourself. I'm doing that as well. I've been a SAHM for 3 years, & can't find a part time job with the schedule I need (DH has crazy hours). DH & I had agreed to not send our son to daycare full time either. So here we are. I'm talking to a woman who just quit her day job to open a photo studio - I hope to do some consignment with her. Stick together, girls!