If you have kids, you might remember your first child's first birthday is more like you are celebrating your ability to survive as a new parent and that your child has survived your parenting too, than an actual birthday! Right?!
Well, Wind + The Wanderer is ONE year old and I'm psyched I've survived!
Over this year, I have learned so much about being a business owner, what I thought I knew and (mostly) what I didn't know, all while juggling the family life of staying home with one kiddo and carving out time to get things done. It's been up and down and all around!
I give props to the women (mostly) and men who do this with multiple kids! The reality is that there is NO BALANCE in a stay-at-home/work-from-home situation.
Let's get real: Every Day is Different
- sick kid/healthy kid/cranky kid/needy kid...the other child might have opposite needs
- no time to work except in the wee hours or during nap times (which may be irregular)
- this Tuesday's schedule will be different than next Tuesday's
- some days I just want to play with my child...while that blog post is staring me down from the dining room table...
- I am really good at making my own messes and wanting my mommy to come clean it up (oh, wait, I'm the grown up here, ugh!)
I realized after being in education (a.k.a. being on someone else's tidy schedule, with bells and class periods) that I am a person who likes routine and predictability. Although, it's always been a struggle for me to have the same routine every day. I simultaneously like routine and rebel against it, then lounge for two weeks after the school year is finished to recoup my energy.
Any way, I digress...
What this year of owning my own creative business has clarified for me is this: I believe that WE all should be buying and using services from small businesses. If you really want to make an impact in one family's life (and your community, our economy, our country), buy from people who you know will be there tomorrow, who know your kids, who have a vested interest in your town/city/neighborhood thriving!
This will mean that you need to change your buying habits.
But, I get it.
I like shopping at Target too, and there are people there who need jobs too, and have families to support.
I am advocating for you to get to know who you are buying from.
I don't know the CEO of Target, and that person doesn't live here, so I never will. I know that publicly traded companies are "beholden" to their shareholders (who are actually people, in our communities) and that CEOs have a balance to uphold between customer experience/offerings and providing dividends to their shareholders.
Do you know where I source my materials from? Local leather and art stores first, then online suppliers in the U.S.A.
Do you know where my earnings go? To paying off bills and buying groceries for my family.
Do you know where a portion of my sales goes to? To girls' science and outdoor programs, just like our #girlsthriveoutside fundraiser in May 2019. (Molly, from 541 Esthetics, and Krista, Chick 9 Clothing, are sending three girls to outdoor camp this summer with the money we raised from our raffle and sales of limited edition products! Whoop, whoop!)
Do you know who does a happy dance when she gets to meet and help her customer find a rad gift for herself? Me! (I'm not sure what the CEO of Target does...look at the balance sheet? Drink a glass of wine?)
So, if you haven't gotten the gist of my ramblings...please go buy something from a local, small business this week, because your nearby farmer and the insurance sales person will do the Roger Rabbit or the Robot dance after you leave the store!
Okay, seriously, being a small business owner means that I depend on people I get to know from shows and friends and people who they refer me to, so THANK YOU for coming along on this crazy journey with me this year!