It's mid-January and only now have I had a moment to reflect on 2015. Don't ever try to plan a wedding, work full-time and build a business all at once. I know, I know. I can hear a chorus of tiny violins.
Overall, 2015 was a year of revising goals and launching new ideas. During the first half of the year, my focus was on freelance writing and flipping on eBay. While I sold a print here and there on Etsy, the shop was pretty much dormant. We had stopped making and selling frames months ago.
In April, Zack mentioned he wanted to do more woodworking again. He showed me pictures of cutting boards and cheese trays that featured a "live edge" (I admit I had no idea what a "live edge" was at the time) and said he had some designs in mind. Would I list them in the shop? Of course I said yes.
He got to work, and our first cutting board sale happened in early May. To the little isle of Guam, of all places. When we received good feedback from that sale, it was an inspiring moment. When you buy from a micro business like ours, please know we appreciate every sale.
Summer sales were promising enough that I decided to apply for Etsy Wholesale. First, however, we were required to have a website. I spent September building our little home on the web. If I've learned anything about websites, it's (a) let Squarespace do the coding for me (b) graphic design is harder than I thought and (c) there is not a point where I can stop and say "Ok, it's done."
Case in point: Blogging. I could post every day and it wouldn't be enough. My goal is to at least blog twice a month in 2016.
Blogging more often is at the top of my 2016 goal list. But back to 2015!
In October, we formally applied and were accepted to sell on Etsy Wholesale. Within the first month, we shipped three big wholesale orders. One to a Georgia farmers market, another to an online store in Michigan, and another to a new shop in Rhode Island.
In December, Zack and I sat down to talk about our goals moving forward. Based on a healthy amount of success and a busy holiday season, we decided to get serious about our little business.
Working for ourselves is what we want to do with our lives. It makes us happy and it fulfills us both creatively. I tend to shy away from public declarations due to a fear of failing. But as Tim Robbins says in Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living or get busy dying."
Moving forward meant closing down my sole proprietorship and forming a LLC (which isn't as intimidating as it's made out to be; do not waste your money buying a starter kit). The paperwork wrangling - from the state of Texas to the local bank - is ongoing. As one friend said, "That's so adult-y."
Lastly, on New Year's Eve, we applied for a booth at Dallas FleaStyle. It's an amazing regional show that highlights handmade and vintage items. Just today we learned we made the cut! We also have plans to attend a show in Wichita Falls in the summer.
We have many more plans in the works. More details to come!