It was just a few years ago.
Things were rough.
I couldn't see through the chaos.
We were broke.
Needing help anywhere and everywhere we could get it.
I found myself working 2 jobs, 7 days a week.
No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that either job could lead to a future career, I knew neither were enough.
I probably could have figured it out.
Made enough to pay the bills.
But I was miserable.
My world was suffering.
No matter how strong my relationship is, it was tough for us.
A lot of bickering ensued because of the stress.
I couldn't be the wife I wanted to be.
I couldn't be the mother I wanted to be.
I couldn't be the person I knew I was.
After much soul searching. Years of deep self evaluation I realized that jewelry was my answer.
The little insignificant shop was my answer.
The shop needed work, but I knew I could get it there.
After deciding this would be my ultimate path I had to figure out how to get it there.
I tried, and tried and tried.
But after a few failed attempts at the Jonesing for Jewelry shop I felt completely overwhelmed.
I started comparing myself to other shops and the tasked seemed just too much to bear.
There was no way the shop was ready.
There was no way I was ready.
With a huge sigh, I switched gears.
I saw an opportunity in the market for jewelry, but different pieces than I was currently focusing on.
I reset my goals a little, and the J4JCharm shop was born.
She was beautiful.
She gave me and my family SO, SO much.
She gifted me the time and energy to really understand the business.
She allowed me to spend time with my family.
My number one most important goal.
I could list a million things, but none of it would really touch how grateful to that little shop I am.
In the midst of working my little booty off on that shop there still was always something missing.
A part of me wasn't being fulfilled.
OK, I know it's pretty selfish. Here I am working in a home studio, having enough to pay my bills, having the flexibility to be with my family and really living the dream, yet I'm saying it wasn't enough.
Before you judge me, ask yourself, if you were just out of reach of your perfection would you stop pushing? Would you stop trying? Or would you try harder?
Me, I'll always try harder.
Life is short and I want it all.
What was missing was that little shop on the side.
My first love.
I'm sure you noticed 2014 made a shift.
I started spending more time with my first love.
I started exploring what the shop would look like.
What my heart really wanted to create.
I wanted to make something great.
Most of all something SIGNIFICANT.
In the past few months, I really feel like I've found it.
I've dialed in on what it looks like.
What it feels like.
And who I am as an artist.
For me, I'm rooted in nature.
I draw my energy from the Earth.
I'm inspired by plants and animals and all that surrounds them.
I love color.
All of this with a dollop of bold and a dash of quirky.
This mix, this concoction is a little nerve wracking.
I don't fit in a box.
I don't color in the lines.
Some of you will eat this up, but what I've always been afraid of is that the majority of you won't.
Honestly, every business advice I've ever received is to appeal to the widest audience.
Not to step out of bounds.
Make things that are simple and sweet.
Definitely whatever you do, don't put pickles and peanut butter on your sandwich.***
A few years ago I tried to put this beige business into the works.
Seriously, if you weren't around for these stages go look at my old sales history.
Everything was perfect.
Every necklace was "cute."
Everything was in matched sets.
The photography was so lovely.
All of the ingredients for the perfect shop were there. I followed the instructions I got to a T.
IT WAS A HUGE FLOP.
A ton of effort.
Most of all it felt unauthentic.
So recently when I finally realized who I am as an artist.
Who I am right now.
What I want to create.
The types of ideas and things I want to bring to this world.
It was scary.
Because it isn't beige.
It's beautiful turquoise
It's bold orange
It's bright green.
It's a mixture of all of them.
Nothing the same.
And mostly, all SIGNIFICANT.
As I really started this whole post, I started to tell you this whole story because I wanted to say:
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
From my family to yours, thank you.
|Photo courtesy of Kamieo Photography|
This year is already amazing.
I love that you love my work.
I love that you love me.
I'm putting all of me into it, and it feels so good to be welcomed with open arms.
I've been getting great feedback lately.
Really good feedback in the past few weeks.
I just want to share something with you:
"ANOTHER SPECIAL PURCHASE! LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! CARIN IS ONE OF THE MOST CREATIVE ARTISTS ON ETSY! BE BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN! THANK YOU!!"
And so I wept.
I cannot thank each of you enough. I can try and tell my story over and over again.
I can try and explain to you what this success really means to me.
I can tell you about the life I have.
The love I have for my work.
The time it earns me with my family.
None of these words would be enough.
You are giving me everything.
You are creating a life for me that is incredible.
Lovely and magical.
Bold and beautiful.
And I wish more than anything that each and everyone of you get to experience what I am. That each of you are fulfilled beyond your imagination.
That you are happy and healthy and hopeful.
And if not, in the very least that I in some way can return the favor and inspire you to reach.
Go for it.
Live you dream.
P.S. I'm in the works of finding someway to show you how grateful I am. I want it to be as big and magical as everything you've given me.
*** Yes, an actual sandwich that my grandmother used to make me, and I enjoy on a regular basis. You should try it! Unless of coarse you're allergic to peanuts. Then please by all means do NOT try it!