And I Am So Thankful…
So often when I sit down to post, I am rushed and hurried, always a bit overwhelmed by the speed with which life comes at me. But—when I slow down and look around me—when I compare where I am now with last year or the ones before, it is Enough. I have all that I could ask for and so much more.
- I have a lovely, lively thriving family. Most are healthy and doing well. Like all families, we have our share of problems and complaints, but overall, we are blessed. The children in the family are bright, intelligent and athletic, and a new addition (a grandneice) is just a couple of months away.
- We have a great house, albeit still in need of much TLC. Most of the damage from last year’s hurricane is taken care of at this point. We are now looking at prices on replacing the roof—and I am hoping to be able to renovate the kitchen in the not too distant future.
- My small Etsy business, O Deer Mercantile, after a faltering start amid all the upheaval in my life this past couple of years, is growing. I am learning as I go, not only what sells and doesn’t, but how to Brand and get noticed amongst the throng of similar businesses out there. I have only recently reached a couple of milestones: Over 80 sales now (over a third of these orders are from the first six months of this year!) and I just recently passed the 200 mark on listings with lots of items still to go.
- My Social Media following, while not viral by any means, is steadily growing. I recently hit 1000 on Instagram, probably my favorite platform. When I began re-branding last year after we moved to this new (old 🙂 ) house, I closed out the Pinterest account I had for several years with over forty thousand pins and some 6000 followers, and started fresh. I don’t spend as much time on Pinterest these days, but I am approaching 900 followers on that site now. I try to keep my content fresh, contemporary and tasteful, and it seems to be working for me. I have not and will not buy followers, or use any gimmicks like following and then unfollowing later, that I see so often.
- Personally, I am trying to eat healthier, exercise more and use my time more efficiently. While I still waiver and wobble, I am definitely doing better. I’ve lost a few pounds and we are all eating more fruits and vegetables and minimizing sugar (not giving up mind you!!!) and other less healthy foods. As for my time—again I vacillate. Overall, I think I am doing much better though. I am working on maintaining a better balance during the course of my workday. I often have tunnel-vision when I get going on a project, and don’t get to other things that need attention.
Yes, I am a lucky woman. I have a beautiful, if quirky family, and I get to work doing things I (mostly) Love. I get to junque, thrift, yard sale, etc. all I want and call it part of the Job! Yay! I’m far from a professional, but I like take photos and I love designing and branding. I have to watch myself, else a whole day goes by while I work with Photoshop and other tools on the Blogs I manage and the Shop. What it amounts to in the final reckoning is all I really lack is the time to get to all of the many things I want to do. Boredom is for other people, I think. I sometimes have to do boring chores, but I am never bored with life.
My Office/Studio is always a work in progress and usually very untidy, but it is my Happy Place, and it is coming along. The photo above is of my Etsy Closet. I have most of my processed inventory, packing supplies, boxes, labels and what have you pretty well organized at this point. And yes, those are Sticky Notes all over the bins and boxes. They are still the best way I’ve come up with to let me know what is where, sizes and other necessary information. I love my bright yellow closet, and all the vintage goodies I have on my desk and other places in the room.
Keeping organized is an ongoing challenge. In future posts, I am going to talk more about how I do what I do, the tools I use most and some of the other important things I have gleaned in my time blogging and running an Etsy Shop. Some may have noticed that I no longer have ads on the blog, and I want to talk about my feelings regarding that stream of income also.
In the meanwhile, I am counting my blessings and planning for the future at the same time I fully realize that nothing is written in stone. Flexibility is key in business and in life.
I took a new photo of the house since I haven’t in a while. At present, I am leaning toward putting on a gray European style roof when we replace and doing the house trim blue. I am asking for input from my friends and family. If you have any thoughts on how this would look, I’d love to hear from you.
Till next time…