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Monday, August 9, 2010

"Time Flies" - Cliche or Truth? Or Both?

I can't believe today is August 9th.  This year is absolutely flown by for me, but its been one of the best of my life.  I'm going to have one heck of a Year in Review to write in December, so I think I need to reflect on the past eight months to remember where I've been, and also to see where I need to go next.

Its been eight months since the husband and I left Arizona to come to Oregon.  We're still staying in our temporary digs, but we do have a permanent place lined up.  We'll make our final move on September 11, and finally get our stuff out of storage!  I can't wait to sit on my couch again.  Even though we've split the year between staying with family and camping out in this hotel waiting for our place to be ready, I'm so happy! Oregon is where I need to be. 

My Etsy shop is now four and a half months old.  I wish I had been punching a time clock while I was getting the shop off the ground; I'd be interested to see just how many hours I put into this project.  I've just finished a complete re-branding and I'm absolutely thrilled with how the shop (and the brand) looks.  I'm weathering the slow season alongside my Etsy friends, and we're counting the days until the holiday rush season begins.  :)

I started working outside the home about three weeks ago.  As much as I love being a business owner, I got tired of being inside all the time and I was starting to feel disconnected from the community.  I accepted a part-time position at a pet hospital, which is a huge change from my previous life as a clinical administrator in human behavioral health.  I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have a job where taking lunch breaks is encouraged.  I thought it would be hard to step down to a low-responsiblity position, but it is absolutely amazing.  This job allows me to make a difference in the community, but still leaves me time to keep running this business and spend quality time with my family. 

My goals for the rest of the year are to do more marketing to my local area.  I'm planning on selling at my very first craft fair during the first weekend in November.   I need to network with other small business owners in the area to promote and build a support system.  I'm also itching to create a new line of.....something.  I haven't decided what that should be yet, but I'm constantly looking for my next big idea.  I'm playing with some new magnet ideas, and have been given some great party supply ideas.  I keep hearing from folks that they love my shop, but they aren't scrapbookers.  I want to make sure the message is out there that my shop isn't only for scrapbookers; in fact, my items are just as much for non-scrapbookers!  I've recently updated a lot of my listings to point out other uses for scrapbook pages (they look amazing when framed and given as a gift!).  I think I'll sell framed pages at my craft shows for holiday gift ideas, and might start carrying them in my shop, if I can work out shipping kinks.

I can't believe I've weathered the last eight months so well.  I know the next four months will be just amazing, since I'm a total fall/autumn addict, and nothing gets me down during the holiday season. A year ago, I was desperate to find a way out of my corporate life, and even more desperate to find a life outside of the Arizona desert.  I've found what I'm looking for, and I feel so blessed to be where I am today.  Cheers to a fantastic 2010!

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