Thursday, April 10, 2014

Four Months In

It's been right about four months since I chucked half of my responsibilities out of the window in order to refocus and breathe a little bit easier.  I know you've been dying to know how things have been going so here's your update ;)
Well, so far so good.  Honestly, it's been a challenge, a good challenge, for me to focus solely on my own creative business.  I've been so used to jumping around mentally with my many projects that I'm having to teach myself how to just chill out some and go with the flow of Bifftastica.  One of my goals for the year was to create an Etsy treasury a month to become more interactive on Etsy.  I've compiled three so far (Fast and Slow, A Bird's Paradise, and Bring the Outside In) and I have noticed a difference in traffic to the shop.  I'm not sure if that spike is generated by the Treasuries or by me just promoting the shop more, but it's happening!  One of the main things I'm gaining from my Treasury challenge is that I'm learning what makes a listing appealing.  The tags, the descriptions, the photos and the overall feel of a shop are what make you want to come back and make you want to hang out there!  These things that are sticking out to me are the things I'm trying to make happen in my own shop.  My stats are telling me that the renewed focus that I'm giving my shop is definitely making a difference.  I mean, notably so.
With shows, I had the goal of participating in at least three good shows this year.  My first, The East Village Street Fest, is this weekend in Tulsa!  I've also been accepted to Strawberry Swing in Kansas City in August.  I have a few other shows on my radar that I plan to apply to so I should well exceed my goal of three shows.  Whether or not they'll be good is to be determined!  Wish me luck, or better yet, come out and support me!  :)

I also wanted to add a store to my stockists list.  Well, in addition to Made, I now have tooth fairy pillows at Dwelling Spaces and soon my pillow covers will grace the seating at one of my favorite local retro shops...details on that soon.  :)
I'm certainly not ready to quit my day job(s) just yet (and that's not the plan) but with the addition of my Instagram shop sales, I've been feeling pretty good about how things are going in my creative world.  So much so that I did something that I've never done before.  I signed up for a sewing retreat, SewOK.  I have never, EVER taken a class for any sort of craft that I have poured over.  And I've been boastfully proud about that fact.  Here's the thing though.  I had a revelation one day about how elitist it was of me, as an educator, to scoff at taking any sort of classes to better myself.  I've witnessed my ESL students grow with their mastery of English and go on to fulfill their dreams.  I've watched some of the attendees of our Craft Show classes rock their creative businesses.  And I've watched my mom grow as an artist firsthand as a result of her pushing herself and taking more and more art classes. So here I go, nervous as can be, into my first sewing classes! 

If you're feeling uninspired or stuck in any way lately, I encourage you to take active, baby steps to remedy that.  For me, that has involved lots of cleaning and purging, organizing, taking time NOT to make or work, and being inspired by others.  I recently stumbled upon a free online course (that I had bookmarked two years ago!) by one of my inspirations (especially when it comes to balancing a creative life and motherhood), Alisa Burke, all about finding YOUR inspiration.  I've also fallen deep into the abyss of TED Talks and I can't recommend them enough.  I know I'm late to that game but better late than never!  So good.  SO GOOD. 

In sum, I may not be moving mountains but I'm sure making MY world less rocky.  And pretty!  I'm not sure I've ever been this creatively productive before.  Prioritizing and saying no to things sure isn't easy (as I've spoken about more than I need to) but have been monumental in this shift in my world.  I'm proud of the progress and revitalization that Bifftastica has been making and am really looking forward to how things continue throughout the year!  So here's to making things happen, big AND small!

3 comments:

  1. I might need to follow your lead, you go-getter! I'm so glad to know that the changes are doing you well. Your happiness seeps through the blog page and spills onto my computer desk, which is good because I could use some of it today. Rock on, my friend!

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  2. Good for you!! The sewing retreat sounds amazing. I haven't touched my sewing machine since I finished some Christmas gifts, and I never got around to the projects I wanted to do for me. Treasuries are hard work, but it does seem like they help!

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