Have you heard all the quotes about taking risks? Do they inspire you to try something new, keep going or take the leap on something you’ve wanted for a long time?
Several years ago, I had an idea. Really, it was a complaint, I try not to have too many of those but this was real!
I had spent many years building a business, if you’ve ever owned a business, you know that almost all of your time is spent at work, thinking about work or talking about work. I didn’t have a lot of spare time. My family and “the company” pretty much had all of my attention. However, I often felt that I needed to create something so; I decided that I was going to make recipe books for my daughter and daughter-in-law for Christmas. They were going to be fantastic! I looked for ideas on Pinterest and Google, and then worked out the idea in my head. I knew what they would look like and how they would work; I was so excited to do this for the girls! I found myself with a little time and so I purchased what I thought would be everything I needed. I e-mailed everyone in the family and asked them to each submit a couple of recipes, I even contacted my daughter-in-law’s extended family. This was going to be so great!!!
I started at the kitchen counter, moved to the living room floor, then I got out the Lifetime folding table from the garage…. Not enough room, not nearly enough room. In the end, I had two folding tables, the living room floor, the sofa and the loveseat covered with supplies, tools and stacks of paper. After two weeks of after hours work and moving stacks and dragging tables so that we had access to the television to binge on The Walking Dead, I finally finished the recipe books. The girls loved them and I think I remember a few happy tears; but that could just be how I want to remember it.
After the books were completed, I needed to organize all the leftover materials, too much to throw out and plenty of craft tools and paper stuff that I would not use again in years, or if ever. This all ended up in Rubbermaid bins on a closet shelf and under the bed; never to be used again. I felt bad. For days I thought about all that stuff, I tried to think up other projects to do with it, but my spare time was up. Then I had a vision. What if there was a place that I could go to share with other people like me, people that liked to occasionally craft or make something with our hands but didn’t want to make it a full time “thing”? We could all share the tools rather than everyone buying the same used-once-a-decade thingy! We could share five of the six buttons that we had to buy to get that one special button. We could share the paper and the glue dots! The cutting machine! Heck, we could add sewing machines and a heat press. The list kept growing and the idea was born.
I had some life changes and it took me a couple of years to sort myself out, then it was time. I’d been talking about this studio forever! Time to put up or shut up.
My youngest daughter decided to help me get things going. I updated my business plan with the most current information and called a realtor friend. It took three months to find the perfect spot. The lease was signed and I had the keys in May. By that time, I was worrying about how my funds were going to stretch! We needed to get up and going quickly but contractors were busy! So, we made adjustments to the build-out and decorating and did it all, just the two of us. Floors, walls…everything. It took us another three months to perform all the labor ourselves and we were finally able to open in September.
Cash-poor, tired, excited; we were pumped! (I wondered if I had lost my mind!)
We’ve had a few birthday parties, an amazing pumpkin carving party and have made some changes based on the incredible input we have received. We are exhausted and still excited. We love that so many people are willing to talk to us about what we are doing and how they can help. So many great ideas have come from perfect strangers who walk in, interested by the name or just to see what we do. I am so grateful to all those who have come in, taken their time to follow up and have given their time and effort to helping us learn! November will be so exciting and I hope to learn even more so that we can bring out the creativity in everyone.
…And now, I am a HUGE fan of Pinterest, Google and YouTube. I have learned that asking for help is not a shameful thing, but instead, the smartest move.
So! I took the leap, we will have to see how it all turns out! I am out on the skinny branches now, hopefully they’ll hold. I look forward to meeting more of you!