May Wins and Learns


Lettering created by yours truly; illustration created by Jelligun.

Happy June! As always, I love reflecting on the past month, what I did right, what I did wrong… reasons to celebrate and areas I’ve grown and still need to grow. May 2018 wasn’t a huge month for my shop, but it was a big one in my personal life, which affected the way I was able to run my business. I’m excited to share some of those details with you, so let’s not waste any more time. 😉


  • My Etsy shop reached 500 sales! This is a huge milestone for me. Less than a year ago, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have 30 sales. Sometimes I feel like my business is growing so slowly, but this was a reminder that that’s just not true!
  • My Creative Market shop sales have increased more this past month than any other!
  • I’ve been decluttering my business a bit. I let go of half my mailing list and kept the people who updated their preferences and let me know they really do want to hear from me. That makes me feel much better about clicking send! I also started posting fewer posts on Instagram and fewer Instagram stories. Being on my phone less has been great and believe it or not, I am experiencing better engagement from my community!
  • I participated in #MerMay, which is an Instagram challenge, where you draw a mermaid a day in May. Now, mermaids aren’t exactly my all-time favorite subject matter, but this challenge kept me motivated to practice drawing daily and improve my illustration skills. It was difficult to get done most days – especially with what was happening with my next win – but it was so fun and I’m definitely going to keep drawing daily! Follow me at @ibachillustrations on Instagram to see my mermaids and future illustrations.
  • Personal life update: My husband had surgery at the beginning of the month and he’s still very much in recovery, but because of the procedure, his quality of life has already improved greatly!


  • Give. Yourself. Grace. (I’m talking to myself, but I’m talking to you too!) We are planning on doing a blog post in the near future, but I will say, my husband was in the hospital for nine days recovering from surgery. That was twice as long as we had planned when we were told he needed surgery, so naturally, I was at the hospital a lot more than I anticipated. I also wasn’t motivated to work as much during his first two weeks of recovery… which was OKAY! I have the ability to choose my hours and adjust my schedule and I didn’t want to look back on this month and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t been so worried about work. I wish I would have been more present for Luke.’ So, I gave myself the grace I needed to be fully present to support my hubby in his first couple weeks of healing and I have ZERO regrets!


Today’s post is a little shorter than usual, but I’ll be back in a few weeks with another blog post with more details on Luke’s surgery. We’ve felt impacted in many ways by this experience and are excited to raise some awareness about chronic illnesses and hopefully raise some money too!

❤ Lauren

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