I feel so conflicted at the moment. The online shop owner in me could not be more THRILLED that July is over, but the chilly Minnesota girl that I am is having mixed feelings about it being August. Fall is right around the corner and it’s my favorite time of year. However, it’s always an inner battle for me because I love being able to walk outside in shorts, sandals, and no coat, which happens only 3/4 of the year. But for some reason, there is something about fall that is so magical to me that even the warm summer temps can’t compete with it. Anyone else having these feelings with me?
I will stop rambling about that! I know I’m depressing some of you with thoughts of fall and I always strive to be an encourager, so let’s dive into the wins and learns of July:
- I launched my second enamel pin, which reads “Do Good,” and I am especially excited about it because it’s my first pin in rose gold! (It comes in yellow gold too!)
- I designed and ordered my last pin I’ll be launching in 2018, as well as two other pins I designed for a local business. I cannot WAIT for you to see the next one with my fall/holiday launch and I personally am so excited to see the ones I created for my client because they are completely different than anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve got some exciting shipments coming from my manufacturer this month! 😉
- One of my goals for July was to feel really good about all the progress I made on my new book (Ephesians: A Hand Lettered Devotional) when the month ended. I got a lot checked off the book to-do list, but my most rewarding accomplishment was finalizing the cover art. That’s arguably the hardest part of the whole process, in my opinion! What’s left? Not a whole lot! I need to have all the content sent to the printer by no later than mid-September and I very well could be sending it all in at the end of August! Yay to being ahead of schedule! Early bird pre-order will most likely start the last week of August, so join my mailing list to be the first get info on all the deals and freebies that will be included for those who order early to help me cover some of the manufacturing costs. I did this through Kickstarter last year, but have just decided to do it through my shop this year because it makes managing orders way easier!
- I ordered and received my third print run of Romans: A Hand Lettered Devotional from my new printer who did a fabulous job! I think I have plenty in stock now for the busy fall/holiday season, but if I start running low again, no big deal, because my printer is now local, which makes reprinting so much easier!
- Together, we raised another $170 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation through Nearly Perfect Pins sales. That puts us at just over $700 raised! It’s our goal (mine and my husband’s) to raise $1,000 before December! Read about why here and order your Nearly Perfect Pins here to help us reach our goal!
- God is faithful. This is ALWAYS a win, but I really clung to that truth through the ups and downs and everything I learned this month.
- Sales were so. Stinkin. Slow. I know this is the norm for online shop owners in the summer, but wow. I’m thankful to say I was prepared, but that doesn’t make it any more fun.
- My anxiety levels have spiked. I’ve been very busy finishing my book and designing new products for fall/holiday launch, which has been so exciting, but when you’re putting in the hours in and not seeing a whole lot of financial payoff, it’s stressful – especially since I have to have all my products ordered by mid-August, which is expensive! So, I guess, to make it a short statement: There’s a lot of $$ going out, but not a lot coming in, so money is stressing me out! BUT (I can’t leave this on a negative note), I know things are about to turn around with fall around the corner, I prepared as well as I could have, and God has been faithful to provide.
- Going off that last bullet point, I’m learning to put things into perspective. I started planning for fourth quarter and based on my sales last year and how much I’ve grown this year, I’m very hopeful for the near future! When I think about how far I’ve come and where I have the potential to go in just the next couple months, it makes these slow months seem like less of a big deal and having that perspective has calmed me down in the moments I feel my stress and anxiety taking over.
I don’t want to end on a stressful and anxious note, so I’m going to close with a message to my other shop owners and aspiring ones: You’re not alone! Summer is rough for everyone! Keep working hard, use this slow time to prepare for the busy season ahead. And whether or not you have a relationship with Christ, I encourage you to seek Him in your highs and lows and your own wins and learns. I cannot imagine walking this path and living life without Him. He has sustained me time and time again and He promises the same to you.
P.S. Want to be featured in a future blog post? Have one of my pins? Email me a photo (or multiple photos!) of how you wear and/or display your pins for a chance to be featured here on the blog and my social media pages! Click here for more details and here to send me an email! The deadline to submit photos is August 20th, so send them my way whenever you get a chance this month! (Don’t have one of my pins yet? Click here to browse and shop!