Fall is here the day after Labor Day. None of this September 22nd nonsense! 😉 I love summer, but fall is my favorite and now that I run an online shop, summer has become even less of a favorite. I’ve shared about how slow things got this summer, but fall is filled with lots of hope and possibilities! Since the majority of my products for the rest of the year are designed and ordered, I can start focusing less on spending money and more on reaping the rewards of my hard design work over the past few months – and really the whole year! But, before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to celebrate my wins and reflect on my “learns.”
Ephesians: Hand Lettered Devotional
My new Ephesians devotional is DONE and the 30-day early bird pre-order covered all my self publishing expenses from August and September, which is exactly what I hoped it would do! I hit my goal the morning of the last day of the pre-order. It was a huge answer to prayer! I’m praising God for providing and I’m so grateful for each one of those customers who purchased copies.
I went to pick up the first 600 books from my printer last week and even though the content has been finished for a couple months, I can finally say the whole thing is officially done since I finally get to hold the book in my hands! I cannot wait to get these books into your hands, so I’ll start shipping out the early bird pre-orders in a week or two. I’ll open up pre-orders again around the same time and the book will officially be released to my shop October 22nd!
The majority of September revolved around my big fall launch. I released four new items a week for the first three weeks of the month and listing those products to my shop, posting about them all over social media, scheduling emails to my mailing list, and shipping those new products out kept me pretty busy! I’m thankful I can say I’m starting to see things pick up again and I’m ready to see what more lies ahead as we walk further into fall and, before you know it, into the holiday season!
Here are just a few of the new items! Head on over to LaurenIbachLettering on Etsy to see all the newbies!
Pottery Barn Event
Pottery Barn at the Galleria in Edina, MN hosted me for a pop-up event for the fourth time! I am so grateful for them and love that I now feel like I have this sweet Pottery Barn family. It was mostly a learning experience this time around – I’ll chat more about that in a bit – but I did want to share a story that made my heart so happy. ❤
A couple came in with their two young girls and passed by my table. The mom was on a mission for something, but the dad and two girls hung around by my table. I asked the girls if they like art and the older of the two proceeded to tell me about how she likes to color. (So sweet!) The dad started pointing out my pins to the girls and then he ended up picking up one of my wood engraved banners that reads, “You can do anything you put your mind to,” turned to his girls and said, “This is what I always tell you!”
My heart leapt! I shared with him that I designed that banner because my dad tells me the exact same thing. He ended up letting each of the girls pick out one thing from my table and the youngest went for the rose gold Do Good pin for her backpack and the oldest chose the banner for her room. ❤
Being “on” at events for several hours is hard for me, but it’s moments like those that make it all worth it. I love connecting with people and hearing stories about why certain phrases or Bible verses I letter carry special meaning for them.
These wood banners are almost sold out and won’t be restocked, so pick one up today if you want one!
Pottery Barn Event
I learned a big lesson at this event: Just because you’ve done this before and your shop has grown, does not mean you will do better than the last time… or even the first time! It’s true. This was my least profitable event to date. Thankfully, I think it was just the day. It was 95 degrees outside, it seemed like people were just coming into the Galleria to escape the heat – not a lot of serious shoppers. When I shared my low sales numbers with one of the managers, she said, “sounds just like the kind of day we’re having!” and the other pop-up guest didn’t even have a single sale in the five hours we were there. On one hand I was really bummed about the flop of an event (still kinda am to be honest!), but on the other hand, the Lord heard my prayers and had favor on me, blessing me with a few sales. I could have walked away with nothing. That day was a lesson on shifting my focus to what I was given, when my natural inclination was to dwell on what I felt I missed out on.
I’ve shared a little on social media about how I’m in a challenging season of wrestling with God and there being a lot of unknowns right now. Some of this has to do with my business, but another big part of it has to do with my family and my own personal battles. The root of all of it? Fear. Fear that my shop will never grow past where it is now, fear about my husband’s health (read this post if you need some context), fear that God won’t answer all my prayers, and that He will let me down.
As I write this I’m reminded of the worship song “King of My Heart” by John Mark and Sarah McMillan. The bridge lyrics are: “You’re never gonna let me down.” I believe that. He will not let us down because He knows what’s best for us. I do feel let down at the moment, but something the Holy Spirit is teaching me is my feelings are not always true. God’s word is ALWAYS true. That is what this feelings-led girl is learning to place her trust in. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it!
Thanks for joining me here on the blog today! If these monthly “Wins & Learns” posts encourage you in any way, please leave a comment, join my mailing list for future updates, and tell your friends to come and spend some time with me here. 😉 If there are other topics you’d like me to cover, let me know! I’m always open to suggestions.