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What an encouraging month it has been! I am most certainly entering into the busy season and I’m reminded once again how things really do start picking up this time of year. I have a lot to celebrate, so let’s jump right in!
Two-year shop anniversary / 900 Etsy sales
That’s right! My Etsy shop, LaurenIbachLettering, now two years old, reached the 900 sale mark. Reaching that number at my two-year anniversary of opening my shop and the one-year anniversary of running it full-time, caused me to sit back and reflect on my growth over the past 12 months alone and as I shared in this post from a couple weeks ago, I am in awe of how much I have grown, yet how slow that growth has felt. I’m walking into the next year with a much more positive mindset than I’ve had over the past few months.
My first art fair
I did my first art fair! I had no idea what to expect. I went in with very few expectations. I had a sales number in mind I hoped to hit, but really I was just treating it as a learning experience whether I hit my goals or not. I’m so happy to say the day exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams for the day! Financially and socially… I’m an introvert, so I really expected to be exhausted after the seven-hours the fair ran, but I was totally wired after! So many people in my community came. I connected with quite a few people I hadn’t before and reconnected with many I do know on a more personal level. Words cannot express my gratitude for everyone who came and exceeding my financial goals was the cherry on top of an already amazing experience.
I released my second book
After about two months of pre-orders, I finally got to officially release my brand new book, Ephesians: A Hand Lettered Devotional! So many of you have already ordered books and have started sharing about the book on Instagram and again, I could never fully express my gratitude for each and every one of you. As the big social media platforms grow, the algorithms continue to change, and it becomes more and more challenging to reach people organically. I get so excited when other people share about my book, because I can only do so much on my own and YOU can reach more people just by sharing to your feed than I probably ever could with an ad in my budget. Thank you so so much for helping me reach people outside of my community!
I hesitate to chat about this out of my fear of confusing some people, but I’m learning to create fonts! But wait, don’t I already have fonts?? Well, not technically. I hand letter in different “styles” I’ve developed over time, but what I mean by “fonts” is I am actually creating fonts that I can use on the computer just like I would with any computer font like Times New Roman!
My friend Kiley told me about a great Skillshare course she took by Peggy Dean of The Pigeon Letters. I created a serif font that I am now using on my new Peterson stamp design and I’m currently in the process of creating a script font that looks similar to my go-to lettering style featured in my Anderson stamp design and a lot of my other work. I am playing around with the idea of selling fonts down the road, but right now I’m still very new to font making and will just be using them on my own in stamp designing and when I need to quick throw together an Instagram story marketing graphic.
If you are interested in the class I took or learning any new skill, click HERE for two free months of Skillshare!
What the Lord has been teaching me
The past few months have been challenging financially, which led me to a really intense few weeks of prayer and seeking answers from God about what my next move should be. I shared in this post that my husband Luke is in school full-time through May and because of a chronic illness, he can’t work full-time while he’s in school. So, we are mostly relying on my income to carry us through the next seven months. There were moments I asked God about whether or not I need to get another job… I asked Him whether I should schedule more workshops to make some additional income… I asked for clarity in every answer to every prayer and was so afraid I wouldn’t hear the Lord’s answers or be sure of where He was leading me and He surprised me with His answers, timing, and clarity.
The Lord brought forth some new opportunities within my business that lead me to believe He doesn’t want me to find another job right now. It’s not just a feeling I have. His timing in answering some of these prayers has made it so clear. I would go into it more, but that’s a whole other blog post, so I’ll just share this story:
I had some workshop dates in mind and told one of the owners at Smith (where I frequently host my workshops) that I would get back to him on Monday. I was still waiting on God to tell me if I should be pursuing workshops and didn’t want to move until he made it clear. Monday came and went… nothing. All day Tuesday, I kept thinking, “I need to text Alex about booking those dates,” but I kept thinking of it at inconvenient times and ended up forgetting to text him. That evening, I got a phone call from a friend whose friend was looking for someone to host a hand lettering workshop at a private church event… on one of the dates I was already hoping to book a workshop… AND they wanted me for Bible lettering which I really wanted to do more than my Beginner Brush Lettering class. It was so perfect and it really only could have been God who orchestrated that and as I write this, I’m reminded of what I heard in the lecture at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) last week:
There are no coincidences, only God incidents.
Things have really turned around financially this past month and when things feel much more certain as they do right now, I tend to lean on the Lord less, because I feel more in control. But, really, I want to constantly be leaning on Christ through the ups and the downs and the wins and the learns. So, this is what I’m continuing to focus on:
- God’s Word is ALWAYS true, my feelings aren’t. Trust HIM, not myself.
- Pray for God’s clear leading and follow, instead of doing whatever I want and praying for His blessing after.
- God knows what’s best for me and sometimes waiting is what’s best for me. His timing is perfect.
- God ALWAYS keeps His promises.
Thanks again for joining me on the blog today! As always, I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment if you connected with anything I talked about today. I would love for these posts to be a place where great conversations start and not just a place for me to talk at you. 😉
And of course, if you want to get more connected and be notified about future blog posts, join my mailing list. There will be so many fun things I’ll be sharing there during the upcoming holiday season!