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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chicago Renegade Craft Fair

Hey guys! I am slowly getting caught up from my 4-day weekend in Chicago (Isn't it funny how quickly one can go from slow sales to too busy?). Chicago was pretty intense! I had heard it was a big show and it sure was!
It was hot and crowded. I ran out of a lot of stock. I felt exhausted and anxious the majority of the trip. I think the amount of work that shows are (especially two-day travel shows) can be underestimated.

All that aside, it was still really exciting! It's so amazing to have the opportunity to travel with my work and try to reach new audiences. I love getting to meet blog readers and Instagram followers!

I also have to give a shout out to my boothmate and friend Gina for helping me along the way. It is likely I would have gotten lost or had a panic attack if she wasn't there to talk me through it!
And I just wanted to give a shout out to Signazon! They printed my custom design through their new sisterbrand Easy Banners. I had a lot of people mention that my banner is what "pulled them in" to the booth so I'm so glad I ordered it before the show!

Now I'm looking forward to a weekend of NO plans! No traveling! Just doing whatever I feel like with my husband and dog. Sounds like heaven.

What's new with you? On top of things? Catching up?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Two Years Self-Employed

It has officially been two years since I quit my day job. I remember my last day of work, driving out of the parking lot, windows down, music up, the "holy shit, I'm doing this" feeling. The truth is, I still have that feeling. Sure, over the past two years I have developed a bit of a schedule, my days are often routine, going from one thing to the next. But I'm still doing it for myself. By myself (except my wonderful assistant, Mo, who comes about once a week to help process wholesale orders). Just that thought is still exhilarating to me. I am doing this.
Thinking about how this anniversary was coming, I looked back at some old blog posts. I read about the day I quit my day job, and even my first day of self employment. (Which, by the way (tangent), can I just say that my whole "getting dressed every morning" probably lasted a week or so? I had read this as a suggested tip for people who are self employed, and you know what I say about that now? Fuck it. Where whatever you want. Where what you feel comfortable in. Why would I sit at a computer screen in jeans with the band digging into my stomach all tight when I could be wearing pajama shorts? Why put on makeup when I have no one to impress? Maybe it's just me, but instead of telling you what you should wear, or even DO, throughout self employment....I'm saying this. Do whatever makes you feel good. For me, that is comfy pants and no makeup. And then, when a date night comes or a big event, and I DO get schmancy, well it feels extra special.

Ok, done with that tangent, sorry. :p

Anyways, it was fun to read over the beginning and the milestones over the past two years. While I feel like there is so much more out there to accomplish, I do feel like I have  conquered some things I wouldn't have imagined,  like traveling out of state for a craft show, or speaking at a blogging event, or that time I was on TV. (Still, WHAT??)

There is a sense of pride but there is also the fear of it all ending. While fear too often can hold people back, I also believe fear can drive us, if we let it. I have some big things I'm reaching for in the future and while I'm pretty terrified at the thought, I do it anyways. Just last night actually, I "went for" something big, texted my girls all "omgomg." Fingers crossed it works out, but if it doesn't, I can at least say I went for it, despite my fears.

Thanks for hanging out with me these last two years (or more!!). xo JA

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Arizona Weekend

Hey guys! I'm back from my trip to Phoenix. I was gone Friday-Sunday so Monday was a bit crazy/stressful/rough as I struggled to catch up. Phoenix was fun though! There was a great turnout at The Shine Project, where I had my little pop-up shop. It was also fun just chatting it up with Ashley. What an inspiration, that girl, let me tell ya.
One of my best friends from Michigan, Adam, lives in Phoenix now so I got to spend some time with him as well. I love spending time with old friends. It makes me remember the "old days" and my "roots." I sure love where I came from.

The rest of this week is going to require a lot of focus and productivity. J and I planned a last minute trip over Labor Day weekend and maaaaybe it wasn't the best idea to take a trip the weekend before Renegade Chicago. Yep. Renegade Chicago is Sept. 6+7 and let's just say.....I have just about everything left to do in order to prepare for it. So. Focus. This week. Lots of it. I've been writing to-do lists daily and it's really helping me remember (and accomplish) my tasks. Things have been busy lately for August. I don't know why but I'm very thankful. I must be doing something right! :p

Do you have any fun Labor Day plans? Also, who lives near Chicago and is going to come see me at Renegade?! xo JA
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