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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paper Camp

Paper Camp was fantastic. With a focus on wholesale, the National Stationery Show, and sales reps, I knew this conference would be exactly what I needed. It was so informative and helpful. The speakers were genuine, gracious and friendly. I met so many great women in the industry who I'm happy to call new friends now.
My mind is still taking in all the information from the weekend. What I really need to figure out (and I'm the only one who can) is if NSS and/or sales reps are the right step for my business. It some ways it seems like the obvious choice for further growth, but at the same time I question if it is the right choice for me.

I'm fortunate to have an online shop and a humble amount of wholesale accounts that already keep me quite busy. I'm proud to have grown my business to where it is today on my own. That said, I'm not sure I alone will be able to stay on top of the work that comes along with bigger future goals.

I would need to hire help. That's scary! I have thought about this for a long time but it has always overwhelmed me. Hearing everything this weekend though, made it even more apparent that to grow the business I will need to grow, well, a team.

The time will come eventually.

How do you pursue growth and change? Does it come naturally to you or do you find it scary?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Big Bear Weekend

This past weekend I headed to Big Bear Lake with J and my closest friends to celebrate my birthday. It's actually not till this coming weekend but I will be nerding out at Paper Camp then so we pretended I turned 30 a week early. It was so much fun!

J planned it all and let me just say, that guy knows me. He put this Michigan girl in a boat on a lake, complete with friends, drinks, and even fishing! I felt right at home. :]
 Penny girl stole the show of course.
Big Bear Lake is so beautiful. It is surrounded by tree-covered mountains. And I commented on the sky like ten times. It's just so blue and clear with the whitest puffy clouds! Just beautiful.
I felt spoiled the whole weekend. My friends went way beyond, with decor and cake, even a birthday tiara. I'm so thankful to have found great friends in California. My move here didn't start out easy but I finally feel at home, surrounded by people I love.

Next up, I leave Thursday for Paper Camp (I feel so dorky every time I say that) to get my ass all prepared for the National Stationery Show 2015. Yeah you heard me. Big goals in process for JAA. Wish me luck! xo JA

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?
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