Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012

2011 was quite a year.  For almost everyone I know, it was full of high highs and low lows.

For our family:

We settled into our new house, our first real grown-up house, and are still pinching ourselves at the wonderful home that God provided for our family after years of searching and waiting out the ridiculous California Real Estate Market.

We mourned the loss of my beloved cousin, unable to understand God's timing, but knowing that he lived more in his 35 years than most do in a lifetime.

We received the most amazing gift of all when in one whirlwind week we found out that we had been matched with a baby girl, and brought our precious Penelope home from the hospital just 8 days later.

I was able to take an extended maternity leave from my shop, and my amazingly loyal and supportive customers patiently waited while I enjoyed time with my sweet newborn.

I re-opened my shop, and had the most amazing month of all time... doubling my previous highest sales month and totally overwhelming my production, in a good way.

We grieved the end of a marriage in our family.

We had a fantastic Christmas, grateful for our Savior's birth, and then enjoyed 10 whole days of vacation time with my husband home from work and my shop closed, ending in a quick anniversary getaway to celebrate 11 amazing years of marriage.

I hope that your year has been one of blessings, growth, and seeing God's handprint in your life.

Now, on to 2012!

I have to admit something that may surprise some of you: I have really debated whether or not to continue Much Ado About You in 2012.  I have spent the last several weeks going back and forth... some minutes thinking that I can't possibly keep up, and then the next minutes knowing that I can't possibly give it up.

Let me just say this: owning a small handmade business is hard.  Very, very hard. 

It is not glamorous.  It is not a hobby.  It is not lucrative.  That's where the problem comes in.

I have been running this business for about three and a half years now.  Between the months of August to January I work 70+ hours a week.  I don't really get to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas because I am busy.  Very, very busy.  I dream about calendars and convos and shipping labels.

And to date I have not made a single dime. 

I have sold somewhere around 3,000 calendars {I don't know the exact number because I have been too busy to count}, and I have not made any profit.

I am not complaining.  I am very aware that most start-up businesses do not turn a profit for three to five years.  I also know that I have had some major growing pains along the way, mostly thanks to printers and failed marketing ideas. But the reality is that after three seasons of working my tail off, I have yet to be able to give myself a paycheck. 

And for the most part I am okay with that.  I know that this business does not have to be about financial blessing for me {for more on that, see this post}.  But when I find myself daydreaming about cleaning my house, folding laundry, and making dinner {things I rarely get to do anymore} I have to wonder if it is time for a change

Yesterday I read this post by my friend Rachel, and it really hit home for me.  I want to simplify my life in 2012. 

But when I get right down to it, I don't want to quit Much Ado About You.  I love my business, I love my customers, and I love being a part of the handmade community.  Love it. 

So, for now... Much Ado About You goes on.

We will be open through mid-February, then will likely close up shop until summer to plan and prepare for the new line.  Expect some changes.  More on that at a later date.

I am not one for New Year's Resolutions {maybe because I don't diet or exercise}, but this year I want to set some goals in hopes that it will help guide me to a more peaceful, simplified 2012.

So here they are... my Goals for 2012.

1.  Make Money
The truth is that in order to justify the strain that this business is on my life and family, it needs to be profitable.  So this is it.  We turn a profit in 2012 or we close the doors in 2013.  I am making that commitment to myself and my husband right now.

2.  Blog 2 or 3 Times a Week
I love blogging, but it is the first thing that gets cut from the to-do list when that list is too long.  But I miss the interaction with my blog readers, and I miss the outlet of having a place to share my randomness. 

3.  Get More Sleep
This will be accomplished two ways... getting my way-too-old-not-to-be-sleeping-through-the-night baby to sleep through the night, and going to bed earlier.

4.  Get the House Organized
We moved last December in the midst of my super busy season, and just as the dust settled on Much Ado About You, we got a call about a baby.  Nothing ever really got put away properly, and the disorganization is driving me nuts.

5.  Finish my Bible Study
Last year I started writing a Bible Study on Infertility, which is really just about why God allows suffering in our lives.  I was on a roll and feeling very inspired... and then we got a call about a baby. 

So that's it.  This turned out to be a very long post, and I'm sure I have lost most of you by now, but having it up here on my blog will serve as motivation for me to follow through.

I hope that I haven't lost too many of you in my absence, and I hope you will join me as we make 2012 the best year yet!  {Wow... that was a little cheesy.} 

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful goals! Especially about writing that Bible Study... I know so many women that have struggled with infertility, and I know that it's something special to God's heart. I'm sure it would be well received!
    Anyway, hope 2012 is a blessed year for you and your family!!!