Step away from the pit…

Good news everybody…I have decided to step away from the deep dark pit of loneliness and self pity that I was sitting on the edge of this past week…mind you I was not in the pit wallowing in the sludge at the bottom, I was just sitting on the edge…what was so horrible about last week you might ask…great questionmy hubby was on the other side of the world, just about as far away from me as it is possible to be on this earth. And, yes I am one of those girls that no longer sleeps when he’s away because I just miss him too much…not really sure when I became this personbut now he has returned, hooray, and I have decided to step away from the pit.

Upon my departure I realized that I have lost my focus a bit the last couple of weeks…I feel like I JUST wrote about this, am I seriously back here again so soon!?! I’ve kind of forgotten my purpose, forgotten why I started this adventure in the first place, and lost a bit of my brand identity in the process. I’ve gotten really caught up in the hustle of opening a shop, the anxiety of watching statistics and waiting for sales, the excitement of seeing them rise and sales come in, and the confusion of seeing them drop.

So, I’ve spent most of this week focusing not on designing or making jewelry, but on the businessy stuff of owning a creative business. Oh the businessy stuff…businessy is not a real word but please humor meit is the stuff of my nightmares and my #2 enemy in this venture…the post office was #1 but having conquered that enemy the sewing machine has moved into the #1 spotI’m just not really very inclined to business type things.

Historically I have done best at jobs with flexible schedules, lots of human interaction, lots of moving around and changing tasks constantly. I’ve worked as a secretary twice in my life both times for a couple of months, and both times the end of the job felt like the release from some sort of punishment that consisted of sitting in a chair, staring at a wall, and listening to the same stupid music all day…one of these jobs was working for my aunt and I feel I need to share that I loved the people, loved working with my aunt and cousin, but hated the desk, the chair, and the phone! I drank SO MUCH COFFEE when I worked there; it was like I was trying to drown my boredom with caffeine.

So this past Monday morning I made a giant pot of coffee and got right down to it. I started at the beginning…asking myself why I started doing this in the first place…who am I making this jewelry for…why jewelryand then I worked my way through my websites and blog and FB page and Instagram accounts, I evaluated my products, my packaging, my photos, about sections, shipping information, checked all my links…and now I have a list of things that I need to fix, adjust, change, and redo.

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Detail from my chalkboard…ADOPTION…every day it seems I want this more…I’m ready for the rest of our kids!

Basically, at the end of a very thorough audit of all things businessy I have a long…seemingly endlesslist of more businessy things I need to do. …but instead of being overwhelmed and stressed and discouraged by it I find I have drive…and even a bit of excitementto plow on and do it…and I think it’s because I started at the beginning.

Frippery House began…because I love making jewelry…actually I love making anything I can, but pretty rocks are so fun! 

Frippery House began…because I wanted to have a source of income that can go directly towards growing my home…adoptions.

Frippery House began…because there are things that God has put on my heart for the future with working in missions again and I believe this is step one.

Frippery House began…because being a SAHM is what is right for my family right now but there’s a lot of alone time involved…and me bored is just BAD news.

Frippery House began…because I believe God uses our stories to inspire, encourage, and transform lives, because I love people, I love the people in my life and their stories, I am inspired and changed by their stories…business allows me the platform and opportunity to share these stories with others.

Before I pounced on my to do list I sat down with my newly acquired chalkboard…It’s a precious gift from the Treus, made by Brandon and used by Ernie, and fortunately for me unable to travel to Irelandand I wrote down all the reasons for Frippery House, all the things I need to personally remember. And, you know what’s not on there…numbers! There’s not one reason for Frippery House related to sales, stats, likes, follows, or shares. Sure, I have business goals for sales and such…but numbers have nothing to do with why I stepped out into entrepreneur life.

At the heart of my business is people and stories…Love is at the heart of Frippery House….I don’t ever want to forget that.

For today I have learned this lesson, hopefully it sticks this time, I pray it takes root in my heart and I just live it out and don’t have to learn it again…but I’m human and I’ll probably need reminding, but the beautiful thing is that now I have all of you to remind me!

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I did find a bit of time for the creative this week and I finished up a design I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I’ve had several requests for the very popular the Ernie but smaller. This 18″ necklace with a delicate mini spoon is precious…meet the Mini Ernie. 

Available now on FripperyHouse.com

the Julia

Oh my! I just did a count and I really have only written about half of my designs and the women that inspired them…that includes the final pieces I will be introducing the next couple of weeks…I better get busy!

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Photo credit not me and not Julia…I think maybe Ernest

Julia is lovely!

She’s a very unexpected friend…we became friends during a season of my life that I was not really sure I wanted any new friends and I’m not even really sure how it happened…but one day all the sudden there it was, we were friends…I knew we were friends the afternoon that we were hanging out watching TV and I totally fell asleep and when I woke up she was still there and didn’t make me feel weird about it at all.

She’s gentle and kind. She reminds me of a deer frolicking around in a meadow of flowers…carefree and joyful…she makes living life look fun. She’s always quick to laugh and her eyes kind of sparkle with joy…and maybe a bit of mischief.

She’s also so incredibly cool! Her and her husband Ernest are kind of like rock stars in my mind…seriously though you should see these two pose for pictures, they would own any red carpet.

Oh yeah, and brave!

I have had the pleasure of watching her and Ernest walk the journey of starting their own coffee shop right here in Aurora. I’ve heard them talk and dream, I’ve seen it transition from dreams to saving and planning, and now I get to watch it as it unfolds before our eyes as Sonder Coffee becomes a reality and will be open very soon…check out what is happening at Dream A Latte and make sure to sign up for emails so you’ll know when they open…I am incredibly excited and can’t wait until it’s finally open!

This necklace took me longer than any other piece in this line to design. It went from two strands and pinks and purples, to one strand, to one strand with a bar and blue greens. It’s changed length, shapes, and materials so many times…I think Ian really started to get irritated with me showing him a different necklace every day and telling him it was the Julia each time...one design would be too rock star, another too delicate, but I think I finally got it…with a bit of help from Julia herself…

There are several different stones and colors and textures in this necklace, there is something delicate and soft, but also very structured about it. Oh yeah, and I love wearing it!

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Julia is complex but yet simple, so cool but so genuine and real, so much of a dreamer and yet also a planner…However it happened, I’m glad we are friends!

If you want a Julia of your very own click here!

Oh yeah, and this is happening 9/16…TOMORROW

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Now What…

I’ve launched Frippery House! I’ve spent a year planning, and designing, and creating…researching all the best ways to do everything…it’s all lead up to the moment when I hit “publish” on Etsy and now…well now I’m just not sure what to do.

I’ve found myself obsessing over views and likes and purchases. Watching every vlog and reading everything I can about search engine optimization and how to turn traffic into sales. My brain is fixated and running full speed with worries and fears…what if everyone has just been telling me they like my jewelry because they are my friends, what if it all breaks, what if no one buys it, what if too many people buy it, what if no one finds me on Etsy, what if they wish it was longer/shorter/a different color…you name it and I think I’ve worried about it this week. I literally had a conversation with Ian in the car after I hit the publish button and went live with the store where I asked him if it was too late for me to change my mind, if I could just hit rewind and go back…he said no I could not!

Amidst all this fear and worry I have made three major discoveries in the last week: 1) I am surrounded by really incredible cheerleaders…and I am sooooo thankful for them. 2) I really have no gauge for what to expect now, if I’m doing well, if I’m sucking…how do I measure this!?! And 3) I just totally put myself out there for the world!

The last two bring me face to face…again…with some of my deepest insecurities…I just really want people to like me and validate me and give my life purpose and oh yeah, I really want to be cool!!! Discouragement has come quickly and often this week as I’ve come up against these things. It seems like every time I leave the house someone asks me how Frippery House is doing…which is so incredible and I am beyond thankful to have such amazing support…but it just smacks me in the face with the reality that I don’t know!

It’s hard to put yourself out there! It’s hard to create something that you think is beautiful and kind of cool and means something special to you and then hold it up for all the world to see…and judge. In college I was an art major, but I never wanted to create art for others, I wanted to create art for myself and teach art to others. A big part of why was self defense…if you create your art only for yourself and not for others, if they don’t like it then who cares…so to be here in this place, creating for others…it feels very vulnerable! And, I just really have no idea what the measure is for success at a week in…so I just feel uncertain and inadequate when people ask.

But then I remember…my feelings are real but not always true.

I didn’t make the decision to start Frippery House lightly. It was on my heart the moment I moved back to Colorado 6 years ago, I prayed about it, I thought about it, I planned, and I dreamed…and yeah, and then I prayed some more. I wanted to make sure that if I took the brave step into entrepreneur life that God was for it…because if He’s for it there’s no stopping me! For years I hesitated, made excuses, and lacked the time to make Frippery House happen…I walked in a lot of fear of failure during those years. The very thought of failing kept me from ever starting.

But then…God brought people into my life that reminded me not to be afraid of what God had put on my heart. To not be afraid of failing. To not be afraid of sharing my story and my journey, because that’s why I was placed on this earth…oh, and one special person came along and told me not to be afraid of the post office…seriously…that was a pretty big turning point for me.

So, discoveries 2 & 3…they’ve got nothing on me! Because, no matter what gauge I decide to use to measure my success it will always fall short of just trusting that God has asked me to step out into this. And as far as putting myself out there…I guess it’s just what I was created to do!

My validation, my purpose, and my utter coolness…it comes from my identity in Christ…not my identity as an entrepreneur, wife, mom, friend, daughter, or any other thing…and I think I forgot that a little bit this week. I think I thought likes and views and sales were what made me valuable there for a moment.

 

 

the Claudia

As promised I’m flooding you with dedication pages this week in the build up to Tuesday’s launch….TUESDAY…oh man that’s soon! I am so excited!!!

This dedication page is about the one and only Claudia. You may not know her, she kind of tends to fly under the radar, but if you live Aurora you’ve probably noticed her before because she is just absolutely adorable!

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Case in point…adorable!

I actually formed a friendship with her through Tiffani’s bible study. There were a lot of girls that came and went… they would make it one week but not the next…but week after week Claudia and I were both there. So, we grew close…all three of us did…and suddenly I discovered that this girl who was SO much younger than me…funny how a couple of years stops to matter once you get older…was my best friend.

We spent so much time together!

We lived close to each other, so she’d come pick me up and I don’t even really remember what we would go do…I know we hung out with other people…I think…but what I really remember is all those car rides with her. All the conversations about what God was doing in our lives…and in our hearts…we were young and unattached and new in our walk with Christ and this period of time was so full of growth and dependance of Christ. I like to think that Claudia was there when I grew roots.

When Ian started to hang out with us, the three of us became super close…we use to joke that she would be my maid of honor and Ian’s best man…then when I started having feelings for Ian she got to hear all about my struggles…I was leaving for Thailand and didn’t want to like him…. About the same time is when AJ…her now husband…started hanging out too, and she also found herself wrestling with feelings.

We stayed friends over the years, spending as much time together as we could whenever I was in Colorado. When Ian and I got married she stood right next to me…and when she married AJ I got to stand by her. We still live close, but don’t see each other anywhere near as much as we use to, or as much as I would like…real jobs, husbands, and a child have seriously cut into our chill time…but whenever we do it’s just so easy, so comfortable, and so calming.

Because it doesn’t matter how much time passes with Claudia…our friendship was never about being in each other’s daily drama…the girl is SO chill! Seriously, she is so mellow and just easy to be around. I don’t feel like I have to entertain her, or do exciting things with her, we can just sit on the couch or in the car and listen to music, or just sit and not talk and rest in the silence…we have done exciting things, and we both like doing exciting things, but it’s nice to have a friendship that isn’t based in anything other than just that we love each other and we love Christ.

Oh, and remember how you’ve probably noticed her because she is adorable to the millionth degree…well, I’m serious. The girl is cool and majorly stylish…looks like she just walked out of an Anthropologie catalogue…she always looks adorable and put together and classy…but in an effortless kind of way.

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the Claudia

I wanted this necklace to reflect that…simple yet unique, classic but also kind of edgy, neutral but eye catching…I wanted this piece to be something she would wear, something she would turn to time and time again because it just puts that finishing touch on whatever incredible dress she just so happens to chose that day.

So here it is…..the Claudia

 

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Just practicing 

Since you guys seemed to enjoy the awkward blog so much I thought that I would attempt to entertain you with another slightly embarrassing story about the challenges of starting my own business.

Added bonus…this story comes with a big finish and a massive announcement…at least massive in my world.

Here it comes…

One of the most terrifying things through this whole process of starting a business…in fact THE thing that kept me from moving for a long time…is…THE POST OFFICE!!!

I know…it’s absurd…ridiculous…irrational…I’m sure it’s lots of other things too but I can’t think of anymore right now. 

I think it has something to do with the way I grew up. We moved a lot, and I spent quite a bit of time growing up in third word countries. When I moved back to the US for college there were lots of things that scared me…and not like made me uncomfortable or I just things I didn’t like to do…but legit scared me….

Sometime I will share with you stories of how I overcame my fear of the grocery store…lets just say it includes tearful phone calls to my mother from the parking lot and once I even abandoned a full shopping cart at the checkout line because I realized I didn’t know if you were suppose to bag things yourself or not so I panicked and fled!

So, this week I started thinking about how scared i am to actually open frippery house because it means I have to mail things. And I decided to conquer my fear step by step…just like I did the grocery store…hopefully without any tearful phone calls to my mom from the parking lot…I am 35 now…I can do this!!!

So this week I “practiced” going to the post office.

I had a pep talk with a friend who has an Etsy store, I read every blog I could, I read the USPS website, I weighed my package…I spent 24 hours prepping myself…and then I decided to give it a try.

So, I opened my Etsy store…posted 1…and only one…item for a dear friend and 24 hours later I was on my way to the post office!

Oh, and this week was also monumental in that I opened my Etsy store made my first sale AND sold out the store! 

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I took help to the post office with me…a 10 and a 9 year old so that they could encourage me and we could all learn together. The lady at the post office was SUPER helpful and she did a great job of helping me figure out where to start with shipping. She treated me like I was a normal person just starting a business and figuring things out.

When we decided on the best option she typed in the address…and my cover was blown…I was literally mailing my package across the street…I was not normal!

She asked me why I didn’t just hand deliver it, especially since we had already established I was with the children of the recipient…save myself some money. I told her I needed to practice…she looked at me funny…and then we all laughed.

The next day the package arrived and my mission was deemed a success…I have conquered the post office…and now that the final piece has fallen into place I am filled with the confidence to make my massive announcement and take the next step for Frippery House…

Tuesday, August 23 – FripperyHouse.com

will go live and my first line of jewelry will be available for purchase

I’m super excited and I’ll be super busy the next 10 days getting ready with lots of sneak peaks and more dedication pages for you guys.

 

3…2…1…

I am getting closer and closer to launching this business of mine! Today is kind of a milestone for me in the creative business world…I registered my business name! It took me weeks of filling out the forms online and then erasing everything and closing windows before I could really commit to it…but I did it!

The process of naming this business has been challenging to say the least. We…this was a family event…made lists of words, then more lists of more words, then I translated that list into a variety of languages, combined all those words in a variety of ways to create yet another list, then we narrowed it down, recombined, came up with a few more words, polled our closest friends and loved ones, and finally found just the right name.

It captures both the heart and the purpose of this business, and I just can’t wait to unleash it on you all…

Stay tuned for the name reveal early next week!

Thanks for following me on this journey.

Katie

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