My Creative Business Journey: A Manifesto

NEW YEAR

For the last month or so, I have had big plans of what I would write in my New Years post. It was going to be a series, and I would be organized and have a lot of projects I would unveil and so on. But as it goes, life got in the way. And here I am, typing my final New Years post at 9:40 pm on New Years day. I’ve always done things a little whacky though, so this isn’t too far off.

I started my blog in 2012 and they say it takes two years for to run a successful business. When I started the blog, I never thought of it in the business mind. It was a fun way to share my adventures in becoming a new mom and a stay-at-home one, at that. Now that I have come to the realization that this could very well be a successful creative business, and it was this blog that sparked my idea of an online art collective, and it was through this blog that I found so many DIY projects that ultimately led to my other creative business, Sweet Mariposa, that I now run with one of my closest friends.

So, this is what I have planned for my creative business(es) this year:

  • Blog: While I do not see my blog as a “business” right now, it is where I plan to go. I have seriously given it some thought, and I know I could use this to do a lot more. Share more small businesses and stories of beautiful mamas who started their own businesses from a very small corner of their homes. Share more inspiration of how live a simple and healthy life. I am planning on getting some awesome sponsors this year, and promise to never accept profit or partnership with a company or person I don’t believe in.
  • Baby Burrito Collective: I really love where this is going. This year is all about getting more people involved, and promoting more. We just added a directory so now artists can list all of their services. Helping promote the work of my members gives me ideas of how I can promote my own work. I just love the idea of a collective – all working together to help each other achieve the same end result.
  • Sweet Mariposa: Finish all of my projects and list them. Get our Facebook going and pick a craft fair. Finally, I want to find a retail spot where we can set up shop. I’ll be moving soon so where I want to set up a space by where my friend lives, and one by where I will live. We’ll see where it goes from there.

With all that in mind, my creative business manifesto is to hustle. To take all promoting opportunities I can and to make things happen. I have all the tools I need – a supportive family, the flexibility in my schedule, and the motivation. Now I just need to put it all into motion and see where it will take me! Since nothing really came into fruition until 2013, I’m going to give me until 2015, and then I may have to move on – depending on where I am.

While I know every situation is different, and some businesses take longer than others to thrive, it’s not just about me. It’s about our family and everything I’m doing is to help support all of us. So, if it’s not working out, then it will have to be placed on hold until I am at a place where I can give it a go, again.

Have you set goals for your creative business this year? What’s your manifesto? Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google + with the hashtag #creativebusinessjourney. Find more creative business inspiration on my Pinterest!

Weekly Wishes #7

Right now, my workspace is full of remnants from my daughter’s first birthday, the semester coming to an end and Christmas right around the corner. I have projects upon projects that I need to finish and while I love working around a little chaos in my life, I feel like the chaos is kind of taking over.

This is after I cleaned.

This is after I cleaned.

So, in the midst of all the chaos, I have taken out some time to think about what I want to accomplish for the week. While it’s difficult at times to take a moment out to write a thought-provoking post like this, it saves me in the end because it gives me a chance to sort everything out.

Here’s what I wanted to do last week: Create a directory on Baby Burrito Collective, list Kandyce’s work on Etsy, finish cork/chalkboard, get my yoga routine down and focus on clean eating, turn my workspace into a Christmas wrapping station.

How I did: Well, I haven’t created the directory yet. Still looking up some good resources on how to do something like that. I did list Kandyce’s work on our Etsy site though! You can find Sweet Mariposa here. I just bought the fabric to cover the cork on my cork/chalkboard so hopefully it will be done this week. I did do yoga one day last week…but only one. And my workspace is definitely a Christmas wrapping station, along with everything else.

Repurposed hanging candle holder made by Kandyce

Repurposed hanging candle holder made by Kandyce

This week’s wishes:

Business: Find a resource for adding a directory for Baby Burrito Collective. Start spreading the word about the Collective and getting people to join. Continue listing on Sweet Mariposa and set up a Facebook. Look for spaces to contribute my writing. Make a detailed plan for Vox.

Creative: Add the fabric to my cork/chalkboard and finish it up. Finish my mom’s Christmas gift.

Fitness: Set a yoga goal – practice at least once a day when Cecilia takes her first bottle in her crib. Set a clean eating goal – at least one real meal per day. And a complete real meal.

Home: Compress all of my crafting stuff. Get a metal shelving rack to go in the closet to sort out my projects and what is ready to sell/give as gifts. One shelf for projects to be completed. One shelf for what is ready to sell/gift. And the final shelf for material/supplies. This is going to be my Christmas gift to myself, I think. It would be easy to take down and move when we move.

I know this is a day late, but what are your weekly wishes? Write about them and link up to the Nectar Collective. You can also share them in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s to having another lovely and productive week!

Weekly Wishes #3

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

This is the third week I have been blogging about my Weekly Wishes – an awesome link-up started by Melyssa of The Nectar Collective – and I have to say, it has been a huge motivator. I’m holding myself accountable for my goals and challenges, and I’m figuring out why I didn’t do what I had planned to do. And it always boils down to do this…life really does get in the way. It might seem like the biggest and most widely-used cop out in the world, but it is true! Sometimes, you really don’t have enough hours in the day, and that rang true last week.

Last week’s wishes:

Business: Get together with Heather to go over her Press Release (very exciting stuff!

Creative: Restore the three-tiered basket I recently purchased at the Lodi Street Faire and finish my chalkboard tray to use as a prop for my photos.

Fitness: 15 minute workout along with a 15 minute yoga session in every day

Home: Switch out the garden – work on moving all of the old stuff out, cleaning up the garden area, and starting planting new veggies

I did get my business wishes completed last week. I got the Press Release from Heather so I can start promoting her work more, and I found a bunch of new author communities for her to join. She’s going to look through all of them and pick one for now. She’s also looking at independent bookstores in San Diego where she can do a reading and sign some books – so I’m excited to see what happens there! We also have some Book Reviews I need to check on and share!

As for my creative wish – I got the tray done, finally! And as it turns out, it works perfect as a prop for my photos! I used to take a photo of a recipe I’m working on, and it added a really nice touch. I need to find a rust removal solution for my three-tiered basket, so if you know of any – please let me know!

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I was not able to get much of an exercise routine in last week, so I’m going to try it again this week! My daughter is starting to get more of a sleeping schedule down, so I should be able to fit something in during her naps.

And, my garden. I’ve decided to hold off on working on it until I get some new plants in. Then I can take a day to just clean it out and put new stuff in. I need to look up what plants will do the best in this season and go from there. I’ve started making salsa and hot sauce with the peppers from my garden, and that is a big motivator to keep it going!

This week’s wishes:

Business: Start working on my logo and graphic design work for Baby Burrito Collective. I’m going to work on the website as well, but I at least want to get my branding done before I do more work on the site. My goal is to eventually learn web design and build my own website, but I’m taking it all step by step. I’ve learned what trouble I face if I try to do it all at once, so I’m trying more and more to take my time with everything. I’m going to keep a Pinterest board with all of the colors, fonts and designs I want for my site.

Creative: Start working on the three-tiered basket. I need to soak it in some rust removal solution and then I will paint it a lovely color and hang it in the pantry. I didn’t know how much I would love repurposing and upcycling old stuff to make it the way I love it, but it gives me such a rush! I also need to work on the chalk/cork board I have been wanting to fix. I have the frame, just need to make board now.

the baskets are holding the cheese grater

the baskets are holding the cheese grater

Fitness: Get a routine. I did so good for the last couple weeks, and now the weight is creepily finding it’s way back. I just need to get a routine that works for me instead of worrying about doing it for a certain amount of time, and just doing it every day. Even if it needs to be something quick, it’s better than nothing, right?

Home: Get all of my peppers and basil out of the garden before the frost hits and start canning like mad. I’m hoping to get a pressure canner, which will help a lot. I’m thinking of canning apple butter, hot sauce and pesto as part of my Christmas gifts I’m giving away. I always love getting that stuff, and I would love to do it for my family!

What are your weekly wishes? Write about them and link up to the Nectar Collective. You can also share them in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s to having another lovely and productive week!

 

It’s all business, baby

There are very few nights during the week that I am able to go to bed before 10 pm. Ironically, on those nights, I am unable to sleep. I lay awake worrying about stuff that I don’t even need to worry about, but I can’t get them out of my head. Since my boyfriend wakes up at 5 am and has a very strenuous job, I don’t want to wake him, so I normally find myself on the couch, thinking. Luckily, this insomnia has given me some time to think about the direction of all of my work. And here is what I have decided.

logo

When I started baby burrito collective (my online art collective), I had a big picture of what I wanted. Back when I lived in Sacramento, I was big into the art scene, even though I never considered myself an artist. I just loved being around it all, and I loved to help promote my artist friends the most that I could. I wanted to keep that going when I started my art collective. I couldn’t do it in person that much anymore, so I wanted to do it all online. Since everything is so out there right now, and not a whole lot of people are taking their stories to the media anymore, that part of it is limited. So, I’m offering more web services now: adding people to my website and online store, creating flyers and pretty much anything else they need to get started. I’m still working on transforming it, but I’m seeing my vision become more and more clear, day by day.

Sweet Mariposa

I have also decided to change my online handmade shop from Mariposa Blossoms to Sweet Mariposa. For some reason, that name has just sort of stuck with me, and it sounds so beautiful, so I decided to change it. I have also added another person to my shop, my friend Kandyce! I’m going to be putting up a few of her paintings, and some new stuff I’m working on, so they should be up there soon! I’m really excited to see what will happen with this shop!

And finally…my first love, this blog. I thought about it really hard, and this is what I want to see happen. I like the flow that it has right now, and I’m hoping to add some more profiles on women who started their own businesses, especially moms. I love hearing their stories and I feel so inspired every single time I write about them. I have been contacting a bunch of lovely ladies – to the point that I feel like a vacuum saleswoman at times – and I am hoping to share some of their stories soon. I also hope this will lead me to some people that I could write about in my book, but only the future will tell. I will be sharing some more news soon!

I am always looking for people and companies to partner up with. The online handmade community is one of the biggest reasons that I started blogging, and I love everything about it. If you think your story would fit with this blog, or if you think your company would benefit from sponsoring this blog, please let me know. I would love to work with you. I am also thinking of starting a book club that is centered around reading homemade business books. Let me know if you’re interested in joining!

Thank you so much for joining me on this wonderful journey. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. I’m pretty much everywhere. Let me know if you want to be featured on my blog, or if there is someone you think I should interview. Post in the comments and use the hashtag #businessminded on any of the social media sites listed above.

Book Giveaway and More!

Hello friends! So, a lot has been happening in the last week or so. I created a Media Kit for my blog and I’m reaching out to Sponsors! It’s so exciting and I get chills every time I think about it. I’m also offering up my writing skills to anyone who is looking for a contributing writer or a guest blogger for their magazine, blog, website, what have you. If you are interested in either becoming a sponsor or having me write for you, you can find out more by clicking on the “Let’s Work Together” tab under “Contact.”

I also registered my online art collective baby burrito collective as a business and things are going really smooth. On that note, today I’m starting something that I’ve never done before on my blog – or anywhere else, to be honest – offering a giveaway! One of our members Heather Leigh is offering up her book Red Nectar for free to the first 5 people who like baby burrito collective on Facebook!

BBC Giveaway

So all you need to do is click on the Facebook link or the flyer above and you will be directed to our Facebook page. Just click “like” and if you are one of the first five to like the page, I will contact you for your address and you will be shipped a copy absolutely free. You can keep the signed book for yourself or give it as a gift to someone who you think may like it.

To find out more about becoming a member of baby burrito collective, you can click on “Baby Burrito Collective”  on my homepage and then click “Join Us.”  Did you start your own business or are you thinking about starting one? Share your inspiration and motivation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #businessminded. Follow more of my business inspiration on Pinterest!

Shameless self promotion

So, I have some good news to share! I got my very first customer at my Mariposa Blossoms Etsy store! She ordered two of my upcycled cheese grater jewelry holders and I’m finishing them up right now to send to her! I also added the store to my Facebook page, so it’s literally a one-stop shop now!

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I’m hoping to get some work done this weekend so I can add more items to my store. There is a big street faire in Lodi, CA in October and I would love to get a booth there, but I need to get my ducks in a row before I can apply so we will have to see how that goes!

As for my other baby, the baby burrito collective, things are going good! We added Heather’s book Red Nectar to the online shop and we are working on a giveaway! I will share the details once they are happening. We are still looking for people who would like to review the book on Amazon and then pass it on to a friend. And better yet, bloggers and writers who would like to review it on their sites as well! So, if you’re interested…please let me know so I can send you a copy!

book review flyerIf you are interested in joining the baby burrito collective or volunteering for it, please feel free to check out the website and/or Facebook. It’s an online art collective that is open to anyone who would like some help promoting their work. We would be happy to have you!

And finally, school starts soon! I’m so excited to start the Academy of the Arts, that I can barely type it without my fingers shaking. I’ve wanted to attend this school since I was in high school, I just finally have the determination and motivation to do it now!

Do you have any projects or anything you would like to share? If so, please feel free to share in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Check out my inspiration for all of my projects at Pinterest and feel free to drop a link to your PInterest, I love checking out other people’s boards and getting even more inspired!