This post is actually quite personal to me and to my store. I plan on 2015 being a very big year for myself, my blog, and my store. Before now, I haven't really taken the time to share with everyone the origin story of my Etsy store and blog other than in a cute, quirky "about me" page sort of way. So...before I tell you what all I have planned for 2015 and for the future, I think it's important to know a little more about my (and The Trendy Sparrow's) past...
In January of 2010, while I was a sophomore psychology major at Texas Tech University, I opened up my Etsy shop, The Trendy Sparrow. At the time I was working 3 jobs, going to school, and doing research in the psychology lab. I fully intended to go on and get a PhD in social psychology. Working so much while also going to school meant that I didn't really have a lot of time for myself. I realized that if I kept going at this pace, I would have a major breakdown before I was 21. I always loved to craft...I liked scrapbooking and painting and just making things in general. I decided to start spending a little time everyday to craft as a way to relax and de-stress (take that yoga!).
Eventually I had more craft projects (mostly decorated wooden boxes) than I had room for in my apartment! I had heard about a website called Etsy (it was still very new at the time) where people could sell their handmade items. I decided to put mine online in case people liked what I was making and wanted to buy them. Why not, right? I was surprised that people actually liked my things and wanted to pay me for them! I always used the money to go right back into making more things. I was more than happy to let people pay for my crafting obsession. The more I sold, the more I realized I could use the money I was making to pay my bills and create this into something real. Eventually, I started making a more constant product and taught myself some basic small business skills by reading every start-up book I could get my hands on.
Before I knew it I was able to quit one job...then another....then another...until the only work I was doing was my Etsy store and going to school. I still planned on getting a PhD. Etsy was just a way to pay for school while getting to work from home and have flexible hours, all while enjoying what I was working on. In 2013 I started my Master's degree in psychology at the University of Chicago...again while working on The Trendy Sparrow on the side. The start of graduate school also meant a start to the way I thought about my store and my future as I realized that eventually something had to give. Graduate school was hard. It was time consuming and very rigorous. I found myself completely miserable in no time. I hated classes because I didn't want to be there...I wanted to be at home working on The Trendy Sparrow. I answered store emails, designed new products, and worked on every possible aspect of my Etsy store that I could during class! Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes... "Do what you love and you will never work a day of your life." And it clicked! I no longer wanted to get a PhD and become a professor...I wanted to run my Etsy store full time!!
Even though I knew this is what I wanted to do, I really struggled with making it happen. I had been working towards becoming a professor for a long time...was I ready to give that dream up? Then I saw another quote (sorry guys...I'm a quote person!) that said "Do what you love, not what you think you are supposed to do." I realized I didn't want to get a PhD anymore. I wasn't giving up a dream...it's just that my dreams had changed. And that's oh-kay! (Sidebar...I think this is an incredibly important lesson to teach people. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to try something new. It's okay to have new dreams. So remember that, okay?)
Now that you know a little (or a very long winded version) of how The Trendy Sparrow started...let's fast forward to the future...2015! I'm so excited for everything that I have planned for 2015, and I am excited to see what 2015 has planned for me! Here a quick break down of what I have to look forward to working on and what is in store for you as customers/readers! Yay!
Resolutions and plans for The Trendy Sparrow blog:
* Post more often! I've been a little sporadic with posts lately because sales have been busy. But no more of that silliness!
* Post about the store/what I do more. I want to show you all more of my life as a small business owner...what I do, what my office looks like, how I run my Etsy store, products I enjoy, etc.
Resolutions and plans for The Trendy Sparrow store:
* Expanding product lines: I am adding lots of new designs to my current products so get ready!
* Expanding product types: This is my favorite one!! I plan on expanding into new product types this year. The biggest being t-shirts. This is something I am very excited about!! Keep on the lookout for more!
* Find a way to use the store to give back to the community. I wish more small businesses took the time to be more community conscious and took the time to give back.
* Work smarter, not more. I need to be more efficient with my time so that I can do more "big picture" things.
Resolutions and plans for me personally:
* Finish decorating my apartment! I've been here since August...it's time!
* Write more handwritten letters. I really wish people would do this more often. I love getting letters, don't you??
* Work out more. It's a little cliche', I know....but it's true. Sometimes I work so much that I forget to work out.
* Eat less crap. Again...cliche' but true.
* Keep up with my social life and friends. I'm really bad about diving headfirst into my work and getting full on tunnel vision. I work work work and forget that I need to make time to see the people that care about and love more often!
* Have more "Girls' Night"/Throw more fancy parties (see above)
Happy New Year everyone! Go out and make 2015 the BEST YEAR EVER!