Three Business Lessons I Learned This Week

Since becoming my own boss and starting Expect a year and a half ago, I have been on a steep learning curve when it comes to the business side of things. I still have a lot to catch up on, but some major stuff finally clicked for me this week and I thought I'd share.

1. Just start selling. I've heard this so many times on Shark Tank -- a show that equally inspires me and makes me feel like I'm going to have a heart attack -- but I never really understood it. I was like, "My designs are online... So they should be selling, right?" Wrong. What they mean by that is to really put yourself out there, present your product to your customer and SELL IT. That finally clicked this week when I realized that meeting my customer in person at the shows, and by placing my pieces in a store was making all the difference.

2. Don't let labels hold you back. Since I started my business, I've been calling myself a fashion designer. That wasn't untrue, but I felt sometimes that I had to adhere to that title a little too closely and now allow myself to make things that weren't wearable. This week, I decided I wanted to start hand sewing, and making home decor items... And it made me so happy! I felt awesome to reconnect to my craft in a way I hadn't done in years. I've been calling myself a "maker" in my head for the past few days and it feels so nice to take the pressure away from having to be a designer, and just feel open to making stuff!

3. Talk to other creatives. This might seem super obvious, but it took me a while to figure this one out. Being your own boss can be very isolating. On a typical day, I go to my studio and I work in there until the day is over and I speak to no one but my husband for the day. Since starting selling at the markets and connecting with other creative people, I feel that I have a whole new outlet. I'm able to get advice, inspiration, commiserate, and express myself more freely. Having new relationships with people who understand my business had enriched my existing relationships.