I am a small business...
No, I don't have one of those "real jobs" that come with traditional 8-5 hours, a paid lunch hour, paid vacation, sick leave, or insurance. Therefore most people believe I don't really work, I'm flexible to just go and do whatever, and work when or if I want to.
We (both my husband and I) are self employed. No work or sales equals no grocery money or funds to pay our electric bill or insurance, etc. (I've paid my own health insurance since the day after I graduated college. Every single year, the rates go up. This year was a 20% hike and I just got my notice that it'll be going up 9% in the new year and I've only used my insurance twice in 14 years.)
I have an online business and people think that's simple to run. I must be inspired to create the item, source the supplies, make it, then set up a photo shoot, edit pics, upload to my shop (title, tags, description, measurements, pictures), blog, work on SEO, share to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus. If I don't work, share, and promote what I'm working on, it will just set in my house/online and nobody can find it.
For custom orders, I convo / email with potential customers. Often there are 10-50+ emails back and forth, for a single order. Orders are started after payment has been received. I've had too many people inquire, promise to order, and never follow through, when I had already purchased additional supplies for the order. (I do keep lots of fabric in stock all the time, although sometimes new colors, styles, or supplies are needed.) After the flowers are handmade and assembled, I send pictures of all items, for approval, before shipping. Once approval is given, I box up and ship the order. Some days I ship from home, although if my other jobs take me away from home (or we have a substitute mail carrier), I must go by the post office.
It's important for my mind and body to stay healthy and focused. Drama, stress, and distractions can ruin the whole process.
Lately I've been ask "so what do you do now?" Well, whatever it takes and whatever my wonderful customers want. My "main" job is making burlap and lace wedding bouquets, I also make wreaths, home decor, repurposed clothing, and other unique items that can be found in my Etsy shop and ship world wide.
I take on local floral events and funerals as the need arises. (I don't keep fresh flowers on hand, so I must drive 35 miles one way, to pick up flowers for any request, therefore I do set minimum order rates for this service.) I promise to share pictures from this wedding very soon!
We have a booth at Uniques and Antiques in Mineola (about 30 miles from my house) that needs restocking on a regular basis. We share the space with Angea aka Rooster Tails. We generally go junkin' on Thursdays, looking for new items to add to our booth or to makeover. This is also the day we usually devote to updating our space and social media about what we have added. Sometime, prior to Thursday, we have to clean/makeover/paint/sew/fix, price, tag, and load our inventory to take on runs to U & A. Yes, it's a fun girls day, that involves lots of laughter and lunch out, yet it is still work.
We also have a minimum of two hours of farm chores, on a daily basis.
As a small business, we do a happy dance and say thank you every single time the cash register cha-chings on our phone (for online sales) and we are appreciative of everyone who refers a friend or ask us to help with local events. It means so much to us!
Some days we don't know how we will do it all, but every single day, it all works out. We haven't had a dependable Friday paycheck in almost 3 years. (Christmas week will mark my third anniversary of being self employed on a full time basis.) It takes a lot of faith to make it and I'll admit to worrying more than I should. We don't live an extravagant life and try to be content with what we are fortunate to have. When all of you trust me to make and design items for your special occasions, it really does make me happy and we are so very thankful.
.Your support for small businesses and especially small, handmade businesses is truly appreciated. I've got a friend who thinks we won the lottery and didn't tell anybody... that's definitely not the case. There's a lot of work / hustle going on here, to make ends meet, although some days, it really feels like I won big, knowing that I get to make a living with my creative talents and help all of you!
As a special thank you for all of my loyal followers and friends - I have a special coupon code for 20% off all of the clothing and most home decor in my online shop. Hurry though, this coupon is only good through Monday. Use SHOWLOVESHOPSMALL for 20% off. (Most everything else is also on sale, without a coupon code needed.)