Last week I was so lucky to spend a day at the Snap Conference and soak up creative energy from hundreds of awe inspiring women!! I wish I could have spent more time there but I had to finish up some projects at home before taking off to our family vacation tomorrow. (Yeah baby!)
I left Snap with so much inspiration for my life and the business side of my life it was insane… and so worth it!! I also got to meet some people that I only knew through email or Instagram which was really fun to put a face with the name.
A highlight was speaking on a panel with Lindsey, Ashley, Heather and Jessica. Our panel was called Happy Chaos which very well could be the title of my life. It was so great to hear others’ experience and insight. I loved what our moderator, Heather, said about valuing the handmade market. Jessica spoke a lot about her personal experiences at home that I really loved hearing. Ashley was just awesome & enjoyed hearing how to stay inspired, and Lindsey shared tips for how she balances the business side that I needed to hear. Thanks ladies it was fun to collaborate on this and thanks Tauni and Mique for inviting me!!
① My new friend and twinner: wish you could see her red pants in the pic.
② Our Happy Chaos panel: Lindsey, Ashley, Heather and Jessica
③ So many bright, creative ladies! I spy Gussy Sews! (stole these pics from Jessica)
④ Enjoyed spending time with my Spark sisters! Rhonna & Margie! (dirtygramed this pic from Rhonna)
Also enjoyed meeting or seeing again: Eighteen25//Supermom Moments//Orson Gygi Girls//A Place For Us//Jaimee Rose//Glitter and Gloss//My Sister’s Suitcase//Brooke Walker//Sarah Rae//30 Days Blog//Whippy Cake//House Of Smiths//One Charming Party//Idea Room//Skip To My Lou//No Biggie//Made By Jewls (Aside from her shop she started an adoption blog. If anyone knows someone who is looking for an adoption family pass along Julianne’s information. She truly is a genuine sweetheart!)
“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
someone really smart said this but I don’t know who. ; )
Sometimes when I am preparing something to say in public it makes sense in my mind… then when I start speaking it sounds like this lkajdfkajsrfljkoiuroptiuoidhgfk lakdj. That’s how I felt during our panel. A few nights before our discussion I started free-writing some answers to our panel questions here are a couple below:
When did you decide to actually go for it and take the leap to really treat this passion as a business
Turning my passion into a career was more of a gradual process. I didn’t just up-and-do-it one day, it was more organic.
There is a point in the process of turning your passion into a business that you have to… become a little girl again. You have to be a dreamer… where anything possible. Before the world, our self conscousness, money and harsh realities tend to squash those dreams. But you can do it. Everyone here has something to share. Everyone has their own light & purpose.
Then I think it definitely takes courage. Again something that little kids on occasion are better at than me. But I’ve had to take a chance and put my whole heart into things not knowing if people would point and laugh. Of course no one does that accept boys in 5th grade but those are the kind of crazy things that enter your mind when you are creatively vulnerable. My first steps were entering a contest, then working for a magazine, writing a book and then ending up designing my own craft line. Long story short, I knew when I wanted to go for it after a feeling inside me could look at what I was doing and I wanted to share it with others having a hunch some would love it just as much.
Usually I’ve found that something I created was lifting me up… so I hoped to do the same for others…!
This reminds me of a time when I had to take a leap of faith… Upon graduating college in Behavioral Science I was thrilled to be working at the Juvenille Detention Center because not only did it pay really well but I felt like I was on the right path using my degree and natural abilities. After a string of events I had a feeling that I shouldn’t be working there. So I got a job at Pebbles In My Pocket for seriously like half the pay. But it felt right. It’s difficult at times to trust that feeling or inkling but I feel like this change was purposeful and part of God’s plan.
How did you find what you were good at?
How to find your passion is something that you soar at doing and are exceptional at! It reminds me of a concept I learned in college called Flow. Have you heard of this? It’s when you are doing something and you feel positive, energized, it’s intrinsically rewarding, effortless, comes easy for you, time passes quickly while you are doing it, you are happy, and you lose that feeling of self consciousness. That’s one way to find your strength.
I think we should strive to become better and increase our skills at something-but we can’t force it. We should try to focus on something that we are naturally good at now.
Other thoughts: Does it “wow your soul?” When you are working on making something or developing a new product when you’re finished are you excited? Do you want to instagram it right then? Because times when I’m not excited about something I created, then chances are some people won’t be either. But when I make something and I am so giddy and do a happy dance then chances are that others will react the same way too.
Who are the people you count on the most to keep you motivated and successful?
You need that cheerleader… that one person to say “You can do it!” Whether it’s a boyfriend, husband, sister, mom, friend. It definitely helps immensely to have someone cheering you on. Because putting yourself out there can be scary. Also, be that person for someone else. Cheer them on because you might be the only person doing so. It took one friend to say to me, “You know, you should enter that contest…” At first I kind of laughed because I had never even thought of submitting my work to a magazine and guess what? To my surprise, I won! And that’s what started my career. Even when I entered my work I didn’t even think I would win so we need to take risks. Approach situations where you can’t predict the outcome!
And not only in support but I’ve learned over the last few years that, for me, my close relationships play a huge role in my creative process. It’s very difficult for me to think innovatively when I am not in a good place with a person who’s very close to me. And oppositely some of my favorite and effortless creative processes were when I was in love or giddy happy about someone or something. I say something because not only people but surround yourself with the things that make you happy when you are ready to create and imaginatively explore ideas… music, photos, inspiration, words etc those keep me motivated.
From the time you started out to now, the market has become almost overly saturated. How do you stay encouraged or how would you encourage someone to start a business when there are so many out there?
Go for it! Follow your passion. This is tricky advice because I think it is a natural tendency for women to compare ourselves. But don’t compare. Usually we are comparing our worst with someone’s best and it’s not actually an accurate or fair correlation. Instead focus on your positive attributes, on your strengths. On what you can contribute, because everyone has their own unique light to share. If we do that then we will stand out. Also, do it because you love it & that comes through in all you create. Truly keeping that dreamer mindset alive keeps me encouraged.