Well since I bear all here on my little blog I was working today, as usual, and had one of those “downs” of the insane roller coaster of owning a business. Not a day goes by that I don’t think to myself, why the heck am I doing this? All of the stuff that is so hard about owning a business floods me at once. It is a feeling that life would be so light and free if I hadn’t started this journey. Fast forward, literally, 10 minutes and I am back on my game, granted drinking a glass of beer and talking it through with Matt (my husband).
What I keep learning as it was pointed out to me, by my husband, is that whenever I have a perceived failure it is always followed by a breakthrough, in large part due to what I learned from it. For example, If I go to a local market and only sell a couple hundred bucks after hauling my stuff all over the place and am feeling exhausted, I would generally consider this a failure. It isn’t until the next day that I realize what value that failure brought me. In this example, being at the market allowed me to interact with customers, see how they pick up the product, see what they are attracted to, all things I would have to pay a lot of money to have a marketing firm do with a focus group and I just did it while making a few bucks, failure or success?
This particular market led me to a huge breakthrough in my packaging and in strengthening the messages of the line through the way the products will be packaged. I would LOVE any feedback you have on any of the examples below, even if you DON’T like them, I can take it.
I have been meaning to show off our new studio space but wanted to tidy up before taking pics, ala apartment therapy style, but those who know me know that will likely never happen! So one one rare winter day I took some photos.
It was so fun getting all of our stuff in there and organized. I also wanted to share our latest shoot with all of our new product, so fun!
As some of you know for the 40 days of lent we decided to challenge ourselves to not use the ipad or the television as a family. When my husband and I agreed that this was a good idea, I have to admit that I had some reservations since it is me who spends the most time with the kids after school, and I could very well be punishing myself, and we live in Chicago and it is winter (enough said). The reason we did it was because we saw the kids becoming entrenched in the screen. They would literally switch from the tv, to the ipad to the computer all day long, unless we were completely diligent about not letting them. If we said “one show” they would watch the show, then they would grab the ipad and I would say, “OK, 2 games and then go play”, after ipad I would turn around and they would be online looking at you tube.
I am a few weeks in now and I have to admit it hasn’t been a big deal. The kids just kind of knew that it was off limits so they didn’t even ask for it, piece of cake! They would come home and run off and play and make a giant mess but hey, I didn’t have to look at them glued to a screen. As we progress I am finding that our lives are so intertwined with the internet that the kids have started to find “work arounds” to the system, like the first week my 5 year old, Simon, asked if it was ok for him to use the ipad they have at school? I said, “of course, that is fine because it is for learning.” The next day, Maddie, my 9 year old, asked if it was ok to go on the computer to do research for school? “Of course, you need to use google maps to look at some countries for homework, yes go ahead.” Fast forward a week, Maddie comes home so excited about her upcoming standardized tests at school that she MUST go online to practice her math. Her very sudden interest in “practicing her math” made me so happy until her brother ratted her out for going online to check on her virtual pets, garden, house, farm, you name it they have it.
I am not writing this to sound like I deserve the parent of the year award, because we took ourselves out of the running for that a looooong time ago, I really wanted to see if we could do it. It is forcing us to really define what is central to our lives and so far I LOVE not hearing that annoying music and arguing with them over the fact that I want their faces out of the computer (you an replace computer with tv, ipad, laptop, etc…). More to come…
Wrapping paper is overrated. Keep it simple, and classic this Holiday with these oh-so-cute and oh-so-easy ideas! 1. Gifting a Lille Huset house? Use the wooden front and a sweet note to decorate the box. 2. Baker’s string and pine cone. Dip the bottom of the pine cones in glue, and then glitter. 3. Two ninja stars taped together. 4. Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter as a template, and cut him out of kraft paper. 5. Washi tape and one ninja star. 6. Baker’s string, pine cones, and dried leaves.
Hi Everyone, I hope you are as excited about the holidays as we are! Last weekend we got to meet so many great people with our first ever pop up shop! We will have one more chance to meet you and get our last houses before the season ends. We will not only have the houses but also a “build a craft kit” for $25, our last 4 lille cities, our last complete set of all house styles and a brand new Imagine your world kit (with a really cute bag). See you at Dose!
Hi all,Over the next couple of weeks watch for our blog entries of where we will be popping up. This Sat we will be at 1026 in Logan Square from 12-2 and Sunday at the Logan Square farmers market!
I know that all (or most of you) know that I was able to launch my most recent line of doll houses on Kickstarter.com. I have been wanting to write an entry about it since it ended but wanted to give it some time so I would have a full view of the experience. It has been almost 6 months since I raised my initial money and wow, has it been insane. I have learned so much about everything having to do with what it means to have a business not just an idea. I have an MFA not an MBA, but I’d love to share what I am learning, coming from the creative side of things. Continue reading
Well, I have been back in Chicago after about a month of shows in NYC and can I just say, it was SO much FUN! This post is long over due, I’d rattle on my list of excuses (some of which involve being back at work and a teachers strike, like no other, that has sent us scrambling every day to occupy our kids) BUT, since some of you have been following our journey through being a start up business, I thought I’d share a bit about some of the people out there we got to meet, who we think are the bees knees.