Last week I left off in the year 2014, where I was building my courage to keep going. I had reopened my Etsy shop and was selling a few things there, as well as by word of mouth. I also started doing some cards for donations, including a really big one for our community in 2017.
As time went on I started working up the courage to put my cards in a local gift shop. I have some great cheerleaders that kept pushing me to keep going. Finally, in 2017 I decided on a name for the business and ordered some business cards. We'll talk about the reason I picked the name later. Then in March of 2019, I bit the big bullet that was way out of my comfort zone and put some cards at Smiling Moose Gifts & Office Supply.
I'm not sure anyone realizes what a huge step that was for me, but it was enormous and so worth it. As the quote says "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and that couldn't be more true in this case. I was terrified it would be a success and I wasn't sure how I would keep up with it. Fast forward three years and I have over 300 cards there and have grown a beautiful friendship with the owner.
My current focus is on building my online presence and getting handmade cards out to more people through my online shop. This is the next leg of the journey and it's another leap out of my comfort zone, as I have to start talking about my art more. In case you missed it in the first post, I'm totally an introvert that does not like talking about herself.
This year I have also expanded my local gift shop presence, as I talked about in the New Line, New Location post a couple of weeks ago. I've got a beautiful little rack of photography cards at Rika's Roadhouse this year. While it's only a seasonal gift shop, unlike Smiling Moose, it will hopefully help in building my goal of more exposure and more online sales. The thought is that the tourists will like my work and want to shop for more things online.
Still curious about how I landed on Inked Inspirations as the name for this cool venture of cards and arts? Watch for Tuesday's post to learn more.