After my blog post about the word Success and it’s meaning, it got me thinking further about it, about experiences I have been through. For those who don’t know I have a crafty business called Fantastic Crafty Fox. (I am looking to make a come back soon) I make handmade bags, accessories and gifts. I have sewed for many years making bits and bobs and decided I wanted to make it a little bit more than a hobby, so thought I would see about trying to sell online. I set up an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page aswell as then launching my Etsy shop. My social following grew as did my orders, after a while I found the courage to sign up to some craft fairs that I had always dreamed about taking part in.
Super proud moment, my first fair at The Palm House Sefton Park
Having a full-time job I would work all day and then I would come home, have dinner and then cram in some work on my sewing machine. Weekends saw me back in my craft room too, if I wasn’t making I was taking photo’s of new items to put up on my shop or designing my shop front for craft fairs. I absolutely loved it, seeing my drawings and creations come to life.
Fantastic Crafty Fox HQ
All of this was happened around the time of hustling for your dream and making sure you were being seen as being ‘busy’ and working around the clock to be successful. So as time went on and me being so new to it all, it slowly started to take its tole on me. There where days where I would crash and hit a wall. I would be in tears because of how tired and exhausted I was, but still felt I needed to carry on. I never forget the time Matt (my lovely other half) took me away sewing room to go and have a drink outside our local pub, it was summer and the weekend and I was stopping myself from going out and enjoying myself.
That exact moment captured
There were times I felt that I wasn’t good enough and imposter syndrome would kick in and I was worrying that if I stopped people would think I was no good. (Me at the time kept forgetting that this was just a side project and not my sole income – therefore in hindsight I really needed to calm the fudge down!) It got to a point where I had to stop, I had to listen to my body and my head and realise that I am not Wonder Woman (as cool as that would be). It was the week where I had decided to take part in two craft fairs in one week (while having a full-time job in-between, not very wise) I did the first one which was a great success! I met so many people and made great sales, however, that meant that I sadly had to pull out of the second fair as I had burned myself out. It was not workable as I didn’t have enough stock ready to sell for another fair. Few weeks later this led to me making the decision to hit pause on my crafty business, as hard of a decision as it was I did feel it was the right time for me. I will admit it did feel nice, to stop and restore calm.
Creating Samantha Jane Online I wanted to release my creativity and offer up advise and tips that I have learned throughout my life so far. Ok so I haven’t got 100k followers, but to me it’s not about that. If I am even able to help just one person or inspire one person with what I have learned, then that to me is enough.
I want to create a positive spot, where I can inspire and encourage and support creative makers.
Looking ahead, I am looking to bring back open my shop and I am currently working on some new designs and ideas. However, I know that my approach will be completely different this time and that is all down to experience and lessons learned through this big journey that we call life. So from this I thought I would share some of my tips to keep that balance with your creativity.
Figure out the why behind your creativity
The first step I would say is deciding what your reason is behind your creativity. You can work full-time or part-time and still have a side project, but you need to ask yourself, is this a hobby to let out some of your creativity? Is it something you want to learn to add another string to your bow? Or is it a project that you will hope to turn into your full-time job one day? Either way, balance and planning is necessary and having that answer will always keep the perspective on it.
Print by Lisa Koesterke Illustration
I can honestly say that a list will change your life. If you sit down on say a Sunday and look at the week ahead, write a list down off all the things you would like to have accomplished by the end of that week. Consider how long each task will take and then prioritize. Urgent is first then you can flow down to things that can be accomplished that day or the next and then to the things that can be done by the end of the week – which are your least urgent tasks. Work your way through them and tick them off as you go. Ticking a task off is a great way to make you feel that you are being pro-active and will make you feel good and less stressed. Oh, and more importantly, make sure within your planning you remember to factor in time to relax and go out!
Pretty Stationery from Jaqueline Fryers
Sort of similar to the above, however from your list take a look at anything that could be scheduled. Say for instance your Instagram account. Plot down what content you will post that week, what images you will use, caption you will write, relevant hashtags you will use. All of this being planned and scheduled ahead will instantly free your week up more and gives back that time to put to something else. Whether that be out with friends or some extra time in the craft room. In this digital world when it comes to scheduling – there is an app for everything, so take some time to see what’s out there that can help you. I have been using Planoly recently but I will be going in to that more on another blog post once I have had longer to figure it out better so I can give better feedback.
Illustrated quote from Becki Clark
Know your limit
Know your limit. Don’t keep pushing to burn yourself out. If you feel tired or weepy take yourself out of your work space and re-change. Go for a walk, read a book, go and see friends or family or even take a bath and listen to some music. Learning to recognise when you feel like it is getting too much is key and will help you take back control. Burning yourself out will not create good work, it may even lead you to resenting your craft and loose the reason behind what you set out to do. Taking time away or taking regular breaks will help give you a fresh outlook too and can even create new ideas.
Busy does not equal success.