Those that know me understand my desire to be an entrepreneur. And, wow!, it's been in my head for a long time. It started with a dream..,
Many years ago, having my own business was a dream job where I wouldn't have to report to anyone, could make my own hours and still make lots of money. Ha! Ha! Even though these are somewhat true, the touters of entrepreneurship make it very enticing with these soft and fuzzy visions. Actually, having my own business is a lot of work, especially since I'm doing it alone.
They say, "Find your passion and then find a way to make money with it." My biggest problem was not being able to centralize my "passion". I have always been creative and have been crafting, painting, writing, sewing, handstitching and drawing all my life. Every day I see some new technique or craft that I want to learn and excel doing. That, my friends, was the crux of my problem.
To this day, I still love learning new things. Someone who I highly respect told me, "It's never too late to learn." I've made that my life motto. However, when it comes to finding a "passion" to turn into a business, I had to really look deep inside to find what really drives me.
I went through a lifetime of chasing a career in Corporate America. But I finally took a slightly early retirement. I became a caregiver for my Mom and moved her in with us. She loved sewing and one day we took her machine in for a checkup and deep cleaning. When we walked through the dealer's doors, I saw my first computerized combo sewing and embroidery machine all set up so deliciously. It was on a custom fitting sewing table and there were samples galore laid across the table showing what that machine could do. I bought one that day along with the table, designing software and, of course, all the threads and stabilizers I would need for a good head start.
That machine, once delivered and set up, sat for over a year before I did anything on it. I was so intimidated by all the technology, it put a fear in me that I never felt previously. But then a friend invited me to an "Embroidery Party" at another dealer's shop. We got to use demo machines and made some projects. When I got home from that event, I opened my manuals and studied. Within a week I made a wall hanging of embroidered blocks for my mom and a kitchen wall hanging for myself.
I can now say I've found my "passion". The world of machine embroidery is full of variety and new techniques are always emerging by those who want to push the bounderies and experiment. I started following several educators and have learned about appliques, cutwork, free standing lace and 3D designs. I bought another design software program (because the old one was no longer being supported) and have gleaned from experts in the embroidery designing field.
Now that I've found my "passion", my dream has a better chance of coming to fruition. At this stage in my life, I'm not looking to become a millionaire, and I don't want to turn what I love doing into a "job". But if I'd like to make any money doing what I love, I had to get the process going. That takes quite a bit of researching and more learning. It is a time-intensive process but I persevered and have accomplished quite a lot.
I started by getting a domain name and website host service. I did engage some help in creating the website and pushing it out to directories for a little while. That was an expense that bit me a little more than I wanted, so when I started getting a few customers, I stopped marketing via a service.
I created my own logo and got business cards. Soon after that I began conducting digitizing and sewing/embroidery classes through my dealer. Then I added private in-home classes which my student love. I also created social media pages and business pages through the main search engines. Clients call me for embroidery projects and word-of-mouth referrals have been wonderful for the embroidery and education portions of my business.
Of course, I still see new things that I want to add to my business. I created and opened an online store that targets women. That's where this blog can be found. Through this store I showcase items with graphic designs that reflect women's attitudes, concerns and opinions. Other, non-printed items may also be added.
So ladies (and gents if any are reading this), this article introduces you to me and gives you a little background. I hope it encourages you to follow your dream even if it seems a long time coming and more work than you expected. Happy dreaming!!