Monday, July 13, 2015

m y   s t o r e   a t e   m y    b l o g
 
For some reason lately I have had to give the rundown of how I got to where I am.
And I always say it started with the blog.
Which it did.
 
And then the blog kind of died for me.
I remember 4 years ago being worried I didn't post on my blog every week. Now I post every three months or so.
 
It isn't that I don't want to. It is that I am pulled in so many directions that the blog gets put on the back burner.
 
And Instagram took over both my Facebook and blog. And who knows what will take it over next.
 
But the blog taught me a ton. I know that everyone only looks at the pictures {hence Instagram taking over}. I would get comments at the end of posts and I knew no one was actually reading my posts.
 
Or the blog turns into teaching everyone else what took me years of trial and error to figure out. And something in me clicked that I don't really want to do tutorials. Really good work happens when others figure it out for themselves. And the fun happens when you figure it out yourself instead of "googling" it. And the longevity of an artist happens when they do it on their own.
 
Social media is hard balance for a small business. It is a necessary thing to build your brand, network. And it is usually free! It just takes time and figuring out what your brand is. And it is FUN.
 
But it has it's downfalls.
 
 I can work 10 hours on a piece. I am so proud of it. I found it, rebuilt it, painted it, staged it, marketed it, then hauled it by myself to the shop. Then I remerch the entire shop to make the new piece work in the store. I work 12 hours total on it and I will probably not make any money on it after all my expenses. So I will have to paint 15 of those pieces a month to make a profit.
 
I have learned to have a thick skin. I can post it for sale and I can get a mean comment about it.
I get it, it isn't their cup of tea. Every person has different taste.
 
And everyone might not like me. And that is ok. And to be honest. I am not really the person I put out on social media. I have a somewhat messy house, I always have a bun in my hair, paint on my clothes and car full of furniture junk and mess.

I think I am funnier in "real life" and goofier, and I fret about dumb stuff. Then I forget about it.
 
But all my painter friends live this way.
 
I would never post on someone else's wall something rude about their post. It always baffles me that people do this. Why follow a store if you don't like their taste? But it doesn't bug me anymore.
 
The internet makes people entitled to think they can get a hold of me 24 hours a day. I kind of fight this a bit. If someone posts a comment on a picture at 9pm but I don't respond until the next day, I don't think that warrants 5 emails asking why I hadn't responded back to a comment. I was asleep.
 
And I have had to get over people who copy. I try not to even think about it. Truth is, if someone has to copy, then they will have trouble when the business changes. And it will. Probably next week.
 
I have learned to build all kinds of structure around me. I have my hours at the shop that work for my family. This is what I get complaints about the most. I have to say that I can't work at the store more myself. I am knee deep in paint and dust everyday. This is what keeps the store open. This is how I make my money. And I can't afford to add more staff to be open for the sake of being open. The truth is when I went from being open six days a week to four my sales tripled and stayed that way.  But it is the first thing someone says to me when they come to the store. I tried to visit but you weren't open. I just smile. The second thing they ask right after that is if I paint the pieces in the store myself. Yes, why I am only open 4 days a week.
 
After going on 4 years of painting and selling, I have it down a bit, but it is a hustle of a job. Not for the meek.
 
I am a completely different business person than I was even a year ago.
 
I have a team at the store that understand working together makes everything work.
 
And hard work.
 
If you want to do this line of work- work REALLY hard seriously. Be careful who you work with. Always evolve. Try things yourself. Make mistakes. Understand that not everyone is going to like you. Understand you can't please every customer. You will have months you blow it out of the water and months you are treading water.
 
It is hard work.
But it is amazing.
 
And I love you guys, and I wouldn't be here without your. Seriously!!!!
 
And darn I should really blog more........