Launching the biz full time

Today marks the fourth day that I can say "I own my own business" when someone asks me what I do for a living. I have to say, it has it's challenges (I haven't showered, worked out or eaten a full meal in 3 days) but overall it feels pretty awesome to be doing what I love, and working these long hours for none other than yours truly. Day One: The Website. I took a day off a couple weeks ago (used up some sick time before I quit my day job) and spent some time getting started on a website. I've been on Etsy for a year, but my niche (and the most fun part) of my business is creating brand new designs for my clients from scratch. Etsy certainly serves a purpose, and without it I wouldn't have the confidence, the platform or the small savings I have now, to be able to try this full time. Through Etsy, I primarily sell designs I've already completed for past clients, which I can easily reformat for new customers who find me online. Again--it serves a purpose, but it's not the heart of my business. SO, I wanted to create a website where I could really explain to my potential clients what it is that I do, show off my previous work, and sell why working with me is super special :). I started a couple weeks ago by purchasing the domain and getting a feel for GoDaddy's website designer. (Yes, I know I live with a talented web guru. I wanted to do this myself, and he has enough on his plate. So I went with the dummy tool). I didn't get very far before I had to return to work  so this Monday it was full steam ahead. I think I spent 7 hours straight getting it 90% of the way there. 

photo (10)

Day Two: The Portfolio. A project I've been meaning to get going on for a year (Yet another reason why I needed to commit to this full time). I am participating in the St. Louis Off-White Wedding Show in a month, and I'll need some physical materials for my booth. The portfolio serves two purposes--it shows off my work in the physical form, and it also provided me with an opportunity to re-photograph my items for the new website and Etsy shop. I picked up an 11x17 portfolio from the art store and, after spending 5 hours printing and assembling my entire portfolio of samples (impressive, if I might say so), started laying out page by page. It LOOKS AWESOME. And a solid 12 hour work day of FUN.

Day Three: Photography and Web Content. I spent the morning finding the perfect lighting in my apartment (on a cloudy day, this was not easy) for a photo shoot for my newly assembled portfolio. Then two hours of editing and re-sizing. Then two hours of adding all this content to the website, re-sizing again, re-formatting the website, re-editing, re-sizing, re-formatting... you get the idea. I capped the day off at 9:30pm with an ice cold Gin & Tonic and finally found the inspiration I'd been waiting for to write the welcome note on my landing page.

Day Four: Work for a new client, Website finishing touches, and Shopping. Ok, the third part isn't work-related. But I need some retail therapy after 3 and a half days of solid productivity. I spent the morning tweaking Jen & Andy's wedding invitation for a new Etsy client, sent off the designs, made some copy edits to the website (Thanks Mom and Stacy!), edited and re-sized some more photos (enough already!) and now I'm starting my commitment to keeping this blog current.

Build website, CHECK.

Build portfolio, CHECK.

New Photos, CHECK.

Update blog, CHECK.

Time to take advantage of working on my own time. Shopping awaits.