Lesson Learned // Remember Why You Started

back-to-the-beginning-kintage

Today I want to talk about going back to the beginning when you start to feel overwhelmed. If you’ll remember, I had an online clothing boutique called Kintage for almost 2 years. I worked my ass off to keep that store afloat for longer than I should have. I spent all my time maintaining the online storefront, taking measurements, photographing, etc. I had put a lot of money and time into it and I didn’t want to give it up, but feeling like I HAD to sell x amount to make the work worth it made me feel gross. I’m not a sales person and I don’t like feeling like I need to make a quota or push people to buy things they might not need. But I felt that way because all of my money and time was going into this business of mine. I had no time for a life and I really struggled with it for a long time before I decided to call it quits.

The problem is that I tried to live up to something I couldn’t. I was only one person (with a very part-time assistant I couldn’t afford) with a very limited amount of money to invest. Yet, I felt like I had to keep up with other bigger stores by having hundreds of items in stock. I was trying to be bigger than I was. It eventually got to the point where I wasn’t having fun anymore and a few months later I made the difficult decision to let it go.

About 6 months after closing the doors to the online store I began to miss it and I didn’t know why because I had such a tough time towards the end. What I quickly realized was I missed two things: picking out items I knew people would love and interacting with amazing customers. I did not miss sitting on the computer for hours each day doing store maintenance, I didn’t miss taking and editing hundreds of photos of products, etc. I let myself miss it and told myself that it was just like many other things in life, when it’s gone you miss it because you’re just remembering the good things.

After months and months of thinking about it, I logged into the Kintage instagram account to check in on my customers. Over the previous months Kintage had been tagged a few times by customers who were wearing our items well after Kintage closed it’s doors. People were asking “where did you get that?”, people were saying “I miss kintage!”.  The wheels in my head started turning. How could I bring Kintage back without overwhelming myself? This is when I started working my way back to the basics in my head. I started Kintage because I wanted a place to sell products that made me feel good and would make others feel good. Then I fell in love with my customers and picking out items that I knew they would love and shipping them knowing how excited they’d be when they opened their mailbox.

That’s when I realized that I could open Kintage as a low-key instagram only shop. There would be no pressure to carry hundreds of items, no pressure to update an online store daily, no pressure to sell a certain amount to make sure I was making enough to cover my overhead and the crazy amount of time I was spending working. Just me posting amazing pieces, interacting with my customers and shipping pink packages of happiness to my beautiful customers.

Long story short: when you get overwhelmed take a moment to strip away the excess, the stuff you don’t like, the stuff that’s getting in the way of you being where you want to be. Go back to why you started, where you began and work it out from there.

Weekly Wishes // No. 7

mila-car-show ootd-sept-14 Happy Monday! Our weekend seemed long and full, but simultaneously relaxing and a little lazy. We went to a car show (Mila tagged along!), had a mini pizza leftover picnic in the park, watched a lot of Bones, ate at denny’s, had a lazy sunday morning/afternoon (I worked in bed while Blaine napped!) and then spent Sunday night celebrating a friends (also my boss, technically) birthday. Good times all around and one of my favorite weekends in a while.

I feel really good about the upcoming week despite the fact that I have quite a bit on my plate, actually a lot more than usual. I’ll be chugging coffee, taking stretch breaks and being as efficient as possible over here for the next five days. I was pretty successful with my last set of wishes (not last week, but the week before) and am keeping my list for this week short and sweet. The main goal this week is to keep up with my projects and work all around.

LAST, LAST WEEK’S WISHES

  1. Finish first draft of ebook. I actually got the majority of this done! Not completely done, but I’d guess like 80% of the rough draft.
  2. Get dressed everyday. Since I skipped a week I’m not 100% sure, but I think I made it a full week getting dressed. In fact I’ve been very good about it lately.
  3. Get completely caught up on Design work. Yes! Well, now I have a forever long to-do list for design work, but I have caught up on everything I meant to.
  4. September Editorial Calendar for this blog & DIY Wedding blog. Yep! I have posts scheduled 5 days a week starting today, September 15th. Now I just need to work on getting them all written. I’m thinking about pulling back to 3 days a week just to be more realistic and not overwhelm myself. We’ll see how this week goes.

 

THIS WEEK’S WISHES

  1. Send first email to email list. One of my wishes a few weeks ago was to get my email list opt-in up. Now I need to start using my list. I’d like to email maybe twice a month, starting this week.
  2. Two DIY posts. I’d like to do more DIY posts on here and I’ll also be doing them a couple of times a month over on the wedding blog. I love crafting and making things with my hands so it’ll be fun to get back into that, and it’ll be nice to get off the computer and still feel productive.
  3. Get a week a head in posting here. I’d like to get about 1 week ahead for my posts on this blog. My weekly wishes posts and weekend link love posts will probably be a little less pre-thought out for obvious reasons, but if I can get my other posts ahead of schedule that’d be great!
The Nectar Collective

Weekend Link Love // No. 25

from our trip to sedona in july. i'm itching for an adventure with blaine.

from our trip to sedona in july. i’m itching for an adventure with my love!

The weekend is upon us and I feel pretty good about my week. We’ll be focusing on trying to clean up/out my parents garage this weekend which isn’t the most fun, but we spent some time doing it one night this week and found a lot of fun stuff. Old pictures, glow necklaces and lots of spiders. Hope your weekend is amazing!

Wow. This video shows that just changing the song on a video changes the whole mood.

Am I making this too difficult? Quick blog post on managing your time & tasks.

What I Instagrammed vs What is Really Happening. Everyone loves how pretty instagram is, but this post cracked me up.

Does selling make you feel like an asshole? Read this.

Tips for making your design convert better aka get your audience to do what you want them to.

NEED: Harry Potter Unforgivable Curses Underwear! Yes, I just posted underwear on my blog.

With our eventual move to Oregon looming over my head (more details soon!) I’ve been obsessed. Of course, I’ve been on the search for Oregon bloggers so I can live vicariously through them. OregonBloggers.com has been helpful and a few of my favorites so far are The Non-Consumer Advocate, Citizens of Beauty, Feed Your Skull, Local Haven and Poise Gets Cozy.

 

 

Foster Pupdate // Venice is 10 weeks + bonus

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Baby Venice is now 10 weeks old! I just can’t believe I’ve had her since she was 5 days old. She’s still so tiny and that’s what everyone says when they see her, but she’s also so BIG to me. The last update I did was for four/five weeks old, right after the third puppy (Malibu) passed away. Luckily, Venice has pushed through for the last five weeks and has surprised us all! Even the vet mentioned he was surprised she had made it this far and she was doing this well when I took her in for her shots at 8 weeks. However, because she is so tiny and he didn’t want to set her back he requested we wait until 12 weeks to do her first set of shots and that we keep her in foster care until 4 months so that we could have a better idea of her condition

Venice has hydrocephalus aka “water on the brain” which means she has excess fluid in her skull putting pressure on her brain. Unfortuantely, most puppies die as puppies and the ones that do survive only live for a couple of years. It still makes me tear up thinking about the short, hard life this little girl is going to have, but she is such a happy, loving little girl. If I could keep her, I would do it in an absolute heartbeat. I keep reminding myself that it’s always hard to let them go, but when you meet their new family it’s always a huge relief and you let them go with a happy heart.

Her teeth started coming in around 8 weeks old and are still slowly making their way in. One of the effects of hydrocephalus is slow development so I’m not too worried about it. She eats hard food like a champ, barks her little face off when I’m in the kitchen thinking I’m going to feed her and comes when called no matter where in the house she’s exploring she will run as fast as her tiny, adorable feet can carry her. She also was part of a photoshoot for Rescue Me magazine, what a lucky girl!

Venice will be with us for probably another 6 weeks before she goes to her new home and I’m definitely going to savor it! She’s the biggest sweetheart ever and, quite honestly, the closest thing I’ve ever had to a baby of my own. Cue the tears!

Bonus Pupdates: Belle & Mike

belle-bella mac-mike

The rescue had an appreciation lunch and, do you remember these silly faces? Belle and Mike (from the brady bunch litter) were there and I didn’t even recognize Belle (now Bella) at first. Seeing them as big, teenaged puppies made my whole week. There is no better feeling knowing that you helped a dog find the family they were meant to be with.

You can find more posts about my dog fostering journey here.