Lesson Learned // Remember Why You Started
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.