Friday, July 24, 2009

Inspiration

It's hard for me to put into words what I am feeling today. It like I've hooked myself into a river flowing from the universe and the magic of that endless creative energy is just pouring all over. It's a form of endless possibilities, bigger energy than I can even understand, a force I am only clinging too on this wild ride through life. I feel it's a giant monster and it's fascinating and thrilling and there is no way I could ever tame it but somehow I've been able to latch on and taken along for the journey.

You never know what kind of people you are going to meet or what's going to happen from that. Every now and then I am shown connections from someone I worked with or went to school with that comes back in my life years later and serves a higher role that I never could have know would happen. It's every word, every decision, something shifts in the universe and it can be good or bad but it does shift. It's so exciting to see it shift in a positive and creative direction.

Yes I wanted to be an artist but when I was a kid I didn't know what that meant. I am learning in my life that it can have so many different kinds of meanings and directions. There is so much you can do with a creative mind. There are so many career paths you can take.

I am so excited that my life is filled with artists and craftsmen. I am surrounded by many skilled people. They are ambitious thinkers with a will to DO not just talk about what they are going to do.

Tapping into this energy makes me feel like a kid again. I feel like I'm back in highschool with the art geeks, except now this is people in their 20's 30's and 40's. It's the grown up version of what I experienced back then. It's the next renewal, it's the renaissance. It's the do-it-yourself generation. It's FANTASTIC.

Who knows what will come of this. I am thankful that I am around so many creative people that keep me going and made this life a reality. That being a full time artist is possible and being your own business owner is possible. That you can form your own life. You can make your own rules. You can build the life you are dreaming of. Dreams can become reality so easily!

I think it's the fact that I am starting to understand that concept. That anything I dream up can be made, can be done, can be formed. Take that dream and make a plan and talk about it, find the right people and make it happen. Dreams won't be done overnight and they take lots of hard work and faith. But that's the beauty in it, your dream is fueled by your faith and in return for believing you can have anything you want. Dreams are created by faith and brought to reality by patience and perseverance.

Isn't life freakin FANTASTIC!

Think big people, dream big, live big and don't ever let yourself slip into complacency. The biggest obstacle of your life is your own head. If you can conquer that, then the world is your oyster.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finding a Mentor

I've reached the point in my business where the answers I was looking for were getting harder and harder to find. I can't seem to get organized, my head is just going a mile a minute and it's hard to focus on one thing at time. It's GREAT to have so many ideas and plans but it can be so overwhelming. In one of the business books I've been reading they say over and over how important it is to have a mentor that can guide you through the ropes. Apparently it helps to have someone that's been in the biz for a while so you can get some advice and maybe be shown something you overlooked. Youth and ambition can be great but it can be even more effective if matched with someone that has earned their stripes and made all the mistakes already.

Let me just back away for a moment to tell you that life will give you JUST what you want from it. I am blown away how easily information has been for me to find if I just ASK for it, if I just ASK for help. I lay down just what I'm looking for and before I can even think about the next action, there it is before me! It keeps happening faster and faster and stronger. You can say it's positive thinking and if you have read the book "The Secret" you will know a little about what I'm talking about. Also the movie "What the Bleep do we know" has some inspiring ideas in it about thinking about what you want, believing it will come to you and the universe re-arranges itself to what you want. Go ahead and think I'm crazy but I have put this into heavy action this year and I am so blown away with what happens. I'm not even surprised anymore, I just expect it to happen. I just expect it to work out and it does!



So getting back to my story. Today I met with someone from SCORE (www.scorepdx.org). I asked my friends if they knew of a mentorship program that I could join because I really needed a person to talk to about my complicated business planning. I had completely forgot about SCORE and their mentorship program! My friends were quick to jump in and give me advice, I heard about SCORE from SO many people. Today I went and within minutes I was talking with someone that luckily had retail experience and knew about my business and what kind of advice to give me! We talked for an hour or so and he wrote down the figures and I told him my plan. He filled that role of someone to ground me and give me a solid foundation and plan. I have a lot of homework tonight and writing to do!

I would HIGHLY recommend SCORE to any person thinking about starting a business and needing someone to talk to about all the details. It's FREE, these are VOLUNTEERS giving their time to help people. There is help out there, you don't have to feel alone in this business world. So even for a creative Entrepreneur there is help! A product is a product, and retail is retail. If I want to take this to the next level I have to put the numbers down and figure out if I can really make this work. I feel that I can and with the right planning I will be able to grow as a business.


I would also recommend Mercy Corps Northwest to anyone looking for GREAT business courses and helpful volunteers. I am still prepping to attend their foundations class and hope to save up the dough to get in. It cost $75.00 for their foundation class that covers all the basics and looks like a REALLY great course. I can't wait to get involved with them and seeing what kind of people I meet there!

They also have a website called Micro Mentor where they can set you up with your own custom mentor! You can also volunteer through them to mentor others.

From their website:
"I was at a place in my business where I really needed to get some structure," Rachel says, "and MicroMentor has helped me to do that." MicroMentor connected Rachel with Jayne, who helped her develop a clear set of policies and procedures, a defined mission statement, and clearly articulated roles and responsibilities. Through it all, Jayne has given Rachel the confidence she needed to keep improving.
You don't have to go it alone. A mentoring relationship can give you access to the expertise and industry specific advice you need. Identify your business challenges, work with your mentor, and build your business. Sign up and search for your mentor today.


What have I been doing with the my time? I'm working still with a local printer that is going to let me use his press to print my shirts. I have to print a LOT of stock so we are getting my artwork ready, prepping screens and looking and customizing equipment. I am so excited to work with this printer and what it means for me and my skill level. I feel like an apprentice learning from the master.

I am setting up people in my life that will be my strength and guidance as I take this forward. I am so pumped that I don't feel alone, that I doesn't seem scary, that I KNOW I can take it on if I just make a plan and stick to it. It's all about baby steps right?

One step at a time!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Growth

I haven't been posting in the last few weeks because I've been too busy just trying to keep up with my life right now. Some of the things I've been working at are:

1.) Finding a better printing setup.
I am currently collaborating with a screen-printer who is going to let me work in his shop to print my shirts and also putting me to work as a trade. I'm excited about working with an experienced printer and how much more experience I'll pick up in the process. I've met with him twice and I am in the process of cleaning out old screens, buying some wood for a shirt form for the press (my onesies require a custom arm), and buying more screens. I'm excited about how this means for my growth and ability to keep up with inventory!

2.) Meeting with Etsy groups/ Planning Meetings.
I am getting more and more involved with the PDX Etsy street team group and trying to keep in contact with our etsy crafting community. I recently attended the meet and greet with Etsy was in town last night. I was able to meet the CEO of Etsy, Matt (one of the original owners), and Anda who does the twitter and artwork for Etsy. I was networking like a fiend at the huge event last night that Etsy hosted for the Portland crew.

3.)Sewing New Aprons.
I am finishing up some aprons and chef hats that I will be showing this weekend. They will be a cute little set with matching hat, apron and a colorful spatula! I'm thinking about giving out recipe cards for the set. Wouldn't that be cute? Also going to try and make some more fake food that can go with them. For cooking playtime! Real and imaginary. :)

So much to still do!
What I been neglecting is my website and my etsy shop. My goal is to fix all of those things this month. Next weekend I'm off at a Pirate camping adventure call Sea Dog Nights. Then NEXT weekend I'm off to ANOTHER Pirate event called Willamette River Festival in Albany. I'm looking forward to all the BBQ and Pirates! BOOM is going to be there! I'll be helping my friend with face-painting and she is putting on a puppet show. I'll have more info about that later.

In August things are going to even out a bit (I hope). I'm not taking off somewhere and staying right here in Portland do do shows every weekend. I might try out some farmer's markets this next month so many I'll be in your neighborhood! I'm always looking for new shows too. If you have any info please forward it in my direction.

This month has been so good for me. I am getting the help and support that I need. I don't feel like I'm drowning as much. I still have a long way to go to get ahead. Thanks for everyone's support and great advice. Being around creative, passionate, beautiful people have really done a lot for my soul. Before I felt alone, and now I know I have others there climbing with me and working just as hard and dealing with the same kind of challenges I face as well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Last Thursday June

I know I haven't posted in forever. I've been away from everything and taking a big break from my life. I went to see my family over the fourth of July weekend and had one of the best weekends in my life.

So now I can finally show you some awesomeness from a couple weeks ago. These are pictures from Last Thursday back in June. I just love how entertaining and creative everyone is. It was a hard night for me and I was rather cranky, in the end I'm glad that was the last show I did before taking my break. I just couldn't handle anymore people after that. It was a fun night though and I'm glad I went out. It was also the first Last Thursday for Nicole Flood of flood clothing. Plans are in the mix to meet up at the same spot, same time next month. It was a gorgeous night!






This was also the night that Micheal Jackson died. Word got out to us that afternoon and we had missed the news as we had been outside setting up all day. What a shock! There was a massive group of people that streamed down the street blasting tunes and singing along. Lots of one gloved hands out there!

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There was also a couple guys giving away chocolate covered bananas and singing songs about bananas. So funny!
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