I’ve always disagreed with people who advised me to concentrate on one skill only and to make it my life’s obsession and career. Turns out I was right! Developing a set of skills that are seemingly unrelated to each other is proving to be paying off at this point in my personal development as a designer-maker and craft entrepreneur.
Starting my own handmade business with my husband has required me to bring to the table more than one set of skills. I feel that I’ve finally found a good use for my love for photography, design, blogging, copy-writing, creating new things by hand, conceptualizing, branding, and PR.
I think the thing I used to be frequently criticized for (by main-stream adults) was leading a double-hat career… where I worked as a journalist-turned-PR dudette, while at the same time performing as an artist and singer-songwriter. I led a schizophrenic life of sorts; people who knew me as a PR person could not imagine me as a musician, and the other way around. I had two personas, and it was very interesting seeing how one could lead a life of multiple identities and to be perceived in different ways.
The good news is, now, I feel that I’ve been made “whole” again with my handmade endeavor. To say the least, it is allowing me to make use of the core lessons I have learned and accumulated from past experiences and careers.
There are numerous things I’ve gained from my handmade journey, but the main 3 lessons I learned from starting my own handmade and crafts business are:
A handmade business is a process and a journey that never ends.
Starting a handmade project requires so much patience and I believe the art of creating with your hands (while doing your own photography, copy and marketing) shapes your personality in ways you never even started to imagine. You need to move from theory to practice to really reap the benefits of making things by hand, and creating everything that is related to it (from conceptualizing, to taking care of social media, etc).
Challenges are lessons that are waiting to be learned.
You are always changing and getting better and better at what you do. An example of this is my photography, I spent years producing terrible photos, but now I feel I am more developed than ever in this aspect of my work. I still face challenging “light” issues, but I am much better at resolving problems than ever before. I have read countless tutorials on producing good photography, styling, and contrast, and I can see how this is starting to pay off!
It’s OK to make mistakes, and with a change of perspective, you’ll see they are more of ‘milestones’ than actual mistakes.
Coming from a family of perfectionists, I have always been too hard on myself. But my handmade business has taught me to look at mistakes as a natural part of the process. There are products, photos, posts, and even indie self-made videos that I have created that used to make me feel embarrassed. But today I feel that there is no need to feel embarrassed by the process of growth. What looked good to me 2 years ago might not look as wonderful today, and the reason is: I have grown into who I am today. This means that mistakes are not mistakes at all. They are milestones in your journey, and when you look back and dislike what you did, that’s reason enough to feel grateful and happy with where you are today, because it’s a sure sign that you have moved forward.
This last lesson reminds me of point No. 4 in this Inc.com article: “Practice self-compassion.”
This being said, my husband and I have been revisiting all of our previous work and making numerous edits to everything from blog posts, photos, handmade goods, and even social media products. We have reached a new milestone in our skill levels and are trying to reflect that by editing everything about Yaansoon, in hopes of bringing to light our new sense of aesthetic, lifestyle choices, and personal philosophy.
I came across this article by decor8, a wonderful blog I have been following for years. The post poses the question “Blog Trends: Should You Redesign + Rebrand Your Blog?”
The post asks if you’ve ever “wanted to totally change your blog, right down to the name?” For me, the answer is yes. I have even pondered changing the logo design of Yaansoon, as well, but after consulting with my aunt, who is a professor of fine arts, I took her advice against re-designing the logo. What I’m doing instead is re-brand without making any new changes to the logo. I guess you can call it partial rebranding. I hope I will write another post about this sometime in the near future!
I would love to hear your thoughts about the decision to make changes to your handmade business/blog to match your new aspirations! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below…
Wondering about the handmade products in this post. You can check them out on our Etsy shop:
- Hand-Printed Tribal-Print Tea Towel | By YAANSOON
- Handmade & Hand-Printed Tribal-Print Oven Mitt | By YAANSOON