photo source: Oh Joy!

Looks what’s coming in the mail today…I’m so excited to read Mom Inc., The Essential Guide to Running a Successful Business from Home.

Two years ago, I took a leap of faith and listed my first item on Etsy.  A collection of pillowcase dresses, nursing covers and a few bags filled my little shop.  I shot all my pictures with my Nikon D40 on auto mode (yikes).

In 2011, I decided to shift over to only selling extra large totes.  It was a scary move for me.  I knew that nursing covers and pillowcase dresses were good sellers on Etsy, but I did not LOVE  making them.

My heart said to make what I LOVE, so that is just what I did!  I focused on the extra large totes, started shooting my pictures on manual mode and refined my style.  Much to my surprise, sales were better than before.  I felt like I found my passion and my niche’.  During this time, we moved to a small town (for my husband’s work).  This meant a whole new schedule and a shuffle to figure out  the preschool situation for our twin boys… my work week was reduced to nine hours per week!  I met another mom (former elementary school teacher) and discussed the possibility of watching my twin boys one day a week.  This increased my work week to about 14 hours per week.  This meant working a lot of evenings after the boys went to bed.  This summer we worked out a schedule to watch the boys about 18 hours per week.  Still left a lot of sewing for after bedtime, but worked out great.

Next week, the boys will start their 4-year old preschool program and my work week will reduce back down to 9 hours per week!  I’m constantly evaluating, trying new things, figuring out what schedule works…Should I continue to  sell made-to-order?  Should I pre-make and sell ready to ship?  How many bridal orders can I handle per month?  What tools/equipment will help to optimize my time?  How do I stay motivated?  How do I stay focused?  Is it okay to take a break when I need it?

Working from home, being a mom and running a handmade business has definitely had its challenges, but the rewards always win!  I love the flexibility it offers our family.  Running my own business has given me a sense of purpose and identity.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to be introduced as someone’s mom, but I also love to be introduced as the owner of Lucy Jane.  I think all moms struggle to find the right balance between their identity as a mom and their identity as their own person.

Looking forward to a good read and maybe a new perspective…

DO YOU WORK FROM HOME?  WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?  DO YOU HAVE A DESIGNATED WORK SPACE/ DESIGNATED SCHEDULE?

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