If you made it past my About page, you might be part of the tribe. That’s exciting! Whether you stick around for a couple of posts or you’re in for the long haul, I’m so glad to be on this journey with you.
I want to dedicate my very first post to telling you a little bit more about my life right now, and a bit more about what I want to do with this blog and how I want to help you (whether that’s with painting furniture, figuring out life/motherhood together, or starting your own small business). I won’t claim to be an expert in any of these areas—far from it, really, but what I will claim to be is a friend, an encourager, and an honest sharer of my experience. Hopefully you are looking for the same thing I am: someone who is doing what you are doing; a community; a friend.
Life as a girl boss is exciting and I absolutely love what I do, but it’s also a little lonely. #metrodetroitmakers is my attempt to reach out into the void and pull other women into a place where they don’t feel like they have to figure it out all by themselves. There are so many things I would do over again if I could go back and start at the beginning, and I want to help as many women as I can avoid some of those pitfalls of starting out in a creative business.
So, without further ado, here’s a little more about my journey to this point:
I’ve been a creative entrepreneur for about four years. When I first started adulting for real, after I was done with grad school, I began working as an adjunct professor, which is fun and rewarding and infuriating and a million other things, but also doesn’t pay very well. So I did a lot of other jobs at the same time; I taught piano lessons, walked dogs, tutored, and started an Etsy shop. By far, my Etsy shop was the most fun, rewarding, and lucrative of these, so I slowly let go of the other things (while getting pregnant in the process and preparing to become a mama) and embraced a dual role as professor and creative entrepreneur.
I always told myself that I would work both jobs until one of them started going really well, and then I would narrow my focus again and let go of one of them. But that hasn’t happened. Both roles have developed in lovely and wonderful ways, but neither of them provides enough of a consistent challenge to where I’d be totally happy to let one of them go. On paper, my furniture and home décor business, Wild + Daisy Vintage Home, is a bit more profitable, but I love the relationships and community I have with my students at Rochester College. They truly are the best thing about my job there. If they weren’t, my choice would be a lot easier. Being an adjunct is a wonderful job in a lot of ways, but there is virtually no job security, there are strict limits right now on how many credit hours you can teach in a given year, and with all the grading, reading, lesson planning and adjusting, commuting back and forth at random times, and actual time in the classroom, you make less than the average burger flipper (at least, that’s the way I feel as an English professor—there are just so many papers!!).
The other thing that makes it difficult is that I’ve worked hard to be a college professor, and I really like that part of my identity. In my head, “college professor” sounds a lot better than “mompreneur” or “stay-at-home mom,” and it’s a little more concrete and easier to picture than “small business owner” or “creative entrepreneur.” There’s a legitimacy attached to the more professional part of my identity that my pride really wants to hold on to, even though I’m so happy and satisfied with the success I’ve have with my small business.
That’s where I’m at right now. I feel a little stuck. It’s a good stuck, but it’s still a little stuck.
Back to the past four years as a creative entrepreneur. I feel that I’ve learned a lot (which I want to share!), but also that I still have a lot to learn (and I want to go on that journey together). In many shops and booths that I stop in around metro Detroit and at craft shows and markets, the women who I find seem hesitant to share, as if they are hiding their successes (and failures), not sure if what they are doing can possibly be valuable to anyone but them. I think part of it is a carryover, too, of the old “trade secrets” mentality, like if you give away any of your tips or tricks, you give away your success.
I want to change that. I want this blog and my *future* store and myself and everything I do to be a HUGE encouragement that what creative entrepreneurs in metro Detroit are doing is valued and valuable and worth sharing! I want everyone to experience success (and be able to define what that looks like for you, because it IS different for everyone), and to feel comfortable and ready to share her successes, and what she’s learned from the experiments that didn’t work out so that we can encourage new creative entrepreneurs and learn from each other every day!
I want #metrodetroitmakers to be about women creatives in metro Detroit building community, sharing the journey, and helping each other so that everyone is more successful. I want to provide a resource for makers in metro Detroit to succeed at shows and markets, share their DIY projects, and build an encouraging and productive community. Ideally, I want to have a group of women around me at Starbucks every week talking and sharing and helping each other. I’m sitting here at a huge table writing this post and there are nine empty chairs around me. If even four of them were filled up with women who needed a group of people to share life and work with, I think this idea would be a success for me.
Here is what to expect from my posts if you’d like to stick around:
- Tips on specific shows in and around metro Detroit—reviews, if you will.
- DIY tutorials and ideas from my very own home.
- What I’m learning about how to implement new business strategies in my Etsy shop, show and market experiences, and social media.
- Guest posts from other awesome girl bosses about their business strategies/experiences at craft shows.
- My personal journey through career decisions and non-work life, and my attempts to figure out how it all works together.
If you’d like to join in the adventure, follow my blog to get email updates about new posts, craft show reviews, and DIY tips.
I’d love to see us start building community as soon as possible! As of right now (6:26 a.m. on 6/20/2017), there are eight posts on Instagram with the #metrodetroitmaker, and all of them are mine. Join the community by using this hashtag when you post your products, your journey, and your shows. Let’s support each other and share life together on social media, since we can’t always be together in real life!