“When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.” – Why I’m Changing the Business Offerings of S2 Stationery & Design + When

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An advertisement I snapped a picture of just before leaving Japan in January, 2013. That was 3.5 years ago and this sign seems more relevant now than it did the day I took the photo.

I’ve been running S2 Stationery & Design for over seven years now.

Yep, you read that correct, SEVEN YEARS!!

And it’s time for a change.

You already know the story, the idea for S2 came to me while traveling around Italy a month after my father’s death in 2009. It was a series of signs that came to me and then a dream that resulted in this dance I’ve been doing since. A dance that has turned into a full-fledged and non-stop Merengue (the kind where you’re left gasping and wondering when the damn song is going to end) in 2012.

There are moments where I honestly believe that I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point. Then, there are moments where I don’t believe I’ve worked my ass off to get this point. Those moments are the most difficult. Those are the days and nights where I struggle to sleep because I don’t have enough money to pay this bill or do that thing with my friends, or to pay back someone I borrowed money from a few weeks prior. It is exhausting and I wonder if I should at that point pack it in and be an adult – find a 9-to-5 job that pays me well enough to stop the stress. Those are the nights that have and continue to leave me feeling stuck.

People like me love to talk about following their passions. As they should. We are following our passions that come across as outrageous and/or out-of-the-box, and that anyone who is looking for stability wouldn’t understand. What I’m doing is not for the faint of heart, but nothing about following your passion is glamorous or inspiring for that matter. That last point often gets glossed over when people choose to deal with the awe of tossing common sense for a passion.

Following my passion, has required me to become comfortable with asking for help (which I rarely did before), saying no (even to people I love the most), feeling lonely (I barely go out any more), gaining weight (stress beats the shit out of your body), and living in a space of doubt, so much doubt, that I’m continuously uncertain of my accomplishments.

Something that people who talk about following their passions never really discuss is the sticky space of what happens when, like me, you don’t have thousands of dollars saved up and have to work a job to help bring in money so that you can survive and afford the basic necessities. There are so many people, gurus of this “follow your passion” movement, who have taken office jobs to save money and then quit. They talk about this as though it’s a temporary solution that is magical. And it may have been for them, but as someone who has sat in this space for a while now, it’s killing me.

I found my current 9-to-6 job at a point where what I was doing was not working. Where I was bouncing from lots of part-time jobs that kept me from focusing on S2 Stationery and had me resent my decision to quit my job. Let me be a bit more clear -I was resenting the loss of the steady income I no longer had, not the job itself. Working for the last company I worked for was not all that pleasant and I know I made the right decision by leaving.

I know this sounds dramatic, but I feel the same way I felt a few years ago when I was working for a big corporation in NYC. While I haven’t reached the point of crying for the 30-minute duration of my commute, the unhappiness has resulted in overeating, not exercising, not wanting to get up in the morning early enough to do work I need to get done for S2, etc. And I’m fed up with it. Honestly, I’ve been daydreaming about quitting and all the ways it can happen.

Now, the part of me that wants to maintain my car and apartment, fight this and that’s why I do eventually get up and get dressed and go to work. And that part reminds me that I need to motivate myself and do the work that I need to do. And this same part reminds me that it’s time to create goal deadlines to get out of this situation.

All of this leads me to changes…and you may be thinking that you’ve gotten to this point and still don’t understand the quoted bit in the post’s title, “When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.”  Let me explain…

When I started S2, I was a diehard fan of creating wedding invites. I wanted to spend a ton of my time working with brides and catering to their needs and whims in a design capacity. I have been told so many times, I’ve lost count, the quote above, and finally after seven years, I’ve decided that I don’t want to hear it any more. Primarily because it’s not true. Every single person who has made that statement has in fact, not used my design for their wedding, nor have they even reached out.

Now, before you accuse me of sounding bitter, note that I’m not. I’m actually quite gleeful that I’m shutting down the wedding invitation design side of S2 Stationery & Design. In fact, I’m shutting down a lot of the custom design business. And I’m quite glad.

It’s been seven years since I started this journey and while I’ve enjoyed every single customer I’ve worked for and every single project I’ve commissioned, as I take stock of both myself personally and my business professionally, I’m letting go of the things that are not worth my time. I’m saying, “NO!” to the stuff that isn’t fulfilling me anymore. I’m saying no to even the thought of a promise that isn’t there.

The next stage of S2 is taking shape and has been vaguely discussed in other posts that I haven’t followed up on, and is being ironed out now, but there is still a ways to go. I’m sure I’ll do some commissioned work and maybe even the occasional wedding invite during this time (I’ve had a few people say, “crap, but I really did plan on using you when the day came!), especially if it is aligned with the work I’m transitioning to, but I’m no longer holding out on promises and work that does not nourish me or my creative pursuits.  This isn’t about the money, or lack there of, either. No, this is about the nourishment. Finally! Right now, the nourishment is found elsewhere and I’m excited for this change.

I’m finalizing some creative projects now, but in Quarter 4, starting October 1st, S2 is moving away from the custom work you’ve known. I’ll still be making stationery sets and individual greeting cards. I’ll still have these wares at markets, but the real work – the work my soul has been longing for the past two years begins. I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date in a more consistent fashion as things change over.

More soon!

Celebrating Choice, Protecting Women’s Health AND Rights – S2 Stationery Awareness Project “Women’s Choice” Statement Cards

The past few weeks that have seen the attack on women’s health issues that has left me enraged, personally. This week alone, Texas has completely cut off all funding to Planned Parenthood. Not only is this disastrous for women in Texas, it sends a message to women across the entire United States that their health and well being is not a concern for this Country.  Let us be clear here, without women and proper health for women, this country will die. Women are necessary for life. It’s time that we command the respect we deserve and demand the full rights of our own bodies, whether or not those who oppose agree.

Being an entrepreneur I decided it was time to channel this anger into action. Normally, I’d be inclined to donate money to an organization, but decided I needed to go further. Donations are great, especially when one of the largest organizations is under attack and can and more than likely will lose much needed funding, but I, personally needed to do more. This naturally gave way to the launch of S2 Stationery Awareness Projects, which I wrote about on this blog yesterday afternoon.

I’m pleased to announce the first project under this division of S2 Stationery & Design – “Women’s Choice” Statement Cards! More details about them are below, as well as the links to buy on Etsy, and a little bit of information about the mission of this project. If you know anyone interested in these cards on a large scale, please contact me via my website. Let’s make positive change happen!

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Women’s health is not something that should ever be taken for granted! The United States, while definitely one of the countries that allows women many freedoms, continues to play with our freedoms, emotions, and health. It’s time to take control of our bodies, our health, and have our voices heard!

Ever a feminist, Sara Stroman, the S2 behind S2, decided she could no longer sit back and allow the rights of women to be taken away without some action. She didn’t have to look much further than her stationery business to find her “action.” Working with a good friend, who takes witty to many different levels, Peter Budka, she designed the six cards you see below. Each is printed on the bright color, heavy card stock you see photographed. You can order them individually or as a set. They come with a Kraft paper envelope. They can be traded or shared or given away. Hey, you should give them away! Mail them to your Senators and Congressmen even! These cards are meant to share your voice no matter your age or gender.

Single cards are $4.75
“Have you heard of women’s liberation?”
“When life gets tough for men”
“Smart women plan for the future”
“My dream guy…an elected official protecting the rights of women.”
“Not barefoot, uneducated and confined to the kitchen anymore”
“Are men afraid to make decisions?”

Set of 6 cards is $ 21.00

50% of every sale of every card (single or set) goes directly to Planned Parenthood to help them continue their much-needed work. $2.38 and/or $10.50 may not seem like a large donation, but every amount helps! To be as transparent as possible, every time a purchase is made, a donation will be made through S2 Stationery’s Fearless Fundraisers webpage.

I’m hoping to raise $1000 or more from your orders! So we ask that you share these cards via social media and obviously, snail mail.

I’ll be promoting these pretty much forever, or until change is made. The donations will also be a forever thing as well. Please note, that on the Fearless Fundraisers page, I had to select a date; that will continue to be adjusted as the project continues.

Again, if anyone would like to help get the word out, please contact me via email info[at]s2stationery[dot]com.

About S2 “Awareness” Projects – Often times, we think our differences are larger than they really are. I’m interested in finding that space and opening your heart to the similarities. By all means, your story IS your story, but that doesn’t mean you’re all that much different than me, or the person next to you. Let’s find those spaces and talk about them and make a difference, together.

 

A Customer Leaves Me Breathless + An Update

Happy New Year friends! It has been quite a while since I last wrote on this blog. I got lost. I’m not apologizing, per se, but I am letting you know why the hiatus.

The good news is that the hiatus is over!

The blog is going to undergo a bit of a revamp. Actually, S2 is going to undergo a bit of a revamp. We’ll see how it all plays out, but not only will this blog still tell the personal bits (I’m willing to share), it will also tell the business story as it spreads it’s message on writing, love, and inspiration.

There’s a lot of talk about actions being louder than words in this World. Yes. There is truth to that. But words, words can mean the World.

A simple hello could start a friendship/relationship between two people. A bad word can start a fight. Words in a book can start wars and create tensions that might not exist. They can also cause so much emotion that they’re banned. Go figure. They’re just words, right? Wrong.

S2 is going to focus on words moving forward and how we use them to express ourselves passionately, with vulnerability, and even in fear, along with everything else that comes in between that.  So yeah, stay tuned. There’s a lot headed your way if you’re patient and willing to explore with me.

Until then, you can read today’s post, which I’ve been dying to share with you since Thanksgiving…

it’s about a new friend and member of the S2 family, someone who shares a love for words, or vulnerable expression. Erin won a set of S2 “My Thankful Space” paper placemats on the Etsy NY Team blog* back in October of 2014 and here is her story through pictures of her family’s Thanksgiving table and the art created by the small and not-so-small family members on their place mats.

In her words, “Thank you so much for such a wonderful Thanksgiving experience! We moved the mats before we ate and plan to add onto them next year! The kids absolutely loved it! The adult couples all shared mats and thanks. Wonderful idea, and possibly our newest (and only) family tradition! Thank you.”

When I saw Erin’s photos, I gasped with a full heart. Her photos show exactly what I had hoped for when I created these paper mats. It reminded me of the moment when I saw the paper that inspired this product; the excitement I felt when I knew the font was the right font and when I printed the top layer and cut the bottom layers and then glued them together. It was a return to that magic creative space; a space of love.

When I created these place mats a few years ago, I was excited. I thought people were going to love these place mats as much as me. I thought I’d burn through them and not be able to keep them stocked. I was wrong. They were a hard sale. It was a little depressing. But I get it, people barely use place mats any more. When they do, they use the disposable kind that you can find on cheap paper for prices that seem reasonable, but I find expensive. Sure they are cute, but they aren’t very memorable. When you add in the price for these (they are pricey, but I work with high end materials and my time is valuable!) and that they are paper – I get why they didn’t sell. Yet, they are one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve created and the idea that they aren’t desirable to customers really hurt. See, I never see my designs and products as stuff. To me, these place mats are not just place mats. They’re the item you safe in your closet and find years after that Thanksgiving. They’re the product that you might frame. They are a keepsake item. They allow you to remember a moment of love, engagement, and fondness. Erin captured that at her Thanksgiving celebration in 2014. I may never sell these place mats. I may never give another set of these place mats out again, but I at least know that one family found them, used them, and saw my vision and used it as part of their lives. I’d call this a success for S2 Stationery and Design and for little ole me.

Thank you Erin for sharing your photos with us and for allowing S2 Stationery & Design to be part of your Holiday season and life. I am so pleased to have you as part of the S2 fam.

*An FYI, I don’t participate in giveaways often.  I am incredibly selective about which events I participate in and who I am willing to collaborate with. That being said, the Etsy NY Team is a solid group and I do almost every giveaway with/through them.

 

 

 

Celebrating a Birthday + Saying Goodbye to Products I Love

Sunday, December 1st, was my 33rd birthday.

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It was eventful and yet uneventful. I felt love from around the world – Countries as far as Japan, South Africa, and Brazil to cities in the US such as Los Angeles, NYC, and Cleveland and that’s not all. The love was endless and more filling than the burger, fries, ice cream, left over turkey, and birthday cake I consumed that day. Seriously!

In addition to hanging out with my best friend in the early and late evening, I hung out with family, and did a 1 hour (with a little extra minutes) session with Marketing Strategist, Halley Gray of Evolve Marketing.  She came highly recommended by a good friend of mine who works with her. I signed up for her newsletters and when she offered the “perfect match” session where she helps small business owners whittle down to figure out who their target customer is, I jumped.

For years now, I’ve been on that edge of trying to figure out who my ideal customer is and how to reach her/him/them. In all of that, I’ve struggled with creating a portfolio because I’ve thought that I don’t have enough product to showcase my talent and areas of expertise.  I’ve also allowed myself to create stationery sets and note card sets as a way to bring in more income.  I love the stationery sets and there are some that do better than others, but I need to really focus here. Enter Halley.

Halley was absolutely great at pulling my long-winded responses back onto the tracks. She listened to me, offered me though provoking questions, and gave me an action plan for the next few weeks. We also discussed follow-up conversations.  Just before ending, I told her, “It’s rare that I believe in coaching like this. You’re the first person I’ve decided to actually pay for a coaching session and it was absolutely worth it. Thank you!”  I meant that. I have a love/hate relationship with anyone who says they are going to change your life with coaching. Yes, we do need direction at times, but over all, a person needs to make a decision and move. Halley, in this case, helped me get to the core of where I want to go business wise and tapped into ideas I’ve been playing with already, I just hadn’t put into action. It was super helpful and I can’t wait to see what comes from all of it.

Having said that, Halley went through my Etsy shop and told me it was time to start putting a cohesive shop together. She pointed out items in my shop that show texture really well as well as elegance and would help attract the customer I am looking to target.  Keeping in line with this conversation and what she opened my eyes to,  I’ve decided to discount all my Thanksgiving products in my Etsy shop 50% off and possibly not offer them again. Ever.  Okay, maybe ever is too strong a word. Maybe I will have new items for next Thanksgiving, but for now, it’s time to move the old out to make room for the new.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head about this. Why would you buy Thanksgiving products after the holiday?! I don’t know…I personally don’t want to hoard things, BUT these are pretty good prices and they’ll stay until I sell out of my entire inventory.  So please, tell your friends, and grab some if these are anything that you’re interested in.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for more information on upcoming changes. I’ll be talking about them here, on the blog, in the newsletter, and on the S2 Stationery & Design Facebook Page.

Decorating Your Thanksgiving Table with S2 Stationery & Design Paper Products

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I don’t really talk about my work on this blog. I don’t put collections of my stationery together to showcase. I’m not sure why. It’s not that I don’t want to share what I create, it’s that I’d much rather write 900+ words about my emotions. Or share the brutally honest ups and downs of being an entrepreneur struggling to balance passions, life, work, and everything else that comes my way.

Today, I’m changing that.  Today, I’m going to post three products of mine that I love just in time for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I realize this is too late for potential orders on these items, but if I were hosting Thanksgiving in my home, I’d definitely decorate my table using these items!

“My Thankful Space” Paper Place Mats available in White and Silver, and Red and Blue with Gold Paper

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Gobble Gobble Thanksgiving Mini Cards

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Giving Thanks Thanksgiving Mini Cards

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You could combine either of the mini cards with the paper place mats, although, I think the “Giving Thanks” mini cards are more aligned with the elegant feel of the paper place mats, or you could do one or the other. A few years ago, a customer and friend used the mini cards to decorate her Thanksgiving table. I thought she used them well and they were just the perfect touch of elegance to her rustic decor.

The paper that makes the base of the place mat is a paper from China that has grooves to make it look like a basket weave textured paper. I spent so much money on the paper and bought so many sheets of it because I thought they were going to fly off the shelves! Now, please note, I don’t have a brick and mortar store with shelves for them to fly off of and I make each by hand when ordered.  Anyhow, they are available in a white and silver combination and a gold and red and gold and blue combination.  I realize that for some these may not be their chosen colors for their table, but if they were, these would be perfect.

The idea behind these place mats is really simple. I wanted a host/ess to be able to give her guests something more than just dinner. Something they would be able to take away with them after supper. I also think it would be an amazing if before everyone sat down to lunch or dinner, or whatever, they would sit down to a table with these place mats and jot down what they are thankful for and then share just before they start eating and after saying prayers, if they are a family that gives thanks.

I know that the place mats are not a novel idea. There is a fabulous company that produces paper place mats already and they can be customized, too, but these place mats are different in the quality and the texture. While I totally get that some people will say, I’m not spending that kind of money on something that food is going to fall on and get tossed, my response is, you are missing the point completely. With these place mats, I’m doing the following:

  • trying to create a tradition of thanks, but interaction aside from eating;
  • ease of whatever family drama may occur around the table and day in your home, and most importantly;
  • a moment of reflection and a way to create a tangible keepsake

Now about those mini cards…well, they are just fun. They can be used to write a message to your guests, or as seating cards. They are so small that really you can’t do much with them, but they are a perfect little touch to any table.

Something else of note on the mini cards is that they were designed quickly after a co-worker was going to throw out an Avery package of blank badges she no longer needed. I told her, “WAIT! I’ll use them for something!”  She gave them to me and I sat working on that little turkey and designing these cards that dressed up a Thanksgiving table. The lesson here – there’s always another way to give paper a new life.

And with that, I wish you all an early Happy Thanksgiving! I will be posting again before the holiday, but I wanted to share some work that I’m thankful for having created with all of you.

Oh, and before I forget, the Montclair Pop-Up Shop is officially open as of today! I am so excited, not to mention the shop has been giving me so much love via the social media world. You can find our opening celebration tonight, as well as some of my Thanksgiving Mini Cards for sale at 102 Walnut Street, Montclair, New Jersey 07042.

I’ll be dropping by to see everything in action. I doubt that many of my readers will be able to stop by, but if you can, you should. If you can’t, then visit the Montclair Pop-Up Shop’s Facebook Page and give it some love!

And now, for real, I’m signing off on this Thanksgiving post. If you want to share how you are decorating your table this Thanksgiving, please leave a comment. If you want to share your thoughts on paper place mats, you can do that, too!  I’d love to hear your shares and thoughts.

When Things Just Click – An All Around S2 Update

I have for a while now been stuck.  It’s surprising only because I’ve had so much happen for someone who feels in this place of gray.  For example, I moved into my first one-bedroom apartment by myself and I bought a car. Both terrifying, but exhilarating movements.  Terrifying because my busy, noisy, and socially active lifestyle has become more quiet. I’m no longer on the bus with the noisy people chatting on their cell phones. I’m also no longer annoyed at my third roommate who had loud sex while I tried to read, or hosted a guest, or ate dinner. If I’m annoyed, I’m annoyed at myself, or my over-thinking brain.

My move has me settled in a smallish town in Bergen County, New Jersey named Englewood. My apartment is large, cheap-ish, and cute. It fits me. My car is a year old and I love her. Yep, she’s a her.  I’ve got my some friends, but am largely connected to my vital organs, called friends, located in NYC.  And yet with all of this, I found myself hiding out. I still find myself hiding out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m transitioning and in the last year and a half, I’ve put myself through so much change that it can only be expected.  My long cold nights in Japan had me dreaming of having an apartment that was mine, where I could design and make stationery without other people. It also had me dreaming about becoming more stable, a bit slower, and hopefully finding peace with a situation, or better yet a resolution.

Now, I find myself in this quiet place. I drive around Jersey and New York City. I seek out things while still seeking out myself. It’s grueling and not as lonely as one would think. It’s also not as stable as I thought it would/could be.

Why I am sharing all of this is because, from March until fairly recently, my work had struggled with these developments. Some mornings were increasingly hard to wake up and be productive. There were orders where I just didn’t have the faintest idea of where to start or how to create something I would be proud of.  There were, and I’m sure still are, hard days.  Days where I relied on my Rumi poetry to get me through the day and where meditation was the only thing that could stop my heart from racing from the pressure of feeling unsure and misplaced. Also known as gray zone.

I am pretty sure that I’ve shared my dislike of the gray zone on this blog before. I suffer from decisiveness. I think it’s an amazing quality. Others, don’t agree. In the end, though, the fact remains that I don’t suffer from regret because I’m 100% sure about my actions when I decide to act. Yes, there is a smidgen of fear, sometimes there is a whole lot of fear, but I always tell myself, if you don’t do this, then what? How will you know?   My stationery creations have been the result of this decisiveness. I know that they may not be loved by everyone and that I may not even sell some of them, but when I sit down and actually decide to create and make, I am doing them and that is all that matters.

Recently though, I’d say in the last two months things have picked up. I finished my wedding season and started thinking about my business again and where it is and I want it to be. I know, I know, I talk about this a lot and then nothing seems to happen, but I don’t think that is the case right now.  See, part of the reason I’ve landed in New Jersey, I think, was to take a job that had me learning about wholesale and large growth for a small business. I could spend days writing about everything I’ve learned over the past nine months, and maybe one day I will, but for now, the one thing I know definitely is that what I once thought was for me, is in fact not for me.  Working at this job has given me a hunger for even more. A hunger to be out on my own, to dictate my own schedule and work flow; to decide, you know, I want to work on this project from Argentina, or from Japan, or my friend’s apartment in Los Angeles.  Heck even from my mother’s apartment in Maryland.

The other thing of late that has me hungry is the idea of finally opening that store front/studio.  Living in my little pocket of NJ, I drive or walk (sometimes) past empty store fronts for rent and day dream. I think about how amazing it would be if I had one of those. The front would be entirely stationery goods and not just by me, but by other stationery designers. It would also have an area to order custom stationery and invitations. The back would be where I design and make paper. Yes, make paper. That is what my heart really really really wants to do. And so I’m getting my ducks in a row to get to that point. It requires capital and a better looking bank account than I have now and so that is where I stand.

In the interim, I went back to doing markets. I participated in the Fall Crafts in Chelsea, back in October, which was awesome. I wrote about it on the blog because it was such a reminder of why I am doing what I do.  I also signed up and paid for the Etsy NY Team Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, which is coming up in December. I’ll share more details on that soon.  And then in the middle of all of that, I went and got myself into a Holiday Pop-Up Shop located in Montclair, New Jersey.

That Pop-Up Shop is the reason for this post.  See, I never really have enough inventory. I have tons of stuff in my apartment to make things, but I’ve found that it’s better to make things as needed. It works. Sometimes it leaves me scrambling, but the reason behind this is that I don’t have enough space to house all the materials I’d need to maintain the inventory I’d need. Not to mention, stationery is not something that flies off the shelves the way other products do.

Anyhow, I agreed to a time slot and then was late because I got lost on the Garden State Parkway. By the time I got there, my 15 minute meeting was over and they didn’t have a chance to meet with me that day.  I should also mention that I walked up and down the street trying to find a good time to pop in and introduce myself and there just never was a good time, so I finally just walked in.  I introduced myself, apologized, and explained that I had was embarrassed for arriving so late and couldn’t get myself into the store until that point. One of the two women putting this event together, shook my hand and told me they would be holding another round of interviews with makers/designers/artists and to email them to find out the availability. As I got ready to leave, the same woman, turned to me and said, “I’m glad you came in Sara. Next time be more aggressive. This is business.”

That night, when I got home, I emailed them and told them I was sorry, but appreciated the opportunity to return and meet with them. The rest is history.  When I met with them, I had a box full of S2 Stationery products and they took everything I showed them, but two items.  I spent two nights last week barely sleeping and not feeling well to get my inventory ready for drop off.  When I did, I learned more about Helene, the woman I have been communicating the most from the Shop and knew that “when things click, they just click.”

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Since learning that I had been selected to be part of this amazing opportunity, things just started to feel differently. I’ve been designing a bit like crazy and had a few break downs about getting everything together. I’m considering creating a look book because I was asked for one and think that having one might be a good idea, even if I don’t go the road of large scale wholesale.   I’m also looking at other opportunities for work, being a freelancer, and kicking up this business ten more notches. Two Friday’s ago, I had an article published in The Daily Beast about Etsy’s new policy updates. I got quite some comments on it, but I decided to ignore them for the most part. Everyone has an opinion and not every opinion is correct. I also started writing for the Environmental blog I write for some times, Green Living Ideas.  I have quite a few designs that I’m working on right now. One will hopefully launch on my birthday in a few days from now. I’m really excited about that one! It’s really just how amazingly inspiring “clicking” can be, especially when all you want is to move forward.

Oh, and good luck, which I know is currently around me, and always around me for that matter, feels like it’s on my side. Yes, my bank account is a bit sad and my heart is still a little broken, but my spirit, has never felt more free and certain that this click is the right click. New Jersey, a click that I felt when I decided to move here, just proved that it may have been the right decision all along.  And my bank account that’s really sad right now? Well, that’s going to click, too. I just know it!

Tinkering Away

While I took a bit of a hiatus writing to accommodate all the stress and change I was undergoing, I was (and still am) working on projects and new designs. Some have been SUPER easy to do and one has been a bit hard (I’m stressed thinking about it!). I’ve also had a few contacts that have not panned out-a customer will contact me about doing work and then pull out last minute because of time, cost, etc. Those have been the most frustrating because I’ve dedicated time to figure out cost and my time and I’ve even started working on designs only to not get the order. Alas, you win some, you lose some.

Anyhow, here is a sampling of some of the project I’ve been working on below. I’m as giddy as a school girl on the first day!

New in Custom Wedding Invitations:

Recipe Card Wedding Invitation Set
Recipe Card Wedding Invitation Set
Recipe Card Wedding Invitation Set
Recipe Card Wedding Invitation Set

New in Custom Baby Announcements:

Crocus Flower Baby
Crocus Flower Baby

New in Donations/Charitable Giving:

Coups for Troops Thank You Postcards
Coups for Troops Thank You Postcard
Earthwatch Institute Donation for Custom Social Stationery Set at NY Event
Earthwatch Institute Donation for Custom Social Stationery Set at NY Event

New in Wedding+Envelope Fun:

World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan
World Travel Crew Wedding Invite with Antique Poster Print Lined Envelopes of France, Italy, and Japan

I am personally attached to ALL of them. I think they’re lovely, stunning, and different in their own way. The envelopes in the last set have been in my brain for YEARS to do and I have finally gotten them done. And I love them! The envelopes are handlined with old prints from the Cavallini & Co. annual vintage poster calendar collection. These are from 2011, I think, so they’re not too old, but they are the Paris, France, Italy, and Japanese Woodblock calendars. Stunning, no?

The custom wedding invite at the top, well, that one just makes me happy, super happy. It’s my all time favorite invitation that I’ve created. The rosemary sprig was drawn by hand-I’ve got skills yo! But more importantly, I’ve wanted to make those invitations for a while, I just needed the right couple to make them for. And they appeared, so the lesson here is to always be careful of what you ask for…except sometimes it comes to be and it’s amazing and that’s what I’ve learned. Huzzah!

Oh, and about the Charitable donations I’ve shown in photos-I commit to only four a year and before anyone asks, I’ve already lined up the four I’m doing for 2012. Sorry about that!

So that’s it! New designs; new projects of awesome! New winds of inspiration. I feel, minus the one baby shower invitation that is stressing me out, ready to tackle the world! Huzzah!

There you have it, a post that is short and sweet and has photos- instead of rambling about my own business strategy and development- where I am actually showing you my work.  It’s all about give and take, give and take, friends.  I’d love to hear any comments you have about the work.

Oh, and lastly, items will be available for sale on Etsy sometime in the next week, as will be updated on my website. So many changes and updates to come!