Of course the beginning is a good place to start! We learned that from The Sound of Music.
I’ve been wanting to blog here at Fabled Treasures for a while now but have been hung up on what to write. I’ve finally decided I’m just going to start and figure it out as I go. After all, that’s what I’m doing with my business. I invite you to join me as I share my journey.
As a young girl, I dreamed of having my own business.
While I am completely new to the handcrafted business, my entrepreneurial journey began decades ago when I was a child. I knew I wanted to stay at home with my family while having a home-based business to help contribute financially. That dream was greatly influenced by my mom’s example.
My father is a 100% disabled Vietnam vet, and my mother has always stayed at home to care for him and us. Dad’s military pension wasn’t really enough for seven people to live off, especially as we children grew older.
So Mom found ways to bring in extra money, and she often pressed us children into service as necessary.
- I remember helping make homecoming mums (a Texas tradition), coronas (flowers for graves), hair bows, corsages, and more.
- I remember twisting wires until my thumbs were sore.
- I remember how fun it was to make “braided” chains using two strips of ribbon.
- I remember wrapping [lots and lots of] flower stems with floral tape.
- I remember burning my fingers using the glue gun. (Nothing has really changed in that regard. 😀 )
I became an entrepreneur before I even graduated from high school.
My first entrepreneurial endeavor began when I was a junior and lasted for 20 years. I taught private piano lessons. Being a piano teacher was the specific home-based business of which I’d dreamed as a little girl, and I enjoyed living that dream for two decades. Eventually, though, I tired of disinterested students, no-shows, and sporadic payments.
What could I do to replace my teaching income?
Sometime during my last couple of years as a piano teacher, I discovered how to layer text on images and decided that perhaps I could make money with that skill. I offered 25 free blog headers to get feedback on my work and gauge potential interest.
After an overwhelmingly positive response and despite my lack of any kind of design or programming training, I started RS Designs in 2007. My skills and my clientele both grew, and in 2009, I re-branded as Berries and Cream Blog Design.
Unfortunately, Berries and Cream Blog Design always competed with my family for my attention.
From the beginning, client needs and deadlines conflicted with my family’s needs. (That’s my family and I at the top of this post. They have my heart.)
I often felt guilty because I ended up missing out on being with my family because deadlines or “emergencies” urgently demanded my attention. It wasn’t uncommon for me to work into the wee hours of the morning while my family slept. I’d grab a couple of hours of sleep and then stagger out to meet a new day when the cycle began again.
- My husband felt jealous of the computer, seeing it as taking my time and attention and being more important to me than he or the children.
- My young children cried when I sat down at the computer.
None of that was healthy for me or my family, but it took me eight years to finally conclude that, despite my best efforts, I would never be able to balance the demands of this business and my family.
In 2015, I quit taking on new clients.
The relief was immediate and immense for both me and my family, but I had nothing with which to replace the lost income.
In February, 2015, I discovered arm knitting. People liked the scarves I made. One lady in a grocery store parking lot even placed an order after finding out I’d made the scarf I was wearing.
That order made me think that perhaps this new skill could be the basis for a new business. That was when Fabled Treasures was born. (It’s also why there’s a ball of yarn in the logo.)
This business has obviously evolved since the primary focus is now metal jewelry, but that’s a story I’ll share another day.
What’s your story?
Everyone has a story, and I’d love to hear yours. Please feel free to share in the comments or to contact me privately.