Today marks a great celebration of business and dreaming. Today, October 1, I'm declaring 1 year of Shanty Scrolls in business. Woah. A little over a year ago, I had no idea where I would be today. A year ago I had the idea of printing large calligraphy scrolls as wall decor'. Before I dive into the lessons I've learned through this first year of business, I wanted to give a brief overview of my journey to the scrolls.
I'm a full-time wedding photographer, so selling my services wasn't an issue. I wanted to venture into something a little more different and foreign to me and that was to sell a tangible product. The dream started about a year and a half ago but everything I thought would be great, wasn't. I knew I wanted to sell something of the paper goods area but everything that came to mind was already created; until God blessed me with the idea and dream of the scrolls. I hadn't seen anything like it nor did I know how to go about making the large wall scrolls. Determined enough, I made the connections needed. Fast forward one and a half years later, Shanty Scrolls is still rollin'.
So let's get right into my top 5 lessons I've learned in this first year of selling a product.
1. DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS & GOD'S TIMING IS ALWAYS PERFECT
First and what I believe to be most important... do not stop dreaming. I knew I wanted to sell a tangible product. For about a half a year before Shanty Scrolls came about, I prayed that God would give me a product that was different... and I trusted in Him that it would happen in time. It wasn't until last year that he gave me this idea. It was a time in our life that my husband and I were coming into some debts that weren't expected but necessary. Taking a gamble on God's blessing, I had no idea what to expect. I thought the idea of scrolls were great but I didn't know how y'all would like it! I can remember going into my first small show a year ago (A Day In The Country- which is coming up this coming weekend) and only have 9 scrolls. They sold out in the first hour of the show. That's when I was reminded God's timing is always, always perfect.
2. YOU CAN NOT PLEASE EVERYONE
Ah yes. It's a true statement folks. Though I've been blessed with super great customers, you will always have some rotten apples amongst the batch. The sooner you are okay with that, the happier you can move forward in your business. Do your best and have clear communication.
3. PEOPLE WILL COPY YOU & THAT'S OKAY
Revolutionary and something I still struggle with to this day. It's hurtful to a small business owner but it's also natural human tendency. People see good coming from something and they want to jump on the band wagon. Take it as a compliment and do not stop creating.
4. SET BOUNDARIES
It's true! When running two businesses, this is something that is so important. I have to make boundaries in order to stay on task and conquer my two jobs efficiently. In order to do this, I've learned that I work best if I swap jobs in hour intervals. When I'm editing a wedding non-stop- I get tired, my eyes start to see colors differently, and I get sloppy. Same with scroll making. I get burnt out if I do one job non-stop. So every hour, I swap. Setting this kind of work schedule and boundary helps flow things and get the work done!'
This point is also to highlight that it is okay to say "no". Juggling two different jobs, I've learned to say "no" much easier. Not only is healthier for me but it also allows me to spend my time where it's most needed.
5. BE BRAVE & HAVE COURAGE
Lastly, I leave you with this; have the courage and be brave. Starting a small business takes guts. Throwing your life out on social media takes guts. With selling a product, I've learned that if one is not bold, one has a tougher time succeeding. For me, reaching out to larger bloggers had me shaking in my boots like a little girl. I was scared of rejection. BUT, there's good in rejection believe it or not. There are lessons to be learned in those time and without having courage, one can not move forward. So know who you are as a person and be COURAGEOUS!
Thank you guys for your non-stop love and support through this first year of Shanty Scrolls. You've taught me a lot about myself and my dreams. Also, don't forget that you can save 11% off all scrolls now thru 11:59pm EST using the promo code, "1YEAR". Enjoy and thank you again!