Name of business: Happy Shack Designs
website, visit http://www.happyshackdesigns.com
blog, visit http://happyshackdesigns.blogspot.com
Etsy, visit http://happyshackdesigns.etsy.com
art and photos on Etsy, visit http://kellywarrenphotoart.etsy.com
Years in business: 7
Brief Bio: An artist with a short attention span, I create work in artisan jewelry, fine art photography, mixed media, and book arts. I've also been known to sew a thing or two. I work full-time by day as the Director of Student Life and Leadership Development at a large four-year college in Florida, and am the lucky mama to wonderfully sweet eight-year-old twin red-headed daughters. I have been married to a handsome man of great patience who's put up with my art shenanigans for 17 years now.
The hardest part at year 2 of your business is...
Year two for me was in 2007, so this was before the U.S. economy tanked. My girls were going on two years old and I was traveling to about eight juried arts festivals a year. I can’t say that the hardest part of year two was growing my business. My business itself was actually doing very well. My shows were very successful. Given that, I think that hardest part of that year for me was actually the growth. I was not at the point that I could (or even was willing, frankly) to “give up the day job” for my creative business. I’m very much a people person, and the interaction I have with those I work with in my day job keeps me young. I work with college students all day!
The greater challenge for me at that point was the juggle: working full-time, being a wife and a mother to two year old twins, AND creating artwork for and running a creative business. To this day, the juggle is still my greatest challenge. I think many creatives at year two might be getting to the point of asking themselves the “Will I be able to quit my day job and devote my time fully to my creative business soon?” question. But I wasn’t at that point. I wasn’t asking that question because I knew that I wasn’t ready for that, mentally or financially.
For me, the most important part of year two, year one, year eight, year twenty, year whatever, is simply knowing yourself and what you truly want out of what you are doing. Am I getting to the point at which I’d feel more comfortable walking away from the day job and devoting my “work-time”fully to my creative business? Maybe now, at year seven...maybe. Yet, I’m a very realistic person and know that the changes that would have to take place to make that happen aren’t quite ready to change yet. There are dreams, and I have them, but I also keep a healthy grip on reality. To me, I believe that healthy grip is the most important thing to have when building and growing a creative business.