Thursday, May 10, 2012

Realities of life

I'm a single mom - the oldest out of the house living his own life - with two still remaining.
Last July I opened the Charmed Butterfly in the town I live in - everything handmade with 90% of being local Artists. I love to create and its been a dream of mine to have something just like that - and the town of Scottsville, VA certainly can use a gift shop such as it is.

Recently I came onto a cross-road and I am still standing in the middle of that - deciding which way to turn. Close the shop and get a real job?
Get a part time job and keep the shop?

You see a few months ago I lost part of my income - to not fault of my own and the only income I have at this time is my son's disability and the sales I make online - and those sales are sporadic to say the least.. while there - its up and down. I've been trying to update photos and the listings and doing whatever it is I can to have my shop found on the google world - but its hard work.

Juggling the world of motherhood, Artist and Business Owner and what have you... it isn't easy. I can't just not go on when I don't feel like it - though I have had a day or two like it. It doesn't really look good but I am burned out from the last year and if I remain open - we will be celebrating our 1st year.

While I will be making some changes - I don't know if the Artists will appreciate them and remain with me as we are building an interesting spot in our little town. I am torn and heartbroken because I am not sure which direction I should go.

I recently had an interview and pending references I am getting a job as a therapist - part time.
It's what I have to do because frankly I can't feed my children on love alone - wouldn't that be grant?

So now I am deciding which way would be the best way to move forward. My part time job would be just that.. the great thing? I schedule my hours - per say - pending on the clients schedule. The other great thing I have an amazing support system willing to work and cover hours at the shop.

But owning/running a brick and mortar store is a HUGE responsibility and takes a lot of work. I always looking for more Artists to come on board - and I think it may mean that I need to move beyond the "local" artist and branch out - as long as it is handmade.

It think the other part that I am keenly aware of is the lack of local support from the community. Yes, there are people in town who LOVE the store - who ALWAYS come back but that is perhaps 25% of the population. Why go to wal-mart? Oh yea because they are cheaper.. but they don't carry handmade and to me that just is what makes any gift item special..

I guess you can see my frustration. I finally have both of my worlds merging but I am not sure that I can or want to handle them simultaneously - or whether I should scale back on one and move forward with the other. Being a therapist has been a long time dream as well - and its happening - and I am going for my license to become an LPC - amazing considering my background history (former foster kid).

I just don't have any idea on how to move forward with both - and if both are truly doable and how on earth I am going to get some down time - and most of all spend time with my amazing children.

For the next 10 days I am giving 15% off on all items:
on Etsy use coupon code: CUSTOMERAPPRECIATION
on Artfire no coupon required
on Handmade Artists' Shop use coupon code: mayappreciation