The First Year of Business – Start Where You Are

I can’t believe a whole year has flown by! Heather’s Letters celebrated its first year of business yesterday by launching the new website, shop and a few new pretty prints! Then my sweet Mr. brought me home a great big bunch of sunflowers. It was awesome.

 

For any of y’all with kids, you know how at every birthday you look back over at that child’s life and can’t believe how the time flew. How you literally remember every moment of the day they were born and feel like you should still be holding that little newborn. I kind of feel the same way with this.

 

I feel like HL was my baby of the last year. There were lots of late nights and some sleepless nights. But as any mama says,  it was worth it.

 

Etsy-7

 

For those who don’t know, I call myself a surprise entrepreneur. Around September of 2013 I began hand-lettering again. I had not done much with it for about 6 years since college. I started because I wanted to make some scripture and art to hang in Teague’s room, around our home and I just because I love lettering. I realized if I love it, I should do it even if it was for the simple fact it fed my soul. I posted a few pictures to social media of things I was drawing and I got some feedback.

 

1st drawing

 

I started to get commissioned for work! My jaw was on the floor! People wanted to pay me to make them something?! Sure, why not? At the very least I could draw – which I loved – and make a little extra money on the side from maybe one or two orders a month. Then, they came flooding in. What a blessing! What a surprise!

 

Within a week or two of that happening I was asked to be a part of a local vendor sale….then another. To fill out the applications you have to write your business name. My thought when reading that was, “Um….I have a business? What do I name it?”. Daniel and I tossed around a few ideas to write something on the application but it boiled down to Heather’s Letters because it was simple and to the point and wasn’t taken on social media yet. Because, if I was going to have a business I was going to be all.in.

 

IMG_1783

 

I stayed awake all night the night before my first vendor sale (after hosting a Christmas party in my house) making work so I would have something to sell. Looking back, I cringe at just about everything I made…I knew I could do better, I would do better, but it was all I had. So, I went with it…and prayed really hard. Driving to that vendor sale I prayed in the car, exhausted, that Lord, if you really want this to be a business, if you really want me to do this, then let me sell some of this work today. Show me it is worth it. But, if it was fun and great for a few weeks and that’s all it would be then please, as a sign to me, don’t let me sell one thing and I will be ok with it because I will know it is what You want for me.

 

I sold stuff. And took custom orders. Looks like I’m in business!

 

IMG_1791

 

I made my business cards by hand this year. Until about 3 weeks ago, I worked at my kitchen table because there was no “office space” for me in our house. I have never taken a business/marketing/whatever class in my life.

 

I am sharing all of this, and all of these early pictures to say, nothing is an excuse to not do what God is calling you to do. I felt like before I ever started a business one day (like, years and years from now) I had to have it ALL together. Like I was going to burst on the scene with gorgeous business cards and letterhead, a huge lineup of beautiful products to sell, the most stunning website you have ever laid eyes on and it was just going to be this big reveal, like, Here I Am!!! And God flipped that thought on its head, literally starting me at the complete polar opposite of this!

 

It was humbling to start from the ground up. But man, I am beyond grateful this is how it happened – truly! It made me work. Hard. It made me see what was worth it to me and what wasn’t. It helped me relax. I am a pretty black and white person. If I go for something, I am all in and I won’t stop till the job is done and done perfectly. So to not be able to start a business in my version of “done perfectly” helped me see it doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use it, and to bless it. So, now I try not to get hung up on the things I feel inadequate about. The places where I want to be but am not yet. God taught me He has graciously decided to use me anyway.

 

The process to get where you are going is important.

 

Start Framed

 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

-Arthur Ashe

 

This saying could not be more true to me and how Heather’s Letters got started this past year. It is a wonderful motivation for anything you are doing in life. Starting a business, raising kids, pursuing career dreams, training for a marathon…or a 5K! Whatever it is you are going after, we all have to start somewhere. After wanting to create this for months, I’m happy it is finished and in the shop for all of you! It is something great to hang in your office or put on your desk, beside your mirror, wherever you will see it to remind yourself to not get too frustrated in the beginning. Or the middle!

 

In the past year I got the chance to do some incredible things:

  • hand-letter a dining room table
  • make countless custom orders
  • have 10 pieces on an extended display at Jubala Village Coffee
  • begin logo design (which I LOVE)
  • letter an album cover for Christa Wells
  • rebrand myself and launch a new website and shop
  • create for fundraiser’s, promotional materials and giveaways
  • hear YOUR awesome stories that I would have never heard if it weren’t for us connecting through HL!

 

There are so many exciting things that have happened in a year, and I am so excited to look forward and see calligraphy and hand-lettering workshops, business collaborations and speaking opportunities all on the horizon. But maybe you need the same reminder I do every day – Start where you are….

 

 

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