Let me tell you a bit about starting a small business

Before I get into that, let me tell you a bit about the big WHY I started this crazy adventure and the events leading up to it. I've always worked. Since I was 15, I've always had a job and seemingly endless personal projects. Design is in my blood. Whether it's DIY stuff off Pinterest or refurbing furniture off the side of the road or overhauling my closet, my diet, or myself. Anything really. I'm constantly moving forward towards a different and better version of what's next.

Starting Creative Small Business Hands of Hollis - Custom Wedding Invitations in Dallas, Texas
 Back in 2015 while 37 weeks preggo with #2!

Back in 2015 while 37 weeks preggo with #2!

Then pregnancy happened!

I'm sure some of you can relate to the unplanned progress of your life towards parenthood. It doesn't make it any less sweet, but it does absolutely alter the path you take. And given my equally unexpected and sudden unemployment during my first pregnancy, we decided that me staying home with our baby was the best option for everyone.

Let me tell you, those first few years at home with my baby girl brought me unimaginable joy. It was the ultimate new "project" and one of the most fulfilling phases of my life. We then added a little boy to the mix in 2015, and it was like he'd been there all along.

As my babies started getting more independent (ok, Kal was 1 when I started my business ha!) I felt like it was ok to be a little more selfish than I'd been in the previous 4 years. Plus after all that time of selfless mothering and dedication, I started to feel like I was losing an original piece of my puzzle - one that included my version of creativity. I realized I hadn't made any time for that in a long time and it was on me to find it again.

 

Enter: My crazy idea to start this business!

Equipped with my education from The University of North Texas and a desire to carve out a new artistic life for myself, I began planning my business in early 2016 with my official launch on June 1 of that year. I tried to track down a photo of me from that time where (picture this) I'm sitting at my desk, chair turned about backwards, with a sleeping baby on my back. It was thrilling, and I was ready to conquer the world!

Initially, I wanted this business to be about my stationery sets, but what I didn't realize was my skills as a graphic designer were emerging as a far bigger opportunity for business growth. And like a lot of new entrepreneurs, I was also afraid of failure, which kept me in my comfort zone of baby showers and kids' birthday parties. Weddings seemed so scary and like so. much. pressure. But they also seemed like a challenge. And with those challenges came goals!  I never thought I'd see myself as a wedding stationery designer, yet here I am, fully in love with my work and the daily challenges it creates.

Starting a business felt overwhelming and lonely at times. There were times when I thought, what did I get myself into and WHY? That was until I was introduced to a group called The Rising Tide Society. Suddenly I was thrust into this world of like-minded creatives who were seriously kicking some ass. All on their own. With no boss and collaboration with other creatives in the field and (oh yeah, most importantly!)  loads of admirable, fearless determination. Together they were raising each other up and finding purpose in their creativity and sharing it with the world. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they brilliantly quote JFK.

Suddenly I shared their determination! There was this fire to turn my craft into something more. I had studied entrepreneurship, business, advertising, and marketing in college. And even though my degree was in journalism, I had carved out my own teeny creative world within my uni’s newspaper. I realized I had everything I needed to make this dream a reality. It was with RTS that I realized I have what it takes. If these fearless women could do it, so could I!

Starting Creative Small Business Hands of Hollis

So if you've made it this far...

Now you know why I decided to make the crazy decision to start a business with two kids under 6. Allow me to let me enlighten you on how it’s going so far… It. Is. Tough. Like hilariously tough! The WAHM struggle is 100% real. So real, in fact, that I can tell you while writing this initial blog post, my daughter tried to argue with me about taking her afternoon nap. It was 10:15. I had to change two unspeakably awful diapers and break up three fights over not sharing the same damn toy when we literally have 50 million toys. I also received four phone calls, none of which could have been ignored. And twice someone knocked on my front door, both of which were absolutely ignored. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Where were these distractions when I felt compelled to clean the playroom for the third time this morning? While making breakfast like a zombie? Or while folding my third load of laundry?! Nope! They come right when I somehow manage to get both kids to play quietly in their rooms, so I can settle into work-mode. That's the work-at-home mom life in a nutshell!

 Work life + mom life = real life

Work life + mom life = real life

It's comically difficult, but somehow you just work through it. It means late nights and maybe never sitting down. It means cold coffee and maybe lunch was at 2pm. And maybe it was hot dogs. Sometimes it means tossing the kids in the backyard with a big cup of iced water and saying GO PLAY! 

But really I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being busy (like this) has kept me more motivated and creatively charged than I’ve felt in years. I have so many ideas that my journals are exploding with thoughts. My hands can’t keep up or rather my free time. Honestly it’s both!

As I sit here typing this, all I can feel is how grateful I am for this chance. How grateful am I to have been given the clarity to truly find something for myself again? This business is hard work, but I’m not afraid of that. I get to show my kids how to follow their passions and how to work hard for them. I get to show them that, yes, it's really hard, but it's still completely worth it. Never ever stop chasing those dreams.