The best thing I did for my business in 2019 was simply this...
I treated it like a business!!
I get asked all the time how long I've been doing this and the complicated answer is this: The Painted Pearl has been around for 7 years. But those first 5-6 years, I treated it more as a hobby so it ran like a hobby. It wasn't until fall 2018 that the business wheels started turning and as a result, The Painted Pearl ran like a legit business for 2019 and grew by leaps and bounds!
That also means I put in a boat load of hours, work, blood, sweat and tears but every ounce of that was worth it to look back on the year and see the progress I've made! And I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you cheering me on and showing up to support me at shows, with your website orders, shopping with my retail partners and sending me messages, texts and encouraging notes!
I'm highlighting 3 things that helped me transform from a hobby to a business mindset below so if you're a fellow goal-getter, read on to see what worked for me!
#1 Joining The Locality
Yes, this is something local to Raleigh but it's applicable to anyone! Find yourself a good group of strong, supportive like-minded business friends that you can work along side. For me, it was taking a giant leap of faith and doing something scared. It was deciding to invest in myself as a business woman and business owner. The Locality is a designated co-working space designed for female entrepreneurs in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh. It's a way for me to network with other business women, expand my audience, immerse myself in professional development opportunities and so much more!! You can read my post here about making that midnight decision, through half-asleep eyes, to jump head first into this!
If you're local to Raleigh and want to learn more about The Locality and if it's for you, I'd love to chat more! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the conversation!
#2 Putting Myself Out There - Visually & Literally
This one is two-fold in that I started putting myself out there both visually and literally. Visually in that I started putting my face out there as the face behind my business, even when I wanted to hide behind the camera. People buy from people, not from products, and in putting my face out there on social media, my followers got to know more about me as a person, a mom, and a business owner.I even splurged on some professional head shots with Jen Bauldree of Jen Bauldree Photography and I'm so glad I did! She's a fellow Locality member!
I literally put myself out there in early 2019 teaching both hand-lettering and jewelry making classes around Raleigh. You can read about my love/hate relationship with private parties here but the one thing it did was give me exposure to a whole new group of people I wouldn't have known otherwise, and it gave me the confidence to stand up for who I am as a business owner and a creator.
#3 Listening & Learning From Others
I'm blessed to have a best friend who also happens to be a pretty phenomenal business coach. We talk almost daily, bounce ideas around, support and encourage one another and give it to each other straight! She has taught me so much about being business-minded and I owe a large part of my hobby-to-business shift to her!
Together, along with our friend Allison of Loving Living Lancaster, we traveled to Nashville, TN for Christy Wright's Business Boutique. To have three straight days away to focus solely on my business was a complete blessing! When you run a business from home, there are a million distractions at every turn so the undivided attention I was able to give to myself as a business owner, while dreaming up that next big thing, was so refreshing and unbelievable needed.
It was at The Business Boutique that the idea of The Earring Envelope was born and launched shortly there after! My friend, and day-job boss man says that if you go to a conference and walk away with one good idea, it was worth every penny!