On March 2nd (yesterday), I celebrated a milestone. 7 years since I started my own business. Yes, it was really a hobby business back then, but it was the start of something that would define my life for the best part of the next 7 years. Somehow, it’s been 7 years since that girl who believed in big dreams started making it up as she went along.
I dug out my old external hard drive and pulled up the photos of the first bags I ever made. I try not to live in the past (it’s a lesson Dumbledore taught me), so this is the first time I’ve seen them in years. The memories and the lessons I have learnt since then came flooding back. It’s interesting what pops up though. It wasn’t the tough days or the flops that came to mind.
It was the hours of me learning photoshop through trial and error. CS1! It was clunky, prone to quitting unexpectedly and lacking so many features that I rely on today. It was the hours spent designing patterns and choosing fabrics and trying to take good photos whilst not having any patience for it at all. (A skill I’m thankfully a million times better at now, but still have a long way to go with)
It was the friendships I made with people who were trying out this site called Etsy that only a few people knew about. It was the ideas I tried to put out into the world without much thought for a market or even with a plan. The early days were so full of hope and being brave and crazy. I was 23 and the world would be mine to conquer.
Then there were the hours I spent learning to code. It was like a puzzle that needed solving. How do I do this? How can I make this look the way I want? Oh, you just do that? Awesome. Self taught but always willing to learn something new.
In that time social media became a part of life. For a while it was my job. My career, even. Instagram and Pinterest were born. Facebook and Twitter changed. I changed too. Reality taught me a hard lesson or two. Dreams changed and some faded out of view.
Now I look back, and I don’t really regret any of it. The hard work. The long nights. The tears. The skills. All of it has helped me make the most of my new job. I’m not sure my attitude would be the same with out it. I just appreciate things more.
I don’t know what the future holds, whether I close down the business (rather than keeping it on the back burner, like it is at the moment) or to relaunch it as a side project in some way. That decision is for another day. Yesterday was about memories and today I’m heading to my job. 2016 is calling and it’s time to focus on that.
Thank you for being part of it, whether it’s been most of that time or you’re new around here or somewhere in between. 7 years is a long time. x