It’s time to spill the beans on what has been going on in my life… I keep trying to write this post but I just haven’t been able to. Why? I don’t know? Maybe because I want to seem strong. Sure. Confident. But the truth is, just like everyone else, my mind is filled with second-guessing, doubt, and sleepless nights worrying.
Let me give you a little background on how I started Refunk My Junk, just in case you are new here…
I started this little business as a hobby. I had sold some painted pieces for a few years on Craigslist and in February 2010 I decided to incorporate Refunk My Junk, Inc. and take a baby step in seeing what this little hobby of mine could really do. I had so many reasons not to do it. I had a 7 month old baby, a full-time job as a Vice President at a corporate bank, and a husband, who although is the most supportive and patient man I have ever met, he deserved my time and attention too. But God has placed this desire in my heart and there was no denying it anymore.
I loved painting furniture but my passion was helping people with their own furniture painting projects so I started a blog to compliment what I was already doing . I wanted to share my struggles as a working mom, business owner, and show how and where I find my pieces of furniture and give tips on how to transform your own. So I started posting. And then the crickets started. No one. No comments. Nothing. But I kept at it.
In May of 2010 (only 1 year ago!) I opened my first booth in a multi-vendor market. It was a new market and the owner offered me free rent for 6-months. I felt that God was giving me NO excuses not to move forward.
Here is a picture of my first booth. A little sparse, but I felt proud nonetheless! My first check that month was $74.00. I felt discouraged but I just kept on thinking… Baby steps, baby steps…
I also decided to start offering latex painting workshops at the same time, and I just about peed my pants when the first person signed up! I was thinking “what if no 0ne comes?” “what if people don’t like my techniques?” “what have I gotten myself into?” . But that first class filled up. There we were, in a warehouse, teaching others how to create gorgeous furniture and helping them learn from all of the mistakes and money I had wasted trying to refinish my own furniture.
Here is a pic from our first workshop!
So the months went on and my furniture painting checks got bigger, my workshops always sold out, and my blog traffic grew a little bit each month.
Then 2012 came and I knew I had to make some big changes if I wanted my baby business to become bigger. I moved my retail space, opened a second location, and was offered the opportunity to become a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. I also relocated my workshops to The Edmond Fine Arts Institute, a more art-centric location. I was also asked to do a few segments on our local FOX news station, which was totally out of my comfort zone, but it ended up being really fun and easy!
But with this crazy growth also comes sacrifice. My travel schedule for the bank picked up and I was out of town a lot. I started working 24/7, either on Bank related projects or Refunk My Junk related projects. I still enjoyed my career and I had worked on building it for 14 years… But I have started to have no life, my friends wonder what the heck was happening to me, and I also felt like I was leading a double life.
I would wake up early, do my FOX 25 segment, and then shower, put my suit on, and show up at the office with a smile on my face. It just didn’t seem like that suit was “me” anymore.
I knew something had to give in my life, but what? I can’t shut my business down… I can’t give up my career, my salary, my expense account, and this identity that I had made for myself. So I did what I always do when I am overwhelmed. I cried. A lot. And then I cried some more. Some people release stress in different ways. I cry.
So what is the next chapter is this story? I am going to continue Part 2 of this post on Wednesday. I hate super long blog posts! I get bored halfway through… So I will spare you the boredom, give you a little break, and finish up the post on Wednesday. Do you see a nervous breakdown in my near future?
(You can catch the second part of this post here!)
But now, down to business… I forgot to announce the Junk Hippy Roadshow tickets giveaway winner! (See… That’s how crazytown my life is right now! I can’t even draw a darn name in a timely manner!)
Sarah Sweeney is the winner! Congrats! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your tickets! Can’t wait to see you all at Junk Hippy!