Growing Business

Thursday, June 19

I've noticed a trend lately with my posts, normally discussing my brokenness, life's craziness, or the many updates of my business and art. Well.. that's my life for you. But recently, (on more exciting terms), Ruth Vintage is finally up and running. A few days ago we launched our shop, and I have never been more excited to see something grow so wonderfully. My time and effort lately have been completely devoted to getting my shop running, and it has been a long and tiresome haul. With many cups of coffee and naps, I have successfully launched a full-blown business. YAY!

It feels AWESOME. I don't know exactly how I managed to pull this off, considering I am a student, I work full-time, and I have a side-job as a photographer. But I did it, and I am overjoyed at the amount of encouragement I have received with my little shop. If you haven't had a chance to take a look around my shop, you can do so here!

As I have grown in this journey, there are a few things I've learned when it comes to starting a business, going for your dreams, or simply establishing your passions:

1 | Set Goals

Setting goals is a major aspect of my business and creativity that is essential in having a vision, remaining on track, and staying focused. No goal is ever too big or too small to set, in fact, having both types of goals (long-term and short-term) gives you the perfect balance – goals to focus on for the present and long term goals that will be the product of your success. Although the idea of "goal-setting" can be daunting and sometimes intimidating, it allows you to stay focused on what matters to you as a business owner or entrepreneur. Personally, I believe this is an extremely important task to keep in mind as you start and maintain your business. 

2 | Give Yourself Time

When was anything rushed ever done good? (Okay maybe some things...) But seriously, t a k e  y o u r  t i m e. I cannot stress this enough. Time is of essence here when beginning a business. The intial feeling of excitment when going after your dream is like an adrenaline rush – you just want to get everything done and you want to get it done fast. But slowing it down and truly thinking about every aspect of your vision allows your business to reflect you, your product, and your ideals behind your business. Set time aside for each aspect of your business, even the stuff that may sound kind of boring. When I began brainstorming and planning during the start of Ruth Vintage, things continued to pile up on a list of things I needed to do, think about, and establish – beliefs, ideals, packaging, branding, products, customer approach, online presence, and design are just some aspects of your business that need thought, thought, and more thought. So don't be scared to take your time.

3 | Take Breaks

As exciting as starting up a business is, it's important to take breaks. Yes, you want to finish everything in a timely manner. Yes, you have a to-do list. But for goodness sake, take a break from all the biz. It's important to refresh your mind and your spirit by finding pleasure and peace in something else other than your business. Although the entire process of starting Ruth Vintage was amazing, taking a break from it was key to my energy and to my sanity. You can only wash vintage clothes so much before you need to step away for a bit... Go outside, read a new book, go explore your city, watch a movie, and just  r e l a x. You will not be in trouble for setting down your business for a minute to take a breather. Not only will it help your body and mind, but it's a perfect time to get fresh inspiration for yourself. 

4 | Research

Whoever said running a business was easy is crazy, unless no one ever said that... All those "little things" I was talking about early, such as your packaging, can be the things you may know nothing about. Starting as a beginner in this whole process, my knowledge about vintage alone has grown tenfold. Heck I had to research fabrics for hours on end just to know iron settings. Whatever your trade is, know it like the back of your hand. Find other business owners similar to you who have experience, ask questions, ask for advice, do whatever you can to get more knowledge. There will always be room for improvement whether your business is ten years old or ten days old. Never be afraid to ask questions. The worst thing someone can do is not reply... which may have left me bummed a few times. Every popular business owner, craftsman, and local artisan was in your shoes, working, questioning, and dreaming about having a full functioning business. It just takes time. 

5 | Push Yourself

I know how sometimes your vision may seem so little. Maybe you're nervous, maybe you feel as though no one will like your product or service, or maybe you feel like someone has done it before (which someone probably has), but every business is unique. Every ideal, every dream, and every goal was born by someone else with a new belief and vision in mind. Never tell yourself your business is useless. Sometimes all we need is a little extra push to bring confidence in our footsteps. I'm sure you've encountered 100+ vintage shops on Etsy, and maybe some people think I am "just another vintage seller," but my shop was born with a specific purpose that sets me apart from other sellers – for that I am proud of what I do. Ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing, how you're going to get there, and never say, "I can't do it."


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