Thank you everyone for being so patient and supporting me during my cross-country move! I've been up here for 4 weeks now, but it still feels like the first. I don't know what I thought, but apparently I forgot that moving from a one room studio to a 3 rooms apartment means I'll have a lot more space to fill (I never said I was a minimalist). Trouble is - I have no furniture! In some ways I miss my old tiny studio, it was cozy and I knew where everything was. Those of you who follow my instagram account (@woodlandpapercuts) have already seen the the photo above of my new bare studio (well, bare for me). I set up a bed and my studio desk but the rest of the place is still piled with boxes.
Read more about new changes to WOODLAND PAPERCUTS >>
Besides getting a bigger place, I am also looking more closely at my business structure. This venture didn't just happen to me from one month to the next, but I did not consider the realities of running a small business solo when I started. Partly because I didn't realize what I needed to plan for, and partly because I didn't want to jinx it. The truth is though, there comes a time when a woman needs to realize she can't do it all. I know, I was shocked, too! I love papercutting day in and day out. I enjoy every aspect of it, from the customer care to the invoicing to the packaging, all the unglamorous stuff. But it does wear you down. The days grow long, I make mistakes, get angry and flustered, and it's just not good. I go days without leaving the house, too caught up in deadlines... It's not a nice picture to paint, and not many are talking about it, but we all fall into the trap of wanting more out of ourselves than is humanly possible.
The point of my move (besides the far-sighted goal of saving up to purchase a city apartment) was to also allow me to live a less-stressful life and manage my affairs better. I might actually go to my doctors appointments now. Or you know, sleep. In short, to manage my business instead of letting it manage me. Well, I'm still working 32 hour days (yep, you read it right, 32 hours) and am still behind on every managerial goal I set for myself, and I might still be booking 3 orders per day (I've got to learn to say no!) but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The move, while costly, did free up funds for me to invest in help - and encouraged by Jess Lively's business advice newsletter, where she talked about delegating work and have your business work for you - I hired myself 2 assistants!
This is a challenge for me. First, I must confess - I hired from within my family. This could potentially blow up in everyone's faces, adding the stresses of an employee-boss relationship to a familial hierarchy, never a straightforward thing, but what can I say - it's a step in the right direction. Delegating does not come easy to me. I am a control freak. I always find it easier to do something myself - even when I don't have the time or don't know how - because I know how I want it and I don't have the patience to explain myself. Or I don't trust others to do it as I would. It's complicated. But I'm giving it a go - I hired a virtual assistant to help with all the online work I am behind on. The other is a personal assistant who does all the daily tasks around the studio and runs personal errands. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will go.
But there is one thing I must do before all else - and that is to thank you guys. I've been fulfilling orders non-stop since I got here, and my orders calendar is now completely full through to late May. There's so much going on this wedding season, I'm excited for it all! I'm so thankful for your support, I never would have thought I could top last year, but you helped Woodland Papercuts grow!!
You can follow my studio life on instagram @woodlandpapercuts