Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On To The Next Chapter


Lately I have been feeling the stresses of life. My children are growing and have become involved in their own interests, which I love, I work part time, I keep up the house (sort of) and I own a little business called Lil Britches Handmade Frames. I have of course also started blogging, which has been such an incredible experience that I enjoy so much, but something has to give!


Growing up I never REALLY knew what I wanted to be. I knew that I enjoyed playing sports, I was the only girl in a neighborhood of about 10 boys and made myself right at home with all their sports and antics! I was a full fledged tom-boy! People asked me what I went to college for and I would tell them to play volleyball! I concentrated on that for so long I never really gave anything else a thought. I loved art and loved being creative but never pursued that aspect much, until two years ago when my best friend started her own business.


She really inspired me to start a business of my own so I ventured out and created Lil Britches. I make custom children's frames and everyday frames that I sell at craft shows during the year as well as two locations in Michigan. I really enjoyed making the frames and never really thought about the 'business' side of it. After two years I am still in the (deep) red and now I am finding it hard to put aside time to make them. I don't like the feeling of "having" to do something. I started the business because I loved just making frames but now that time is precious and that feeling is there, I have become less interested in making them and to me that is not fair to the people that I am making them for. If my all my heart isn't into it, I don't want to do it.


So after reading different posts about friends and fellow bloggers who are feeling the same way about similar points in their life and reaching into my heart, I have decided to cut my losses and close my little business. I feel bad but at the same time I feel good. I have opened up my self to spend more time with the kids, that feeling of being rushed into making the frames is gone and I have a little more time to pursue other interests that I have been wanting to do.


I know that this isn't a life changing decision but a decision that has been weighing on my mind and heart for a while. I am so glad that I started the business because it gave me an awareness of myself that I didn't know I had, a source of self confidence that needed to come out, and another way to discover what is inside of me.


I look forward to whatever chapter opens up for me next and time to just spend doing things that I love without that little nagging feeling that I 'have' to go do something. I still have two more craft shows this year and will hopefully sell most of my inventory along with a couple of other projects that I have been working on. So, with the new year, hopefully a new chapter will open up and I will discover other things about myself.

Sorry this was long but I wanted to share with you, my friends, what has been on my mind and it feels good to just put it out there. So thank you if you stuck with this post to the end and thank you to my family and friends for all your support during this chapter in my life.

25 comments:

Rene said...

So happy for you to reach this decision. I was having a similar conversation with Mom the other day and she said, "Listen, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is this: if you don't enjoy what you are doing, don't do it". Obviously there are some things we "have" to do, but the things we choose to do should be enjoyable.

-Rene

Finding Home said...

Michelle,

I so can identify with everything you are saying. One of the reasons I was so behind on this client presentation I am doing today is because I was dreading it so much. I decided that unless there is an really unique opportunity, at this point I am not going to take on anymore design work. I am going to be focusing on a new side of my business. A part that I really enjoy but I am still trying to figure out. So kudos to you, life is short, live it with what makes you happy! Your frames are lovely but there will be a new path for you. By the way, really enjoying the James Blunt song here! Take care, Laura

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Thst sounds like a perfect decision. I was worried for a second that, after you said, "Something has to give...", you were going to say goodbye to blogging.

Nooo..........

I was on the verge of a breakdown.....!

It has to be said that the frames are brillaint though - is there NOTHING you can't do?!! You are super-crafty.

Do you mind me asking where you bought the stunning teal/brown ribbon on the second photo?
I love it and I can hear it calling to me!

Sarahx

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I appreciate posts like this that make you realize everyone struggles and it is ok to make changes and do what is right for yourself an dyoru family. I use to make necklaces and people asked me to sell them. I never would because I didn't want to be pressured to make them. I think yoru frames are lovely and at least you know you have a special talent when and if you feel like making one for somebody.

Vanessa said...

I'm so glad that "blogging" isn't the thing that you gave up! My heart was pounding there for a minute! :-) I totally understand what you are saying and it has been interesting this week to read blog posts of folks who are realizing that these "extra" things that we do for fun and creativity should never make us feel pressured or take away from our families and our home. Thanks for sharing this with us Michelle! You are a blessing to me!
Vanessa

The Frosted Gardner said...

Hey Michelle - I bet it feels good to finally make the decision and move forward. You are so talented and now you can spend more time doing exactly what you want. Sometimes our hobbies become too much pressure with deadlines and stress that we do not enjoy them any more. That is when it is time to take a step back and decide what happens next. :)

dedeetsyshop said...

I'm sure the decision you made was the right one. It sounds like you put alot of thought into it and even though your frames are adorable, it is better to focus on things that make you feel good! :)

Danielle said...

I just need to comment & say that your frames are GORGEOUS...you're so talented! But understandable you are burnt out. I used to be big into "paper crafting" and now it's been replaced by my sewing machine. Something else will come along. :)

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing that Michelle! Wow, we really have similar backgrounds!
I think it's great that you came to that decision. I on the other hand am feeling that overwhelmed-ness and am just trying to get my business going! YIKES! I hope you feel a real peace about it, and that the rest of your inventory sells. :)

Val said...

I'm right there with ya sweetie!! It's so hard sometime's to find balance. Your frames are fabulous! You have a gift!! = )))

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Michelle,
First off- your frames are gorgeous! I understand the need to find the balance-I think we can all relate at one point or another! I feel the same way about several different things in my life right now. It sounds like you put a lot of thought into your decision and are making the best choice for yourself. Maybe at some point in the future you will find yourself with a bit of extra time to focus on something like your frames or another venture and it will work better for you! :)

Julie Johnson said...

I'm right there with you! I did scrapbooks for hire for awhile, and haven't for almost a year now. It's a relief. You'll figure things out, and in the meantime, enjoy those kids. It goes so fast. My babies are 6 now, and yikes, I wish I hadn't been doing those scrapbooks when they were little....
Balancing is a tough act....especially when the balls are fragile ones.
Hugs,
Julie

Deborah said...

Michelle,
I am in awe of your creativity..
these frames are amazing!!!
Theres no end to the giftings you possess...:)

Im excited for you...to see what opens up for you in this new season of your life.
Whatever unfolds for you...I know you'll embrace it with all your heart and with it will come much blessing for you and for others.
You are such an inspiration....
your kindness and gentleness
blesses me so and I know I speak for all the other lives you so deeply touch.
I love you, my dear friend, so very much.


With all my heart...Deborah xoxoxoxoox

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh...I forgot to say....I never would have guessed you were a tomboy from your photo.

But then I remembered your brilliant photo of you weilding power tools!!!

I still LOVE that photo.

simpledaisy said...

I think you always have to just follow your heart!
Do what's right for you.
You sound a lot like me...I just like to be creative whenever the spirit stikes...too much pressure to be creative for a living!!!
Can't wait to see where your journey takes you:):)

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Your frames are so great! But I totally understand waning to have more time for family. I saw something recently that said "live what you love" it has really stuck with me. It has been making me think about how much time I devote to the important things in my life.

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I had many different phases in my life, and loved doing this and that...., then loved it less..., and let it go. It's all part of self discovery and growth! So to flow..., and happy growing!!

TheVirginiaHouse said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I featured your Bi-Fold doors on this weeks We Can Do It Cheaper. Thanks for linking up! I love your stuff!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

So glad that you were able to figure out what was best for you. That's what is important. Some times we put these pressures upon ourselves. Once something isn't enjoyable anymore it's time to move on. There is always something else down the road to explore!

Deb said...

Super cute frames Michelle, love the ocean one...of course! Sounds like you made the right decision for now and who know what great things are in your future! hugs, Deb

Stacey said...

Michelle, good for you! Sometimes I think it takes more courage to stop doing something than to start. And who says it isn't life changing? If it frees you up to be a stress free you, you will excel in other areas..whether it be just even spending more time with family. And I too was a little sad, I thought you were going to stop blogging and I lost my new friend : ) glad to hear you're sticking around. ~Stacey

Tracey said...

Thank you for sharing that, I am going through a similar situation as well. Only difference is, I just started a blog and a small business painting furniture, etc. I thought I was busy before, now I feel like I'm all over the place and I don't know how to prioritize. I find myself saying "not right now" or "just a minute" more than I'm saying "yes" to my children and I don't like the guilt that I feel at the end of the day. I'm trying hard to be a mom and help out the household financially--good for you for knowing what you need, it is inspiring!

reginamoore2 said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel! I also had a small "on-the-side" business and last fall (after many months of worry and anxious feelings), I decided to give it up. The custom orders were killing me inside...it wasn't fun anymore. I shut down the business and feel so much better because of it! I now make things just because I want to make things...I will always be creating something! I make things for myself, which rarely happened previously. I do still have a little Etsy shop and I sometimes list items there, but I decline all custom requests. You have to make yourself happy. I enjoy spending more time with my husband and two teenage boys. Congratulations on making this decision. Always follow your heart. (smile!~!)

treasuringthejourney said...

Hello Michelle...rest assured you have made the right decision and be excited for the next opportunity that I know God is working on for you. I recently had the same experience and feel so much better letting the thing I felt like I "had to do" go. Blessings to you! Iris

Donna Bauman, CVPM said...

Oh sweetie this makes me so sad but I understand - really, you know I do. You are so talented and it is a shame you can't share that with the world but a business is hard and though we start it for the passion of what we love doing the fact is that we also cannot afford to carry it forever and passion and talent doesn't pay the bills. I am sorry and I love you so very much!

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