As a "solopreneur" you can easily become stagnant. You don't always have the opportunity to hear others' opinions about your progress and you aren't reprimanded when you take a few days off to relax. Over my career journey, I've tried my best to avoid these obstacles by surrounding myself with supportive, creative, individuals and by checking in on my progress every so often. You may remember that I wrote a post similar to this at the end of 2015 and received a great response in the comments section. Since we're halfway through 2016, I think it's the perfect time to see what I've accomplished so far this year.
January 5th, 2016 - Kicked off the new year with a new release of lovely Valentine's Day themed products. I released two stamps, Kiss Kiss and Sending Love, and an exclusive sequin mix, XOXO, with Pretty Pink Posh!
January 5th, 2016 - Sourced a manufacturer for a new product that I wanted to introduce. I took my time working on it and released my first one a few months later.
February 1st, 2016 - Organized my Sending Love Happy Mail Swap. I had 12 excited ladies sign up and we had the best time putting together our packages. I need to remember to do these more often...
February 4th, 2016 - My Spring Release became available on my shop! This release included so many awesome products that kept my design team and I inspired throughout the month. This release also included my first background stamp! Eek!
February 15th - 19th, 2016 - My design team and I, along with special guest Stephanie Klauck, posted a homemade gift idea everyday of the week. From DIY soaps to bunny shaped chocolates, I think we accomplished our goal of inspiring you to make a handmade gift for someone special.
March 3rd, 2016 - Launched my March Release consisting of three new stamps: Abstract Florals, Script Greetings, and my Grid Background. This was one of my most popular releases ever and I can totally understand why. Who doesn't love fun florals and gorgeous script lettering?!
March 8th, 2016 - Celebrated my March Release with a blog hop. What made this day even more special was Carson Riutta, one of my biggest crafty crushes, joined us as a guest designer. Her cards? Swoon.
March 9th, 2016 - Opened my email inbox to see a amazingly exciting note waiting for me. Heidi from Simon Says Stamp wanted to carry my stamps. Um. Yes, please.
March 15th, 2016 - Hosted a huge blog hop to celebrate National Craft Month. We had dozens of participants and sponsors all band together to celebrate our favorite hobby. It was an awesome day and definitely a learning experience. Planning a virtual party is no joke.
March 28th, 2016 - Reached out to the Instagram icon, Lara Smith of The Ink Road, to ask if she would be interested in collaborating on a stamp set. I heard back the same day and she was totally game.
March 29th, 2016 - Emailed Joan Bardee to ask if she'd be interested in joining the RAH DT in May. She gladly accepted!
April 4th, 2016 - Sent out a survey to my email subscribers asking them to answer a few quick questions for me. The response was more than I expected. My inbox was filled with messages of kind words and compliments of my weekly newsletter. Not apart of the community? Sign up here.
April 5th, 2016 - Another release day! This time around I launched four new sets: Birdhouse, Color In Sentiments, Tiny Sentiments, and Handmade By. The latter two are a new size for me, measuring in at 4 in x 4 in. Such a cute, little size and great value!
April 8th, 2016 - Had a lovely phone chat with Christina about working together to create a summer planner stamp for her subscription box, Mercantile Mail. Luckily, I didn't scare her away with my awkwardness.
April 28th, 2016 - My stamp line went live on the Simon Says Stamp website. Their brand manager, Chelsey, reached out to let me know that they were selling well! Seriously, such a dream come true!
May 10th, 2016 - Sponsored one of the CASology challenges. Thanks for reaching out, Melissa!
May 17th, 2016 - Hooray! Today my design team and I celebrated the release of my first Stamped & Sealed Craft Box. This is my take on a subscription box filled with goodies curated and packaged with love just for you. We shared tons of inspiration using the products exclusive to the box all month long.
June 3rd - June 5th, 2016 - Attended my first vendor show as Right at Home. We were greeted by hundreds (and hundreds) of excited cardmakers eager to peek at our product. It was an amazing experience for us to not only get exposure but to connect with others in a way that is otherwise difficult through the Internet. You can read more about our weekend here.
June 8th, 2016 - Welcomed the super talented designer, Laurie Willison, to the Right at Home Design Team. Such an honor to have you, Laurie!
June 12th, 2016 - Finished designing the Idea Gallery: a complete catalog of blog posts and project ideas organized by stamp set. When you visit the Idea Gallery you'll be greeted with dozens of links to past projects featured on this blog. Each grouping of links corresponds to a certain stamp set in our Right at Home Stamps collection. It's a great resource to use when you're in a rut!
June 13th, 2016 - I was contacted by the largest craft distributor asking if they could carry my stamps. They had received some requests from customers to sell our products. Lots of smiles and celebratory hugs ensued.
June 17th, 2016 - Participated in another Coffee Lovers Blog Hop as a Super Sponsor. This time was the summer edition.
June 25th - 27th, 2016 - Attended another vendor show. This time we traveled all the way down to Lakeland, Florida for Stampfest 2016. We met some amazing people and had some unforgettable experiences. Oh boy were we tired though.
June 28th, 2016 - Agreed to be interviewed by blogger, Jessica Kephart, for her Paper Crafting Business and Designers "getting to know you" feature on her blog. This should be coming out within the next month or so.
July 5th, 2016 - Released five new stamps and held a blog hop to celebrate. This release included Happy Mail Year 2 which was created in celebration of my one year anniversary. The first stamp I created was called Happy Mail.
July 18th, 2016 - Received an exciting email from a show coordinator that there had been a cancellation and we could now claim a spot at the Stampaway USA show in Cincinnati, OH. Yes, Ohio. Home to Simon Says Stamp and Jennifer McGuire. I have a pretty good feeling that I'll be meeting these awesome people at the show. Someone pinch me, please!!
Wow, what a crazy (yet productive!) six months it has been. I'm proud of how much I was able to accomplish since my last update, however, I'm still needing more. More progress, more goals, more accomplishments. I have much bigger plans for my brand and I've only scratched the surface so far.
What have you been working on lately? Let me know in the comments below!