Over the last several months I have been so overwhelmed with so many other designers sending me wonderful messages. Flooding my inbox with how Ruby Loop has inspired them, wanting to know what I have done to get where I am, how can they improve their business and gain amazing customer following. Me? Little ol' me???
WOW! I am truly humbled that so many of you see Ruby Loop as something to model after. I remember dipping my toes into the boutique world several years ago. I started out as a bow making mama when Kenadie was little and Aubrie was not quite as big sis as she is today. Oh, they grow so fast! Back on track...I stumbled upon BowznStuff while browsing ebay for inspiration...yes we all do it! OMW...I just fell in love with Cree Oliver and her amazing work, her mixy matchy colors. BIG bows! ruffles...frothy ruffles was how she described them! I fell in love with boutique clothing right then and there and knew I had to take my "sewing" to another level! This was art! Real design...not just following a pattern, which I detest patterns! LOL...This was inspiration and God given talent and I wanted that too!
I swear I stalked her page, thinking she was the only one out there like her in all the world and I had stumbled on something amazing! ROFL! This was before I found Etsy and really became acquainted with Facebook! I even sent her the message! The one just like the ones I have been getting...I waited and waited and hoped and prayed I might hear back from her and glean a little wisdom, insight, a secret even! Oh that she would shed light on my upcoming journey into creating something amazing....She must have been incredibly busy too! LOL...I never heard back from her...lol...but that is alright! I think I found my way alright on my own and I still day by day learn new things, meet amazing new people who I am learning from and when ever I can, I try and share what I have been blessed to experience and learn along the way.
So after answering about 20 emails in the last month on how I got where I am and what can I do to better my business, etc...you know the questions! I figured I would just lay out all my inspiration here!
Please, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to avoid answering emails...but we all know how distracting the screen in front of us can be! Especially when these black keys and the words in front of us and on facebook are the only adult interaction we might have all day long! I could stay here and talk to all of you all day and never accomplish any thing for Ruby Loop! But then I would have to charge you for these words here, because the bills don't pay themselves! LOL and honestly I don't feel that my insight is any greater than your inspiration. It is really the drive behind us and having someone to push us and tell us, that YES! Your dreams can take you places.
First....Use the tools before you and figure out what works for you. Some of you have found Etsy or eBay to be your home base to sell and feature your product. Never worked well for me! I am happy and at home right on my facebook page, where I love to talk to my friends, aka, "customers." I love seeing photos of where my designs have ended up...yes, my heart really does skip a beat when I see an amazing photo of Ruby Loop capture on a little girl (or big girl;) and worn in all of it's twirly whirly super spinny fun! So they don't all spin...but isn't that fun to say! Back on track ;)
GIVE!!! not only of your product, but of your self. You as a person are just as much a part of your business...people want a shopping experience. As a princess of the most high king, Jesus, it is my responsibility to remind all girls of all ages...they too are a princess! I want to put my best foot forward in ALL that I do and say. I love love love to create...I have a passion for what I do...you must have that...I don't follow directions well and I know I talk in circles....LOL....I type in circles too, so try and keep with me! I think the Lord must think the same of us...He is the ultimate designer, just as the Lord loves us as His creation, you must love what you do for this to work. Creating is more than just throwing together fabric and ribbons, a polka dot here and swirls there....it's putting it all together and then seeing it bring a smile to a little girls face! Watching her jump up and down with excitement because she gets to wear that and it makes her feel special. I pray that Ruby Loop always makes a little girl feel special!
For me....Prayer....This is a blessing that God has given me. A talent that I choose to use to glorify Him. I am thankful to be able to dress my own girls modestly with out sacrificing style or color. Keeping them little girls! I know some might think it a bit showy and think that to dress a little out of the box with so much color and mixy matchy of print and pattern, is a bit out there and drawing attention to ones self....but I look at all that the Lord created and He never shyed away from using color or texture or mixing and matching. I truly want to follow after the ultimate designer and therefore love to create with as much inspiration from His work as possible! I think this must have been a bonus side note....but back to prayer...I always ask the Lords will for what I do!
Stick with it. Watch your business patterns. If something isn't working then change it. I can't tell you how many times I have changed over my "product line." I started out about 8 plus years ago making flower pins....how I have been "crafting and creating" as long as I can remember....but to actually sell and make $$$$$....I was addicted! I loved being able to create one after the other, never making them the same, over and over....then selling them! WOW that was a rush ;) the next year I went to the ladies conferencece to sell my flower pins....there were 3 or 4 other tables with flower pins! LOL....so I think I sold a third of what I sold my first year! Needless to say the next year, I didn't take flower pins! I needed something new! Jean skirts made out of pants. That was huge for me! once again making lots of money at it....and then the next year....yup...lol....everyone figured out how to make them. I am so glad too! I made a few a couple months ago for my cousin who wanted some skirts....man, I forgot how much I really didn't like making those! They are a LOT of work!
Anyway, I won't give you play by play of where I have been, but I just want to say that it's okay if you start out inspired to do one thing and redirect to something else along the way, even a few times over, until you find that perfect spot! Don't get discouraged if there are 20 other people doing the same thing as you. We can't all provide for an entire world of shoppers. We each have our own take on various design and inspiration and variety is a good thing! God has provided so many with amazing talent...and He has also provided enough shoppers with a love for finding those amazing creations that are must haves =)
I really have so much more in my head...but this is already REALLY long and if you made it this far, well kudos to you! My over all summary is that there is no formula for success. Be true to who you are and support your fellow designers. Make friends and don't allow fear of others success to weigh you down! Stay on top of your game and always try to make your customer happy. If you promise a deadline, meet it. Simple things like that make or break you!
When you learn a new trick, be sure to pass it on! An open hand that is giving can always receive, but if you hang on to what you have and never share....well nothing can be given to a closed hand....that is my greatest advice....share share share
I hope maybe one sentence in this whole rambling might have inspired you just a bit! I won't pretend it was anything profound....just the random thoughts in my head=) HUGS!