It's been awhile since I have written a "what's happening now blog" that it actually became overwhelming to sit down and do this. So much has happened since the beginning of the year, and while I want to catch you up on everything I'd rather not spend hours on this blog :) So here's the nutshell to get you up to speed...
January- I left Turks and Caicos after spending 4 years living in the Club Med Resort. My husband, Mau, stayed behind to work a bit longer while we waited for his green card interview. We started this process about 2 years ago. Our intention has been to try out life together in the states. At the beginning of this year we felt we were close enough to the end of this process that I could move back to start preparing a space for him to join me. I had many ambitions for my business and transitioning from country to country is no easy task. So we thought it beneficial to do this in stages without the risk of being separated for too long.
I'm originally from Iowa, but I have family in Arizona. And this is where I chose to start the transition. Some of you know from reading my story that I had sold practically everything I owned when I decided to run off to the island life. So moving in with family to start was necessary. I also felt it a more ideal location for us as a couple and our future goals. So with my possessions (including all my jewelry tools and supplies) in 3 suitcases and a backpack I moved away from my little island paradise- to the beauty of the desert mountains.
Since returning and having my whole life seemingly turn on its head I set out to get my business up and running by March. My goal setting was important. Not only for my accountability- but for everyone watching. You see when you have a vision- and that vision hasn't quite become visible to the world- the world has a lot of questions. And judgements. And criticisms. I didn't feel the need to prove my vision before it unfolded to everyone watching, but I did feel the need to distract them while I worked and went through all the feelings I had coming. I made schedules, lists, fed the lions little chunks of accomplishments along the way. Sometimes people can appear aimless in their pursuits. That can cause family and friends to ask a lot of questions and make uhhh "suggestions". All of it done with the intention of helping, but it can be a fickle time when one is creating and working towards her vision. You don't always have great days where you believe in yourself and hit the ground running. Sometimes a "suggestion" on a particular day can send you into a tail spin of self doubt. I guess what happened is that in an effort to keep feeding the lions I stayed ahead of them.
I did ALL the things. Well, I had to figure out how to do all the things. I licensed by business, I did a complete re-haul of my website, I ordered packaging and shipping supplies, jewelry tools and supplies, I made new creations, I set up new photography parameters, I fine tuned my branding, I spent hours getting my social media up to par, hours figuring out quickbooks and making invoices, I hired an accountant! Hahaha I did this all in the first month!
Then it was break time :) after 3 weeks away from hubs I got to go see him at our house in Cancun for his sister's wedding. We had a blast- the wedding was beautiful, I celebrated my 33rd birthday, I was thrilled to see him, and I got to meet more of his family.
February came and went so fast. When I returned I kept up my work pace while enjoying a lifestyle that had become very foreign to me over the past few years. I took time to visit my grandparents each week, I went on hiking excursions, started to meet new friends, prepared for a road trip to Sedona for a yoga retreat I had booked 8 months prior, I went to TARGET! After small island life I had to immerse myself back in slowly. Life is fast, and busy and while its exciting it can become overwhelming if it's too much at once. I spent 2 hours at the grocery store....just looking. I couldn't remember when I was use to seeing so much stuff. Staying in my little cocoon and building my life out of my little studio in my closet was keeping me level and distracted from the overwhelm.
March- my Sedona trip was finally here. Awhile back while I was still living at the resort I hit a few weeks where I was really feeling down. Living the Club Med lifestyle is not so easy sometimes. Resort fever had really set in (resort fever is 10 degrees worse than Island fever). I dreamed of getting out and getting to Arizona, and having visited Sedona in the past I dreamed of a day when I could do a solo road trip again. I borrowed a car, packed my bags and the night before I was set to leave the event was cancelled. The corona virus at this time was just starting to cause events and public gatherings to tilt. Although disappointed I've experienced that life will never real go the way you expect it to. I've spent a great deal of time suffering over expectations gone rogue. I decided to pivot and instead of cancelling the whole trip and sitting at home to pout about it- I went. I had an airb&b and a car and no plans. I could fill my schedule with whatever soul filling activities I wanted these next 5 days. And I had the best 5 days ever.
After returning from Sedona it was time to open my online shop. But I was dragging my feet. I kept putting it off thinking I wasn't ready or prepared enough. Covid-19 was beginning to pick up it's panicking pace and I felt it a good enough excuse to procrastinate more. It then dawned on me how disappointed I would be with myself if I missed this opening date. All that work and focus the last few months to not reach my goal? My husband spoke some words of advice and ensured me that we've done this before. You just have to start. It's not going to be perfect right away, and whatever we need to do or learn we will do it a long the way. So I did. I opened my online store and Etsy shop. Here's the Youtube video I posted when I did.
I'm happy with the decision to open. I had a great first month of sales and my confidence has grown with my understanding of this new online business world. This has also allowed me to take my learning in baby steps. Sometimes it's much more fun, easier and practical to learn as you go instead of feeling like you need to know it all before you begin. Since opening I have acquainted myself slowly with packaging and shipping procedures and the endless amount of hours one can spend creating social media content to drive business to one's online shop. As with most all things- it is never ending possibilities.
What I'm working on now...
Jewelry creation wise I have been learning new techniques to increase my skill level to keep a high level of quality in my pieces. I'm also playing with new design techniques. I've decided to invest in a soldering kit and enameling supplies. This is a natural progressive step for wire weavers I've read, and I agree. Many times I have come up with designs in my head that have made it clear that I would need to know some basic metal smithing to bring it to life. By the end of the month I hope to have a start.
The past two months I have gone back to offering free online tutorials on my Youtube channel. Coming from a teaching background, not only do I enjoy making these videos, but it is more exposure for my business as I build my subscriber list. I enjoy the feedback from the viewers and feel good that I can offer this skill share during the pandemic when everyone is locked inside their homes. I've always felt rewarded being able to find a creative way of expressing a concept so that someone else can understand and be enriched by it. We can't all be nurses and doctors right now. We just have to bring what we have to the table.
Oh and as of right now my Mau is living in Cancun. Yes, he left the island of Turks and Caicos before the airports shut down and is living at home in Mexico with his family. Unfortunately, we didn't get out interview date before the lock down came. All the consulates shut down slowing our momentum to a hault. Thank the technology gods for video chat so I can still see that cute face on the daily. He's been looking for new products that we will eventually introduce to and grow our brand. So we are in the beginning stages dreaming up our expansion. It's tough not having him here, but cocoons are typically made for one anyhow.
Since starting the tutorials I have taken up a greater interest in developing an online course. This is one that I would offer for purchase on my website. I love formatting lesson plans. I've been doing it for awhile now. While I offer free youtube tutorials this one would be different. It will be more thought out, with beginner concepts that build upon each other in a logical format. I've begun planning the lessons, but I'm sure I'm still months out from launching it.
I've also started to offer private coaching lessons via video chat. I've had people reach out to me regarding this so I'm working with them now to do a sort of test run and see how it goes. Years of teaching private ballroom dance lessons and personal training clients really prepared me to do this...I just can't believe it took me so long to think I could! I haven't advertised this yet on my site, but I am offering right now. If you or anyone you know is interested please send me a message.
Well it's easy to explain and tell you all the good things when you're in the nutshell. But while I may sound incredibly productive, motivated and ambitious not all days have been that way. Infact, I'm just now coming off of a very low energy, low mood week. While life in the cocoon is transformational- transformation is not always easy, and we have to be careful the expectations we set. It doesn't always do a us good to try and guess what life will be like and prepare when we simply don't know what life will be like. Take each day as it comes. Sometimes you work more and sometimes you work less.
I hope you all are doing well. As the many emotions of the human collective shift you are likely to experience all of them as well. Take care of your bodies, your minds, your spiritual needs. Transformation starts with one. Build your cocoon.