LIFE WITH PURPOSE…
If you had told 2020 me that I would be creating a brand that lived in 4-7 shops and online for US sales by 2022 I would have never believed it….especially selling stickers as my most popular items. How the heck did this happen?
Life is strange my friends.
Here’s what I know for sure:
Sometimes you don’t choose your career path, it chooses you.
I grew up surrounded by women who made their living from “handmade”. My grandmother, 3 aunts, and my mother all gave me the gift of knowing how to make things.
All the things.
Anything and everything.
All but 1 of those family members started their careers in the craft world both while married but especially after they were divorced. Funny how history repeats itself.
2020 brought with it pandemics, deaths, divorce, kids growing up—starting their lives and single motherhood of a little boy during a time where finding a job outside of the home after years of raising a family and running a photography studio became impossible with those variables. 2020 was the year that forced me to figure out “What the heck am I going to do?!”
The question of finding a job outside of the home that would actually work with a kid who needs to be dropped off and picked up every single day from school (no bus comes to my house) or could have his school shut down at any minute for illness or quarantine made it clear that what would have worked in 2019 for a single mom was definitely not going to work in 2020.
So I doubled down on my little side gig. Crafts. Duh. It’s in the blood.
I can’t remember a single day of my childhood that didn’t involve being surrounded by my mom’s work. She primarily sewed as her main craft, which interestingly enough I can only sew a straight line—-but don’t tell on me. Mom could sew ANYTHING and woodworking—china painting—pattern making—-you name it she could do it.
Put a new roof on her house? Yep, she did that too. I can remember running around craft shows and visiting 2 of my aunts who had their own shops as a childhood favorite of mine. My grandmother's house was filled to the brim with her creations and my other aunt still to this day sells her handmade creations and one still owns two sewing stores her daughter’s now run as well.
These role models of mine had entrepreneurship going on well before many women were actually doing such things. They gave me the road map of “Well I guess God is saying I have to save myself and he gave me these two hands…I best get to work.”
And I did.
What a gift they gave me without even knowing it!
By 2021 I had added two more shops bringing my total to 4 local brick and mortar stores. I created lovely little things that inspired me to keep moving forward in life during these hard years. I also started adding wholesale items in that I loved as well. Everything I added into my shops ended up being products my customers enjoyed as much as I do. I started sharing more of my personal story online and as I let people into my hard reality and why I created the little messages, what their meaning was or the story behind this or that in my shop I discovered I wasn’t alone. Heart-felt messages and stories of struggle and so much love…So many have been struggling during these unprecedented times as well. I was no longer alone with my hard. Turns out 2020-2022 has just been hard on many of us.
I found purpose in my making. Products that bring joy. Those hopeful little messages and items allow my customers to express who they are, what they are going through, add in some laughter, or purchased as gifts they can give to lift others up. Oh how I love this job. It gave me purpose 💗
We call them “little’s” at the shops I sell at. “Tisha’s littles”…everything I sell is pretty small. Often some of the tiniest things in the shops I am in. Each tiny creation fills me with joy every time I get sweet pics from customers or have friends who went in and found the perfect gift for a friend that needed some cheering up or love.
Being human is hard. This much I know for sure.
Sometimes you just have to write your own book…scared to death or not.
2022 has so far brought more loss and hard for me BUT sandwiched in between there are some pretty amazing things happening. This shiny new online shop so out-of-town folks can get in on the fun!
Poppy shops will also be popping into several new stores this year. I am still amazed that by the end of this year my little’s will be in 5-7 brick and mortar stores but the goal is to branch into wholesale orders by 2023. I never saw this coming but I sure am enjoying the ride.
I’m grateful every day that I have been given the gift of two talented hands, design skills, and imagination to create things my customers and I love.
Even during a global pandemic as a single mom….
And yes, I absolutely have a “Be your own hero” sticker. That’s a sticker to live by my friends.
I always remind myself I had two choices…be frozen in self-pity and victimhood or be a strong woman like the women in my life showed me how to be and keep writing my own book. I will always opt for “strong woman” any day of the week.
Heck they didn’t have half of the resources we do now to run a small business and they still made it work! Things I remind myself of often;-)
I hope you enjoy this little hopeful corner of the world. I know I sure do love it here.