|With my girls. Aidan (l) and Emma (r).|
I've been making things for most of my life. When I was in my early teens my Mom enrolled my sister and me in a folk art painting class with her. I loved it, and spent a few years painting on wooden toy chests and stools that I sold at my parents' furniture store. I watched The Joy of Painting and painted Bob Ross-style oil paintings on canvas. I sewed. I cross-stitched. I scrapbooked. Later, I painted snowy scenes on glass Christmas ornaments and sold them in some shops in New England.
I started making jewelry in 2007 after a frustrating Christmas season looking for the perfect necklace for my sister-in-law. I knew just what I wanted. Problem was, I couldn't find it anywhere. The idea of making jewelry had never occurred to me before, but now something just jumped up in my brain and said, "I could make that." Since having my twin girls in 2000, I had been a stay-at-home Mom concentrating all my time and energy on my kids, and something in me was itching to get back to creating. I started to think this might be something I could do while staying home with my girls. So I ordered books, and read them. Ordered tools and beads. Tried them out. Threw away lots of mistakes. Ordered some metal stamps and hammers. Threw away more mistakes. Googled every possible question about jewelry making.
All of this took me about a year, in the midst of taking care of twins and house and pets. When I finally arrived at some designs I loved, I stumbled my way through making a website. Discovered Etsy. Stumbled my way through making an Etsy shop. Sat and waited 4 months before my first sale popped up. Tweaked my designs. Tweaked my website. Learned how to take better pictures. Learned how to edit those pictures. Threw away some bad designs. Changed my packaging - many times. Made the front page of Etsy. Contacted a few blogs about advertising. Then figured out how to make an button for those ads :) And after lots and lots of work, I started to see some growth, and some repeat customers.
And it continues. I'm still figuring things out. Still changing things and throwing some things away. Still seeing growth and change.
I named my company Becoming because of this quote:
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death"
Starting and growing this business hasn't been easy. It's a constant challenge trying to balance family and work, and sometimes I feel like they are both getting short-changed. But I've come to realize that creating is good for my soul, and this process is part of my journey.