One year ago, I was at a turning point. I had worked at Front Room Photography for four years and I had outgrown my position. I needed to move on, but where? I knew the corporate world was not for me, I wanted to start a business - but doing what? I didn’t feel good enough at anything.
I had a small Etsy shop where I sold a few invitations, but I wasn’t proud of it. I liked doing calligraphy but couldn't call myself a calligrapher.
Regardless of my doubts, I saw an opportunity, and I dove in. I left my job at Front Room, and started a stationery business. I knew I wouldn’t make money right away so I had lots of back-up income. Nannying for multiple families, driving Lyft, and working wedding photo booths for Sound by Design on the weekends. I went searching for knowledge. I signed up for online courses, I connected with other entrepreneurs, I was always looking for opportunities to learn new things and practice my craft. I did get some clients, and any money I made, I re-invested in my business. Money was slim - very slim - but I kept pushing. I told myself, to just keep saying yes, and that’s what I did for the next year. I said yes to styled shoots, bridal shows, collaborating with other artists, risky projects I’ve never tried before, teaching and speaking opportunities, and I learned from all of it.
Things began to pick up, and I would think to myself, "Huh...I'm really doing this!" It's such an amazing feeling.
I'm so grateful for the people who gave me the advice they wish they had been given, referred me time and time again, or even just gave a little shout out on social media. It truly means so much to have a supportive community of entrepreneurs who've got my back.
It is awesome (and terrifying) to be completely, in control of my own career and income. Now I won’t say I’m anywhere near where I’d like to be, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was a year ago, and so proud of how far I’ve come.
This July, to celebrate my one year business anniversary, I'm giving a gift to all my loyal followers!
(Just like in grade school, when it was your birthday, you were expected to bring cupcakes for everyone...bogus - right?!) ;)
Very soon, I'll be sharing some awesome new products and collaborations. When these products launch, only Shelby’s special people (the ones who receive my email newsletter) will have access to a discount coupon that never expires! Enter your email below to sign up!
Photos by Front Room Photography