Next Best Steps

It's a Tuesday night and I'm sitting in a freaking Applebee's clacking away at my laptop while my husband is at home with the girls. They are (thankfully) fast asleep so my anxiety about taking some time for myself isn't hitting me as hard as expected. Real talk - my husband has pretty much always adulted better than I have but he's seriously stepped up into Golden Rockstar Status this past month. As most of you already know, I've had to recently undergo surgery on both my hands for carpal tunnel. To say that I was under prepared for how invasive this surgery would be is a complete understatement. I can say with absolute certainty that I would not have survived without my husband. In addition to me being almost useless on top complaining about my pain we're still in the process of renovating our home. Specifically, our kitchen and dinning room at the moment. The kitchen came about more so out of necessity than anything else due to the fact that our oven decided to call it quits as I was baking for my daughter's 3rd birthday party. That was early November 2020. We've been living without an oven for 4 months now. Our new appliances are picked out, purchased, and even paid off at this point but due to the pandemic the delivery date keeps getting pushed back. I am... frustrated.

Obviously, the past 12 months have been devastating on pretty much every imaginable level for the majority of the world so to speak about how my little business is still on hold seems very trivial. However, it is a pain point that I'm actively working to rectify. Not going to lie, the surgery has been inconvenient at best. The silver lining that I found in the timing is that my business basically got to take a break for two reasons at once rather than putting everything on hold for surgery and then again for a kitchen remodel. I did not expect the kitchen to be on such delay though. In addition to that, the fact that my hands have been so drastically limited... it hasn't exactly been the best time to take up making new product.

However, as I am the type of person who doesn't sit still well I did take the time to do some digging into my options. I am excited to announce that I will be having a small batch of custom T-shirts available for purchase soon. I am currently awaiting a mock up of my logo in a few different color ways but I plan to release them as soon as I have them ready to go. This little upgrade in my business is something that I've simultaneously looked forward to and dreaded over the past couple of years. It's exciting because it is a small step getting me back towards fashion. While it's not a design that I am personally executing on the production line, the logo is my original art work from several years ago and I'm thankful that it is finally taking on a new marketing purpose. The part about the process that scares me is the overhead investment in both the monetary aspects as well as storage.

Designing and creating custom cakes is a unique business model in that most of the time I'm not investing in ingredients that I haven't already been paid for. The tools are a different story, but for each edible order that I take I am at very least making my money back on items purchased for said order even if it's cancelled. T-shirts (and future non edible product that I plan to offer) don't fall under the same basic structure of my business model thus far. It is a leap that I am unsure will pay off. In addition to the upfront capital that I'm hoping to see a return on, I have to keep these items safe and clean until shipped out to my clients. Since I'm currently not the proud owner of a physical storefront, that means that my family has to carve out some personal space that I can take over for the time being.

This brings me back to how my husband is, and always has been, incredibly supportive. Similar to this surgery; my small business has been incredibly invasive. Probably more than either of us suspected it would be when it became a real thing that I took on. This business has impacted our time together, our stress levels, and our physical living space. While I've always approached it as something that was meant to be joyful, it's still a business. While I've always counted my blessings in that we are not relying on it to survive, I still strive for it to be successful. Thus far I've managed to operate in the black but going into 2021 not knowing when I'll be able to take an order again has made my self confidence waver more than a little.

Ultimately, the "one-day" goals involve owning and operating a successful store front where I offer a limited variety of daily baked goods in addition to custom orders right alongside an eclectic array non perishable art; Both of my own design and featuring local artists. That is what I'm kind of clinging to for the moment and while I fully believe that the secret to happiness is being thankful for what you have... I also believe in moving forward and manifesting your own personal next best thing. So hear I am, taking it one day at a time on my path towards recovery and personal success and remaining thankful for the support every step of the way.

My husband putting both our girls down for the night - One of many nights since mid January.

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