Welcome to Entrepreneurship!

You haven’t heard from me in quite some, sorry! My goals, my business and this blog have taken many turns over the last few years, but I am excited about some recent developments and hope to start a shift that will make a big difference in my life.

As my husband and I slowly inch our way closer to possibly, maybe, considering the potential of thinking about starting a family, I’ve had to take stock of where we’re at. Myself in particular. My best friend recently lost her baby boy, Jonah, at 30-weeks pregnant, and if that doesn’t shake someone to the core, I don’t know what would. Her experience and thoughts of my future family put different lenses on my view of life – my career, my schedule, my values.

In nearly three decades of living, I can’t say I ever thought I’d be, or want to be, a stay at home mom. It wasn’t that I thought the role beneath me or didn’t want to spend time with my children, but that I truly love what I do and always want to be a contributing partner in finances. There wasn’t even a dream that I could do both.

Now, I see potential. I have inspiration from my courageous sister who changed careers, my brother-in-law who left a lucrative position to find happiness, and as usual, my best friend who is a pillar of strength and light in my life. If I want to eventually work from home while continuing to contribute to finances and the well-being of our family, I can do it!

So, as this blog and site take another turn, I hope to create a place that promotes me, my story, my talents and my interests. Sound selfish? It kind of is! BUT, I do it because I know I’m not alone and because I know I’ll need support. I’m starting to hone my skills and figure out how I can support myself without the comfort and stability of a “normal” job. There will be struggles I want to share, learning moments that I hope will help someone else, and hopefully successes to thank you for participating in!

This bumpy road of on-again, off-again blogging and sporadic social media presence has lead me here. I’m not “special,” but I’m willing to learn, to try and to work my tail off. I think I’ve finally turned the corner from being a hobbyist, and am excited to step into being an entrepreneur!

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Creative Business Dictionary: Friend

As a journalism major in college, I developed a strong affinity for words. They are deep, complex, and have the ability to convey multiple messages. Now, as a creative small business owner, many words have taken on new meanings, and I am constantly catching myself seeing the world from a different angle.

Each week, we look at a word that impacts creative businesses and share a free download to view, print, frame, ponder, or shred. We’d love to hear your stories of how these individual words have impacted your business or your life!

CBD Friend - SquareOctober 15, 2015 – Friend

n. one whom one knows, likes, and trusts; one with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade

I could talk about the importance of this word for days. Moving to a new city, in a new state, and more than 400 miles from nearest family means trying to find new friends. Getting older means maintaining relationships despite growing apart. Progressing through life’s stages means letting go of people who bring you down, and finding people on the same page who support you and encourage you! Being human means seeking companionship and camaraderie.

The two keys to this definition for me are the words “trust” and “allied.” I have many people that I know and like; I may even call them comrades. What I have found to be difficult is finding true friends that I trust unconditionally and who really feel like allies in the struggle I like to call Life. Whether it’s going through treatments, planning a wedding, throwing a baby shower, or simple coffee dates to let off steam, friends are gifts from God that make life much more meaningful (and bearable!).

This week I am determined to be a better friend to those who consider me one! I find it’s easy to be consumed by our own situation, but tough to put that aside to connect with someone else on a deeper level. I am so grateful for the friends I have and all they do for me, I want to make sure I’m giving it back and sharing it with others!  Let’s be honest, it takes a lot to put up with a crazy gal like me, and as a small example, there is no way Nothing Past Nine would have gotten past the dream stage without UH LOT of support!

Check us out on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for behind the scenes looks, product information and more!

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Changing Fall Colors

Fall Colors 1 - traditionalWhen the temperatures drop and the breeze picks up, it’s hard not to jump on the fall bandwagon. As someone who loves the outdoors and natural decor, it truly is like a breath of fresh air! The outdoors are bearable again and there are so many beautiful ways to create a cozy home that embraces the season.

Now, I love the traditional autumnal colors and warm hues like red, orange and yellow, but as I began to bring out my harvest pieces, I realized that very little of it fits the mold for textbook fall style. That got me thinking, why should I feel limited to three colors? There are so many incredible ways to bring non-traditional colors into your fall look!

Fall Colors 1 - jewel tonesDo you love deep, rich colors? Bring some jewel tones into your space to complement the more natural neutrals that fall gives us! I love how Scout & Nimble incorporated navy into their tablescape through napkins and a burlap ribbon on the wooden crate. It adds a touch of class and refinement to what is otherwise a fairly eclectic design.

The porch scene arranged by Kate Riley manages to maintain a life and vitality that many fall themes lose. The gorgeous purple mums coupled with stunning coleus prove that while it may be harvest time, there is still lots of growing going on!

Fall Colors 1 - muted tonesMaybe you prefer a little more subdued color palette. Swap out the saturated jewel tones for muted earthy hues, and you have another amazing recipe for success. I mean, look at this beautiful mantel design by Michelle at Dandelion Patina. My rural Wisconsin roots make me immediately want to go out and buy a windmill, and those wooden candlesticks are a perfect complement for height! (I can’t not mention the squirrel! He’s adorable!)

Ok. Maybe after checking out Nothing Past Nine you’ve noticed that these are my kinds of colors. But can we just take a moment to enjoy the beauty of white pumpkins? I don’t say this very often, but *SWOON*! The combination of white and grapevine pumpkins looks unbelievable in the blue tinted crate! I want every bit of this design Laura put together over at Finding Home Farms.

Which way do you lean? Are you a traditional type with lots of warm colors? Do you go a little bolder with more lively jewel tones? Or are you like me and get excited about the soft, muted earth tones? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or better yet – share some photos of your fall colors! I can’t wait to see them!

Find more on each photo here: sunflowers, pinecones, tablescape, porch, mantel, coffee table

 

Why I Took Beginner Knitting

20150816_145952I admit it. I signed up for Beginner Knitting and already “knew” how to knit. (Never fear – this was disclosed to the instructor!) So, why on earth would I take a basic class in a skill I already knew?

1|  I know my weaknesses. Yes, I had a working knowledge of the fundamentals, but did I know how to knit effectively? Heck no! It was all self taught, and I knew I could be better.
2|  I believe in foundations. Not only did I know that I could do a better job of accomplishing the skills I already had, but I knew that if I started from the beginning and learned properly, I would have a solid foundation for tackling more advanced tasks down the road.
3|  I wanted to slow down. Anyone who interacts with me for five minutes realizes that my brain goes 100 miles per hour around the clock. Going into the first lesson with the expectation that it would be slow, simple and straightforward kept me grounded. It made me focus on each step of each stitch in each row of each project. I began to understand concepts and processes – the why’s – as opposed to simply knowing how to complete a pattern – the how’s.

Do I recommend taking a beginner class in all the skills you think you know? No. That’s not practical, and you’d easily become frustrated. However, if you’re just starting out on something, picking something back up after a few years, or are self-taught and want to have a higher quality product – consider a basics class! It takes a lot for me to admit I need help, but with the proper guidance, I have made huge strides in my knitting in a few short weeks! When we open ourselves up, there can be huge rewards. I’m so grateful I took a chance and did something outside of my comfort zone. I’ve met new people, have more confidence in myself and my abilities, and am simply enjoying a craft that used to be more of a struggle for me.

Do you have a talent you want to be better at? Have you always considered taking golf lessons or basket weaving or Soups 101, but never made the commitment to yourself to do it?! Tell us what you want to learn, and we’ll be here with encouragement the whole way! Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too!

**UPDATE** I wanted to add that the day after I posted this, I was at my local yarn shop and there was a beginners’ class going on. As I quietly observed the session from the back of the shop, it struck me that another huge benefit of a class like that is the questions that are brought up. None is considered too basic, and I know not many people think like I do, so it’s wonderful to get their fresh perspectives!

Sneak Peek! – Goals

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I find it ironic that this is the color I am painting my nails today!

Where did the week go?! It’s already time to let you in on another behind-the-scenes secret regarding our Grand Re-Opening! (That date again is July 1st in case you missed it!)

One of the ideas that many business books preach is setting goals. Never been very good at that – or at least, I’ve never been very good about sticking with and actually documenting goal progress. That being said, I figure it doesn’t hurt to try again! Below are some of my broad goals for Nothing Past Nine and why I’m going about things the way I am.

  1. I am going to stay organized. I have a day job that keeps my mind occupied virtually 24-7. While I love organizing and making lists and charts as you’ve learned, keeping my business organized has never been a priority. I would tell myself it isn’t as important, or it’s just a side project, a hobby. Whatever state your business is in, if you love it and want it to succeed, you need to have a handle on all aspects. To do that, you need to be organized.
  2. I am going to be consistent. Since opening Nothing Past Nine, I have been woefully inconsistent in my ownership. Days, weeks, dare I say months have gone by where the shop was little more than a passing thought. Check out our social media posts and you’ll see what I mean! I am not giving up the day job anytime soon, but having a direction and being purposeful about my work with the shop will keep me active on a consistent basis.
  3. I am going to build a brand. No, I don’t see NPN becoming a worldwide sensation, but I do want it to be a solid brand that stands for something. As part of this re-launch, I have been developing a business plan that includes a mission statement. This wasn’t important to me initially (remember my negative thoughts of this is just a hobby), but having a purpose written out is extremely valuable and has been an incredible process to think through. Now I’m excited to think there is a “why” behind this business!
  4. I am going to grow personally and as a business. By pushing myself to develop as a business owner, a crafter, and a person, I believe Nothing Past Nine will reap great rewards. There is always something to be better at, something new to try, and if I continue to put myself out there, there will be huge benefits in terms of business growth and personal growth.
  5. I am going to give back. I have been blessed to have found some incredible sources of knowledge, inspiration and motivation since opening the shop. Many are cultivated by women who support the idea of community instead of competition. I have honestly never been very accepting of that concept because I love being the best. As I grow and mature as an entrepreneur (and human being!), I’ve had to redefine what “the best” means, and I am thrilled to be realigning my views and sharing more of my journey through Nothing Past Nine.

I know, I know. These probably aren’t the types of sneak peeks you were hoping for, but they will get juicier I promise! Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

This is the second sneak peek post! If you missed the first, you can find it HERE. Enjoy!