The Joyful Spirit
Remember the previous post where I asked my creative friends who are in the The Joyful Entrepreneur to join me for a blog series where I have asked a series of questions about their days, their nights and any daily rituals? If not check it out! What do I mean by Rituals? I mean a “series of actions or types of behavior regularly chosen” by the creative to get them through each day while remaining Joyful.
Before I retired from my profession, I worked as a Social Worker for the Texas Department of Protective Services. My university degree is in Social Work and Sociology. I worked varied jobs from a Child Protective Services Worker to a Statewide Intake Training Specialist IV. I loved my work; I was (and am) passionate about protecting souls, but there came a point where all the Joy, had been totally rendered out of my soul. I happened to see a video on Facebook and a sweet lady’s face was on the screen. I thought wow, what Joy, and what can I learn and refresh? That lady is Sarah Sewell. I felt the Universe sent me there that day.
I am very interested in people (even as an introvert) and most of my work was not in my creative side. I have created since I was little and have always made art. In my profession I dealt social problems, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children, families, persons who experience some kind of disablities and persons who are elderly. Heavy… yet so very needed. I had a calling to work my work, and I gave it my all. As I said I have an interest in my fellow human, I have a genuine love for people, and their maximum safety. Nevertheless, after 22 years, it was a time for a break.
Currently, I am using some of my talents here on WordPress to delve into the creative mind, my cohorts, whom I spend a lot of online time with. And I am impressed, inspired, excited, I think WOW on a daily basis – I need to be a part of this creative group and learn more about business. I had just been playing with my shop on Etsy, not feeling very successful. I wanted a change, and I found my place, my creative people!
I am loving every minute of it and it fills me with Joy! I am seeing how very hard this creative people work and they stay Joyful! So a long intro I know… I am wordy (LOL, my mind is always working even when I am so quiet). I promise this series will become more structured and concise for you. I want you to know me, where I am coming from and how we creatives need to be centered.
A wealth of applause for the first Creative (for this blog) is Sarah Lesowski Devantier is the owner of KnitaBitofWhimsy.etsy.com (Note: permissions given for the use of the photograph) She lives in British Columbia.
Sarah Lesowski Devantier told me a remarkable story! She said “I love that you chose my Rainbow Unicorn hat! It was actually designed by my daughter when she was five! She was very specific about the mane colours, and that it HAD to have a tail! She got the very first one (of course).” I think as you see as we continue this series that we creatives, have creative children! But really what is more magical than a Rainbow Unicorn! Ah, perfection!
Sarah’s ritual in the morning, begins with her son (3 years old) climbing into bed with she and her husband for a quick cuddle before the hubs heads off to work.
Like many Small business owners, or Etsy Entrepreneurs Sarah is a SAHM (stay at home mom) and with all that entails, she has to whip up breakfast for her children. She gets herself a gigantic cup of coffee (a woman after my own heart!) before they start the day.
As you read my blog posts about our Etsy Entrepreneurs, in the mornings they all check in with social media to check the pulse of what is going on in this on-line life we all live (fb Pinterest, Etsy and instagram) over their coffee or a Cuppa Tea, then it is off and running, dealing with the kiddos, getting them to class, and playing with their children before work. Once it is all settled their workday commences. With Sarah — if she has a couple hours while the kiddos are at school and preschool, she will work on the paperwork side of things: updating Etsy listings, planning social media posts, researching SEO (Search engine Optimisation). Oh the life of the creative and just what the heck is SEO! All the business side of things take so much time and there is so much to learn. Some of us, it hurts our brains!
Then for Sarah, the day flies by after picking up the kids, errands and home. There is time for play, housework, a hope that the kiddos entertain themselves and then Dinner! Their family has a ritual of dinner all together. Sarah has an “awesome hubby” who will clean up after dinner, play with the kiddos again and then it is time for Sarah to work. She is a knitter, so she may create a shawl or a simple hat (Simple? Nah, just go look at her work!). Sarah says the nice thing about “…knitting is that it’s something you can do while doing something else! I’ll typically knit while my husband and I watch tv (there are a few series that I probably couldn’t pick the main characters out of a line up! 😃 ). Then he heads off to bed, and I’ll often stay up later to work on projects. I’m a night owl, so that’s my quiet time. As a complete introvert, this time allows me to recharge.” I have an admiration for Sarah and an affinity as many of us creatives are introverts, very much in our own head space creating, and creating. I think or the repetitive clicks of Sarah’s knitting needles as soothing to my soul. Nighttime, is a time is a time for Sarah to recharge, maybe read a bit of a book and really enjoys fantasy novels.
Oh — there is a Major Postscript (P.S.) to this story, Sarah’s divinely creative 6 year old daughter… she has plans for unicorn slippers and Sarah believes there is some sort of a knitted cat hat in her future too. Sarah calls her 6 year old girl her “creative director.” Sarah is very mindful that when her shop is very busy that she takes time out to play with the kids, and braid her daughter’s hair. She said, that is why she works at home.
Onto our next creative for this blog who is Sheila Ryan of Babymoon who lives not but a couple hours away from me in down South IH 35 to San Antonio, TX. I have spent much time in San Antonio for pleasure and business. It is a beautiful and historic city. I cannot seem to find the zip drive with the Alamo pictures, oh well, next time.
Ok, I digress, Back to Sheila Ryan!
Sheila Ryan owner of Babymoon on Etsy.
Sheila says that being a work-at-home creative type is both challenging and freeing. She finds it challenging due to the daily duties to attend, getting the kiddos to school on time, maintaining home responsibilities and attending to the needs of the other kids at home. Sheila causes my jaw to drop, saying “being mom,chauffeur, chef and groundskeeper is a full-time job, but my true passion is to create and make beautiful products for people to enjoy.” what a day?
I find Moms today busier than ever. Always a finger to the pulse of life, to have so much on their plates. I have a lot of admiration! I am a mom of two adult children and have two grandsons. I am amazed parents (don’t want to leave out the dads doing it too!) today, and especially those running a creative business full time while being SAHM (or as Sheila says a Work at home mom WAHM).
Below a gorgeous example of Sheila’s work. Click on the picture to take you to her shop. (Note: permissions given for the use of the photograph).
Sheila states that as soon as she is at home from the morning drop off, she checks in on her orders. Sheila’s shop offers custom orders from both her Etsy shop and her personal connections. She works on those first and then off she goes to the design and production of those orders. She is always working on designs for the upcoming season (remember I told you creative minds are always creating). Sheila states “In between filling orders, I care for kids, reading book with them or navigating playtime or outings, and lunch, then we run errands, which usually includes dropping off packages at the post office. There is a lot to keep up with in the afternoons once my little people take a nap, so I try to maximize that time for designing what I’ll need to sew out the next day. Often, the afternoon goes too fast, and then I rush to pick up school kids and think about dinner for everyone.”
In order for Sheila and her family to function they have tried to simplify their routines so life is easier to manage. Summertime was the time this year for the family to simplify the “things,” that were no longer bringing joy to the family, excess clothing, books, toys shoes and she even let go of Craft supplies! As I feel a catch in my throat, I know there is a lesson for me there, I need to simplify too.
You creatives out there, do you feel that? Are there things you can do to simplify your life to create more, joy and more success for you own being? Sheila says “I admit that I’ve never been the most organized or kept the tidiest house, but having the income from a blossoming little shop gives me freedom to seek professional help in that department which again, gives me time to focus on what I love doing.” I see another teaching moment for me! How about you?
Sheila has been able to feel the rhythm of her creative day and juggle activity of a mom, home responsibilities while maintaining the energy to spend on her shop, design and sewing. She has felt the extra energy to get it all done. Many days her mind is buzzing even when she need to sleep. Sheila has found that the balance of having a “regular life with others forces me to pay attention to my own need to rest and sleep.” Sheila stated she would not trade anything for these days. She remarks that “It’s still a process, but even getting started makes the time I spend on my passion less “guilty” and more relaxed.”
I have enjoyed meeting these two women, and giving a rendition and insight into their Creative Lives, Families and their Etsy Shops. This is only the beginning of our travels… I willl have to get with Sarah Sewell to find out how many stories there are to tell!
It has been fun! Thanks for reading, please star, heart, share and comment. I love you all for reading and just LOVE. I’ll be seeing you soon. I will be posting 3-4 (or more) times per week!