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As I write this series please remember, I have made it a point to use part of my own education in Social Work and Sociology to examine andstudy the general notion or concept of being Joyful while working:
Note: I posed a number of written questions for each of the shop owners to answer regarding how they remain “joyful,” and their “daily rituals” while working and growing their small businesses (which can be very stressful). Some of the answers do not fit specifically what my questions were however, I am choosing to use what was provided to me by the small business owner. I have one or two more blogs to complete on this topic before I wrap it up and move to the next topic for my blog.
Some of what started this thought process was my belonging The Joyful Entrepreneur and my own thought processes much like I was trained formally to use. I have said many times Creatives are folks who are very similar and very different. I am finding a beautiful common thread with all creatives.
I attended two different universities to complete my degree since we had to move right in the middle of my own adult education process. I started attending Texas Woman’s University in the late 1980s and needed a double major of Social Work and Sociology (would have been a double degree in Bachelors in Science in Social Work and Sociology). While at TWU in Denton, TX, I studied about theorists (Durkheim, Weber, and Marx) who had a stark belief that “religion in an of itself,” was an illusion. To add, I was learning things that were very much different than my upbringing. I wanted to add that another theorist (I very much respected) was Emile Durkheim who viewed religion within the context of the “entire society” or across the globe acknowledged that Spirituality and Religious has a place influencing the thinking and behavior of the members of all society.
I finished my undergraduate degree here in Austin, TX at Saint Edward’s University which is “Liberal Arts Degree in Social Work” (early 1990s). Due how far I was in my studies at TWU, I needed to have a certain amount of hours to graduate from Saint Edward’s so I had to take some extra classes and added Religious Studies to my degree to complete my degree as Saint Edwards is a Catholic University (which was more aligned with my upbringing).
I have tried to keep this numbered blog series for the most part on “human rituals,” so all persons who participate, and read all feel comfortable. I am interviewing people all across the globe and their belief systems are vast and may be very different from your own. I have tried to separate out what I believe, verses my readers beliefs, to my invitees (the creatives souls i.e. shop owners) beliefs who are allowing me to blog about their products and their shops.
I believe that we (all people) have religious symbols, objects, and rituals, which are sacred or that could possibly be profane to another person. I personally believe in the Divine and Love. I am pretty much accepting of all belief systems and long as they are for the good of others.
I am finding how my interviewees (Creative business owners on Etsy) all have a common thread within them regardless where they live in the world (or what their spiritual preferences are) the participants all find Joy in their lives, and it is very similar of one another no matter their belief systems.
Please note that I was not asking for specific Spiritual Preferences, I was actually shying away from that, however, some of my participants are deeply spiritual. It is that deep personal belief of the creative business owner is the basis of their actual business plan and their customer base.
My first participant for this blog dated 08/15/2016 is Stacy Turner – Makes Mason Jar Table Table Decor of Marietta, Georgia, has her items in in a local store and sells her “custom made” products from her Etsy shop Stacy Turner Creations.
Stacy states that she is a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) with two children one starting in pre-k and a 4 month-old baby. Stacy finds great joy in being with her children and the ability to be a creative business owner. Stacy is very grateful to be contributing to the family’s income and fulfilling her own dreams at the same time. She states that she “has always worked outside of the home until I was about halfway through my pregnancy with my second baby.”
Stacy describes her work as “southern elegance at its best. The colors are warm and beautiful and can add such a wonderful pop of color to any space!” Marson Jar Table Decor are for the most part custom items and this image is an image of her work:
One of Stacy’s daily rituals, is having quiet music on in the morning while she paints and a “pot of coffee.” Once she has her quiet time waking up she wakes the family and makes sure everyone gets out the door properly clothed!
She and her baby are alone during the day so she enjoys the baby while she is awake and works while her baby sleeps. Every piece Stacy makes is with the help of her husband who cuts the wood and their older daughter (who is 4 and lovingly cuts out labels). The 4 year old loves to “help” so if your label is ever crooked, know it was cut with love by her. Stacy’s pieces have about a one to two-week turnaround as they are about 75% custom made. Shipping happens next in the day, then dinner time. Whew, once that is done they start over for the next day, keeping the rhythm of running the business the same. Stacy and family have early mornings and long nights, but “I do it with a happy heart and lots of pride in my work!”
Larissa’s typical morning starts at about 6:00 when she kissed her hubby goodbye as he heads off to work. Larissa grabs a quick shower before the fun begins. Larissa has 3 kiddos – “one grade school, one middle school and one high school, so a good portion of my life is spent driving kiddos, waiting in carpool lanes, and more driving kiddos.” Once everyone is to school she has several hours of “peace and quiet.” When the weather is nice, this is when she heads out to the garage to cut and sand boards to make her signs that she sells. She states that if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, she will work inside at her kitchen table of work in the office. If the weather does not permit Larissa to make signs, she has many creative outlets to explore. Larissa, like many of her fellow creatives has a multitude of supplies (I relate very well to this!). Larissa’s “to do list is much longer” than she could accomplish as Larissa stated that sometimes inspiration strikes and “I have to just go with it, because I’m a creative and that’s how I roll.” Larissa does keep a priority list that she follows to keep her on task.
Once it is time for carpool to start again the creating time evaporates and she is in her van from 2:15 until 4:15 every school day afternoon. While waiting in line at schools she works on her paperwork and answers phone calls or emails or an Etsy Convo. After everyone is home there is homework, start dinners and check to see for any emergency type orders and the next thing you know, the day is over!
Philip and Christy have made a gorgeous Fall Decor Gather Sign for the fall season that I am showcasing. Philip and Christy are a husband and wife team and their Faith in God is the utmost importance. “Prayer is a big part of our everyday life. We are careful to ask God for His direction in everything we do, so several times a day we will just stop and pray….[ sic ]. We both feel so blessed to be able to work together every day!”
Christy Lyn and Philip run the business together so it is an easy, relaxing start to the day. Their day begins when the sun streams through the curtains, giving a natural waking up for their day. They have a no alarm clock home. Each morning coffee is part of the morning ritual and some days gallons of coffee is needed. At Winfrey Designs morning work rituals consist of checking on the Etsy Shop, completing morning marketing, to printing off shipping labels, packing orders then organizing for the next day’s orders.
“We began this business to bless others, but we are the ones who are blessed! We have rejoiced with customers and cried with customers. We truly consider it an honor when our customers choose us to make a sign for them.” For the Winfrey’s their Etsy shop is not just about the money their earn, it is really an honor for them to make a sign for their customer.
Do visit these lovely these three sets of genuinely creative people and their lovely shops!