Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hi MaieDae readers! My name is Kim and I'm the gal behind the blog and shop, Oh, Sweet Joy! I am a Personal Shopper by day and a blogger//handmade veteran by night :) I live in colorful Colorado with my handsome husband, Chase. One day I will have an Airedale Terrier named Toby. You can read more about me here! 

I'm really excited to share some things I've learned since starting this whole handmade thing. Running a handmade business has been one of the most difficult, yet rewarding experiences of my life. There have been so many ups and downs -- and thankfully more ups than downs!  It's been quite an adventure and I'd love to take you along for a bit of the ride and share a little bit of insight into the world of Oh, Sweet Joy! and owning a handmade business.

1. Take a Day (or Two?) Off. ---> It is so important to take breaks....and guess what? It's okay to take a weekend off! It's vital for your sanity, for your marriage, for your inspiration level, and that's just the beginning of it! Take a book to your favorite coffee shop and snuggle up reading all day. Spend a day blessing others. Make something for yourself. Take a long walk. Whatever relaxes you, do it. And don't think about the orders that may or may not be piling up while you do so. They'll still be there Monday.

2. Quitting Your Day Job Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be. ---> It's okay to love your 9-5 and want your handmade biz to be nothing more than a hobby. I learned this after a mere 5 months of doing the whole "handmade thing" full time. ((more about that here))  I was burned out and missed interacting with people IN REAL LIFE. Don't get me wrong, blog//handmade friends are great, but I don't think God created us to live behind computer screens. I think in the handmade world, somehow the standard became "you aren't successful unless you are full-time." It's simply not true. Only you can define what success is to you. Is it $100 a week? Is it $1,000? That's your call & only you can make it what YOU want it to be. Hobby, part time, full time, a vehicle to bless others, you name it.

3. *sing with me* Money money monnnneyyyy ((money!)) ---> Keep your finances straight. SET A BUDGET.  Know how much you're making. Keep receipts. Buy Quickbooks or use to track your business expenses. Tithe. Be generous.  If your intentions are to turn a profit, you are a business and need to pay taxes. Set up an LLC and play it safe by doing things right from the get-go. No one wants the IRS knocking on their door!

4. Grow. ---> It's important to set goals so that you don't become bored or uninspired. This also helps you grow your business and push the limits! Don't be afraid to push yourself or try new things.  I did a series back in the day of how to increase your sales. Part 1 and Part 2 might be helpful if you're just starting this handmade journey or if you're in a slump.

5. Treat yo'self. ---> Go ahead and FIRST click here and watch this 20 second clip, giggle, and then come right back. Wasn't that silly pants? Okay, moving on.

This goes back to setting goals. I am a very goal oriented person. I tell myself often, "If I make ((this much)) money in the next month, I will treat myself by purchasing ((this really special thing I couldn't live without that usually comes in the form of shoes that I'll probably take to Buffalo Exchange in 3 months)). It's okay to buy something fun using the money you are earning. In fact, it may just motivate you to work harder and make more! This can work on a smaller scale, as well. I would often times tell myself that if I made & packaged all my orders by noon, that I could go get Starbucks and walk around the mall & window shop. Is it because I *deserve* it? No. It's because I wanted to and that's all that mattered. Hrumph. Being a business owner has perks and we've GOT to take advantage of them! (*WINK*) *note* it's even MORE fun when you buy something special for someone else. Last year, I was on a clothes buying hiatus and  I bought my husband a new camera with the money I'd earned from Oh, Sweet Joy! rather than something for myself.  It was so fun to treat him with something he will enjoy for years..

I could type forever & ever on things I've learned. I hope this was helpful and that you are inspired to GO FOR IT if you are on the fence about starting a Handmade Biz. It's so fun & rewarding and if you're just waiting for a "push," well, then friend, CONSIDER YOURSELF PUSHED! :)

Find Kim Here:  Shop  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest

Kim! Seriously, you are so inspiring. :) Thank you so much for offering such great advice! You are SO RIGHT about taking time off. It's so, so important to have days to rest, be with family and friends...and make sure your life is in check and on balance. Also, you are hilarious...thank you for making my readers and me giggle! 


  1. thanks for sharing your wisdom, Kim! i'm always so inspired by your creativity + energy :) I've been contemplating opening a handmade shop for about a year now. looking forward to taking the plunge (eventually)!

  2. This is awesome! I especially love the "Quitting Your Day Job Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be" point. I've been gearing up to start a handmade shop, but I'm wary because I wouldn't be able to quit my day job and devote myself to it as a full-time endeavor. Thanks for the reminder that anything done with passion and heart, no matter the label, is worth it!


  3. Awesome! I agree with Kim about the idea of success. The definition in my handmade business and life is probably not the same as most (all?) other handmade businesses online. I'm okay with that... but it is a journey to be okay with and to celebrate that difference.

  4. Thank you so much Kim for sharing! I love the treat yo'self bit. My boyfriend made me watch that clip and jokes with me all the time whenever I buy something a little special for me or him.

  5. i think the idea of treating yourself is way important!! we all need a reward once in awhile!!

  6. Anonymous19.1.12

    This was good! Thank you!

  7. Very informative and fun to read! Thanks!

  8. I especially love the advice on keeping a day job, and not caring whether or not it's full time!


  9. Thank you so much for sharing!! So helpful and wise.

  10. thanks for including me in this feature, savannah! you're a real georgia peach ;)