I’ve been thinking a lot about my small business lately, and in full transparency (something that is important to me), I wanted to share my thoughts. Let’s address where I’ve been the last month or so, and how I plan to move forward into this second year of business.
Having a small business is hard. Having a small business with two (very busy) children and working 40 hours a week is even harder. Doing that while renovating and preparing to move.. let’s just say it’s been a struggle. This transition has caused me to dedicate less time to my business, and let me tell you, I have noticed a huge difference in both sales and engagement.
You may (or may not) know that my business heavily relies on social media for marketing. It has served me well for the past year, and I am proud to say I have grown in a very organic way. That being said, social media selling is a full-time job. If you’re not present (or become less present than you were before), your business takes a hit. Here’s your friendly reminder to support your fav small shops and content creators, because engagement drives sales for many of us. I am working on creating a more realistic and sustainable schedule for posting and interacting. The new normal I’ll talk about shortly.
While success in business probably looks different to me than it does to others, I AM proud of what I have created over the past year.
My business has brought so much joy to my life. I started my business when my second son was only 4 months old. I was struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, and it brought me purpose and gave me something besides just being a mom. It was a channel for my creativity and it introduced me to some pretty wonderful people. Having a baby in the midst of a pandemic was challenging and socially isolating (for us all), but my business allowed me to connect with so many amazing customers and small shop owners. It built my confidence and allowed me to refine my skills in so many areas. It TRULY helped me recover from a hard time in my life. I have made true friends that I would not have made otherwise, and that makes me so grateful. My business is something I will not walk away from, not matter how challenging things may get. It has brought me too much….That being said, there will be a shift moving forward.
I have definitely gotten caught up in comparing myself to others. “That shop has more followers than me and they’ve been open half the time,” or “they are so successful and seem to be so busy!” and “my shop will never be profitable like theirs” are all comments that have run through my mind (many times over). Comparison truly is the thief of joy- and though we all can get caught up in it- I don’t want it to be my narrative anymore. The truth is, behind the scenes we have NO idea what’s going on. Did that person spend $500.00 in advertising that month? Do they only share the good stuff? Are they struggling too? I’m famous in all aspects of my life for over-sharing. That’s just my personality.. I am honest (probably to a fault at times). So the idea that people are not being open throws me for a loop BUT let’s get real people, that is exactly what social media is about. Curated perfection. Showing people what you want to show them. I’ve always known this, and hey, my friends- I love a good filter - but lately, I have decided I refuse to compare myself and instead, celebrate my wins and successes- both personally and professionally.
While I get sad every time someone unfollows me (Was it something I did? Something I said?) I have come to learn it comes with the territory. No longer am I going to focus on growth. I’m going to focus on putting out amazing products, in my own time. I’m also going to follow people and accounts that bring me joy. I encourage you all to do the same in this world where social media so heavily influences our mental health and well-being. If I feel passionate about what I’m doing and what I am putting out- it doesn’t matter what other people are doing (though as an aside, it pains my soul when people try to do what other people are doing. I stand by encouraging originality and inviting others to start putting their own spin on their products, instead of coming after other shops ideas, brand staples, etc).
All that aside, moving forward, expect less curated items. I’ve always loved having curated products- and they buy me some time (since my handmade products take so long to make) BUT I am at the point where I want UNIQUE products that make my brand stand out. If that means less drops, less new items, so be it. I will still carry curated products that I love, but I want to truly get to the heart of Lionheart Kids Co. I’m still figuring out what that means. I got carried away with having shiny new items- that I’ve realized that I haven’t spent time showcasing products that I already have in stock. I may not be the most business savvy, but I’ve learned so much after one year in business, and continue to learn more every day.
I posted recently that you can expect less curated and more unique products, in smaller quantities, and the feedback I have received has been wonderful thus far. We live in such a material world with a BUY, BUY, BUY mentality. That does not align with my values. I added so many new products to capture your attention and draw you to my shop, when I now realize a smaller catalogue filled with unique products is what will bring people to my store. Quality over quantity in its purest form. I WILL be launching new products, but instead of a huge drop- there may only be 4 of a product. I don’t mean to make drops exclusive; but this is the way I will be able to introduce new products without being buried in inventory. Less is more; and I think every parent can relate to not wanting OR needing 25 new toys or learning tools a month.
I have so much more I can say about this, but I will leave off here for now. Please comment below what you want to see from Lionheart Kids Co. Why you follow us. If you can relate.. OR maybe you don’t like this behind the scenes information about brands you follow. That is okay too. I honestly love engaging with all of you, and I am immensely grateful. Especially if you’ve taken the time to read everything I’ve spilled from out of my head.