Quitting.

I started blogging ten years ago. I was a stay at home mom with two tiny girls and I enjoyed the hobby. I met some lovely ladies through blogging, many that I still talk with today. Over the last decade we have watched each other’s children grow, our families change, and our outlet transform.

Through my blog,  I was lucky enough to connect with wonderful women who saw the beauty in the clothing I was making for my girls and encouraged me to continue creating. I didn’t start out blogging for business. I didn’t start designing clothes with the intention of selling them. I started sewing because fashion has always been special to me and I found joy in curating unique wardrobes for my girls. I opened my shop because I wanted to give other parents a way todo the same for their girls.I wanted to give them a way to get one of a kind clothing designed especially for their child. I wanted to give them clothes that fit perfectly, that you wouldn’t find anywhere else! Connecting and creating; I have been fortunate enough to spend the last decade doing just that.

I have designed clothes that are already treasured family heirlooms.
I have created pieces for kids to shine in on their most special days.
I have connected with hundreds of people who used my chemo-cap tutorial and took the time to reach out to me
I’ve  sewn chemo caps for beloved friends and prayed over caps being sent to strangers that I will never meet.
I have made precious pieces for gender reveals, and capes for real life superheroes.
I was privileged to make a precious outfit for an angel who celebrated her one and only Earthly birthday wearing a Daydream Believers original.

I never intended to start a business. Then once I did, I never imagined quitting.


Still,
Last year, I began preparations to close Daydream Believers Designs.

The creative community had changed. I felt out of place. I found myself in multiple groups for small shop owners on Facebook and these up and coming entrepreneurs made me realize that I was not a business person. Yes, I was running a successful shop, but I was not a business person. Seeing behind the scenes how these people were running their companies made it clear, I was not in the right place.

I would sign in to the groups and read:
You can’t just post photos from your phone, that’s tacky.
Then I’d feel badly because my photos come from real clients, not models.

I’d see:
A small shop MUST have a stand alone business page. Your customers are following you on social media to see your work and do not want to hunt through photos of your kids to do so.
Then I’d question if this was true, and WHY hadn’t I separated my work from my personal page? DB grew so authentically, it was such a big part of my life, it hadn’t occurred to me to separate the two until these other shops wrote about doing so daily.  I’d read their posts, then I’d worry that I upset my clients by forcing photos of my kids in to their feeds.

I read through in depth conversations giving advice, such as:
You MUST start a VIP group on Facebook. General Facebook just doesn’t reach enough clients.

You have to leave Etsy – it’s juvenile.

You have to get on Twitter! That’s the BEST way to connect with clients!

An Instagram page has to have cohesive tone. Do you even follow a schedule?

Pinterest is a business tool. Instagram is a business tool. Twitter is a business tool.

Email marketing is the way to go!

Hiring brand reps is the way to go!

Send celebrities swag – it’s the BEST for exposure.

It was endless.

Even though I didn’t buy into much of their advice, I was made painfully aware that Daydream Believers was not like these other shops.  Side by side with the wave of trendsetters and wanna-be-moguls; I simply did not fit in.

My company was thriving, but I was disheartened. I saw Instagram as an app, not a business plan. MY business plan was to better utilize my time so I could say yes to more custom orders. When I realized that more of my precious work time was being spent on a computer than at a sewing machine, I admitted to myself and to my sweet husband that I couldn’t keep doing it.

So last January, the plan was to complete the reserved custom orders, then close it all down. But it wasn’t that easy. I fell into the rabbit hole of reflection. I read though every post on my blog (including the fun old ones that lay archived). I looked though hundreds of photos and spent a solid month trying to find the words to write the goodbye announcement to end Daydream Believers.

The words never came.

In looking back, I realized that despite not being a modern business woman, I had grown a special company. My goals for Daydream Believers were met. I connected with people, helped them celebrate life, and I have  made some CUTE clothes!
 

I enjoyed my work. But friends, I did not enjoy the social media marketing.

So, I quit.

I just stopped posting. I stopped sharing on the business Instagram page. I archived the VIP group. I deleted twitter from my devices. I left every annoying small shop “encouragement” group. I stopped wasting time Facebooking an Instagram post to tell you that there was a blog post highlighting a new product in the shop. I designed and fulfilled orders without ever sharing a photo of them. And do you know what happened? My business continued on.

I found that by minimizing my social media use, my work time was better focused on getting meaningful work done. I was more productive and more inspired to create.  2018 was, by far, my most successful year to date. Isn’t that something?

I realize now that in order to keep going, I need to focus on doing the work I love and leaving the rest behind. I plan to spend my work time designing and sewing. I’m not interested in putting energy into social media marketing, so I’m not going to. Keeping it old-school; I will create beautiful clothing and will continue to be available to my clients for custom designs. Your personal referrals and happy Daydream-Believers-wearing kids will be my advertising. I appreciate you for being here, I hope you’ll stick around.

Here’s to 2019: to being honest, to taking chances, and to quitting things that burden us.
xx M


: Updated to add : For now, I will be using this blog as THE space for db updates. I will still be sharing on my personal Instagram page (@daydreambelieversdesigns) because I genuinely enjoy sharing and connecting. I hope you are cool with seeing photos of my kids mixed in with the fashion posts. xx

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