Since I have launched Yoshi-Bella I have wanted to stay true to myself and build an authentic business. I have realized over the past few weeks that I haven't been so good at it. See, I'm a solopreneur - a mom wanting to stay home so my kids can come home from school. I have been so wrapped up in wanting to make sure that you saw Yoshi-Bella as a professional corporation, that I have been trying to make it seem like something it's not. I had hoped you would see Yoshi-Bella as a huge company with HR and supply chain, with a serious board of directors and MBAs and financial whiz kids who know how to scale a company and make it massive.
Yoshi-Bella is the culmination of my dream as a mom, and an outlet for my long atrophied creative muscle. I have always known deep down I was an entrepreneur but always took the safe route into a "career" in a "company". My first career as a vet is still a huge part of who I am. I still love lots of things about being a vet. I love my colleagues and it's a great career for a lot of people. But I mainly wanted to do something so my kids could come home after school. And I want to learn and try new things. Boy do I love to try new things, and when I came across snap jewelry, I loved the ability to use jewelry to connect to what's important on that day, that hour, or that moment. At the time I started Yoshi-Bella I was in a corporate job that demanded a lot of time and travel. I desperately wanted to make a change before my kids grew up and the choice would be made for me.
I didn't know much about jewelry
I didn't know anything about e-commerce
I didn't know anything about dealing with suppliers
I didn't know anything about online marketing
I didn't know anything about inventory management (as my husband says...you really should start selling this stuff instead of just buying it all the time).
I didn't know anything about pricing strategies
I didn't know anything about web design.
I didn't know how to make jewelry
So, now I submit to you, dear customer that I'm learning. I'm pushing that boulder up the hill, and I am so stoked to get to the top, but I have no idea how much farther I have to go. I am loving the journey, and most importantly I love seeing my kids run in the door from school and decompress, update me about their day, or simply unload on me, and so happy in the knowledge that I'm there for them, which is important for me.
I'm learning about jewelry
I'm learning about suppliers
I'm learning about marketing (and how much there is to know!)
I'm learning about my inventory and pricing strategies
I'm learning about web design.
I learned how to make custom jewelry
If I can do it, and you want to do it, you can too. I'm working on helping other women with the same kind of dream make it happen too (contact me if you want to learn more). But a heads up - it's hard work, and if I couldn't still supplement my income with vet shifts it would be much more difficult. But if you want an online business, there is never a better time. You can literally not shake a stick at the internet without hitting 1000 internet courses on starting your own biz - service or product. This is so overwhelming and can give an unrealistic idea about how hard it is to start a business, and the loneliness. I have a tribe now (my great coach, some facebook communities, my Virtual Assistant) which have helped tremendously. The biggest challenge for me was finding a tribe or program that spoke to me and gave me value.
I felt the need to share my journey with you, and I am not even sure why. Maybe it's selfish - and more about me - standing up and sharing my honesty, in order to keep me honest and grounded.
When you see the jewelry photos on my site, I took those photos in my basement with an Ikea lighting patchwork studio. I took each and every photo and edited them, to try to make them look perfect. How many times did I have to go back to the basement to try again? But I learned. I did my own lifestyle photo shoot (after my "pro" photographer cancelled on me last minute) on my back deck with my gorgeous friend as model and my son with his school art portfolio doubling as a light reflector (he didn't last very long). After my photographer cancelled, I thought to myself "I can totally do this!". I can use Lightroom. I can use Picmonkey and Canva to make killer social media posts and signs for my booth. I can take your image, print it out and make it into jewelry. I'm not an expert - you should see the pile of failures!! But I learned. I can do so many new things. And for me, that is what life is all about, doing new things. But also learning when it's time to do it yourself and when to find help.
So thank you for viewing my site, and I will ask you to be kind and gentle as you see my heart laid out on the page in front of you. Sure, I want you to love my product, but mostly I want you to feel connected to what's important to you, in whatever way feels authentic to you. If I can help you in any way on that journey please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me through my facebook page facebook.com/yoshibelladog. I would love to chat about being an entrepreneur.
Peace and Love,
PS see my cat Razzy in the photo with the flower? What a cheeky cat and he's 16 years old, with only one kidney! He is my miracle cat. Here are a few more photos that didn't turn out so well....and hey! another thing i figured out how to do - make a picture collage.