Sunday, June 11, 2017

Setting Up My New Online Store

My new store, independent from Zazzle, is now underway. It's a huge job but I work on it in pieces. Every day more is accomplished, as I peck away at it. Being a "Type A" personality and a perfectionist, it has to be done right.

My new store is going to carry items not available at my Zazzle stores and will be mostly clothing for now. As time goes by, other new items will be added, as it's a work in progress.

So, I'm taking knowledge from my past in retail to construct this business. From a boyfriend from long ago, who was my mentor and ran a large business. He died a few years ago, so his memory is in my heart as I work. He taught me how to do most aspects of business from marketing and trade shows to the mail room. As a young woman, still a teen and into my twenties I had side jobs in big retail stores, from clerk to accounting. I ran my freelance business too, traveling interstate to do shows.

In the last twenty years, I moved my business online. My Zazzle stores are running OK as usual, but I want to expand and grow more.

My businesses are my "babies", so behind each store is my passion, stress, frustrations and excitement. I love what I do..and the fact that my cats sleep around me while my marathons are going on. Big pot of coffee by my side and TV on in the background (it calms my easily frayed nerves).

So, stop by my new store at
and take a look around. It's full of my own colorful designs on high quality clothes and more! Bring your friends, too. Welcome and enjoy!  :)

Thursday, June 01, 2017

No Pain, No Gain

With the start of any new business venture comes growing pains but also excitement. It's business as usual at my existing stores. I'm adding a new, independent retail  venue. Gulp.

Planning a new store takes time. What I wouldn't give to hire an uber tech savvy guru to do it for me, but without the budget for that, I'm doing it myself. I'm doing everything on my own, as always

Over twenty years ago, I learned how to use computers. I was really enthusiastic about it, taking courses and data entry temp jobs to aquire knowledge and experience. Being a self-employed artist, I did my artwork when I wasn't working on the computer.
In time, I learned to write code, construct websites and more.

Each time I learned tough new tasks, it stressed me to the moon and back. Being nervous to the max and having little emotional support, I went at it head-on. It drove me nuts for awhile until it became easier and more fun with practise.

So now, I'm learning newer, better ways to run my business. Ways to make it run more efficiently and be completely automated. I have my previous knowledge as a solid foundation, but there is much more to learn. It's all about keeping up with the times, staying competitive and growing my brand among the big boys...large and small retailers who have bigger budgets and staff to help them. My staff, so to speak, are three sleepy white cats.

So, once again, I throw myself, kicking and (virtually) screaming, into my work. Tackling one issue at a time. My businesses are my "babies". They take nurturing, growing and coddling. When times change, for example when the economy is struggling, it takes more work. But when all is well, I just concentrate on the fun part (drawing new artwork) and let my stores run themselves.

So, despite a low budget, bundle of nerves deep down and cats as "staff", all is fine. I've done this growth thing before and I'm doing it again. Things worth doing don't come easy, but are worth the hard work in the end. I got this.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Vacation time is near, time to prepare! It's a great time to leave Northeastern Ohio and get some sun. There's so much to do and as usual, my stress is through the roof but I'm handling it all one task at a time.

First of all, five tourists (rest in peace!) were killed by a mentally ill man a few days ago at the airport I'm going to. Luckily, he's in custody but those poor people! Tragedy and fear in a place that they expected to have fun. Life goes on. Life is a risk. I refuse to be discouraged, and will carry on as usual.

It will be wonderful to go exploring, snorkeling and taking photos of everything. Travel recharges the soul, and mine needs recharging! Being among nature makes me feel happy and excited, alive! I will dicker in the Caribbean markets for handmade crafts, have a few parasol drinks and lattes. Heaven.

First, I have to clean the house, in preparation for my house/pet sitters. Then, there's the packing. I am notorious for overpacking so I'm going to make sure whatever's going meets the airline and TSA requirements. So far, so good!

It will be great fun once there. I will be able to speak Spanish with those who speak it, eat Caribbean food and swim in crystal blue water, checking out some stunning coral reefs. My friend Angie is going too so we'll see as many sites as we can. We worked together long ago and she lives in another state, so it's great to have a "girls' trip" and catch up on what's been going on in our lives. Her kids are now grown men, when I last saw them they were young boys.. time flies!

So, here I am, drawing artwork right now. My business will hold its own while I'm away from it for the few days I'm gone. It's hard to rip myself away from routine and my cats but all is well. The cats will be fine. They won't be alone and will be in good hands. I expect to enjoy the view from the airplane window seat, forget normalcy and really let loose! Coming home with a nice tan will be a bonus!

So here we come, Caribbean islands! Get those Pina Coladas, fried plantains and sandy beaches ready, here come two "sisters from other mothers"!  We work hard..and play even harder. :)