Friday, April 6, 2012

Failures and Successes.

It's time to get real here today. How many times do you visit your favorite blog who has a handmade shop and you see *alllllllll* these places their stuff has been featured.

Maybe its  a top selling magazine, maybe its an e-zine, maybe it was a spot in an offical etsy newsletter.

Now these people SHOULD shout from the roof tops when their hard working stuff has gotten any sort of publicity. It makes me feel good for my friends when I see that Heather has her hair pretties in Seventeen Magazine or that my other friend (who shall remain nameless since she is keeping this on the down low-BUT I SO WANN TELL YOU WHO IT IS) can potentially have a book deal showcasing 50 how-to tutorials.

These things are AMAZING. They give you hope that one day you will be where they are today and get your work featured in a ha-uge magazine!

Here is one thing you should remember though. Whenever I write on my facebook wall or tweet that one of my plushes/prints was featured in the Huffington Post or at Rue Magazine or on Apartment Therapy etc this wasn't an instantaneous thing. All these things happened after I had my shop for about 9 months to a year.

I had zero sales at one point (hey we ALL had zero sales at one point ha!) and before I started my handmade business one of my goals in life was to get a T-shirt design of mine sold world wide. (in case you are new here I went to school for graphic design and have been working full time as a graphic designer for about 5+ years now)

Yeah, I tend to set my goals super high sometimes. Which also leads to a lot of disappointment.

So the design process began. I entered a TON of t-shirt design competitions (firefox had one when they were relaunching their site a few years back, always has a ton going on, as well, I even submitted designs to places like dELias and House of Mental)

I got a TON of rejection letters. I even saved them all so that one day WHEN (not if but WHEN) a shirt of mine sold world wide I can be all like BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE I FREKKIN DID IT.

That day finally came. I had a t-shirt design being sold in 2 online shops. Crooked Monkey wholesales out their shirts to places like Urban Outfitters, dELias, Macy's etc and they gave me a shot & used my design! The shirt is retired now since this was about 4 years ago (and I was a lot younger so ignore the juvenile saying…plus that was the type of demographic they were going for), but you can check it out here!

I also have this design currently being sold as well. I couldn't be more happy.

But my point is, before ALL of those things even happened to me I heard a TON of "no's" before I heard my first ever "HELL YES!"

so just keep in mind when you see all these great things happening to your favorite bloggers and handmade shop owners just remember that they too dealt with disappointment and rejection. I don't want you guys to think that since day one everyone has been diggin' my stuff. That isn't fair to you guys for me to portray myself like that.

Also? Sometimes failures happen for a reason. Did you guys have a Steve and Barry's by you at all? They were popular on Long Island and when I graduated from College I wanted to work for them so.frekkin.bad (corporate NOT the actual shop haha) their head quarters were located on long island and I wanted to work there as a graphic designer designing their marketing and t-shirts. I stalked the head of the art department for DAYS. He got back to me, said he LOVED my portfolio, but did not have the experience to work there.


I was upset at first but 9 month later Steve and Barry's went bankrupt and I would have been out a job. 

Around the same time I had an opportunity to work for Sally Hansen corporate doing their marketing campaigns and designing their packages. Went on an interview and never heard from them. Got really upset by it and just let it go. 4 months AFTER my interview they contacted me and said they wanted to hire me. Problem was I JUST landed another graphic design job and didn't feel comfortable leaving it just yet. Turns out a year later Sally Hansen corporate moved their headquarters from Long Island to North Carolina and I would have been out a job again. (sound familiar to my steve and barry story?)

so sometimes the lack of success is meant to be. (hey trust me over here!)

So, I vow with every success that comes my way I will also mention my failures, cause I'm only human and failure is always an option.

I ask that you too take that vow. It's so easy to get wrapped up in other people's blogs and think they live this amazing life full of smooth sailings with no bumps. I can see how that can happen. We are so quick to tell the world about all our successes but hold back from sharing anything that shows we are human.

Also? The reason why I am even the least bit successful to begin with is because of all of you. Everyone who has ever purchased anything of mine or gave me advice on how to go the extra mile with my shop. Anyone who has ever Retweeted one of my shop announcement tweets or anyone that has blogged about my products. Anyone that wanted to follow along with me on my blog, facebook or twitter account. Thank you to ALL of you because let's be honest, with out ANY of you I would be nothing.


  1. Thanks so much for this post and for this reminder. I wrote about something similar today after being in Etsy Finds yesterday (finally!!!! woot woot!) and how it took me a while to get past the jealously of others who were constantly featured. You're so right about hard work paying off and being patient for good things to come!

  2. This is a perfect post and just what I needed to hear today. I do the whole second guessing myself/comparing my self to others way too often and it is not healthy.

    Everyone's success will come in different ways, at different times. Hard work makes you lucky and the harder I work, I truly believe the luckier I will be. Thanks for this inspiration today :).

  3. Great post my friend. I need this reminder constantly. It's hard to not let failures and disappointments get to me. I'm super hard on myself. BUT, it all happens for a reason, and I'd like to think if I keep working my ass off, and do the best I can do, it'll all come together.

    I hope :)

  4. i needed this today.

    thanks always for the kick in the pants my dear friend

    and my dear tim gunn <3

  5. Fantastic post! I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason :)

  6. I really loved reading this post. It's a nice reminder to keep trying and not give on lofty dreams.

  7. This is awesome. I have a hard time being patient lately, but I need to remember to keep working hard & it'll come together :)

    also--yay graphic designers from long island!! glad I found your blog.

  8. This is a GREAT post, L! Thank you so much for sharing! I've been there too (we ALL have) and I've had job opportunities that didn't pan out and I was so sad, but it's always worked out in the end; same goes for Anna Delores. Thanks again for the share and the encouragement to the rest of us who think you are SO. SUPER. RAD. xx Emily

  9. Good post! I just stumbled into your blog and I LOVE it so much I read through all of your posts from this year and quite a bit from last year. I am now obsessed. Keep up all of the great work!

  10. This post was so great! Thanks so much for sharing it! Congratz about your BOOM moments! :D


We heart comments! Come on, make us smile :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.