Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dare to Share Tip #1

What a great week I had with my family from Cali in town! I honestly dropped almost EVERYTHING to hang out and visit with them. Last time I saw my sister and her family was Christmas so it was my pleasure to catch up and just "BE". It did put me behind a bit, but hey family first! We have been blessed with lots of family visits this summer and I can't wait to share some pictures with you of our visits.
This week I also had some time to really think about how I've grown my business in the last three years, the mistakes I made and what lessons I've learned along the way.
I'm so excited to share what worked for me in growing my business. My list of what didn't work would take up the remaining posts for 2010 so I thought instead I would share the 4 things I've done to help my bu$ine$$ grow. I thought long and hard on these and I hope they help you on your journeys too. I'm sure many of you will think "been there , done that" so chime in and help us all GROW.
When i first started my business in Oct. 2007 i was kinda a know-it-all. I had been an artist, though not professionally, all my life. During my professional career I was in sales and had always had an entrepreneurial spirit. As my mom often teases 'you could sell ice to an Eskimo' and I was always selling something! So foolishly I thought I would make product and they would beat down the door to get it. I had a good idea to sell handmade collage frames and do it yourself collage kits.
Who wouldn't want to buy that?!
Well not enough that's who and it was a very humbling time for me. But I really needed that because what it did was force me to reach out to others in my field and ask questions. I had to admit that i didn't know jack about running my own business and what it takes to be an artist.
I began networking with artist in my local area, taking classes, and being open to learning. Unfortunately not everyone was willing to help. A lot of artist have this competitive nature that makes them not want to share knowledge or connections. After meeting many artist like this it dawned on me that it was really insecurity and it made it easier to not take things personally. I'm thick headed and love a challenge so it took me getting slapped around and even being laughed a bit to really want to succeed anyway. It pushed me and it made me humble. It also made me passionate about helping others along the way.
I meet with a dear artist friend just last week and we discussed this. She contacted me 8 months ago, out of the blue and asked if we could meet. She lived closed by and was looking to find someone to network with and learn from. I told her I would love to and after looking over her beautiful artwork I was so excited to meet with her. We quickly became friends and she shared with me her frustration that no one would talk with her about their art business.
I was the first to accept her invite!
I have been thrilled to see her grow her business. She started a website...better then mine! (I will share more on this and the company we use in a later post. Btw, my site is being updated now thanks to my friend!). She did her first art show, setting up an amazing booth, and sold her first piece. She even does prints and t-shirts now!! I don't even have prints yet! I love it and honestly feel genuine happiness for her. At lunch she thanked me, just like she has a million times for my help. She also told me that she has been helping this young artist, who is just starting out. She told me she is paying it forward! I tried not to just sob all over her.
In giving to her I have received the true gift!

So, if you know it all, LEARN!
When you don't know jack, TEACH!


  1. here is my sweet sister friends website....
    She is so good and you will love her too. She always makes me laugh, really hard laughing goes on when we get together.
    She told me today she is going to start a blog tomorrow. I can't wait to be her first follower!

  2. Great post Jill! I know what you mean... it can be hard to get artist's to 'share' their knowledge. I have learned that lesson for sure. I love the idea of paying it forward. I try to help whenever I am asked. :) I am so happy to have made a great connection with you! I am looking forward to learning from you and helping you if I can!

    ♥ Jennifer

  3. Jill..reading this post was an absolute gift! Thank you so much for opening up about this sometimes unbelieable situation. Early on in my humble beginnings..The Lord sent me a wonderful mentor (an artist who owned her own gallery), she helped me grow in so many areas of my artistic journey and I know and respect what will be expected of me in return. I try and help anyone when asked. It is truly the way it should be. I'm so pleased you've reconnected with your friend. Love and Learn Sweet Lady..she is a Gift sent from Above. Hugs, Terri