Do you ever have those days when you feel so defeated you just want to throw in the towel?
Whenever I am asked "What do you do?", for a living, I am assuming, I would do a mind-gymnastic making sure I answer this question correctly. Is it?
I make handbags.
I design and sell handbags.
I am a designer.
I own my own business.
I usually start with one of the above, then when I see a slight confusion in that person's face, I follow-up with the rest. If that doesn't work, then I babble my way through. I have to admit, I do get a bit embarrassed about answering this question. I tell you why...because I feel it is a big answer for a small business like mine. Lately, with this economy, I feel that I am not at a place where I can proudly say "I own my own business." I started Paco+Lupe about 3½ years ago. It started as well as I expected for a newbie. I got recognized by many bloggers, got featured in our newspaper, some magazines... I was selling like crazy. It really looked like things were looking upwards. I continued to evolve my designs, making each one more unique than previous ones. I was enthusiastic to learn more and more about the industry, how to take advantage of the on-line world, etc... so much to learn. AND it was fun.
With all the wonderful things to learn and experience, one thing keeps me down to earth...I have to sell more to make money. With more money, I can keep going...otherwise. And that thought alone can burst my bubble. It's a reality. This economic "crisis", whichever way we want to label it, is making an impact on the viability of my business...everybody's business. What started with an incline has turn into a decline in 2009. In 2010, I do see a slight incline again but ever so slowly.
I remember describing to my husband where I thought I can take Paco+Lupe. I know that it will take quite some time to achieve that, that's the logical side of me, but dreaming is great, that's the emotional side of me. And ever since the crisis, it has been, and still is, like driving against the wind...a very strong wind. It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to feel like I have disappointed the people around me. Oh yes, I go there...quite often lately.
I believe in my talent and my creativity, that's not the issue. But the truth is...business is business. It is just not good enough to keep your head above the water anymore. How do we survive this economy? Can we wait it out? That...I don't know. But all I can do, besides working really hard, is to keep looking upwards.