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Julie Ann Art

Growth Through Change

I have never really been afraid of change, but for some reason when it comes to my business change is hard. I know that in order to grow, changes need to happen. In order to become more efficient, changes need to happen. But in realizing just how long I’ve been “working” on these changes, just how long they have been sitting at the bottom of my to-do list, I’m realizing that change in my business is not easy for me.
After Valentine’s Day I had multiple people telling me it’s time to outsource my printing. And I understand why. To make my process more efficient. To allow myself time to do something besides orders for the first month and a half of every year. But the idea just makes me worry. I worry about the quality, I worry about the cost, I especially worry about not having immediate inventory control.
I think it’s hard for small business owners to give up control (Is it? Or am I just a crazy control freak?). Our businesses are our pride and joy, our dream. Putting our trust in some one else to help do the job just as we would do it is hard.
I’ve also been experimenting with new products. (What do you think of the little sneak peeks in this post?!) I know this needs to happen in order for my business to continue to grow. Part of me has wanted to expand beyond cards for a long time. But there is also part of me who loves having a niche. I’m often turned off my shops or booths that sell a lot of different products. Do you know how many booths I see at craft fairs that add on a display of cards to their booth of clothes, picture frames, jewelry, etc? I get that cards are an easy add-on but it still bugs this card-maker ;] I really like the idea of specializing in something.
But……growth. I want growth for my business. So I’m learning how to look at the bigger picture. To think bigger. To think beyond cards. To think beyond Etsy. To think beyond working as a one-woman show for the rest of my life.
I’m learning that this business will be what I make it. That anything is possible if I dare to dream it. But that it requires change. Change in the process. Change in the products. Change in the control.
How do you deal with change?

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Heidi S says:

    I have a hard time dealing with change as well. I’m a perfectionist and I know that if I have control over the situation then if there is less risk. However, no matter how scary it may be, I see that there is also a lot of reward in risk so I’ve forced myself to push outside of that bubble at times. Usually it ends up being for the better!

  • I’m excited to see everything you do with your business! I will always be a faithful customer. Your main thing may be cards, but recipe cards (as I can see in the preview) are also a card! If you think outside the box, which I’m sure you’ve done, greeting cards aren’t the only kind of card.

    I don’t deal with change very well, either. It makes me nervous and I just hate it. I always say that and think that, but then the change is made and I usually come out happier.


  • First time commenter, but I love your shop! I just opened a shop on etsy the first day of the year, and I have outsourced from the start. There are things that I simply don’t have the manpower or time to do since I also work 2 jobs and am going to school full time for my masters. I use miller’s…and they are craaazzyyy good. I can submit an order around 1pm today and it will be on my doorstep by 3pm tomorrow. Free overnight shipping! I don’t have to worry about ink, paper, oh no that color is off, or somehow find the time to print. Just yesterday I got a customer’s wedding invite in the mail. 75 of everything in top notch quality and all I had to do was design and upload. I have so little technical skill so printing would be a nightmare for me. I just love the design side of the business. You are a true artist so it is difficult to probably see yourself disengaging from the Final product, but I agree that if you want to grow change does have to happen! You will do amazing whatever you decide.

  • I really appreciated readong this as I am a small artsy business owner and constabtly think through this kind of thing. Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one!!!

  • It’s not just you, I’m a crazy control freak too when it comes to my business! I keep going back and forth, playing with the idea of a new website, but I don’t want to do it until I have the time and energy to devote to doing it right. But if my business keeps growing the way it is (which I LOVE, of course!), I’ll probably never have time to devote to working on my website myself. Which means hiring someone, and not being able to micromanage the process is definitely terrifying for me. I am a perfectionist and I want my website to be something I ADORE (especially if I’m going to be paying someone to do it for me), and I have a hard time turning over control. Eeep! you’re not alone, chica!

  • Love the look of the recipe cards!!
    Change is good. And I’ll always love anything to do with paper from you 😉

  • I LOVE the recipe cards.

    and i get control. I am the saaaame way.

  • Epic Thread says:

    It’s hard to look at the bigger picture sometimes, because it often seems so far away. But I love this post, it’s very motivational. I wish you the best of luck!
    Jillian – PS, if you have a moment, I’d love to invite you to check out the giveaway we’re hosting for a $50.00 giftcard to Shabby Apple!

  • gina says:

    Oh I am the same about control. I know I kind of need to hire someone but the idea gives me anxiety. I feel like I would be constantly watching over them!

  • Meredith says:

    I love the idea of expanding into other paper products. I would absolutely buy a recipe card (or book!), calendar, to-do list, planner, or anything else that you’ve designed! I’m so tired of going to Target and buying the same paper products that everyone else has, and I feel like most paper products that I see on etsy either aren’t my style, aren’t designed well, or aren’t high quality. You can still have a niche without boxing yourself in. Go for it!

  • I just did a couple of similarly introspective posts about change in business as well! 🙂 I have gone through so many changes and stages as a business owner, mainly with my clothing line. I have done it both ways (had my product manufactured, and made it myself). Ultimately, both have their advantages and their challenges. Your work is great and I know you’ll be successful no matter what you decide! xo

  • ElleSee says:

    I am not one for change, but I’m pretty passive at the same time. I’ll let the change happen and gripe about it, but then I get used to it and realise it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s hard to get over that initial hump though. You’ve been through a lot of change recently, and you show yourself as such a strong woman. You are an inspiration to so many people, and I think you will be able to handle the change a lot better than you think.

    p.s. Have you ever thought about making some of your images into buttons? It might be a good way to branch out without straying too far from your original course 🙂

    LC from the world of ellesee

  • Bev Feldman says:

    I hear you! Several people have asked me about the future if I would hire people to make my jewelry, but I love making jewelry so why would I want someone else to do that (if anything, I would probably outsource the less fun things like putting mailing and bookkeeping). And I agree with keeping within a certain product line instead of doing it all. But the recipe cards to me look like a great fit with your business (and I’m sure they will be super cute!)

  • You should look into StationeryHq for printing. They’re great! Super fast turn around, very reasonable prices.

  • kbgirl says:

    Maybe you can trial a printing shop during a “not so busy” time for your shop. It may be less stressful since you won’t be putting in huge orders and can do some quality control until you find a shop you trust??

    We all love your brand and the art you bring and would love to see it in different mediums!

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