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Business TopicsJulie Ann Art

A Year of Self-Employment

Happy Monday, friends! Things have been a bit of a world-wind lately, and while there were quite a few topics I had in mind for today’s post, yesterday I realized something. It has been a year since I quit my day job to pursue JAA full-time. All other blog post ideas went out the window, because I knew I had to take a moment, sit down, and acknowledge this.
I went back and read this post, where I first announced that I was making this leap of faith. I read through all the comments. There were so many names I recognized in that comment section and it got me thinking about all the people I have “met” through this business, all the friends I have made, all the people who have been following this blog for over a year now. What a relationship we have created…

It flew by. I mean, flew. I really can’t believe it’s been a year since I pulled out of my old job’s parking lot, windows down, blaring Mumford and feeling free. A year. Wow.
And what a year it has been. There was ups and downs, but it was nothing short of incredible. I learned a lot, in so many aspects. I mentioned last week how I’ve learned a lot about myself through this journey, but there’s also been a lot of learning the ways of running a business. I explored different marketing strategies. I registered my designs after facing copyright infringement. I wrapped up my first year of self-employment with two successful craft fairs, a new product launch and an Etsy feature. And I couldn’t be happier. This was one of the best years of my life.
So what’s next? Well, we are taking a trip this week. We leave tomorrow and won’t be back until Sunday night. I will have little cell or internet service and it’s going to be really really weird to “unplug. “But I think that is just another thing I need to learn how to do. Let go. Turn off the business side of my brain and relax. And just enjoy living. That’s what this trip represents to me. And when I get home? I’ll be dying to get back to work of course.

And again, thank you for following me on this journey and supporting JAA! I couldn’t have done it without you. xo JA

P.S. Can I get your vote? :]Martha Stewart - American Made 2013 - Nominee Badge

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • congrats! its been so inspiring to watch you find success in self-employment, its really encouraged me to take steps towards doing the same myself. i cant wait to see what you do next!

  • Lulu says:

    Congratulations! I’m new to your blog, but I wish you all the best and success!

  • Alysia Choo says:

    Hey I just found your blog from Etsy and all the stuff you sell are really really cool and simple and funny hehehe. I love all your ideas. And congrats on a year of self employment! I’m sure you’ll make it even further and grow more as a person as time passes 🙂

    Alysia x

  • Jennifer Eng says:

    I’ve only just started reading your blog and it is so inspiring to watch JAA grow. Congrats & Thank you for sharing it all with us! I hope you enjoy your time away from the computer & phone because there’s a lot more “life” learning when we don’t have our devices 😉

  • chelsea says:

    Cheers to you lady, such great achievements in just a year! Brava! Hoping to be in your same state of bliss this time next year… I’m one month into my first year. Fingers crossed it goes just as splendidly!

  • I just recently started following your blog! Good luck with your endeavors in the future, and if you can make it one year self-employed why not 5 or 10!

    It will be interesting see your art and business grow.

  • daydreammom says:

    What an incredible feeling — being self-employed, reminiscing on the day you left your day job, taking a well-needed vacay, and knowing that upon your return you’ll be fueled with more creative energy than before you left!
    Congratulations on your success. Keep shining!

  • Congratulations on such a wonderful milestone! Have a great trip 🙂

  • Amber Spades says:

    I was definitely reading your blog before you quit, but I never commented! (I don’t all that much in general)
    But it’s just been amazing to see how far you’ve pushed yourself and how far you’ve come, it makes it known out there that dreams are a reality.

    Congrats and enjoy the unplug, it’s super necessary to do that more often than once a year!

  • Anonymous says:

    Did you mean “whirl wind”? It gave me a chuckle.

  • nihal says:

    I remember reading that post! Congrats and enjoy your self employment. Here is to a many years!

  • nami s says:

    I just realized I found your blog a year ago… It was right around the time you quit your day job. Every single post Of yours I read, yet never let a comment. you give me courage to do more towards my dream: custom handmade wedding invitations. I don’t know how you did it, but for me it seems like I will never be able to make my dream come true and have my little business andaybe even make a living out of it.

    Today is your day!!.. Celebrate it! You deserve it!!! Congrats and all the good luck in the world!!!

  • Allie says:

    Congrats on being a year working for your self. I just realized that I bought a card from you last year to give to my husband for our anniversary and it is still hanging on the fridge! Its the “home is wherever I’m with you” card. You have been very inspirational over the past year! I think I am ready to give it a go!

    Congrats again!

  • Tia Berg says:

    Huge congratulations! That must take an incredible amount of work! You’ve inspired me since I first read your etsy feature. Good luck to you in the future with all that you do!

  • Aime Nagel says:

    so exciting, Julie! have a great trip and can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

  • Congratulations! It has been amazing getting to know you and sharing your product with my loved ones. You are such a beam of light, with a sense of humor to boot.


  • Kay Bell says:

    Super inspiring 🙂 It was your feature on Etsy that really got me thinking about this as a possibility. Congrats!

  • Congrats! I recently started following your blog a few months ago and think you are super rad and inspiring. One day I hope to write the same. 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    You’re such an inspiration Julie! I adore your products! I am thinking about starting up an etsy shop with a focus on notepads and cards for now. How do you go about buying your supplies needed for your store? (like card stock, packaging for posting items etc.)
    Can’t wait to


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