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H E L L O ! My name is Naomi Shiek (pronounced CHIC).
I've been very fortunate to have my own small independent atelier called Woodland Papercuts. This is my private blog exploring my favorite things in beauty & design.

L E T S__B E__F R I E N D S !
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Sunday, 19 November 2017

BUSINESS UPDATE | So... what now?

I wrote my last post on the subject fueled by far too many hours deep diving into Aeolida's world (a design & business consulting firm for creative businesses) which instead I should have spent fulfilling orders. I was optimistic. I was empowered. I was... meh.

It's not that I don't want to improve, I do. In one of her newsletters Aeolidia's founder Arianne spoke of a client that wrote her:
“I’m still interested in staying relatively small. Relying on Etsy less and gaining more sales in general is definitely a goal. But I’m not interested in having the same growth as some of your success stories – warehouses and dozens of employees and $100,000 in sales every month. I like the quiet days and flexible schedule that my business provides me, as well as the ability to work at home as I raise my family. This probably makes me sound so unambitious, but I thought it would be important information for you to have as you think about my best next step.”
This is me, guys! I have the same dilemma as the client above. I don't want to stop drawing and cutting each product by hand. I just don't. I like the personal interaction I have with each client. I think keeping the process handmade and having a human voice with clients are the foundations of my brand, but more than that this is what I do to fill my days and my source of happiness. If I had to exchange that with managing employees, overseeing wholesale accounts, relinquishing the joy of hand-making to a machine, and I don't know what else - I won't like it. Just thinking about it makes me stress. It does sound unambitious to some (the number of times people urged me to find a lasercutter and make paper gifts in bulk, yikes...) but my ambitions are different: Live comfortably and quietly, run a small artisan business successfully. That's what I want.

I'm not above streamlining my process. And while I struggle with delegating I am employing others to fulfill roles I know I'm not good at, and we're learning together how to make it work. So first thing's first: I do also realize that my studio is in dire need of expanding its online presence, and overhauling the website to be more informative and easier to navigate. It's dedicating that time and money to create the content and execute the overhaul that's overwhelming me... have I mentioned the idea itself makes me exhausted?

Now that the wedding season is ending I have the time to rework the user flow on the WOODLAND PAPERCUTS site - and that means rewriting and adding lots more content. I'm also going to streamline my social media. I gave it a few months on Facebook and Twitter and such, but I really don't like those platforms and I am not seeing any meaningful results. So I think I'm going to cut it all down to INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and NEWSLETTER (when I set one up). I've already spent far too long trying to make my landing page a bit... friendlier? Easier to navigate? It's a work in progress.


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