Between furniture refinishing, importing, and marketing multiple businesses, I’m glad I closed the store. Even with the reduced pressure of opening the store every day, sometimes my anxiety still gets the best of me on some days. When it does, I start doing what I always do now when I’m anxious. Market.
Within a few short months, my anxiety builds the group of crafty blanks to 13,000 people. For a long time, we’re one of the largest crafty blank groups to exist on Facebook.
Over the next few weeks, the three of us find our working rhythm. Me, Katie, and of course, Molly. It’s working swimmingly well. On occasion, though, I can’t help but think that I don’t belong here. In the group, I mean, not the planet. Although sometimes, I can’t help but think that too.
The group isn’t really mine and I never forget it. Sure, it was nothing when I “found” it and I then grew it to size, but it still isn’t mine. Technically, by Facebook standards, it’s Katie’s. She created it. I just made it valuable, resourceful, and filled with people.
Some days though, I can’t help but wonder if Katie would prefer that I just disappear. She’s never said anything to me to indicate as such, but she did to Molly. Maybe Molly shouldn’t have told me, but she did. And now, I can’t seem to shake the conversation from my head. Somehow, it’s left me feeling like an outsider, looking in.
I try my best to shake what Molly told me and focus strictly on the tasks at hand, but it stays with me. On a whim one day, I bring it up to Molly.
“I don’t think I really belong here.”
“No way,” she insists. “Don’t feel like that. You’ve far beyond earned your keep. Don’t mind her jealousy.”
Nodding slowly in agreement, I realize I don’t disagree. Clicking on the group, I can see there are now over 16,000 members.
Shaking my head in disbelief, it doesn’t seem real to me. The group only had 800 people just a few months ago. With the group growing at this rate, I know some changes will need to be made in order to keep things running smoothly.
Studying the operations of the group, it isn’t hard to see that it already needs some drastic improvements. At least to me, it does. The inefficiency haunts me for days. Molly’s words ring in my ear. “You belong here.”
Gathering the courage, I decide to bring my ideas up to Katie.
“Hey Katie,” I begin. “Why are we still invoicing by email?” I ask, curiously confused by this clunky and inefficient method. I can’t quite wrap my brain around the reason for it.
“It’s the way all of the buy-in groups work,” she explains.
“Oh, I see,” I say, hesitating. “Well, what if we do things differently? More efficient. You know, set ourselves apart from the other groups that are starting to surface.”
“I like efficient,” Katie agrees. It surprises me that she doesn’t object after what Molly had told me, but I push the conversation out of my head.
“We all do I think, but more importantly the customers will too,” I said.
“So, what do you have in mind?” She asks curiously.
“Websites,” I answer simply. Lucky for me, I’m ahead of the game. I already have a website that I made for Treasures by the Sea. All I have to do is reconstruct the whole entire thing, which is fine by me.
Eager to help, I show them the website ropes. Before long, we all have the same web host, same shipping program, same everything. With a little help from me, we all have our own websites up and running just a few days later.
Before long, my website is a small one-stop shop for many things, with a strong influence on musical gadgets, leggings, crafts, and the sea. Somewhere along the way, Molly's side of the business begins to follow a similar curve as well, with her focus mainly on apparel, moving further and further away from craft-related things, just like me.
She’s far more fashion savvy than I am and makes sure to remind me on the regular. The dig doesn’t bother me. After all, I have a mirror. Plus, I’ve just never been one to care for handbags and such.
With my mismatched leggings and my fuzzy socks, my sense of fashion is a lost cause, but I don’t mind trying to make a business out of it. I don’t mind it, but I definitely don’t love it either.
When I confess this to Molly, she suggests selling my paint that I created.
“I’m not so sure anyone would buy it,” I admit. “There’s chalk paint all over the market already. This is just my special version, for me,” I explain.
“I bet they would love it,” Molly insists.
“I’m not so sure they will but I guess I could give it a try,” I agree hesitantly. I’ve never really considered selling it. I’m not even sure I like the idea of it.”
“You know what your problem is?” Molly asks me with a side of sass.
“I don’t know, but if you’re looking for a list, I can always call my psychiatrist and ask him.”
“Fair, but go ahead. I’m willing to listen.”
“You’re a big deal and you just don’t know it yet. Your paint is a BIG deal. You’re a big deal. You’ll see.”
“I don’t know about all that,” I say, laughing at her compliment.
“I’m serious,” she insists.
Oh. She’s serious.
“Well, I’ll give it my best shot,” I promise. I’m not exactly convinced that it’s a good idea, but I go along with it. There are tons of logistics and I know nothing about almost all of them.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Curious, I spend the rest of the month researching shipping and packaging, trying to drum up the courage to begin.
Just do it. What’s the worst that can happen? You have everything ready.
The other voice inside my head argues against my reasoning.
They could hate it. They could all request refunds. They could run you over in a parking lot. Okay, maybe the last one is a stretch.
Anxiety is clearly creeping in.
Gathering the courage, I decide to just post it. Posting a few project examples to our group of crafters, I begin to explain.
“With this paint, you can paint practically anything. I’ll be adding in special brushes later to teach y’all how to get a distressed look with zero sanding.”
The comments start rolling in.
“How much is it?”
“How many colors does it come in?”
To say I’m surprised by the response is an understatement.
They’re actually interested?
I eagerly answer their questions one by one. When Jose comes home, I can’t wait to tell him about my new adventure.