How many times have you wanted to do something and talked yourself out of it?
My business, Whippoorwill Charm, is proof that even when things don’t seem like a good idea to anyone but you and your closest supporters, you just have to jump in and prove everyone wrong.
Six years ago, I would have never imagined my life would be where it is now. I was a single mom with two young kids. Newly divorced. I moved in with my parents to my childhood home hundreds of miles from what I called home for several years, trying to make a new life for my kids and I. I struggled. I cried. I prayed…a lot.
After nearly a year, my life started to turn around. I got a stable job. I met a wonderful man, fell in love, and I started to find happiness again. But I still struggled for two reasons. ONE: With this relationship, my kid count increased from two to six, making it hard to accommodate their schedules and hold down an 8-5 job, AND TWO: If there’s anything my past relationship taught me, it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid to take chances. With these two factors in mind, I decided to quit my job to build a side hobby of painting signs. The little voice in the back of my mind kept saying, “ARE.YOU.INSANE?! Have you lost your ever-loving mind??”
With the support of my family, including my new husband, I quieted the voice in my head, pursued my dreams, and turned my dining room in the house my husband and I shared into a crafting room. In the mornings and evenings, my family would eat at a dining table stained with different hues of blues, reds, yellows, and greens, and at night my mom, sister, and I would hand paint custom orders.
Whippoorwill Charm was officially established. The name comes from the peaceful charming sound of the Whippoorwill that was such a staple in my life both growing up in my parent’s home in the country, and after I moved back with my kids.
In the beginning, things weren’t easy. It took me FOREVER to hand cut and paint each sign. I didn’t use stencils, I didn’t have any type of high tech cutting machine. I had my steady hand and a jigsaw. I’ll admit there were many times I got discouraged. Yes, I was more flexible which allowed me to be more involved with my kids, but running a business at home was harder than I imagined. There were MANY late nights and learning experiences. I’ve included some photos of what I call our First Edition signs and it amazes me how far we’ve come.
I'm not going to say they were terrible, but I will say they probably won't be worth any money if my business ever takes off and becomes legendary. Yikes.
For comparison purposes, this this what our mason jar signs look like today. You can find them on our site.
We’ve gone from having orders for 16 signs a month (on a good month), to having dozens of orders a day that are shipped all over the country. I’ve learned to streamline the process and simplify (a little) with the use of technology. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult at times, and there are still MANY late nights, but I love what I do and I am confident I made the right decision.
What do you dream of doing? What is holding you back?
I hope this blog was an encouragement to you to pursue your dreams. Yes, it comes with hard work and some shed tears, but don’t be afraid to dream the impossible dream.
If your dream is to start an in-home business, I highly recommend hopping on the Jennifer Allwood bandwagon. With the growth of my business being a little overwhelming at times, I’ve really looked to her resources for guidance and have learned so much. She has podcasts about getting your spouse to back your business (http://themagicbrushinc.com/episode019/), Business Tips for Starting Entrepreneurs (http://themagicbrushinc.com/episode21/), Tips for those who have established a business, and even many tutorials on DIY projects (if you enjoy that kind of thing).
And pray. Don’t forget to include God in your plans. He will always guide you in the right direction.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me any time you have any questions.
Keep life charming,