Sweet B Turns One
A Very Merry Unbirthday to You (but A Very Happy Birthday to Sweet B)
It’s been one year since I took the giant and scary leap to leave my full-time job for a part-time one (that ended sooner than expected) and left me in the big abyss of what do I do next? I think a part of me always knew I wanted to be my own boss and this year has definitely been the most productive, soul-searching, and transformative year of my life. Below I talk a bit about what I’ve learned, explored, failed, and succeeded at. I chat not only about my professional discoveries, but also some personal ones (as these experiences intertwine with each other).
I officially leave my full-time job and enter a state of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual detox. I realize how much anxiety I’ve really been harboring internally and at this point I think it’s because of the job I just left (I realize later it wasn’t the job, but me).
I start attending yoga at Big River two times a week and even though I’m immediately welcomed into the space, I feel awkward and question all my interactions.
I remember how much I enjoyed making typographic ornaments for my family in 2016, so I buy glass from Behrenberg, gold foil those edges, and come up with some fun sayings.
Ryan tells me about a craft fair his company does just for the co-workers and their families, so I decide I want to sell my glass ornaments at the event. This is when I begin messing around with updating my Assumed Name from 2012.
As I still go to yoga twice a week, I realize there is a lot to unpack and I can’t do it on my own, so I start seeing a therapist. I voice a lot of my frustrations about feeling disconnected from the people around me. I over-think what I should say around my friends (the people that have accepted me for who I am no matter what) and I can’t figure out why I’m being so irrationally sensitive.
I catch the Creative Bug. I branch from making ornaments to creating Minnesota magnets, 8x10 art prints, and cement coasters. I make only $30 at Ryan’s work’s craft fair, BUT I have so much fun talking with everyone. It makes me happy to see people excited about the stuff I made with my own hands.
I decide I want to do another show, so I reach out to the amazing Samantha at Healing Elements & Wellness and she lets me squeeze in last minute to her Women on the Rise Market. The women I brushed elbows with at this event were so inspiring.
I’ve always been drawn to moon phases and how they affect me and have believed that on the full moon all energies (good and bad) are heightened. As I think about next year, I realize I want a lunar calendar that tells me what and when the moon’s phases are, so I begin creating a lunar calendar. I launch this calendar and immediately get some much needed feedback. Marlena calls me out on some poor and outdated research I did and I check myself. This moment is one that has shaped my career moving forward. I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe the over-sight I had on this product. From here on out, I learn that I can’t rush a launch and that I need to do thorough research via books, internet, and people.
I also increase my yoga practice to three times a week and start a mindfulness course through my health insurance.
I decide I want to do “this” for real. I apply for my LLC, get my MN tax number, update my long forgotten Etsy shop, and change my portfolio site into a business/portfolio hybrid. I take Skillshare classes to come up with a business plan and define my goals with my company. I realize joy has been brought into my life with these products and I want that to be shared with my customer.
Also within this month, my Zodiac Stitch prints are born into existence.
Healing Elements reaches out to me and asks for my lunar calendars in their store. I’m seriously jumping with joy!
I perfect my Zodiac Stitch prints and get ready to launch them on social media.
One thing I haven’t done is limit what I want to sell - I decided to go against all the advice given to me and just create things that made me happy, no matter if they fell into a particular category or style.
Ryan and I rescue our Betty Puppy and I have an overwhelming desire to paint her cute lil face. Within the month, my custom pet portraits are in the works. I did not sell my typographic ornaments like I thought I would, so I begin scratching off some of the text to try my hand at pet portrait ornaments.
I start to reconnect with my friends. Through a lot of talk therapy and getting the strength to chat openly about what I’m going through with my friends, I’ve now started to get comfortable in my own skin again.
Ryan and I travel to San Diego for the first Schneider family vacation with the significant others. I enjoy sitting on the roof of our beach home drinking coffee in the morning and I even got up the guts to go in the cold ocean by myself (not that should be a surprise, I have jumped -er, belly flopped- into Lake Superior with no hesitations).
I start volunteering as a designer for CreativeMornings/Minneapolis when AJ connects me with Drew (the host).
Ryan and my life is consumed by this little sassy puppy that completely has melted our hearts, but this month was not without overwhelming moments and maybe a few cry sessions.
I dive into CreativeMornings materials and love the hand-lettering I’m encouraged to do. I begin creating my Love&MN collection of magnets and coasters. I realize some of my coasters weren’t mixed with the right cement to water ratio, and I enter a huge trial and error month. I start getting a few custom pet portrait orders from friends and they light up my life.
Ryan and I saved up for Japan and it is AMAZING. Ryan and I have honest conversations and connect in the way two people discovering a new country make memories together. We travel like we did on our honeymoon - without a set agenda and embrace a “go with the flow” mentality. We open ourselves up to knew experiences, foods, and people, and Japan seriously rocks our world.
I engulf myself in Sweet B’s social media and launch a new wave of Minnesota Magnet designs. I watercolor Rainbow Humans inspired by Pride on the horizon. I’m easily working 12 hour days.
My friends and family seem to be put on the back burner because my tunnel vision only sees a deadline for my upcoming events.
I’ve basically gained so much momentum on the design hill, that now I’m tumbling full force down it. I decide I want to add ‘Love is Love’ Re-usable Tote Bags to my You&Me Pride Collection.
I get a part time job to help with a more consistent paycheck. In a span of 5 days, I end up working 20 hours at my part time job, I have my first two events of the season, and Ryan is out of town (so I’m riding solo on taking care of Betty Puppy). I bomb hard on my last event, barely making back the cost I paid to have the table there in the first place. I meet a lot of great people and I try to tell myself that, but I fall deep into a depression. I begin feeling so much anxiety at my part time job and I have a self realization that it’s not the job (and my past jobs) that make me anxious, but myself. I leave my part time job in tears, feeling like I’ve let down all the wonderful people I met. I feel like a failure that can’t help contribute and provide for my family. I’m devastated. I don’t get out of bed and when I do I’m emotionally withdrawn from the world.
Ryan thankfully sweeps in and tells me what he is seeing happen to me. He encourages me to talk to my doctor and I’m put on anti-anxiety & anti-depression meds. Within three weeks, I feel like this heavy weight that has been pressing down on me is lifted. I start to get my creative drive back. I am actually excited to hang out with my friends and family again.
I focus on my upcoming event at the Cat Video Festival by painting cats and exploring with gouache. I also start a freelance logo for ICON K9 Obedience and re-fall in love with the branding process.
I land another part time job - this time working from home. I realize that I need to start slow while I’m still recovering and stabilizing myself.
I have my Cat Video Event and I meet so many amazing people that are excited about my art. I receive many Custom Pet Portrait requests from this event and pour love into every order I create. I have a Brewery Event and that also goes well due to the wonderful people coordinating and attending the event. Now that I’m on my meds, I don’t feel as much pressure to make the sale, but enjoy conversing with the people I’m meeting.
I start freelancing with Leadpages and enjoy all the content they produce on their blog.
Ryan and I celebrate our second year of marriage. We’re both in happy and healthy states of mind. We share our favorite memories and cheers to the obstacles we’ve overcome in our past year together.
I paint a few Custom Pet Portraits and Minnesota Magnets to get ready for three events I’m a vendor at this month. Mid-month I start working 12 hour days again and my work spills into the weekends. I’m consumed with Free Masterclasses I find online and I try to keep creating art while also trying to figure out social media and blogging. Ryan kindly suggests I limit my job to 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, and I realize I’m starting to fall into my “burn out” pattern again. Only this time I listen and cut back my hours. On the last week of the month Ryan and I actually enjoyed a night in, where neither one of us were on our phones or computers. I have a great self realization that I want the drive for quality time as well as the drive for creativity. Fingers crossed this balance stays in my life.
Sweet B turns One! Now that I’ve spilled my guts on this rollercoaster of a year, what can you look forward to in the future?
• A more focused and cohesive product line!
• Just a few new products! (because I don’t plan on tumbling down the Design Hill anymore)
• Emails that keep you up to date on my events and products! (Sign Up at the bottom of the Home Page if you’d like!)
• A more efficient and easy-to-use website! (thanks to my upcoming collab with Michelle Hagen)
• More events around Minneapolis and St. Paul!
You may be asking yourself: Why does she even share all this with me?
Well, to be honest, I debated about it. In the end, I think it’s more important to share the struggles and to break down this “perfect” appearance that is interpreted through social media than to sugar coat my first year being a solopreneur. I also think it’s important to have open and honest conversations about depression and anxiety. If you have any more questions about my own personal experience or you’d like to share your own feelings/emotions/experiences feel free to comment below or send me an email.