…building a business: losing steam?

Dear Creatives,

I want to hear from all of you out there that were really excited and motivated to start your own business – whether it was painting furniture or another creative endeavor. You may have given it your time, money and attention. Maybe you talked about it and wrangled your family into the effort and plugged away. Maybe you became a vendor, maybe you sold in a shop, maybe you opened your own shop. Then, something happened…..you ran out of steam.

A creative business is so very different than a typical business because it requires real spirit. Your spirit. And to keep up a positive outlook it requires really “feeling” it and not just being productive. I think it is much more complicated. It can be difficult for other’s to get on board and so it requires a lot of cheerleading for ourselves. Then once we get some traction we have to refuel and keep ourselves going. The problem is often that creative people are not necessarily motivated by money or success. We want more. Yes, art requires audience, but it also requires inspiration. So, my question to you out there is,

Have you lost your motivation?

I am empathetic to your state. I get it and I hear you. I give you permission to slow and come to a stop. It’s okay and it’s not failure. Instead, let me say to you – Congrats! You did it. You did it for a while and you tried something new. You put yourself out there and were seen as more than just a mom or office person or daughter or friend. And you still are! Now you know that you have the capacity to tap into this part of you at any time. You don’t need to prove anything by opening another shop, but you can tap into the feelings that made you want to do this. This part of you is always there and you discovered it! Big congrats.

I do not say this to discourage anyone, but rather to tell you that I am here to listen and support you. I think creative people live with exposed nerve-endings in a world that is not always aware of us or our needs. We try to perform in the same way as those more Aggressives around us and it’s okay to know that we are not the same. We offer something much different- sensitivity, observation, a magnifying glass on what is not always noticed in a fast-paced world.

If you have tried to expose your creativity in a public manor, you swam upstream. It is not easy. It is not easy for the shop owner of there, it is not easy for the bloggers and writers, it is not easy for me.

If you are plugging away and doing well, I am so proud and excited for you! If you gave it a go and feel done and depleated, then it’s okay to refocus your energies. If you were interested and it never quite got off the ground, then I’m so thrilled you explored the idea! And the good news? It never means you have to stop loving to paint or create! WOW! You can always do this! For yourself and your own home or just appreciate it in other’s homes. What a gift for yourself.

You are important no matter what you accomplish and I think so often we are told that the definition of success is money and press. You are worthy because you live, Dear friends. Love you.

I see you.

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…color question

“I too was blown away by this color. Just starting out with DIY Annie Sloan paints. I have lots of Shabby Chic furniture mostly white and more shabby than chic. Want to chic them up. I love your videos. What color would you call this? Does Annie have 1 comparable? Thank you!” – Constance

Why, yes. In my opinion the closest color to this would be Duck Egg Blue. It is actually a very versitile blue because it can work as a old, Sweedish neutral or a more traditional and/or contemporary color depending on the room design. Here are a few examples of Duck Egg Blue in my work and interiors.

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Do not fear this color. It is your friend. It is my friend.

…can i chalk paint outdoor pieces?

I receive many questions about painting outdoors once spring comes around. I have always told people that Annie Sloan paints her own retail shop in the UK (hello, rain) with her own Chalk Paint. Enough said.

I think I have another example that rivals this, however. Dear Daughter, Fiona, was painting with me 2 summers ago with Greek Blue. Unbeknownst to me, she stuck her paws in the paint and proceeded to stamp them all over the sidewalk. You may have remembered me posting about this years ago. Don’t tell the neighbors, but I secretly love this.

Fastforward 2 years and many pounds of snow and rain later and this is what we have on the sidewalk.

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Check out that perfect handprint! Like, not faded or changed from when she first did it. Amaze. And just to let you know, DC got dumped on this winter and last winter. I’m talking at least 100 snow days this year and like 300 last year. Or maybe it just feels that way.

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So, if you are questions whether or not to paint your outdoor furniture then I would say go ahead. Yes, weather and metal will ware differently than cement, but it will hold up.