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Taking Stock of the Year So Far: It’s all About the Long Game





This year is just flying by for me personally, and subsequently, time seems to be getting away from me in business as well.

It’s all good though. As we enter the summer season in the states, it is usually a slower season for sales, and for life in general. A good time to relax a little bit and rest up for what is traditionally a very busy time: fall and winter, and then, the holidays!

In previous years I have been very dedicated to meeting a monthly sales goal. It was realistic but a bit ambitious some months.

This year, I knew that because of everything going on, I would have to be a bit more flexible, and not so hard on myself with meeting all these goals. I had consistently met the sales goal 10 months of the year the previous years. I felt confident though that even if I eased up on myself, I would still have fairly successful months. I had worked so hard the past three years – to get my business to a place where it could run on autopilot if I was needing to focus on something else from time to time –and not like I had much of a choice – but, I went for it.


Perhaps some people are wondering – what is it that I was making room for in my life that business had to slow down a bit?


Let me fill you in. In January, my husband of four months got the news that he would be starting his career as an officer in the United States Navy in February with a three month training and bootcamp program. Basically this meant he would be away for three months with very little communication. I would be taking care of things at home and prepping out household to move to his new duty station upon graduation from his training. So that was a bunch to deal with, and it did require that I spend less time working.

It wasn’t a wildly off the charts successful season, but I stayed afloat and I even attempted to launch a new collection!

I did launch the collection, and I loved the new pieces, but I was not able to launch all at once like I had planned – in fact, it took about a month for me to get everything up and for sale. It wasn’t how I planned it, but I got caught a few days without internet, had to be away from my studio more days than expected, had other more urgent work to do… etc… Overall, I felt good about the work I was able to accomplish while I had so much other stuff going on.

It was nice to have to make room for other things, actually, and honestly, I probably worked a more regular schedule and less crazy hours than I normally would’ve.

To see that at the end of that period of time, nothing fell apart and everything was okay, was actually really wonderful.

I could’ve just taken the time off, put my shop on vacation, and come back to it when things were calm again. But I realized that, for one, I still needed and wanted to have my business up and running and also, was it ever really going to become ‘ideal’ for me to ‘reopen’? I might’ve gotten distracted and stayed away for a long time. It was better to do some, even if I couldn’t do all I wanted to do. So that is what I did.

It’s hard when you are the life force of your business and your life forces you to do other things that take away from your focus.

In the end, I would still rather have this job than any other, and I feel lucky that I am able to make these adjustments and decisions – and that I have the freedom and flexibility that I do.

So as I take stock on business this year so far, I know that my numbers are down all around, but I feel good about what I have been doing within the confines of the current situation. And now that we are settled in, I am eager to get back to creating new work and doing more work in general.

If you’ve ever had a similar experience, where you had to adjust the overall approach you take to running your business – short or longer term – please comment and share you experience. I am interested to hear how others navigate these tricky situations where the dual focus is more pronounced and is not part of the usual day to day!

Danielle Spurge

Danielle Spurge has written 13 posts in this blog.

Danielle Spurge is the CEO, crafter in residence and stitch engineer at The Merriweather Council. Since 2010 she has been specializing in custom hand embroidery – working with a signature color palette of bright solids and incorporating vintage fabrics whenever possible! Danielle’s work has been featured in People Style Watch and on The Today Show.

What say you?