Becoming a creative entrepreneur : a reflection on the last year

Having achieved the immense goal of producing and launching my very first sewing pattern, the Franki Top, I thought I'd write a little post about the journey towards this point.

Mel from The Wearable Studio

Since a young child, I have been interested in medical science and through school,  considered no other path to pursure except for either medicine or veterinary. In the end, veterinary chose me and I embarked on an enjoyable 6 year at university, of which I have very fond memories and unique experiences. When I graduated, I had a sense of relief after achieving a life-long goal and was excited about what opportunities lay ahead. Starting work as a fledgling vet is not easy. I found that I craved a therapeutic outlet and I was hungry to develop my creative brain as a relief from work. It was around this time that I discovered the online sewing community and I was bitten by the bug. 

I always say that sewing satisfies both sides of my brain- creativity for the right side and problem-solving for the left side (sewing patterns are just a puzzle that need to be put together, right?!). 

Sewing classes with my wonderful teacher Vikki are where I discovered the science and art of pattern manipulation and pattern drafting. I absolutely loved it! It was mathematical and precise. Just the things that make my brain happy. (Yes I know...what a nerd!).

The seed to have my own creative bsiness was planted many years before I discovered patternmaking. For a long time I wasn't sure exactly what avenue I should pursue. What I did know however, was that it had to be something I was passionate about in order to maintain the enegry and commitment needed to make a side hustle do-able (let alone successful!).

After much thought and in depth discussions with my patient then husband-to-be and closest friends, things slowly started to crystallise. My heart and mind were set. I wanted to start an indie sewing business and produce sewing patterns. Never in my life had I felt a stronger sense of purpose, passion and pursuit (even through my years at university!). Nothing was going to stop me.

About 12 months ago, I began to work on my dream. Each day, I attempted to carve out a little more of the startup quest; whether this was squeezing in an hour at night after work or diving into my own world for hours at a time on my rostered time off.  Some days I felt like I was sinking into a mud pit with a tall mountain above me, too great to conquer. Other days, I was flying high after moving the next hurdle and feeling another inch closer to my goal.  

A few years ago, business and marketing were the last things on my mind. But since starting this journey, these topics interest me more and more. Being a small business owner means wearing many hats and being a permanent student. I have surprised myself with how much I am enjoying this aspect of being an entrepreneur.

In the last few months, when I haven't been working as a vet or planning a wedding,  you could often find me buried in a book about startups, or engrossed in yet another podcast about entrepreneurship and creative business. And yes, of course there was lots of sewing and Instagram surfing too! There are many women who inspire me on a daily basis. These women  pursue what they love in a passionate and individual way. They don't let anything or anybody stop them. They are my inspiration and they help me to continue to pave out my own journey, one teeny step at a time. 

When you buy from a small business, an real person does a little happy dance

I have big dreams and ideas for where I want to take this wee business of mine. Only time will tell. If you have gotten this far in the post, thank you for your support. Each person's contribution means so much.


Here are some of the people, blogs, podcasts & books that have helped me along the way:

Books:

Scrum, The Lean StartUp, Little Black Book, Business Model Generation

Podcasts:

Love to Sew, Blogtacular, Hashtag Authentic, How I Built This, In Good Company, Create & Thrive

Blogs/Sites:

Women Who, The Lady Startup