Wednesday, October 20, 2010

reach for the stars

I live and breathe design and crafting and I love business. My entrepreneurial spirit is undeniable so it was almost natural for me to try my hand at my own crafty business. But it wasn't always the case.

I spent a lot of my childhood and teenage years thinking up ideas for potential business ventures. My first taste of success, if you can call it that, was back in 2004 - I offhandedly picked up jewelry design after serendipitously stumbling into a bead shop in Manhattan. After making tons of things for family, friends and of course, myself, I spent a few weeks selling my wares in Soho and the East Village with other outdoor vendors one summer and received a fantastic response. My biggest regret after that was not expanding with an online shop. I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to website coding and soon, the idea just sat on the back burner as I went back to school in the fall.

I grew up in an environment that promoted working for large corporations with "real" professions. My parents encouraged only a select number of industries, the generic ones like law, medicine, engineering etc. While I always knew it wasn't for me in the back of my mind, I didn't know better to think there were other options and it took me an even longer time to realize that it was okay.

I'm blessed to have found my soul mate, a partner in crime that completely understands that I choose to live out my dream of owning my own business, and doing what I love. And through his encouragement, lots of passion and hard work, and an obsession with letterpress - We Heart Paper was created.

Sure, I'm not sure what I'm doing a lot of the time. Many of my lessons are learned via trial and error. But I love every second of it. Jumping into We Heart Paper full time has been one of the scariest decisions I've ever made, but undoubtedly, the most gratifying.

Is there something that you've been meaning to do? Well, what are you waiting for?


  1. I <3 We Heart Paper and your story :) I dream of having a cupcakery... Its all I think about. I just have no clue how to get there... :/

  2. aw i loved reading your story, friend! so thankful for 'partners in crime' who understand. i sing the same praise about my fiance. i appreciate his support so much!!!

    i felt like my etsy shop was a scary leap but def one of the best decisions ive ever made.

    thanks for the reminder - and for sharing your story!

    p.s. love the new banner!!!

  3. I'm so glad you decided to take the jump and start your own business. I'd love to have my own as well, though I'm still working out precisely what the plan would be and (more importantly) how I would fund it (and I have to get through grad school first).

  4. Janie love! Great blog post! You have been one of my inspirations. And yes, like you mentioned, we're SO blessed to have our other half support the heck out of us. Your passion really shows in your work! :)

  5. I think you and I would be great friends! I love crafts and I started my own business at 18, but sold it and moved onto another career, but I am constantly starting up new projects! Also, I may need some letterpress business cards soon, so I'm glad I found you. I'll subscribe. Have a great weekend!

  6. this is such a great post and something i needed to read. i've started an etsy shop, and after a very good first response, things have slowed down. but i keep telling myself to do what i love.