My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1826: The Business of Running a Business

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-06-2017 01:20 PM 929 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1825: Just "Wow"! Part 1826 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1827: All That Glitters »

I think that most who hear that I design for my living and have my own business have visions of me spending my days in the dreamy wonderland of creating. . . lolling away the hours overlooking the rolling meadow or gazing out to the ocean, drawing or painting my heart out to the sound of the lapping water on the beach. It is truly a wonderful thought, isn't it?

While I have been able to experience days such as I described, they are few and far in between. As our little business grows, the daily part of running it seems to take up more and more time and less time is left to be creative. 

I am not complaining about this at all. I am thrilled and amazed at the directions we are heading. I truly enjoy every part of the business and as I often say, switching from wearing one hat to another keeps me excited and 'hungry' for the next new project. There is not really time to get stale and burned out. There is always something wonderful ahead. 

The unfortunate thing that I find about cutting lots and lots of wood pieces is that it doesn't really make exciting blog material. Here is a photo of two days' work:

It doesn't really thrill most of you, does it?  LOL! 

But it DOES thrill those who ordered from me, as they are looking at their 'future heirlooms' as I call them and dreaming of how they will look finished. (I must admit, I do that, too! That is one of the best part of 'knowing' your customers. You get to imagine the wonderful places that these pieces will travel and the amazing transformation they will take with the touch of the magic brush!)  

OK.  I am a little romantic about it. But it really is true. Being both a woodworker AND a painter helps me understand things a little better. Things like the importance of accurate cutting and the thrill of taking a piece out of the box and NOT having to touch it with a sander. These are the things that painters look for when buying surfaces. This quality, I feel, will be my 'edge'.  The positive reinforcement that I receive from my customers only makes me want to strive to do even better. It really makes a difference. 

After cutting on Friday and Saturday,  I then needed to pack this first batch of many that will be heading out the door. Fortunately, Keith's mom came over and helped me pack up the shipment. It truly takes most of a day to get to this point:

If things keep on going in this direction, I may have to hire her permanently. We had a dinner of "Subway" to thank her for helping (which wasn't our usual meal when mom is over). But Keith said, "even slave labor has to eat", so I sent in the kitties to offer up some extra cuddles to show our gratitude. They seemed to do the job. ;) 

The week for me will be a cycle of cut and pack. This pile was about a quarter of what was ordered over the weekend, so I have a lot on my plate and you may not hear from me too much. But have no fear, I will be busy dreaming of the beach and the rolling waves and of all my new projects that I will be drawing and cutting and painting while I am doing these orders. By the time I finish, I will be anxious to start to see them come to life. Hopefully, there will be a burst of projects then. I can't wait to show you all what I am thinking of! 

On a final note today, I wanted to show you Keith's new design:

His SLDK710 Filigree Standing Tree pattern is already a big hit. We did an update to our site on Saturday and we were happy at how many loved this pattern. I am sure that Keith will be working on similar patterns that will enhance your holiday decorating. They should be awesome. 

That is all for today. I have to get to my shop and get busy. To all those who ordered – thank you so much. You all make my life fun and exciting and I enjoy working for you so, so much. 

Have a wonderful Monday! 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

3 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile


3770 posts in 2886 days

#1 posted 03-06-2017 02:41 PM

I am always amazed at your schedule and always thought you had your nose to the grindstone and not in la la land. beware a business is suppose to grow, you know what that means, if you are going to keep up you will have to work an extra shift. No sleep, no watching the wave come in, just waves of exhaustion. Your in a real fix.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 2677 days

#2 posted 03-06-2017 06:46 PM

It’s great to see your business growing so much and to see you branching out into different areas of creativity. Keith’s filigree trees are beautiful! it’s still too cold here for workshop time. I keep hoping!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3524 days

#3 posted 03-07-2017 09:34 PM

Thank you both for the nice comments. I am “pacing myself” and quitting up at the shop by 6pm each night. I call it “survival”. :) I am thrilled at how the business is growing. So many wonderful possibilities!

I will just keep on moving forward!

Have a great day! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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