Don't Stress Baby

So obviously if you haven't caught on by now, I'm not a writer. But I've set plenty of goals for myself and S&S this year, and getting the actual blog part up and running on the website is certainly one of them. 

Needless to say this past year was nothing short of amazing, I really do believe that moving up to Chris's (my boyfriend for those of y'all who are new) hometown of Nocona, Texas was definitely one of the best decisions we've made; this place has given me so much inspiration and opportunity to grow in ways unexpected. This year we expanded out product line and had the privilege of working with some amazing individuals I can now call close friends. Heck, we even hit 10k followers on insta which was pretty dang neat. 

BUT, the plans I have for S&S are sky high and we are just getting are feet wet. 

This past year was also a little bit of a balancing act for me. Many of you know that we also moved up to Nocona, not only for Chris to manage his families cattle company, but because I was also offered an amazing position as the wine club manager at a local winery in the next small town over. It's so much fun and I really do enjoy it, but S&S is my passion and soon I was beginning to essentially work two full time jobs. 

So here's a look at my schedule. Every morning I get up around 6, start answering emails and DMs, make some coffee and get ready for the day, get an insta post or two ready for the day, maybe add a new listing or two to the site, package any last minute orders and then head to the post office. Takes me thirty minutes to drive to the winery and I am there from 10:30am to anywhere from 6 to 8pm, then as soon as i get home chris and I make dinner, and I'm packaging orders again, trying to work on projects (sewing, beading, framing art prints, sorting inventory, ordering supplies ect). Before you know it, its midnight and I have to just force my brain to shut off and put away my phone and iPad lol, I'm sure many of you can relate. 

Monday's and Tuesday's are my days off, and that's when I really get the chance to knock out big projects. My big white photography wall that many of you may recognize from our Instagram posts is outside in our shop. I use natural outdoor lighting to photograph all of our inventory, and I love it, its exactly what I wanted when Christ and I first sat down and designed it. But since I rely on outdoor lighting, I can only utilize it when the weather is good and the sun is up. Basically there's no way for me to photograph anything in the evenings after work at the winery in the winter time. As a result you'll see most of our shop updates happen on Tuesdays! If I'm not photographing inventory and adding new listings to the site on my "weekends" you can catch me at the hardware store getting new supplies, building new display pieces for our booth in the shop, sewing pillows or working on heishi necklaces at the house, traveling around town to get a quick photoshoot thrown together, or (my favorite) digging thru thrift stores and antique malls to find the right vintage pieces we want to share with you guys. 

Chris had to sit down with me and have a "talk" about the fact that I don't take enough time to just chill lol and ya i guess he's right. I stressed a lot this past year. Don't worry, the stress payed off and our growth was thru the roof, but I was stressed all the time. We only had time this past year to make it to two trade shows which killed me, I love traveling with S&S and I really missed it. And honestly I was just frustrated every week that all my plans and projects couldn't move quickly enough since I only had so much time I could put in every week for S&S. I realized that some things probably needed to change if I wanted to keep myself from pulling my hair out. 

We took a look at our finances and couldn't ignore the fact that I was already making a better living from working at home, even in my spare hours, than I was by working at the winery full time. Not much but a little. We looked at each other and asked what would happen if S&S was my full time business? If i could put more time into focusing my efforts on S&S, not only could I ramp up its growth but I could also live comfortably. So, as many of you heard earlier in January, I negotiated with the owners of the winery to cut my hours down dramatically. I was really close to quitting guys, but they really needed my help and I didn't want to leave them stranded. So during the months of February, May and October (our wine club release months) I agreed to continue to work full time. But the remainder of the year, I will only be working here and there at the winery. And officially making S&S my full time job!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I was terrified. I always have had the goal of making S&S my full time job and business, I just never thought that it would grow quite this quickly! I'm still nervous, but in my heart I know I would be selling myself short if I didn't follow my dream and pursue my passion of this industry. 

I've has a lot of people reaching out to me about my "success" when honestly I'm still nowhere near where I want to be. We business owners are obsessed with what we do, guys and gals can make it look incredible easy but its not for the faint of heart. I've come to learn that success is setting small, consistent goals, and achieving them one at a time, with patience and self discipline, and then all of a sudden you look behind you only to see how far you have come.  

This year you are going to see us traveling more, ramping up our photo shoots and not to mention working with some amazing new business owners and companies! And I'm so excited y'all. Again I have to give each and everyone of you who has supported us along the way the biggest thank you, we wouldn't be here without you. 

On another note, I also want to connect with our followers more! I want your feedback and want to hear your thoughts! Or if you just have any questions in general about WHATEVER please shoot me an email, sapphiresandsagebrush@gmail.com. 

Thank you for taking the time to read some insight into the life of a small business owner, hope this post can relate to y'all in some way, whether big or small. If your stressing, don't worry, it just means you are working hard for what you love. Have a kick ass week y'all 

Raquel

Rachel Briggs