If you’ve been following me for a while I’m sure you’ll notice that my business has shifted quite a bit over the years, the past year and a bit especially. I started out in 2011 with simple wire wrapped rings and it really just grew and took on a life of its own from there. Fast forward to 2020 and my sweet little business is looking much, much different. Lately, there hasn’t been many of the ‘designs’ part of Desiree Dawn Designs going on. So what’s up with that? Let me tell you…first I’ll warn you, it might be a bit of a long story, but hey, I’m choosing to embrace the rambler in me instead of fighting against it. 💁🏻♀️
One of my earlier Shows in 2011 and one of the 'bigger' ones at the time for me. It was a long day and a long drive and I won't lie, I was a little disappointed that I only sold one item. I had a lot to learn, but I was totally discouraged and let that stop me from doing shows for a while.
Summer 2019, totally in my element even though I was in the midst of heavy burnout. This was the first show that I hit my sales target, and I started consistently hitting and surpassing it from here on out (for the most part). Shortly after this show I took the leap and made the transition to full-time self-employment.
If you follow me on Social Media I’m sure you’ve heard me bitching and moaning about my repetitive strain injuries. I don’t mean to be bitching and moaning to be complaining, but I do mean to be 100% transparent with you all, which is why I share so much about what I am going through. The good and the bad. I will always tell you the truth and be transparent about what is going on.
I’ve been struggling with these injuries for a long time. Long before I even started making jewellery at the capacity that I am now. My body is screaming and begging for me to stop. My heart is heavy, it’s no longer invested in the jewellery side of things as much as it was when I started. (That can be the nature of the beast when you’re a creative and turn your hobby into a business, it just is never quite the same as when you started.) There are things I can do to correct this struggle. However, I have grown to a point where I can no longer keep up with my current demands. I long to create jewellery again, but my body needs more time to heal, and I am just not in a space that is conducive to creativity.
With the onset of Covid, no foreseeable shows in the future, my declining ability to create jewellery and my limited work space, I had to shift something. I expanded my crystal offerings through live sales, and they took off! Which is amazing and I am so grateful I could just cry! (And maybe I did…) But now that the crystal side of my business has grown, I am yet again, having a hard time keeping up with demands. While I do have a wee bit of help from my wonderful Mama during some of my Live Sales, I am basically a one-woman show. I run my business entirely on my own.
One of my Live Sale Setups. There isn't much room between the couch and the table so it's pretty awkward and everyone hears me 'oof'ing, struggling and tripping over Carter (my 115lb German Shepherd) but that's also kinda part of the fun!
I am in a VERY tiny shared workspace. I literally have to move the couch any time I need to get crystals out from the lower shelves on my crystal shelf. I don’t have a permanent work spot to create, or pack orders, or take photos. Everything I do involves shifting and moving things around and there is only so much you can reorganize. It is frustrating, exhausting and it is stifling my creativity. As I write this, there are items literally stacked to the ceiling, the entire length of my living room, and I’m working on a 6-foot folding table that now lives in the middle of the room since the rest of the workspace is already utilized. Once I started doing the live sales this little “temporary” table placement became a permanent addition.
Here I am setting up for a Live and feeling hella frustrated with the space challenges here, but I do my best to make the most of what I have to work with.
Here is my Post Live Sale Table Setup. A second table is set up in the corner to put the items on as people claim them to get them off the main Sale table. The sale table becomes my working station to create custom listings, then package up everyone's orders. It was supposed to be temporary, but it didn't take long for it to become a permanent part of the living room.
So while I’m working at securing a larger space, something just has to give. I’ve known this for a while. I knew it was going to be the jewellery since last summer/fall when I realized that the way I am currently running is going to be unsustainable long term. But I resisted. I wasn’t ready, I had to gear up for Holiday, and how the heck am I supposed to pay the bills if I just stop?! (At this point I had JUST made the leap to working in my business 100% full time with no other side jobs.) So I didn’t, I kept going, I ignored every sign and intuition, and then I had a horrible hand injury that rendered my hands pretty much useless and everything came screeching to a halt. Oh yeah, and I hurt them opening a jar of salsa no less!? Seriously!? Come on!
I didn’t listen. I knew I had to slow down, and I refused. So Spirit took it into her own hands and forced me to stop. It was nothing terribly serious. Just some really bad strains, just painful enough that I couldn’t turn on my car with my dominant hand, I couldn’t chop up veggies to cook my meals, I couldn't use a pen to write or journal, let alone make jewellery. Here we are 8 months later and while I am able to work more ‘normally’ than I was when it was at its worst, I am not anywhere near being healed or pain-free.
Here I am in February 2020, all taped up so I can continue using my hands to work. Being self-employed and an entrepreneur, I don't have benefits, so I tend to wait until things are at their worst before I finally buckle down and seek physio treatment. Totally the wrong way to go about things, I know, but I have a hard time when it comes to spending money on myself, even if it's for my own health and wellbeing. Blocks and issues that I am uncovering, working on and healing.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to press pause on the jewellery part of Desiree Dawn Designs. I’m going to do what I need to do to keep (jewellery) things running minimally, and I will pick up again when my body is ready when I have a new space that will allow my creativity to flow and potentially allow me to bring in a helper.
While this does make me a little sad, it also takes a huge weight off my shoulders, my soul, and opens me up to expand on some other brain babies that have been bustling around in my mind for some time now. My business is expanding and evolving, and I’m so excited to start bringing in some new items and offerings! So expect to see changes, expect to see new items and products, new services and maybe even a new name! 😉
Here I am with a wonderful friend who volunteered to be one of my practice clients while I went through my Crystal Practitioner program. I've officially Graduated and received 100 on my final 🙌🏻 (humble brag) but sometimes you need to stop and celebrate the little things, taking the money and time to do this program was a huge step for me but I'm so proud of what I've accomplished in the midst of falling apart and putting myself back together during the Covid Pandemic.
I'm not sure why I felt called to write a big blog post on this. I could have just did a Social Media post saying "Hey, I need to change something for my health so I'm pausing the jewellery side of things for a while ok. See yaaaahhh!👋🏻" but I felt like sharing a bit of my process and experience leading up to this decision. Not for pity, or attention. Like I said, I will always strive to be transparent and truthful with ya'll and it just felt like time for a bit of a business update with all the changes that will be happening.
I also feel like when we share our struggles, experiences and growth it gives other people an opportunity to see their similar experiences in a different light, or permission to feel validated with how they feel when they see someone struggling with the same stuff. We never know how sharing our light and our voice can help someone in passing. I just know that I need to listen and trust when I am being called to share something, and if just one little ripple, of one little word I share, gives someone, somewhere a bit of comfort, well that's just the icing on the cake!
Thank you so much for reading, and thanks so much for sticking around and supporting me and this little business as it has grown and evolved over the years. If you have any questions, feedback, concerns, awesome ideas, or just want to chat, as always, please let me know!
So much love and gratitude to each and every one of you!
xoxo 😘 Desiree
My family came across your store when we were recently in Stratford, and loved it!
I didn’t know you used to make jewelry until I read this blog.
Just wanted to let you know I was in the SAME boat!
I too was rocking the jewelry at the various festivals and shows pre-pandemic. It must have been the fall of 2019 I realized how completely burnt out I was. I got a simple cold, and it took me forever to get over it because I was just so drained. My soul was done with making jewelry, but I soldiered on for Christmas. Then put my tools away, and haven’t looked at them since.
I still get the occasional person that reaches out to see if I’m still at it, and I always feel guilty, or like I need to justify it… I guess that’s why it felt so good to read that you went through the same thing.
I hope you are finding fulfillment with where your at now. Your shop is super cute and we loved pretty much everything you sell.