A bit of history...before LexiBeads, there was, and still is, Alexis Studio Design LLC. It started out as a home business where I made jewelry, lampshades, sachets, and other small gifts. In 2009, I made the fatal mistake of opening a brick and mortar store...what a nightmare!!! Buying furniture, painting, a new sign, permits, marketing... Still, I went in with a positive attitude, and I actually fell in love with the final product! My store had a Zen, Asian feel to it, with an aqua/ brown color scheme, lots of plants and bamboos, my personal Buddha collection and a beautiful waterfall. All that despite the fact that a well meaning friend hired an interior designer as a gift for me, and this designer, in keeping with my Asian theme wanted to add her homemade Christmas wreaths above my waterfall, and blue fishing nets in the store window! (True story!!!) Unfortunately, the store was in a terrible location, with no foot traffic, and I ended up closing the doors one year later. I look at it as a learning experience, allbeit an expensive one.
So, back to working from home. I did a few craft fairs, home parties. Some of my work was in galleries and boutiques. However, my website failed to pull in any business, despite the beautiful design by a web designer. So, I opened shop on Etsy, and later added LexiBeads.
As a single parent, who suffers from chronic migraines, it ain't easy running a business from home!! My two children are at an age where they have an active social life, and lot's of activities, and need to be driven everywhere! And every doctor's appointment, dentist appointment....you get the idea. I have no family nearby, and although I try to carpool with other parents as often as possible, the chauffeuring eats up a big chunk of my time!
Then there are the migraines. I have them almost daily, see a neurologist, and a bevy of medications aren't helping. I'm now trying biofeedback.
So, then there are the businesses. I'm the type of person who needs structure in their day...there's the shipping, the marketing, the blogging and twittering (tweeting?), the photographing...when the hell do I find the time to actually make the jewelry??? My stock and inventory are finding their way into every room of my home...even my bedroom.
Etsy is a fabulous community of artists, I really love it, but my sales are slow...there's alot, I mean ALOT of competition out there! It's a challenge to find a niche that will make me stand out!
I would love to hear from other small home business owners! Any thoughts, solutions, funny stories? I always feel it's easier to deal with these challenges with others who are going through the same...