So it begins.. with poop!

I started this not knowing whether to share my gift shop, or keep it separate from my rambling! I love my shop though and can’t help but want to share it on here.

I started Love4Lemons in July 2015. At the time I was going through a particularly bad flare up of the condition I suffer from. I have a form of IBD called Ulcerative Colitis, the very short explanation of this is I spend most of my life in the loo, and can now quite easily talk about poop and use the word ‘bowels’ without feeling embarrassed! All my shame left me the day I had to have a camera shoved somewhere not too nice!

When you have to sit with a Doctor and rate your poop on an actual poop chart (a real thing i kid you not!!) something inside you dies a little!! I became so unwell I thought Right, enough is enough, its only a matter of time before I mess myself at work, get this little venture of yours up and running!

And there you have it, Love4Lemons was born, and all through fear of me shitting myself at work! What a magical story to tell the grandkids in years to come.

I struggled so badly with confidence at the start, and still do now. My shop has changed a lot since its very early days and I can remember exactly when my first thought of the light box idea happened. For the next year I was in and out of my employment through illness, trying to get my little shop noticed, and then after a few subtle hints thrown my way that I was about to lose my job, I decided to jump before I was pushed… and I’m so glad i did!!

Having a mortgage, a child and no reliable income was so scary, I had no idea if this was going to work or how we would support ourselves. I’m so thankful my partner stood by me, and the strangest thing is, as soon as I left my job, my online shop went crazy, as if by magic! Whatever it was, coincidence, fate, or those “success” gem stones I bought to carry around with me, something started to work, and I also FINALLY stopped feeling so unwell.
I realised at that moment, all the things you take for granted, like being able to leave the house without fear of pooping yourself!

So with this very brief start-up story done, here is my shop for all who would like to take a look

 Love4lemons on Etsy

 

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One of my light up jars ๐Ÿ’œ

(p.s. my shop is on holiday mode at the moment) It might not show you much!

๐ŸŒผ LemonLady ๐ŸŒผ

๐ŸŒผ H e l l o ย  W o r l d ๐ŸŒผ

Before I started this little adventure with my online shop, I had no idea this whole different world was even there. A world full of craft groups, market nights, swaps and networking.. and this is just Facebook! I look back now and feel a little proud of how much I’ve learned so far, you are basically just winging it as you pass through and learning as you go along. This was back in the day when I thought networking was something to do with the signal on your phone.

And then there’s the whole ‘selling yourself’ thing, the thought of it can still make me cringe. Putting for sale posts up on Facebook, trying to convince the world they need your product in their lives!

For someone with anxiety and self confidence issues this doesn’t come easy. The worst part of it wasn’t what I wrote or had to say, it was WHO was going to read it. In an online world you can be anyone you like, I mean, we’ve all seen Catfish right?! The thought of my friends, who know me well, seeing my posts where I’m showing my products with the whole sales pitch, it made me feel so uneasy, like I was a fraud, and I don’t really know why.

Having to get over that feeling was hard, and it still torments me now, I’ve never been a confident person. Selling was really difficult, but you have to get yourself out there and the more you do it the easier it gets. Not everyone has the natural talent to market themselves and Sell Sell Sell but you can get there if you keep trying.

Social media has been a huge positive for my business, and I believe if you absolutely love what you do then its worth all the awkward feelings you go through. Another positive of social media is the friends I’ve made… yes, I can say proudly.. I have virtual friends!! These are the people who I chat to every single day, but have never met in person, and because they’re in the same boat as me I quite often offload on them, they get it.

Almost every single person I’ve met online is a mummy, running their business from home, doing us ladies proud, and juggling family life, kids, full time jobs as well as their own businesses. So even if you are someone who suffers with anxiety like myself, or someone with kids, a full time job, if you love what you make then nothing can stop you! I’ve got over so much already, and this is me just getting started. There’s a whole world of like minded people out there, people who I now happily call my friends, people who I let off steam to when I have a tricky customer, postal issues or showing a new design and needing feedback.

I started out with not a single clue on how to do this, just like a lot of crafters who start their online business, and I can’t actually believe I now know what SEO stands for!! If you want to do this, then do it! You don’t need all the tools in the box to try, you can pick them up as you go along at your own pace. You’ll be surprised at how much support you can get, and all from people you have never met before, but will soon become your friends.

๐ŸŒผ Lemon Lady ๐ŸŒผ

The C Word

OMG the woman in shock
What day is it?

Since starting my very small and modest business the C word has taken on a whole new meaning… Christmas! Sorry to those who thought I was about to start throwing out some explicit content, but Christmas is fast becoming a word I shudder to think about.

When I think of Christmas now I am instantly transported to a few months back, where I’m rocking back and fore in the corner, covered in bubble wrap, muttering words like sticky tape and labels.

In my first year trading over Christmas I had a grand total of around 10 orders, and to me I was ‘super busy’ and as I looked proudly at my order board I thought to myself ahh, I’ve got enough to buy some sandwiches here, pat your bad self on the back!

If I only knew what the next Christmas would do to me; the dribbling, the crazy hair, the unshaved legs and the constant smears of glue being picked off my clothes! My brain was on overload, and here I am, years after my raving days, wondering how my brain could ever be this scatty again.

So Christmas is something I no longer look at as festive and merry, but a period of pure chaos, with customers and deadlines, queries, stock control, packaging issues, and persistent chatter in my head telling me BE FASTER! And all the while I’m here, still covered in glue, trying to make this Christmas even better than the last for my 4 year old beautiful girl.

Am I doing this right? I have no idea. I’ve never studied business, how to manage things, how to keep a level head when the pressure is really on. All I know is it’s now February, and Christmas is still very fresh in my mind, but I got through it. I may have had extremely furry legs, matted hair and I swear at one point I found a few cut out flowers down my cleavage, but I survived my first real chaotic busy period and even though I still have a few horrific dribbling flashbacks, I know I’ll be ok with whatever this crazy adventure throws at me.

๐ŸŒผLemonLady

๐ŸŒผ My First blog post ๐ŸŒผ

I have wanted to write a blog for a while now, I feel like I have a lot to say! But now that I’m here, with my tablet on my lap… my mind has gone BLANK!! 
I know i have some kind of a story to tell, I just don’t know how to tell it.  I have been through every single emotion since becoming a mum, and then a totally new set of emotions since starting up my online gift shop business. It has been a huge crazy manic and ridiculous adventure.. and that’s just been over the Christmas period! I honestly feel like I need counselling after that!! But that’s another story for another day.

So this is me and my possibly boring story of all the things (good and bad) that have happened while juggling life as a mum, running a business and dealing with me and my crazy brain who likes to try and sabotage everything!