Ohhh Lulu has been more popular than I ever had hoped when I first opened my little Etsy shop, and my blog, which I used to whine only got one or two views a day (likely from myself), is approaching 10,000 hits each month. I'm pretty darn proud, it's been a lot of hard work, and I haven't always been perfect, but it's been a lot of fun.
Its funny... I always wanted to be a designer (a designer or an archaeologist). When I visited the guidance counsellor in high school to help me decide what I wanted to do with my life, they would tell me, "oh no, you don't want to do that, you won't make much money and it will be very difficult. You should become a teacher."
Hmm... Well, I figured Guidance Counsellors must know something teenage-me didn't know about the world. My parents always told me to do what makes me happy, and always nurtured the weird, free-spirit in me. But I listened to them. I went off to university and wasted a whole whack load of money, that is still being paid off to this day.
So, I followed my heart and went to design school, where our teachers told us, "Don't think you're going to graduate and be a designer! Designers don't make much money and it's a lot of hard work."
I listened to them too and when I graduated I got a creative-ish, 9-5 type gig, a responsible, regular, run of the mill job. I jumped around here and there... textile design, interior decorating, alterations... and I was miserable and I never lasted more than a year in a position. That is, until I started doing what I love to do.
Yeah, we don't have much money and I work a 30-hour a week job outside of Ohhh Lulu, and it is a lot of work, but I love it, but it's totally worth it, and I wish I hadn't listened to my teachers and guidance counsellors. Every sale makes me so happy; I am so thrilled that people out there enjoy what I do as much as I do!
Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy. If you love something, the benefits will outweigh the struggles. I love my life and where I am, but if I could change one little thing, I would have done this years ago.
Here's what I wish my guidance counsellors had told me, "You can be a designer, you can be anything you want to be! You might have to work another job while you establish yourself - your "pay the bills job" won't define you - but if you work hard and are really passionate about craft, you will be successful."