Having my shop on vacation has been kind of nice, life feels slightly less hectic. I might extend it one more week so I can breathe, then go back to craziness again. The thing that I find most challenging about running a business is being pulled in several directions at once. I feel like I am at my best when I can focus on one thing. I guess it's a matter of learning how to filter out the noise, and focus on what is important. It's really challenging but I am getting there. It's hard to believe I've been going at this full time since November... maybe it's hard to believe because I've still been going to "work" two days a week? :)
I am really excited at the thought of expanding my business. My best friend, Abbey is coming up from Toronto for the day tomorrow to help me out. I have a list of things for her to do, and it will give me a good idea of what kind of position I am in to hire an assistant.
Part of the struggle I have with hiring an assistant is financial. While my prices aren't as inexpensive as La Senza or Aerie, they aren't La Perla ether! It has always been important for me to keep my line accessibly priced. However, it is a lot of work per garment, and I'm not sure I've really priced accordingly. I don't want to raise my prices, but I don't want to have a 10 week wait time on a pair of panties either. But, if I hire someone to help reduce my wait time, I might have to raise prices.
Pricing is such a hard thing for me. Its probably the thing I dislike the most about running a business, is anything to do with money. Having never really had much money myself, it can be hard justifying charging $50 for a pair of knickers. Especially when it's something I do myself... I always undervalue my work, I think a lot of artists/artisans/creators/seamstresses do. At the same time, I want people to be able to enjoy my work so I don't want it to be inaccessibly priced. Annnnnd, at the same time, I want to make a decent living and have a good work / life balance, just like everyone else. So, it's a challenge!
Though, maybe I'm over-analyzing everything. I don't know if you've noticed, but I do that. I hardly get complaints from my customers about the wait time. Most people are understanding, and I am clear about it in my shop policies, listings, and receipt. What I do need to do is relax... and not rush, take my time, it will all get done... Eventually.
So, it's a tough call. I think once I get ahead again, I will feel more confident about whatever decision I make. I am actively looking into garment producers in my area, and have found a few who sound promising. I think as a long-term plan, it really makes sense.
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