We have another marvellous Creative Business-Mama for you: self-employed artist and author Jacy Pulford shares her awesome journey towards creating a shop stuffed with inspirational art and gifts...
Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words?
Reflective, peaceful and tired
What's the story of your creative business?
I've been an artist all of my life and worked on the side doing various projects.
It was in 2010 that I was laid off and took it as a sign that I needed to go into business full time.
My passion has always been to be a self-employed artist since the age of 8. Sometimes as adults we let go of childhood dreams but why? I do what I love because I want to use what I have to inspire people.
I started with an Etsy shop and slowly moved into Storenvy, just plugging away. Slowly the title of "author" came into play and was able to self-publish a Christian-based book in 2012, the same year I had my son.
What are the worst things about being a mother running a creative business?
Guilt. Expectations. From myself and from others, not to mention the expectations I put on myself/others. That is probably the worst because you can almost feel like you are never doing enough. There will always be work to do, whether in business or in our homes. It's all about balance.
And the best?
The best is the flexibility and being able to close the laptop, snuggle with my boy and read his favorite books. I'm available when he needs me and that means the world.
Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama.
There was one day I had a couple of articles that needed to be submitted by a certain deadline. Not to mention my own goals for how many articles I pushed myself to write daily.
My toddler was constantly hitting my keyboard, pulling my shirt, playing with the screen...it was frustrating. Especially since I had spent special time with him prior because I wanted to make sure he had "us" time before it was "work" time.
I remember feeling awful for not paying him much attention but then anxious because I knew work still needed to be done.
I had to decide how much was going to be on my plate. And I choose to take some off by changing my goals because I realized they were not realistic for my lifestyle at the moment. It made me see that I needed to work around my family's schedule and not expect them to work around me.
What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?
Family first. You will never feel good about what you are doing in business if you neglect the people you love.
And extend yourself some mercy and grace because mistakes will happen, professionally and personally. Ask an expert or someone you look up to in the business if you have concerns/questions or want guidance.
Never be afraid of the word "no."
Also advertise on blogs, it's worth it!
What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?
I'm really excited about getting back to painting and starting to incorporate abstract techniques. I've always painted Realism, objects, people etc. So it's a nice change to let go and be free with colors, paint and brushes.
If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?
Ohhh good one! I would wish for any financial transaction to just magically calculate itself, do all the bookkeeping and just send me a check at the end of the week!!
What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?
If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.
You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.