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It's my Birthday!!!

It's my Birthday!!!

I've been a bit delinquent in posting here.

Seriously though.

Between Instagram and Facebook and living in a very very small town (where everybody knows everything I'm up to at every moment, including what I'm making for dinner *frozen pizza*), I just sometimes feel a bit tapped as far as presenting you with new material goes.

But I DO have something to talk about today.

My birthday.

IMG_6616 Last week (on July 27th) my sweet little shop turned FIVE YEARS OLD.

That might not seem like a very long time, but in retail years, it's a big deal.

It means that I've stuck it out. That I've really given it a solid go this past half decade. And that I don't entirely suck when it comes to being a shop owner.

Owning a retail business in a small, rural town in Ontario isn't for the faint of heart. There may be twelve months in a year, but as far as actual "hay making" months? We've got, like, four.

July, August, November and December are the months during which we see a relatively steady stream of customers, and I can breathe a little easier knowing that goals are being met, bills are being paid, and my staff aren't bored to tears.

For the other two-thirds of the year?

Well, we basically just hang on for dear life.

This is just some real talk for everyone who romanticizes the idea of shop ownership.

I'm not saying DON'T do it. Nobody could have told me not to do it. I'm just saying, you've really got to love this business to survive.

That's why I do a million other things. Like craft shows and candle making and workshops.

I'm not doing all that stuff for content. I'm doing it because I have to. I'm doing it for the cash flow.

I have to, and I love to.

Thank goodness I love to.

But I digress.

When I opened the shop 5 years ago I was nervous.

I was.

I had owned a shop 2 years prior to that (a home decor shop called Blackbird which is now on it's 3rd owner) and had sold it after 4 years in business, due to the fact that I simply could not balance having a newborn, a 2-year-old and a 24/7 gig (with no mat leave I. WILL. ADD).

After selling, I almost immediately began to mourn having my own business and so, put a few things in place (the kids were 2 and a half and 4 by this point) and decided to launch anew.

It's truly been an amazing five years and I've never regretted the decision to open this shop.

I mean, regrets have been involved, but none to do with the shop itself :)

emily summer-5 I've made countless strides as far as carving out my career here.

I mean, I live in a town of 5000 people, and I have more than twice that number of people who follow what I'm up to online everyday.

That's very very cool.

It's a genuine boost to think that I'm having influence beyond my own community.

I take it seriously. It makes me feel both powerful and so so vulnerable, but I'm learning to navigate it all. There is no amount of formal education that could give me all this. And I'm proud that I've grown this much in such a short time.

About a year after I opened, I began working with Etsy Canada as part of my craft market line up, and I can't even explain what that's done for not only my profile, but my experience, and knowledge and, just straight up confidence.

So we can all agree I could use a stylist, but the clip is up and I think I covered all the bases. Get to know @etsystudio stat! Thanks to @ctvottawamorninglive for having me!! http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video?clipId=1119164
One of my many CTV Morning appearances on behalf of Etsy Canada.

Not to mention, that partnership has allowed me to donate more than $40K to local charities which, let's be honest, I likely never would have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

 BOOM This morning I had the unique experience of donating $9k+ to local charity Making Play Possible as a result of funds raised at #etsymadeincanada Ottawa last month. The opportunity to work with such an amazing brand like @etsyca has been a life/game/everything changer for me. I can't tell you the joy I feel being able to do something this huge. Not to mention the experience of working with my community of Etsy Team Captains building friendships and support systems with kindred spirits from coast to coast...I. Am. So. Lucky. Looking forward to doing it all again soon. ❤️☺️ @with.outpretend don't you DARE roll your eyes at me. #bigasscheque #heartbursting #etsyteamcaptainssummit #etsyteamcaptain #etsy613 #cheerfullymade I am doing everything I love.

Everyday.

And I'm surrounded by cheerleaders. (Thank you for being one of them).

I've learned the impact of being a good business person. Of treating people with respect and kindness, and listening to them like friends. I feel strongly that these things are the reason I'm still here.

I try to take on challenges with positivity and enthusiasm and, truly, just a blind confidence that things will work out. That I'll be successful. That if I build it, you'll come.

Early morning line up at Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa 2017
Early morning line up at Etsy Made in Canada Ottawa 2017

I've learned that people want to surround themselves with positive, hardworking people. That encouraging others to be successful, is what makes ME successful.

I'm really not just saying that. Over the past 5 years I've noticed a direct correlation between how much I support others and how, as a result, my life becomes easier, and more successful.

Because all those people become my cheerleaders.

That WANT me to succeed and they help me do it by lending encouragement, volunteering to help at shows, sharing my posts online to reach a greater audience, and even keeping my little shop top of mind when they need to purchase a gift.

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This is Celine. AKA the complete stranger-turned-friend who offered to help run my Campy table at an Etsy show last year. Total cheerleader.

My life hack advice?

Get yourself some cheerleaders.

I can be your first.

 

xo Em

 

PS. BDay party in TONIGHT from 5pm to 9pm in the shop! Come spin to win a free gift or discount on ALL products in the shop. Every guest also gets a FREE "Handmade Cheerleader" tote and can enjoy our DIY cupcake bar!