What I wish my friends/family/customers understood about my creative business.

I operate a small etsy shop, mostly making shirts.
  1. No one receives product until I have been paid. It isn't personal, well yes it is to my bank account.
    Even really great friends and people have overlooked paying me, so this is a good rule in general. It is like once they have what they want the focus moves on and I am forgotten. Then it feels weird for me to ask later.
  2. I don't want to press my design on your shirt. Would you ask the bakery to decorate the cake you baked?
    I think people try and save a few bucks, or maybe they just really like the fit of something, but I hate this question. It makes pricing harder for me as my shirt is factored in typically, and most of all if I screw up I can't replace it and move along like I can from my own supplier. Like special dietary needs to a baker, there may be a very small amount of times this is okay.
  3. Please don't send me other people's work and ask me to recreate.
    I want to create, not REcreate aka steal, copy, or just provide you a cheap replica. If you see a shirt you like, buy it. I know I know sometimes you just want to support your friend, I totally get that! I am ready to be my own person, and I would be sad for someone to take my ideas. I do not want to be a cheap one woman sweat shop.
  4. Before you ask me to design something, PLEASE make sure you really want it, and not just a passing thought.
    I have people ask me for a design, I spend an hour on it, and they occasionally don't even respond to the mock ups. My time is valuable to me and my family, even if not to you.
  5. Please know I genuinely love making things for you.
    I love the personal aspect of working on orders, and if I know the person I tend to think of them throughout the process. Meraki is real for me.
  6. Understand that you're supporting an individual, dreamer, maker, mom.
    Know your money may occasionally be used on frivolous things like Botox, but it also is used on things like camp, softball, and treats for my kids. It pays a student loan, a phone bill, or other needs too.
  7. Know that when you give my name or shop as a reference, it is the highest compliment.
    I have had amazing support from friends, and as my business continues to grow outside of my peers I am humbled that they were willing to trust me enough to share.
  8. Know that creating is like therapy for me.
    I am happier when I am making things, so thank you for supporting my mental health too. Well unless you're a pain, and then I assume there is a life lesson in it somewhere.