What next for Mr B’s Button Jamboree?

Buttons on wooden table

Initially I started this blog because I was starting my own little business up (see my very 1st post ‘And so it begins….’!).  At the time I had big dreams of creative enjoyment and success, expanding from my simple button earrings into more elaborate pieces as my business took off and I became more confident.  The blog was to follow this journey and yet instead it became a reflection of how things stalled and stopped.

My plan was to start small and as sales grew, so would my range and my ability. However a year after opening my Etsy store Mr B’s Button Jamboree, I realised that I had stopped developing and growing.  Yes I had added a few new things like my hemp bracelets, felt brooches and fabric buttons, when I looked at my range though I could see that I had not reached the potential I had hoped to.

So what was behind this stagnation and lack of progress in my plans?  One reason is that very word – ‘plans’.  I spent so much time reading and planning, drawing up new plans all the time, constantly changing things. Too much time.  Hours were invested working out social media, SEO keywords, listings, business plans….and not making or experimenting with new products.  I sabotaged myself.  I feared failing and people thinking my button jewellery was rubbish.  So I over-planned, trying to be the most prepared I could be and drew back from pushing myself to try making new products because I was afraid of not being good enough.

Things then became more complicated as I took on work preparing photos for our microstock portfolio..  This is incredibly time consuming yet something so important if we are to achieve our plans of mobile working. I have since also started writing freelance for blogs.  This does not leave much time for my button business and the combination of it all leaves my brain somewhat frazzled and exhausted.

Setting up my little business has not been without its positives though and when I remember to stop and take stock of these, I am grateful for what it has bought me. Without it I am not sure I would be here now talking to you. Not only did it introduce me to the world of blogging, it has given me a community of friends and support on Instagram (why not pop over and say hello!) that has made so much difference to little old introverted, solitary me. My confidence is still shaky and yet it has also grown. I have learnt the joy and comfort of sharing my thoughts and feelings with others…and that there are some truly awesome cats out there!

@buttonjamboree Mr B's Button Jamboree Instagram

My favourite Instagram photos from 2016

So where does this leave me and Mr B’s Button Jamboree? To be truthful, I am not quite sure. I am not quite ready to say goodbye to it and still want to get more creative with what I make.  Whether it fits in to how my life is going is a different matter.  Whatever happens though I am glad that I tried it…it has given me confidence, bought me friends and taught me valuable lessons.  Watch this space for what happens next I suppose!

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52 Week Dogwood Challenge

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Over recent years I have found myself exploring my artistic side more and more.  It has always been there yet I think I pushed it aside thinking that it was not something for someone like me, I was supposed to have a sensible career where I achieved many great things.  Seems so silly to me now looking back on it.  Struggles with illness, anxiety and depression lead me to explore who I was and to find things to occupy my overworked little mind.  I started trying out many things of a creative and artistic nature and this is where Mr B’s Button Jamboree came from as well as new found hobbies such as knitting and sewing.  Photography had always been something I had enjoyed doing, though it was mostly point and shot photography of quite a typical nature.  Over the last few years though I have been developing more of a sense of the style and type of photography I really enjoy doing as well as making tentative steps away from the automatic settings on my camera!  Here is a small selection of some of the many thousand that I took on our travels…

 

Phillip aka Colobus Yeti (check out his blog!) bought the 52 Week Dogwood Challenge to my attention.  It is designed to challenge and develop photography skills both technical and creative.  Despite my misgivings over the fact that about one third of the weeks focus on people photography – an area I really am not keen on, give me inanimate objects any day of the year – I have decided to go for it.  Developing my photography was on my list I drew up in the New Year mentioned in my post on 7th Jan and so this seems such a thing to help drive me on to do so.  Is quite tough putting my photographs out there for people to see, hopefully the experience will help me to develop as a person too.  So here goes…my entry for week 1 in the 52 week challenge was…

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