The Autumn Lane Story: Part 3
When Logos Sell
After our first logo sale, we had a handful of other sales — custom logos, pre-made logos, and even a few invitation sales. Everyone that purchased had some weird faith in us that we could do what they wanted. I’m fortunate that they took the leap of faith, and even more so that they felt I did a quality job enough to leave me glowing reviews on Etsy. On our fifth Etsy sale, we went international (Hi Clare!), and she’s been a returning client of ours. We sold our first branding package in less than two months after opening (Hi Mariana!). It was overwhelming that these people — these people just like me — were trusting me to design something amazeballs for their business. It was an honor, it was exciting, and so completely terrifying.
There were days that I got wound up and stressed out over having 5-6 orders open in Etsy. There were days that I got stressed out because clients didn’t reply to me immediately and I worried that they didn’t like what I sent them. I was legitimately freaking out over feeling stretched so thin with only a few orders. Fast forward to today: on any given day I have 200+ orders open and have to schedule my days so carefully to ensure that I’m not making people wait on *me* with my workload. I feel that I have reached Expert Level for time management. Every once in a while, I think back to how I sat at our dining room table with my super slow laptop that I made last YEARS past what it should have, complaining that I was worried about so-and-so client and how they hadn’t responded to me. I was also hugely concerned I had more than 5 orders open, and I was about to be SO busy that I couldn’t handle it, along with homework. I think back to that and realize that it was such a welcome “problem” to have — this new stress over actually having things to do that I was getting paid regularly for… crazy!
I finished school in December 2015, and somehow managed to juggle running the business and working for clients while earning my master’s degree. I’m eventually going to get it framed so it can sit along side my bachelor’s degree. I think back regularly to what it was like going to school one to two nights a week, writing paper after paper, and doing regular homework, and I’m not even sure how I pulled it off. I recall working on my bachelor’s degree as a single mom and still working with the Air Force, but this…this was just nuts. I’m not even sure how I fit it in!
Goodbye Invitations…Hello Brands for Creatives!
At some point, I abandoned invitations. I realized I was far more suited for the business world — logos and branding were my *thing* and I had the knowledge to back it up. I knew psychology, and I knew sociology, and I knew how leadership worked, and how to identify what the public wanted. I also knew what it felt like to be a brand-new business owner, or a business owner that was fighting to make it work. I had a lot invested in Autumn Lane Paperie. I still do. Making it work meant the difference between working at home, versus working out of the home. It meant being there for my kids, or not being physically there when they needed me. It meant whether or not the bills would be paid. Logos and business branding seemed to be what people found us for, and they trusted us — so, I went with it. I figured that my design skills coupled with my knowledge might actually work out.
What do you know…it’s still working out!