First off - Merry Christmas friends! Thank you for sticking around for another year, I'm so grateful for you! Today I'm excited to share some fun Christmas decorations with you all, but before we get to the pictures - I wanted to share a little recap of this past year.
2017 was so different from what I expected. I'm always thankful for my business, and the people who support it - but this year is special because it marks the second year in a row that I've DOUBLED my income. This is a little extra exciting, because this happened in spite of the fact that for close to four out of the 12 months of this past year, I was on modified bed rest during my pregnancy. I can't thank my amazing clients enough for sticking around, for my sweet sponsors at DecoArt, and for my husband for comforting me through the tough times and celebrating with me when things started looking up. And not to sound cocky, but I'm pretty proud of myself for making it through one of the hardest times in my life, hyperemesis is no joke folks.
It's not lost on me that I simultaneously had the worst year for my health and the best year for my business. In a weird way, being sick out of my mind forced me to realize that I can't do all of the things all of the time. In reality - I could do maybe one thing, but during that time on the couch, I could research the crap out of how to do that one thing better. Once my health started improving and thanks to the fact that adding and subtracting takes very little energy - I knew what parts of my business were making me the most money, so I finally knew where to focus. I'll be sharing a post on what I discovered from this research soon, and if you're an artist too I think you'll find it really helpful!
This was also the first year that I invested in people rather than supplies. This year I worked with an amazing graphic designer, Alex Cottles, of the Routine Creative, to help me with branding and a new logo. I hired a talented photographer, Rebekah Brunson, to document my work and to photograph the partner show I had at The Gallery at UNOS. And I continued to work with two of my favorite people - Amanda and Bryan, of BRK ReDesign - who sell my RVA prints in their gorgeous frames made from reclaimed wood.
In the spring I was promoted to Core Blogger for DecoArt, making me one of 16 contributing bloggers to their site. In the summer I gave a lecture for Google, Weebly and Square in Washington DC, hours after finding out I was pregnant - trying to keep that a secret from my parents as they hung out with me before the event began is up there in the top 10 hardest things I've ever done! My work was featured in multiple magazines; Richmond Bride, Richmond Magazine, and Virginia Bride. Alex and I teamed up to put together the Maker's Market show at the Hofheimer, then I sort of dropped off the face of the earth until the end of November when I was a vendor at the Artisan Market at Studio Two Three.
If you've seen any of my social media posts the last week - you may have seen that I had a pop up sale at my home on Thursday. It was way more successful than I expected and I'm so thankful for each of you who stopped by to take a look at my work, munch on some cookies, and buy some gifts for your loved ones. Below are some photos from the pop up!
Thanks for reading along and for supporting my work, this blog wouldn't exist without you! :)
December 31st is the LAST day to get 20% off original paintings and prints using code RTSTWENTY
In preparation for the pop up, I cleaned the house to an unrealistic degree. It lasted about 4 hours before it was a mess again.
Finger print portraits courtesy of my favorite Tucker Cookie :)
In the new year I'll be sharing a post on how I've begun my preparation for maternity leave, which is something that I've found very little information on but that I think needs to be addressed in the creative community. It'll cover ways to automate your business, where to spend the little time you do have, and how much to save before baby arrives. When you're a one-woman show and you're about to bring a human into the world that will need more attention than your business, it's easy to feel...how should I put this? Terrified? Overwhelmed? Stressed the eff out? So if you're in the same boat, or will be soon - I think you'll appreciate the info I've gathered!
In the meantime, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! :)
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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