A simple statement that I said to myself the moment I first launched this website and my online shop is to keep it as art first and business second. With dreams of making this someday my full time career, most entrepreneurs would put business aspects at the top of the priority list. However, from day one, I knew it would be more beneficial for me to take the long way and focus on making art that connected to people first and foremost than to just try and make a profitable business out of it.
As a creative, I strive to create things that bring people joy. More specifically, somehow connecting people closer to nature, whether they already are fully immersed in it or just starting out, or potentially not at all. My goal is to speak to them through my work.
There are so many ways we can connect to nature, and what I discovered along this journey is how diverse everyone is to finding that connection. Some choose to explore on a bike, others hike, run, paddle or do it all. Some camp in tents, others trailers or RVs, and some have their own camps or cottages. There are those who connect most with wildlife, maybe a specific animal such as moose or bears. There is so much diversity, and I am happy to celebrate it.
What I love is hearing everyone’s stories. Whether it’s about a special place, or a trip they took, or maybe a memory. That stuff fires me up. Being able to create art for those reasons just make this so much more special.
I’d like to share a few words that people have expressed with me over the years.
These are just a handful of comments and reviews that I have received, and honestly I cannot believe that they are real. I am beyond grateful for them. My mission is to take pride in my work, make sure that the highest of quality is reached, and that the connection is special. The fact that my shop has over 100 reviews, and each one at this point is a 5/5 star rating is something I am truly blessed for. But I think the reason for it is because this isn’t about getting reviews, accumulating the highest sales or making the most money possible, rather it is about making art that connects with people.
It took me two and a half years to break a profit, and it was a very small amount of profit at that point. A year later, that profit more than tripled and continues to grow today. The business aspects of this whole endeavor are definitely more relevant today than ever before, as I start to transition this into a full time career. It is more important to me now to make sure that my needs are met, however I am still making sure that the art comes first, that whatever I create brings people joy, and connects them to what they love the most. That’s priceless to me. Being able to do that, yet being able to comfortably provide for myself at the same time is so incredible.
As I mentioned earlier, I took the long way around, and still am on that path. I learned an incredible lesson taking this way. It’s that the more difficult and less treaded paths in life are the ones that bring greater results, greater happiness and more fulfillment in the long run. However those paths are far from easy, have steep inclines, and are barely maintained. There’s no map, so getting lost is inevitable. There’s no end in sight for the majority of it. There are difficult emotions and setbacks including fear, discomfort and loneliness to name a few. These features are advertised at the beginning of these paths making them daunting to even think about going there. Despite the potential dangers, risks and difficulties, this journey can be accomplished with reason if taken at a slow but steady pace. The adrenaline is much higher. The sense of feeling alive comes more often. The quality of everything is that much more greater, and I believe that translates directly into my work, my passions and my creativity. Along with remaining thankful for each and every little or big step in my journey, and whether that step takes me forwards or backwards, this path less traveled is where I thrive and love to be. Going against the current at times is difficult, but after so many years of putting myself into these situations, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It’s where my dreams come true, and I couldn’t be happier than that. It definitely is not butterflies and roses all the time, but I have grown to appreciate them more every chance I get to.
Thank you for reading along. I hope you have a wonderful day! If you’re faced with a certain difficult situation, remember to take it slow, and carefully you can make it through the challenge at hand.