In November and December, Thread and Wanderlust hosted a fundraising campaign to support public education through proceeds from holiday sales. Having been a public school teacher for several years, owner/founder Erika, continues to remain active in supporting public education through volunteer work, fundraising, and raising awareness.
We appreciate the support of our customers in helping us raise over $250 (with a $250 match through AT&T) for this campaign. Yesterday, we made the $500 donation directly to a 3rd grade classroom in San Francisco, CA to help cover the cost of an overnight nature field trip.
Ms. Han, the dedicated teacher of this classroom, is trying to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of this field trip so that families can send their children without the financial burden of the cost to attend. At the time of this blog post, she is still $2,600 away from her $5,000 goal.
Here's how you can help make this field trip a reality for 22 students:
1) Visit Growing Environmental Literacy in Nature's Classroom
3) Use Code "LIFTOFF" (for donations up to $50) or "ATTTHANKS" (for donations up to $1,000) at checkout to get a FREE DONATION MATCH to double your donation automatically. Codes are valid until 12/30/16.
If you chip in to help her classroom, you'll get photos from the classroom and thank-you notes to see the impact you made.
I hope you'll join Thread and Wanderlust and our campaign to support this classroom. Please pass this along to anyone you know who may want to help out!
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Gandhi
Community and philanthropy are values that were instilled in me at a young age by my parents. As a result, I spent all of my 20's working first in the non-profit sector, and then became a public school teacher. Now that I have my own small business, my passion for service has led me to continue to find ways to give back and serve my community through my business. This month, Thread and Wanderlust is happy to donate items for La Casa de las Madres's Red Hot Party Silent Auction held on October 20, 2016:
In November, I look forward to continuing the giving spirit of the season. A percentage of all sales made in November will support a cause directly related to education. Stay tuned for more details!
La Casa de Las Madres is an organization based on San Francisco, whose mission is to end domestic violence.
Wow! One year ago today, I officially launched my own business - Thread and Wanderlust. I can still remember the anticipation, the excitement, the wondering of how the world will respond. Will this be my biggest mistake or my biggest achievement?
I've been thinking for the past week about what to write in reflection of the past year, and didn't have any definitive answers, so here I am writing at 8am on the morning of, whatever comes to mind. Sure, I can spew out the total numbers of sales made, how many followers T&W has on its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, the total e-newsletter subscribers I have, how many pop-up events I've done, and the list goes on. Yes, numbers often are a metric of success in the business world. To me, making the decision to persist each day in spite of your doubts and fears when it can be easier to call it quits, is a daily accomplishment in itself.
Have I thought about quitting? Yes, many, many times. Starting your own business is HARD WORK - blood, sweat, tears, and an often thankless job. I did not anticipate long nights sewing until 2 or 3am the last holiday season, I did not anticipate months where I wonder if I will sell enough inventory to pay the next bill, I did not anticipate crying in frustrating not knowing why I was working so hard and not seeing results. I did not anticipate the loneliness I'd feel as a single-employee business, without anyone to bounce ideas off of, without a manager to give you an evaluation on your progress, without anyone to tell you you're doing a great job as a boss, or not. Learning to motivate myself to get up each day and create is still something I struggle with. There were many moments that I got pretty down on myself, thinking it was the biggest mistake of my life quitting a steady full-time job. Starting a business is like being on an emotional roller coaster that you can't quite decide whether to get off of or not.
The Importance of Gratitude
Some consider one year short, some consider one year a long period of time. I guess it depends how you want to spend your time. I've definitely had more negative days than positive days the past year, and it was starting to affecting my creativity, my motivation level, my emotional state of mind and well-being. 7 months into starting my biz, I knew I needed a change or I wouldn't last much longer as a business owner. A good friend gave me a beautiful journal as a gift, with a cover that read "Something beautiful is on the horizon." (Thank you, Grace!) I knew I needed a way to keep my thoughts positive so that I can be productive and creative. I've heard about gratitude journals before, so that's what I decided to do with this journal. I wrote down my little moments of success - a reminder to myself to focus on the positives, celebrate even the small wins, and be grateful of how far I've come.
Celebrate the Small Wins
I'd like to share some of my wins with you from my journal, big and small:
Once in awhile, when Negative Nancy comes back into my head, I open this journal and read what I've written to get myself back on track, and shift my perspective. I'm still learning to make it a habit, but the way you perceive and react to less-than-ideal situations can truly make or break you.
Things I've Learned in My First Year as an Entrepreneur
Here are some truths that I've learned in my first year as a business owner (many I'm still working on):
Here are some additional great tips for success from small business owners:
Small Business Owners Share Their #1 Secret to Success
As you can see, I have a real problem with being concise, especially when I blog. I always intend to keep it short and sweet, but for an introvert who is highly sensitive and emotional, writing is a outlet for me. So if you've made it this far in the blog post, I want to thank you. Thank you for caring what I have to say. Thank you for clicking on this post and taking time to read it. So with that, I will end with...
Things I Am Grateful for As a Business Owner
On the 2nd day of my launch, last year, I wrote a Facebook post saying, "Success is a being able to relay your passion, efforts, and joy for what you do and effectively enabling others to feel all of the same emotions as if they were a part of the process." There is no sense of motivation stronger than feeling like others believe in you, believe in your journey, and want you to succeed as much as you do.
THANK YOU for being a part of Thread and Wanderlust's first year. It certainly was one of the biggest life lessons I've ever learned, and I look forward to many more lessons, challenges, and accomplishments to come, wherever this adventure takes me. Adventure is always waiting. Be brave.
P.S. I would love to hear your comments. Please leave me a line with your thoughts on what it means to you to be successful, how to keep pushing on when times get tough, or just anything that comes to mind after reading this post!
Spend the love, and don't forget to click "Like" below!
I love to watch Creative Live videos or listen to podcasts like Lewis Howes's "The School of Greatness" whenever I sew. For those who are familiar with the sewing machine know it can oftentimes be a repetitive, mundane activity when you spend hours watching the needle go up and down. Somehow, I feel more productive and focused when my brain is actively learning while I sew. As a former teacher, it's no surprise that life-long learning is a huge value of mine. I'm always looking for inspiration and guidance in self-improvement that will positively impact my entrepreneurial or personal life.
At this moment, I am watching "Build a Stand-Out Business" by Tara Gentile on Creative Live (which has excellent courses on topics from money management to photography to business success). I love watching Tara Gentile's courses because she is a persuasive speaker, tells it like it is without fluff, and motivates me to challenge myself as an entrepreneur.
One of her assignments on this episode is to identify your top 2 Fascination Languages that make you most compelling or persuasive to the world. I've done quizzes and extensive readings on personality tests like Myer-Briggs and Strengths Finder, but Fascination Languages was completely new to me. Developed by Sally Hogshead, it is a personality test that according to their website, is "the first personality test that measures how others perceive you at your best. Make a better first impression, with your most influential traits."
Prior to taking the quiz, I took a guess at what my primary fascination language is (my guess was Passion). However, after taking the quiz, I had different result, which made a lot more sense and seemed obvious after the fact. Apparently, I didn't understand my own strengths as well as I thought haha.
Here were my results:
Image via How to Fascinate
Turns out my Primary Fascination Language is Trust, and my secondary fascination language is Prestige, and the intersection of these 2 traits make my personality archetype a "Diplomat."
Click here to see the 49 Personality Archetypes Matrix.
Images via How to Fascinate
What will this mean for my business and personal brand? It means that now that I know what others perceive as my strengths, I can continue to leverage trust and prestige to build a brand that my customers will value as much as I do, while continuing to offer the level of dependable, quality service that my customers deserve.
You can read more about the Fascination Languages here and take the free 28-question personality test:
I'd love to hear your fascination language results, and your thoughts on them. Please share in the comments below!
Ahh, I can't believe we are just TWO days away from the SFEtsy Spring Indie Emporium!
A pop-up market show-casing SFEtsy team members and other makers to promote buying local. FREE for all ages to attend!
Over 65 vendors who make, design and sell their own original products or handmade supplies will have a pop-up booth at this event, including Thread and Wanderlust! There will be snack and food vendors as well.
All Good Pizza - 1605 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
Sunday, May 22nd – 11am to 5pm
Over 2.5k people have already RSVP'd as attending. Spread the word on Facebook!
Facebook Event: SFEtsy Spring Indie Emporium Pop-Up Market
Why am I so excited about this event?
It is a huge honor to be accepted into this event, thanks to the SFEtsy team. Most importantly, I get the chance to see and meet you all in person! I've also been working on a few new items that will be released exclusively at the show first. This means that some of these new items aren't available for purchase online yet. So if you want to get your hands on my new products, come stop by Thread and Wanderlust's booth this Sunday, 5/22!
See you there!
Congrats to the winner of our Mother's Day Giveaway, Jenny C. from Pleasanton, CA!
2 weeks prior to Mother's Day, we partnered up with some awesome businesses to offer our fans a chance to win this amazing Mother's Day bundle gift!
Thread and Wanderlust - $35 gift card
Andy Jeung Photography - $100 towards a photoshoot
goumikids - mitts and boots bundle set
Tea Drops - one box of Rose Earl Grey Tea Drops
During the month of April, I held a fundraiser through Thread and Wanderlust to support a local San Francisco public school in funding new chairs for students. Some of you may know that I was a public school elementary teacher for 4 years prior to starting Thread and Wanderlust. The education world and all the educators, parents, and especially the children are still very near and dear to my heart. A percentage of every purchase made during the entire month of April was donated to Garfield Elementary in San Francisco. With the help of all my customers, I was able to raise over $150 to donate to the school. Hooray!