My Creative Business Journey

My Creative Business Journey

Today and I want to talk business. Specifically about my creative business Olivia + Ruby and the footprint I want it to leave and the impact that I want it to have in the world going forward. To do this I first need to talk about how I got here.

I launched O+R in 2015 when I started making my own bath and body products. Before that I was making hats, fascinators, and some jewelry under the brand Ruby Naturals on Etsy. I picked the name because the focus of that brand was hats and hair accessories which were a big need for me after going natural. For those who may not be familiar with the phrase it means that I stopped getting my hair chemically straightened. Later on I started designing t-shirts and opened a second Spreadshirt shop just for them. Because screen printing was not my area of expertise it made sense for me to partner with someone who was.

Tally = 1 brand + 1 Facebook page + 2 online stores + 1 email + 1 domain

About this same time I started the Memphis Etsy Team and started producing craft shows and popup shops. Later on I created a brand for my collective endeavors called Indie Style Market which later became Modern Handmade Memphis and now Modern Made Memphis. With this idea came more social media profiles and more emails to manage.

Tally = 2 brands + 1 website/blog + 2 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 3 emails + 2 domains

As with many creative people, my vision and products tend to expand, refine themselves, and grow over time. This is what happened with Ruby Naturals as the accessories I enjoyed making changed to be more of a vintage look and feel. In 2015, I’d also been dabbling in making my own bath & body products so it made sense to develop a brand around this new vision for the business. I re-branded my Etsy shop from Ruby Naturals to Olivia & Ruby. Since the tshirts were not on Etsy I kept all the old assets.

Tally = 3 brands + 1 website/blog + 3 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 4 emails + 3 domains

All the while this was going on I decided to also create a brand for my graphic & website design business which I call Great Idea Girl.

Tally = 4 brands + 2 website/blog + 4 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 4 emails + 3 domains

Added to this tally, I’m the webmaster for the fellowship of churches that my local church is a part of. It does get challenging at times but I kinda see this as my reasonable service seeing that it it God who has blessed me with the ability to do everything that I can do. He has loaned me a tiny bit of the creative genius that He is and I want to use it to benefit His kingdom where I can.

Tally = 5 brands + 3 website/blog + 3 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 5 emails + 4 domains

In 2017 I started a personal blog which is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It was called FabFiftyLife in honor of my upcoming 50th birthday. I renamed this to FabFaithLife this year.

My childhood dream was to be a fashion designer and I’ve ‘dabbled’ in it off and on my entire life. In 2018 I designed a mini-collection based around some fabrics I designed and I was a finalist for Memphis Fashion Week. Of course, I had to create a new brand for this – Plenttiful.

About this same time I put all the brands on Instagram which remains my favorite social media platform to this day.

Tally = 7 brands + 5 website/blog + 5 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 7 emails + 6 domains + 5 Instagram profiles

This year I jumped in the the world of video launching a You Tube channel to go with the blog.

Tally = 7 brands + 5 website/blog + 5 Facebook Pages + 1 Facebook Group + 2 online stores + 7 emails + 6 domains + 5 Instagram profiles + 1 You Tube Channel

By now you see where this is going. If you talk to any mentor/coach they will tell one of the first strategies for success is to focus on one thing. I agree with them. At the same time, the bible does say in Ecclesiastes 11:2 (NIV), “Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” The idea here is that diversifying your investments is a hedge against any disastrous event.

I still agree that having multiple streams of income is important for everyone these days. But I think I’ve taken this way to far mostly because I’m interested in sooo many things. I didn’t even mention that two newest brands that have been created but not officially launched yet.

Managing all this has become almost impossible so I’ve got to work smarter – not harder. The brand new O+R will officially launch on June 1st and it will feature an expanded selection of products. I will design ALL of them. Some of them I will make and for others I will rely on expert partners to produce.

The O+R brand has changed from an old world, vintage look and feel to a more vibrant, colorful, modern, and clean look and feel that aligns with the person behind the brand and my blog and You Tube channel.

Another driving force behind the changes are how I see the world. Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed that people seem to be angrier, meaner, less kind, and less nice.  There’s way too much meanness going on in how we relate to each other and far too little grace, humility, and humor.  Depending on your perspective there may be some really good reasons to be up-in-arms about life but I think this negative culture we’re seeing today will have some lasting impacts on us that we may not realize until years down the road. I want to be a positive voice and presence in the world countering the ugliness so prevalent today.

As with all entrepreneurs, who we are seeps into our business ventures and it’s no different with Olivia + Ruby. The idea that one person can be a positive impact on those I come in contact with has bled over into the products I design, the look and feel of the online store, and the way I communicate. I’m calling this new way of being and doing business The Ministry of Hope & Happiness. It fits well to what I – We are called to do as Christians and that’s to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in the middle of a ever-darkening world.

Thank your for this loooooong read. I would love to hear your thoughts, especially those from my fellow creative entrepreneurs.

Be Blessed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *