Want to start from the beginning?  Here’s Part 1.

Back to the worst summer ever…

I was perusing Etsy one day and everytime I saw something cute I thought, “I could totally make that. ” {You guys do that too, right?!}  Keep in mind that this was pre-pinterest days so etsy was where you went to get ideas like that.

I had made a few things before and decided to try it.  Wanna see one of  my first creations?

I know.  My shop has changed quite a bit.  But at the time I was so excited that I jumped on etsy, picked out a premade banner and set up shop with about 5 items in it.  I will never forget clicking that button.   It was July 24th, 2010.  We had to run out the door right away and as we were driving to Josh’s parents house I just remember the feeling that I had just embarked on something bigger than I knew.  Hope was setting in.

Three days later, I made my first sale and over the course of that next week, I sold 3 more.  I certainly don’t think that’s always the case when you open a new shop (I mean, look at how blurry those pictures are!), but it was the clarity I needed to go in a new direction.

We crunched the numbers and came up with an amount I needed to sell each month in order for me to replace my part-time teaching pay.  I worked my tail off in August…researching, reading the etsy forums, learning how to take better pictures and write, tag, price and publish my items to get the best results.  It was trial and error, but a few weeks into August I took a leap of faith, emailed my boss and resigned.  We were doing this!

It’s 2 1/2 years later.  I’m past 1700 sales and close to 139,000 views to my shop.  I can honestly say that I’ve worked harder than I ever did at an outside-my-home job (I’m a really tough boss!).  There have been highs and lows, crazy seasons and dry seasons and I’m still learning a ton….but it has been THE best decision for me and my family.  I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled in a job before.

This journey has definitely not made us rich and it hasn’t saved us from feeling stretched financially at times.  My mother-in-law graciously watches my kids 2 days a week so I can get everything done and I always feel like there are a million things to do, but you know what?  I really love it.  I love the flexibility in my day and being with my kids.  I love being my own boss and making my own decisions.

And I love using my brain to create.  It’s what I was born to do.  So what’s next?

Welp.  I have some big dreams!  And this blog is part of it. I certainly feel the gap in my own life where I long for community and sounding boards and mentors in this business. A big dream of mine is to be able to provide a place for that here. I also feel the growing pains of getting to a place where I am at my personal capacity and it’s time to expand a bit….but I honestly don’t know how it will all play out.  Kinda exciting, huh?  Wanna come along for the ride? I would so LOVE to have you, friend!

I want to write much, much more on this subject so if you sell handmade goods or want to, I’d love to hear from you!  What questions or advice do you have?


Independent.  Doesn’t follow instructions.  Doesn’t like to be bossed around.   First born.  Likes bossing others around.

Hi. I’m Dana.  Nice to meet you.

The fact that I would want to own and run my own business shouldn’t surprise me, but it has.  In fact, this whole idea was really just born out of my desire to stay home with my kids.

I have a degree in music education and taught music for 5 years.  By 2010, my husband and I had 2 boys and our schedule suffered with all the commuting to childcare, work, church and home.  My week was so broken up, I never felt like we had a consistent day.  Bottom line?  I wanted to be home with my boys and be able to set our schedule so that it served us.

That summer, my husband and I experienced the hardest financial period of our marriage.  It felt so awful at the time.  My husband, also a teacher, always works during the summer at another job and it had fallen through.  Our van needed a new transmission and we had had 2 wrecks earlier that year.  Our summer savings was gone… and yet, in the midst of all our panic, I had the audacity to dream of being able to quit teaching and stay home.  I know.  Very logical.  I am a picture of practicality.

I still look back at that summer with a little bit of  ”did that really happen?”  I would love to never go through that again, but the way we watched God provide for us is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Money and help came from the craziest places and without us asking.  It showed us how much people loved and cared about us.  And how God can bring resources out the most unlikely places.

What does this have to do with my shop?  Stay tuned…but in the mean time, have you ever dared to dream for something in the most impossible of circumstances?  What was it?