Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who is This Crazy Woman?!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011Now that I have some more people reading this blog, I thought I should let you get to know me a little better.  Also, There is an Ultimate Blog Party going on that made this the perfect time for this kind of post.

I used to be so cute!
I'm originally a small town girl who grew up on the Oregon coast (although I was born in California).  My little hometown of Bandon has gone through a lot of ups and downs over time and is currently in an upswing with the development of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.   Cranberries are a big part of the community and one of my biggest disappointments was not getting to be a Cranberry Princess....

Anyway....I was a bit of a smarty pants in school, so I started college at Oregon State University and thought I knew what I was doing.  Several changed majors, bad decisions, the pressure of managing freedom, and the realization that I couldn't breeze through college work the same way I did high school work lead me to move to Utah.  Here in Utah I met this amazing Navajo guy and we ended up getting married and staying here to raise our family.  

Two sons and 23 years of marriage later, I think I might actually be a grownup now.  Our sons are both adults, but my job as Mama certainly isn't done (surprise!). I did finally graduate college - 23 years later - in a completely different major (Business Management) from Utah Valley University. 

Broken foot hardware
Crazy, unexpected developments happened over the last couple of years to bring me to this semi-public life.  Hubby's loss of full-time job, the plummeting of the economy, me totaling our truck and breaking my foot, etc., etc., etc. (sigh)  It was time to put my fears aside and try starting our own business.

According to my hubby, my hobby is collecting hobbies. I can't help myself - I love learning new things! Between the two of us, we knew we could make some interesting items to sell and Etsy provided a great way to sell our stuff easily and without crazy expenses.  We had done a few live sale events in the past and hated paying for space only to sell little or nothing in addition to being a total waste of our time.  Etsy was a perfect fit and we started coming up with items to fill our shop. Our combined skills cover beading, Native American arts and crafts, graphic design, glass etching, vinyl and paper cutting, tatting, crochet, and sewing.

Over the past sixteen months, I went from reading a blog or two to reading/browsing around 400. I entered the world of Twitter and become absolutely addicted.  I've learned so many great things about selling online, marketing, public relations, social networking, and more.  This blog is my creative outlet and a way to help others interested in or struggling through selling online. My goal for the near future is to offer services to other Etsy sellers since I know how hard it is to get started.  In addition to designing Etsy shop graphics, I will be offering shop reviews/analysis and Etsy shop management services.
This whole process would definitely be easier if I wasn't juggling the blog and the Etsy business while also holding down a full-time day job and doing some tutoring on the side.  I am the Development Coordinator for Heritage Schools, Inc., a nonprofit residential treatment center for at-risk youth.  (Huh?) That means I write grant proposals, manage fundraising, and get to do a bunch of other fun things as well.  I design odds and ends of things for company events and marketing opportunities, manage Heritage's website and blog, handle our Twitter account, and coordinate a variety of things for our students' musical theater productions.  Fortunately, the things I do at Heritage have developed some of the skills I use for Native and Pilgrim (my business) and working hard to market my business has helped me generate new ideas for Heritage. Funny story - my second boss at Heritage actually discouraged me from trying to develop a better online presence for the company because "regular people aren't going to want to spend as much time on the computer as you do, Karen." HA!!

Hmm...what else?  Hubby is Navajo. I'm descended from Pilgrims, pioneers, and other immigrants (totally white). We love going to powwows.  Dislike the trend toward not disciplining children.  Beagles are the best dogs and Diet Coke is the most heavenly drink. Love camping, but can't handle much sun (I sunburn easily and get SO sick). Hubby is an athlete and I am a klutz. He's a school teacher and I wish I was, but he prefers middle and high school kids where I like elementary school aged kiddos.  Still love my 80s music and still battle shyness. Even though I'm not a girly girl (confused by makeup and fashion), I'm dying to be a princess (can someone just let me wear a tiara already?). I'm a horrible cook and about the only time I really clean is if I can kick everyone out of the house (I hate an audience).  Despite my shyness, I can actually talk your ear off and I love public speaking (could be due to my bipolar). I sure hope I haven't scared anyone away now...

As long as I'm sharing - my most embarrassing pic!

My favorite pic!

Both of these photos show me and my youngest son.  One is from a performance we did at Sundance Resort (by a cool campfire) and the other is from a neighborhood party for his high school graduation.  He is dressed in his Navajo best and I'm not sure at all what I thought was so funny...

1 mad comments:

Love In Everything said...

Thanks for this post! It's so nice to learn more about you.

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