I’m always a little hesitant to share what I’m up to in my work life because I don’t want to give away too much or (more likely) put anyone to sleep. But since several of you asked for more insight on what I do on a daily basis and I’m feeling pretty excited about everything I have on my plate these days, here’s a peek at the projects I’m juggling right now…
1. I’m slowly but surely getting to the point where I can’t manage everything on my own anymore, which is both exciting and terrifying. On a given day, I’m getting a kajillion emails from customers, current vendors, prospective vendors, sales reps, and freelance artists and designers I’m working with, not to mention the PR pitches, sponsored post proposals, and reader questions for my blog. The customer service side of things alone can sometimes take several hours a day! I do my best not to beat myself up but I hate feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to manage everything and manage it well. I had two summer interns who were INCREDIBLE and showed me what was possible if I just freed up a few hours of my time to actually do the things I’m good at. The experience totally changed my perspective on running a business and taught me that investing in good people, while it can be daunting in the beginning, is worth the initial investment, like, 10,000 times over. I can’t wait until I’m able to build out a true Design Darling dream team!
2. You guys have been loving the artist pop-up shops we’ve done this summer and so I’m lining up a few more in the months to come. It’s been super cool to see you incorporating original art in your homes right next to prints we carry year-round. Keep those Instagrams coming! Right now you can shop Anne Harwell McElhaney’s beautiful acrylics and watercolors. I’ve been a fan of hers for several years now and just can’t get enough of her Palm Beach-y aesthetic. This palm tree is my favorite!
3. For the past year (at least), I have had approximately 382,672 product design ideas and roughly 0.2 seconds in the day to do anything about them. But rest assured that is about to change! I am so excited to show you what I’m cooking up and I’m extremely hopeful that everything will resonate with you so I can bring you more accessories and decor that you can find only at Design Darling! I basically live for the feeling of getting a new project off the ground so I’m excited about taking these first baby steps in the direction I’ve always dreamed of.
4. Reordering and restocking inventory post-birthday sale. Not glamorous but, hey, I’m keeping it real!
5. Replacing my debit cards what feels like every 5 days because some jerk in Salt Lake City thought it would be cute to steal my card number and ring up $2,800 at Harley Davidson. #onbrand #keepitclassy
6. Contemplating office space / shipping solutions. This is not an easy decision for any small business owner and particularly tricky given the cost and space constraints of New York in particular. I’ve really decided to table office space for a few more months (how long have I been saying this, really? ugh) in favor of investing in the products that keep you coming back to Design Darling and that I long to produce myself. Sometimes I feel totally illegitimate because I’m still (mostly) a one-woman show and working from home and other days I just remind myself I’m onto something good and all the photos of packing orders in a studio apartment will make for a great first chapter in a book someday…
7. Continuing to blog once a day because, at the end of the day, I really do love it and I’m a big believer that you have to fight to make time for the things you love.
8. “Getting ready” for fashion week, which for me means ordering a ton of cool clothes and pretending this is the year I’ll up my fashion week game… and then returning everything and sticking to the tried-and-true pieces I already have hanging in my closet. #toohonest?
9. Seeking extra time in the day (someone teach me to wake up at 5?!) to start eating lunch, cooking at home, making it to the gym, answering every tweet, sleeping enough to stop getting sick in the summer, and occasionally remembering to remove my chipped nail polish or, I don’t know, brush my hair. Oh and planning more trips because getting out of town makes me see things in a totally new light when I get home. In all seriousness, I’m totally revved up about where my business (and life in general!) is right now and I couldn’t be more stoked for everything I have in the works!!! Just being honest about the day-to-day ups and downs that are happening behind every obsessively styled Instagram. 😉 Please tell me there are other small business owners out there who feel the same way…!
This goes without saying at this point but thank you all for being part of this crazy journey! Your comments, emails, tweets, pins, purchases, and even just the silent support make my world go round day in and day out. Design Darling is a happier little corner of the Internet thanks to all of you. xx