Fears...we all have them. Whether they are rational or slightly irrational, there are things we all fear. Being a business owner and maker of products, I have lots of fears. I worry that my products won't be liked by my customers. I fear failing at my business. I have doubts and worries about taking the plunge and establishing a storefront. I am so afraid that if I open a store and it doesn't succeed, my business will suffer. All of these fears are unfounded. I have wonderful, supportive customers who love my products and are some of my biggest cheerleaders. On one hand, I know in my heart that having a storefront would only help extend my products to people who may not know about my company. On the other hand, what happens if the customers don't come?
So, what do you do to help face and overcome fears? Personally, I like to make a list of pros and cons. Writing out your fears and worries helps to externalize them so they are not stuck in your mind. It also helps you to look at the positives and weigh out your options. Let's break down one of my fears.
Opening a storefront
*broadening customer base
*becoming more involved with the community
*more potential sales
*forming relationships with more customers
*possibility of more wholesale clients as brand builds
*ability to increase our charitable donations
*being able to employ people in our community
*higher overhead costs
*potential of lower sales than projected
*potentially less time with my family due to obligations at the store front
*higher risk of theft and product damage
*keeping up with higher product production demands
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons. As I continue to think of other pros and cons (aka worries), I can add them to my list. At the end of the day, I can go back and look at these lists and help myself overcome the fears. If we don't try, we will never know the answer. Is there a chance we could fail? Most certainly! But what if we succeed? What if we go beyond our wildest dreams? What if it is so successful that we decide to open a second store in another area? What if it fails after a few months? What if...
"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."-Suzy Kassem
It's time to let go of our doubts and go for our dreams! Don't be afraid. There is another quote that I love and it's "if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life". I am doing what I love. You should too!
I encourage you to write down your dreams. After you write each one, write down the things that are holding you back from attempting them. After you have that list, write a list of all of the wonderful things that can happen if you succeed at your dream. Do the great things outweigh the things that are holding you back? What can you do to start implementing your dream? Write down steps you can take to start making your dream your reality. We can do anything we set our minds to. Failure is a stepping stone. From failures come self discovery. Every successful person has had many failures. The reason they are successful is because they learn from these failures and persevere. Surround yourself with people who can see your potential, who can help you facilitate your dream. Step away from the doubters and naysayers. Block out the negativity and go for it! Make short term and long term goals. Where do you want to be in a year? 5 years? 10 years? Plan it out. If you fail at something, at least you tried! Move on to another plan. Time will pass whether you are thinking about your dream or actually working on accomplishing it.
What are your dreams? Let's start a discussion and give each other advice on how to achieve them! If you would like to comment below, I'd love to help you brainstorm on how to make your dream a reality.
Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised with some props that a wonderful friend made for my new booth set up. We've been working hard to get things ready for the new booth set ups in the fall and part of it will be new hand washing stations. My husband has been fabricating a foot pedal operated sink system. We needed a couple of table tops built, which my husband didn't have the woodworking tools needed to make them. We enlisted the help of our friend, Mr. Larry, who also makes our beautiful soap dishes, to make the tabletop to hold the sink basin. The results are so far beyond my expectations, as always. He has a way of knowing just what to make and the results are always stunning. I can't wait for all of you to see these sink tops in person!
This evening I will be back in the soap shop, working on more soaps. Earlier today, we had a wonderful friend, who I met in December through the Louisiana Crafts Guild, come over with her little boy for a visit. We enjoyed talking and watching the kids play and swim. It was nice to take a break and visit. Not long after they left, some family stopped by for a little while to get help from my husband with a vehicle that needed to be looked at.
While I haven't gotten much accomplished business-wise so far today, it has been a great day because of the friendship and fellowship. Not everyday needs to be filled with non-stop work. I don't have to feel bad for taking time out of my schedule to have some downtime with friends and family, even in the middle of the week. I also managed to get a nap in this afternoon with my youngest after waking up at 1 am this morning and not being able to get back to sleep. It was nice to get some rest.
I've been researching some more products to add to our men's line to expand it and have more options for the fellas. I will be working on the men's products over the next few weeks and possibly asking for a few product testers (read Guinea pigs) to give us feedback. If you would like to be a product tester for our men's products and provide feedback please send us a message. I will be contacting the possible testers in the next few weeks.
If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would have a growing bath and body business, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. When I started this business, I was a stay-at-home mom with 4 little boys under the age of 7. We had the farm and the boys, but I decided to start up in early December 2013. I knew I wanted to do something to help supplement my husband’s income that allowed me to be home with the boys and still have time to homeschool and take care of all of the household and farm tasks. I knew that massage therapy would take me away from home so that was marked off the list. I started with what I knew best, making bath salts and lotion bars. The lotion bars became the hot ticket item for that Christmas season since they were nice looking, inexpensive gifts people could give to friends and coworkers without breaking the bank. I was still perfecting my soap recipe, so I didn’t even start selling cold process goat milk soap until the middle of 2014.
It’s amazing how much we’ve grown in such a short time. From starting off in my kitchen, to having not just 1, but 2 buildings at the house dedicated to the business, it has been a whirlwind adventure. It has truly become a family affair with my husband helping in the soap shop and building displays, while the boys help make bath bombs, package and label. We even recruited my husband’s aunt and her daughter who are helping with wrapping soaps so I can concentrate on creating more products.
It has been quite the adventure for us. We are chasing our dream of opening our own store, hopefully before the holiday season, and trying to spread our products far and wide. I went into this with a hope to make a few extra dollars and it has turned into a goal to be able to support our family with this business. We want to be able to expand our farm and for my husband to be here to take care of things instead of being offshore and in a constant state of worry if he will be laid off. It is such a huge jump we are hoping to make with a storefront, but we both believe it will be a wonderful success.
My goal is, and always has been, to provide quality handcrafted bath and body products at a price everyone could afford. We have built our business around having great customer service and treating every customer the same, whether you spend $1 or $1000. We appreciate every single one of our customers. We are humbled daily by all of you. We are blessed beyond measure. I am always so surprised when a new customer comes to us because of suggestion from one of you. Our business is strongly based on word of mouth for advertisement and y’all are doing a fabulous job of spreading the word! We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us. We are honored that you have come along for the ride! Thanks for being a part of our business and for the love and support you show us every day! Without you, we wouldn’t be Bain Amour!
We've come a long way since then!
As a stay-at-home mom of 4 young kids, I understand and know, first hand, how hard it is to make time for yourself. There are days when being able to go to the bathroom alone feels like a mini-vacation! We push ourselves to get things done-cleaning, cooking, shopping, keeping the kids alive...it can take a toll on even the most "together" mom. Taking time to recharge should be a top priority. I know how hard it is to put yourself first because I'm also guilty of not taking enough time for myself. Here's the catch, if we don't do these things for ourselves, we can't be our best for our families.
Guilt is one of the reasons a lot of people, moms especially, don't take the time to do things for themselves. You may feel like you are being selfish, and that's okay. You need to be selfish sometimes. If you continually take on more than you can handle without taking a break, the consequences can be horrible. The stress will catch up to you and you will find yourself feeling very overwhelmed. You may start getting extra snippy with your children or spouse. A sense of resentment may start to build inside you, which is never a good thing. We have all heard about the moms that snapped and harmed their children. We all know that they had to have had a mental breakdown to harm their precious children. So what can you do to protect yourself from this happening to you? Make time for yourself a priority! Whether it is 20 minutes in the morning of prayer and meditation or making a monthly appointment to get a massage or pedicure, it is never a waste of time or money to do something to boost your mental health.
Massage is one of my favorite ways to recharge and I will be the first to admit that I don't do it nearly enough. Massage has many health benefits from helping relieve pain to helping combat depression and anxiety. If you are planning to get a massage, make sure the therapist has had training and is licensed. Massage is wonderful for the body, but can cause harm if performed by someone who is not trained in massage therapy. If you decide to go for massage, be very open with your therapist about what you are wanting to achieve with the massage. Don't be afraid to speak up if the therapist is using too much pressure or not enough pressure. Communication is key to having a pleasurable massage and your body getting the most benefit from it. If something is painful, speak up. You won't offend the therapist, I promise. As a massage therapist myself, we are here to help you. If we are hurting you, it is not helpful as it cause you to tense up more. There will be times of discomfort in some modalities of massage, such as deep tissue, when trying to get a muscle to release, but there shouldn't be unbearable (or nearly unbearable) pain.
Another idea is to take time at the end of each day for yourself. One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to get my kids to bed and take a long relaxing bath. When I take a bath, it is for the purpose of relaxing. I line the backside of my tub with lit candles, put a bath bomb or bath salts in the tub for aromatherapy, and just relax. I like to find some calming music on pandora and just soak for a while. It is my way of recharging. You should make your bath into an oasis so you can allow yourself time to relax and unwind.
Whatever you decide to make your "me time" to be, try to be consistent. Be it having a weekly coffee date with a friend, nightly stretching and quiet time before bed, or getting a pedicure every few weeks, do not deny yourself of this precious time. Don't feel guilty for making your mental health needs a priority in your life. If will enhance not only your life, but the life of your family.
If you feel like your mental health is not what it needs to be, please contact a mental health practitioner. While the aforementioned ideas can help relieve anxiety, if you suffer from depression or other mental health issues, please seek out help. Don't be ashamed to admit if you feel like you don't have control of your mental health. Reach out to someone and ask for help. Below is a list of hotlines if you would like to speak to someone anonymously.
Good Samaritans Hotline 212-673-3000
Parental Stress Hotline 800-632-8188
Suicide prevention hotline 800-784-2433