The Enchanted Type Story: 2016 Highlights

And so 2016 comes to a close, and we welcome a fresh and shiny New Year. One of my favorite parts of the New Year is taking a moment to reflect on the previous year's accomplishments (here are my highlights from 2015). I find it so helpful when planning my next steps forward. So without further ado, here are the highlights of 2016 for Enchanted Type!

450 customers in 9 countries

Launched first physical products

Sold at my first craft show

Total of 12 craft shows this year

Enchanted Type craft show booth setup

Community Growth

I am truly so excited for what the future holds for Enchanted Type in 2017, and a big part of that is because of all the amazing people I met or that supported me this year. Thank you to each and every one of you for an incredible 2016!

Making Dreams a Reality in 2016

Goal setting for the new year is overwhelming. You read about why it's so important, and see all these other people you admire creating perfect, awesome goals. And I really do like the planning & goal-setting part of running my business. Despite my best intentions, the last two years have lacked focus in achieving what I set out to accomplish at the beginning of each year.

So on January 1st, I started outlining exactly what I wanted to accomplish, making sure my goals were S.M.A.R.T. (that's Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based for those unfamiliar). But every time I started to write this post, I found a reason to change my goals. I was paralyzed by fear of not making the "perfect" goal. I was suffering from:

Shiny Object Syndrome.

Wow, her calligraphy is so beautiful! I should devote a goal to just practicing my handwriting!

Geez, look how successful she's been selling X! I should add a similar product to my offerings!

OMG she has so many Etsy sales! Maybe I should be focusing my energy on XYZ...

You get the idea.

To help avoid Shiny Object Syndrome (also in the same family as FOMO-Fear Of Missing Out), I have outlined my goals, printed, and posted them directly behind my monitor so I look at them every single day. I went a step further, thanks to a tip from Heart Love Always, and outlined the first 3 steps for each goal, along with a completion date. These are the goals that are important to me and my dreams for Enchanted Type. I don't want to be distracted by the dreams of someone else when it could take away from my own dreams.

To add further accountability, I'm excited/nervous to share them all with you, my biggest fans!

Enchanted Type 2016 Goals

Show at 3+ Craft Fairs

This has been something that has always intimidated me. After quietly attending several shows in the last year, I'm ready to take the leap and apply for my first show! I'm hoping to show at a few of my favorite craft shows in the spring, then have a strong showing for the 2016 Holiday Season. Applications are starting to open, so this is already in action!

Start selling physical products + expand product line

You can't show at a craft fair with digital products! Again, I've been intimidated to tackle California sales taxes and managing inventory. But with all the experience I have working in retail plus mastering Excel in the corporate world, this is really a no-brainer.

I am happy to announce that I have ordered my first shipment of product from my fabulous printer in Santa Clara, and will be adding it soon to my shop! Several other pieces of the puzzle also fell into place recently, so this dream will become a reality very soon.

Establish Daily Schedule with workout & creative time

I have avoided following a "schedule" like the plague since the first day I became my own boss. After being told when I had to show up and clock out everyday, I relished in the freedom of setting my own schedule. But that's just the problem. I didn't set a schedule.

So while I've been accomplishing many of my business goals, things like working out and fitting in time to be creative have fallen through the cracks. And it's all catching up with me.

This goal is all about baby steps right now, including waking up at the same time and fitting in at least 5,000 steps every day. From there I hope to establish blocks of time to complete certain tasks like accounting as well as creative time.

Reach 700 sales on Etsy

My definition of "making it" on Etsy would be reaching 1,000 sales. While I originally made that my goal for 2016, but husband gracefully brought me off my cloud down to a more realistic number based on historical growth (I'm all about statistics, in case you were wondering). This also lines up with my financial goals for my business in 2016.

Add 200 products on Etsy

Part of this goal is about achieving my sales goal, but it's also to get my butt in gear with adding new products regularly to my shop. I'm notorious for having a great idea, sometimes even designing it, then never adding it to my shop. Case in point: this design, created in May 2015 for the Disneyland 24 Hour Party, added to my shop in January 2016. Oy.

To be fair, I did add the design to my  RedBubble shop  in May... so I could order our shirts...

To be fair, I did add the design to my RedBubble shop in May... so I could order our shirts...

I created a production schedule to go along with this goal, but I won't bore you with the details. Just expect lots of new seasonal products, as well as several new collections throughout the year!

Grow community of peers & followers

Finally, one of the main reasons I want to start showing at craft fairs is to see all your smiling faces! I miss helping people picking out products they love, which I got to do on a daily basis during my Paper Source/Nordstrom retail days. I hope to start interacting more with you, my lovely followers, so I can help you and get to know you more!

Plus, I realized how much I thrive by growing relationships with other small business owners. I plan to continue connecting with the amazing people I've met in my first year in California, as well as grow my network by attending my first ever conference, Craftcation, in April!!

Now that I'm thoroughly organized and amped for 2016, it's time to make these dreams a reality! Stay tuned for news about my first craft show (fingers crossed) and physical products coming to the Etsy Shop!

What dreams are you planning to make a reality in 2016?

The Enchanted Type Story: 2015 Highlights

2015 is coming to an end... but before we jump into the new year, let's look back at all the adventures from the last year. And 2015 was a big year for Enchanted Type! Not only did I launch several new collections, but I also rebranded to become Enchanted Type. Here's a quick recap of my highlights from 2015!

59 customers in 4 different countries

Enchanted Type Customer Locations in 2015

New collections launched

New brand & website launched on October 26, 2015

Are you the Enchanted Type?

Blog readers from 46 countries

Enchanted Type Wordpress Blog Readers in 2015

Thank you for being a part of the Enchanted Type story in 2015. I can't wait to share what I have in store for 2016!

Launch Date + Q3 2015 Goals

There's been so much going on behind-the-scenes over here that I missed the beginning of the Third Quarter! But goal setting is super important to me; I couldn't let this post pass by. I also have some exciting news about this week at the bottom of the post! Third Quarter Goal Setting for small business

Before I jump in, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my Second Wedding Anniversary with husband. We have been so, so busy since moving to California last October that we haven't been able to celebrate much together. When you are both in a place of building your careers, it can be hard to be there for each other all the time. Combined with constant travel (business and otherwise), we are both ready to slow things down and focus on building our lives together in our new home. That's why one of my goals is to spend more time together (instead of giving in to my nocturnal habits...).

So today, in the midst of a huge week for my business, we are taking time to try the Alfresco Tasting Terrace at Disney California Adventure. It's one place neither of us have been, and I can't wait to experience it together. You can read more about our very Disney wedding anniversary last year here. Happy Anniversary to my adventure partner, I can't wait to see what the future holds!

2nd Quarter Goals:

  • Add 10 new products to my Etsy shop every month This goal was wildly off-base. I never want to be known for throwing out content just to put out content. Quality over quantity will always be an important value of mine. However, with the time I've taken to develop the latest collection, I anticipate future collections moving through production more quickly! I'm really excited to get more designs up in the Etsy shop, but I'm changing this goal to be more realistic with my other priorities.
  • Be intentional with social media & promotions Yes! I've spent a lot of time the last few months developing my voice and style on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find me on Facebook interacting in several Groups, and on Pinterest contributing to a few group boards. These are secondary outlets right now; I really love the connections I'm making on Instagram and Twitter!
  • Watch one CreativeLive course or other webinar a month I still love doing this, it reminds me to stay a part of a community for support. I've been spending more time on Periscope (@elainalynn) watching live streams from some of my favorite ladypreneurs.
  • Visit Disneyland every week Close! I held myself to a standard of grace, not perfection on this one last quarter with the high volume of travel and out-of-town visitors we hosted! I'm excited that this quarter will be a little quieter in terms of travel, and find myself craving a trip to the parks once a week again.
  • Create engaging content for my blog every week Yes! Things were a bit lighter in the end of May/June time period than I would have liked, but I made the most of celebrating the Disneyland 24 Hour Party and enjoying our summer travel and guests. As I get more and more clear on how I can best serve you awesome Dreamers, I'm coming up with lots of exciting ideas for new content!

3rd Quarter Goals

  • Create one complete collection every month
  • Be intentional with social media & promotions
  • Participate in online communities like CreativeLive, Periscope or other webinars
  • Visit Disneyland every week
  • Create engaging content for my blog every week
  • Adjust schedule to coordinate with my co-worker (aka husband!)

What you can expect in Quarter 3 from Elaina Lynn Design:

  • More Disney-inspired mood boards My obsession with Disney theming is deep. I love finding these details throughout the parks and tying them together with a compatible color scheme. I use these boards when developing a new collection. I hope you have been getting inspired as well!
  • More free downloads available to Adventure Club members In case you missed it, the August newsletter just went out with the Disney Day Planner, plus a special version to keep track of FastPass+ reservations at Walt Disney World! I have lots more exciting ideas for free content coming soon that you won't want to miss. Newsletters go out once a month with links to free downloads, coupon codes for the Etsy store and exclusive sneak peeks of new designs! Click here to join the adventure.
  • Themed Printable Party Kits Complete with invitations, thank you notes, and easy ways to tie in the theme throughout the party. I'll be sharing some tutorials here on the blog on how to use the collections to decorate any type of party.

Printable Party Kit Launch Date

In fact, I am excited to announce today the official launch date of the first collection, inspired by The Little Mermaid! Check back this Thursday, August 6th, for the first printable party kit debut! There may be some exclusive content going out... so make sure to join the celebration!

Go After What You Want + Q2 2015 Goals

One of my favorite parts about being a solopreneur is that when I see something that isn't working, I can change it. This drove me crazy when I was working for corporations because I have a knack for seeing the big picture and finding processes that are detrimental to their success. It's not so easy to see the big picture for your own business and admit that something isn't working, especially when the decisions were made by yourself. But the fear of never growing and not reaching my goals is far too great to risk hurting my feelings.

I want Elaina Lynn Design to be known for enchanting designs & inspiration. To get there, I need to make tough decisions about what to share on the blog, create cohesive collections for my Etsy shop, and help my target audience find my brand.

If you don't ask, the answer's always no

There's lots of moving parts behind-the-scenes right now that are affecting my perspective on goal setting for the quarter ahead. I'm finally getting a handle on what I want Elaina Lynn Design to look like, and I've started asking for what I want. With that said, it's time to evaluate my first quarter goals to see how they align with my current reality.

1st Quarter Goals:

  • Add 10 new products to my Etsy shop every month March was a bit weak due to lots of family visits. Time to dig in and keep creating quality content!
  • Watch one CreativeLive course or other webinar a month I've learned so much about organizing my business, branding, accounting and beyond. I'm always super fired up after participating in a live class. Definitely a great use of my time!
  • Visit one new place a month (restaurant, beach, city) For some people, exploring new restaurants and cities makes them come alive. Apparently I'm not one of those people. I love my routines, and finding my favorite places to visit over and over again (ahem Disneyland).
  • Practice painting & hand lettering once a week (check out Pen & Peplum’s page for this awesome weekly project!) Again, I would love to be a hand letterer, but I've realized I like to admire other people's work more than create my own. For now, I have other interests and passions that I'd rather devote my time to.
  • Go to Disneyland once a week There are so many special events and changes happening for the 60th Anniversary that every trip has felt so different! Special thanks to my family for wanting to go to Disneyland whenever they are in town/have time. Those trips are my favorites.
  • Blog at least every Thursday I plan to keep blogging once a week, but it's time to stop creating repetitive content every Thursday, just because I vowed to blog every Thursday.

2nd Quarter Goals:

  • Add 10 new products to my Etsy shop every month
  • Be intentional with social media & promotions Don't worry, you can still find daily pug pictures on my alternate Instagram account @cmpuglife
  • Watch one CreativeLive course or other webinar a month
  • Visit Disneyland every week
  • Create engaging content for my blog every week

While evaluating my business metrics for the last quarter, I realized the content I was spending the most time on wasn't the most popular. I thought having an ongoing blog series was important, but I wasn't creating content that was important.

To break it down simply, Thursday Thoughts will no longer be an "every week" thing. I will share some awesome quotes as they seem relevant, but I will no longer create them when I have other more relevant content to share with you.

Awesome content you can expect in the next few months includes:

I'm very excited for the months ahead on Elaina Lynn Design, and I hope you'll join me along the way.

P.S. I found this article on Huffington Post while researching for this post and found it super relatable (especially the part about learning from your dogs...)