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24 Feb '14

Reflections on Owning a Small Business, Part 2

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Behind the Scenes
first international order


I'm thankful for each one of our customers. It's always exciting to ship out orders of our well-crafted, fun products...and then later, hear back how well received they were!

Less than a year ago I wasn't sure how I would manage running a business. Eight months before launching Brimful, my family began our homeschooling adventure. I knew it was insane to homeschool and start a business. Friends and family told me I was insane!  How in the world would our family manage? I'm still learning to manage and adjust, but so far it's been very rewarding. This is what I have discovered: 

1) Drop the superwoman ideal. I have no doubt she's out there, but I'm not her.

2) My husband is golden. He was the one who encouraged me to embrace this opportunity. Having his support in school and work means we work together to make sure our family stays balanced in all our undertakings. 

3) Having a kick-ass business partner is the way to go. I can imagine running a business by myself, it isn't pretty! 

4) Homeschool hours are holy. Prior to launching Brimful I marked in red set weekday school hours. During this time I'm unavailable to work and only focus on the children and school. (I do cheat now and then to take a peek at texts/emails rolling in or to fulfill an order during break time). The boundary between school and work has given me peace. I'm giving my best to my children. When school is finished I can focus on business tasks with a good conscience. 

5) Night owls can't rise early. The weekends (not week nights!) are made for starting/completing larger projects - use them wisely! 

I might take multiple breaks during a photo shoot to let a certain little one take their own pictures, give my opinion on a new rainbow-loom design, and remove lego parts from mentioned photo shoot. But that's ok. :)

As we near 6 months in business, Annie and I continue to be excited about what's ahead. Did you know that Brimful just went international? We now ship to all European countries as well as Canada and Mexico. We are grateful and thrilled by each new customer that comes our way and supports the shop. Thank you.