I've been dodging the questions!
Yes! I've been getting lots of questions from lots of people over the last few months asking when I'm getting in new merchandise. And I haven't answered. Partly because for a while I didn't know the answer and partly because I just wasn't sure how to describe what's been happening in my world. So here it goes, and please bare with me as I take you down this journey with me.
Those that know me usually describe me as "Creative". This was one of the reasons I left my job in the corporate world as a Project Manager. I couldn't be creative! I loved the list making aspect of a Project Manager and I loved the people part. For the most part, I was great at my job because of my interpersonal skills. But I just never felt fulfilled. I left with the idea that I would do something that allowed me to let my creative side out. I had no idea what that was or what it looked like. I love to draw, paint, build anything and I really enjoy woodworking lately as well.
I knew I wanted to do something online, but I had no idea what. I wanted more flexibility, more freedom. I took an online ecommerce class and saw others having some success selling clothing online. I decided to give it a shot and with the first few items I bought on a trip to L.A., I sold lots of them and I thought I was onto something.
Something was missing for me though. My business wasn't doing as well as I had hoped and I found myself grasping. Someone would say, "I think you should get these kind of - fill in the blanks", and I would do it, hoping that they were right and it would sell. But when you buy items because someone else tells you that you should, your heart isn't in it. I started feeling like I wasn't aligned with what my original purpose was and I found that I was feeling frustrated.
My favorite part of the business though was the people. The customers that would tell me how much they loved what they'd bought. It made me so happy to know they were happy with their purchases and that they felt comfortable and enjoyed wearing their pieces. I did have some success and I knew I had GOOD stuff! I still do!
Unfortunately, sales weren't as high as I had hoped they would be.
At the first of this year, I had a deadline in mind in which I would need to start looking for a job. As much as I loved being an entrepreneur, it just wasn't paying the bills and buying clothes for each season to keep up became a lot more than I could handle.
I began putting in applications for jobs that I didn't want with the thought that I would work and do my boutique on the side when I had time. Then....insert a pandemic. You guys, I was scared. Leaving my job was scary. Not being able to provide for my daughter and myself, THAT was SUPER SCARY. I quit buying anything new. I was truly at the point of freaking out.
Then a small miracle happened. You see, 2 days after I left my job in 2019, I took my youngest on a trip to Europe. It was my way of celebrating 21 years in my job as over and starting fresh. During that trip Kassie and I stayed at a hotel in Belgium and we found the decor there so delightful. A set of shelves hung in the entryway and Kassie noticed them and said, "mom, these are so cute. You could make those". I agreed with her and when we got back I came up with my own twist and desgin on the shelves and made a set. I didn't feel like they really went with my clothing/boutique items so I put a picture on Etsy to see if they got any sales. They didn't. I added them to my website finally hoping maybe to sell a couple. I didn't. Until the end of April this year. A full year since I had added them on Etsy in the first place. Not one sale and then suddenly April 29th, 2020 I started getting sales.
You guys, it wasn't just a couple. It was A LOT! I was getting 3 orders of shelves a day. These aren't super easy to create, so 3 orders a day was keeping me VERY busy. Every day I was cutting, sanding, staining and shipping. My parents even got involved as I had to use a heavy duty drill press for part of the process that my dad had at his place and since there was a bit of a shortage on rope, I had them on the watch for good rope for these. Those little shelves have carried me through.
They are still selling like hotcakes, in addition I've added some new twists to allow customers to customize and create beautiful shelves that fit their needs. And the most brilliant part of the whole thing was, it has allowed me to open myself up to being creative again. I find myself thinking up new products and new ideas all the time.
So everyone has been asking why I haven't done try-ons, where the clothes are? They're here! I just haven't had time to do the try-ons because on a typical day, I'm pony-tail up, covered in saw dust. And I've never felt more happy with what I'm doing.
All of that story leads me to the answer the other question I get a lot of, "What direction are you going for Rock This Out?". The answer is, I actually will be getting rid of a lot of our current styles.
We will continue to get new clothing and accessory items in, but I have made the decision to buy with a lot more intention in mind and only to buy things that are aligned with my vision for this little shop.
We will begin to shift more focus on our home decor items which will be filled with mostly hand-made items. Each piece made with LOTS of love!
I realized my end goal is still the same, the customers. Even with the shelves, I hope so much that my customers fall in love with them and are truly happy with their purchase and it makes them feel good. THAT is and always will be my purpose. To let you be YOU - the amazing person you are.
I want to thank you all for your amazing support and I hope you'll continue to stay tuned for all the new things coming in the next few months. I can't wait to share all the new items we'll have in the shop and I hope you'll find something you like both for you and your home.
Thanks for listening to my rambling story!
MUCH MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL!