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  • Kate Lentz

{Moving Ahead in 2022}

I swear I had planned on writing an EPIC end of the year wrap-up but as with most things...time got away from me. Could it already be January 4th in the new year? Yes. Yes it could.

2021 was a wild one. From abruptly quitting my job at the architectural firm, to starting a job at a funeral home, to immediately realizing that was a mistake and quitting via text on a Saturday afternoon, to opening my Etsy shop after dreaming about it for four years. Sales, dry spells, mistakes, victories, art shows....just so much.

In my mind, I made several "big moves" in 2021. None of it was easy, but it certainly felt...right. I think it was the year of "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING...BUT I AM DOING IT ANYWAY." Scared was a vibe. (My computer keeps insisting that "shitless" should actually be "shirtless" And you know what? That's a vibe, too.)

For 2022, I am trying to keep things simple; balanced. I feel like I've already jumped over the highest hurdles. I have made the mistakes and paved the way for a (hopefully) more smooth experience as an Etsy store owner. I don't anticipate a flawless year, but I certainly hope for a climb in sales and traffic. I created a business plan...of which I have no idea if it will work. But it's always good to write out something solid. The only *real* number I set for myself is to earn 50 Etsy sales this year. It's a small number, and I earned a little over 40 last year (July -- December) but I want to keep the numbers modest because of this next bit:

I got a new job.

Here's the truth: I had NEVER wanted Etsy to be a full time job...Not really, anyway. The idea of being my own boss and being able to support my family with creativity is dreamy, indeed. However, with the amount of online presence I have followed by my desired (lack of) effort to hustle, hustle, just didn't seem feasible. Don't get me wrong, I want to continue to grow on my socials, improve my filming and photography to showcase my products, and create a solid brand. But I don't know if this is something I could do full time, forever. One of the most important things I know about myself is that I require structure and purpose. The idea of creating art all day as a job is so romantic, but it's also so not real. Burn out is a thing. Depression is also a thing. Being away from NOT a thing I can sustain. Ideally, I could have done all of my Etsy work while holding down a full time job. And I do still stand by that. Unfortunately, I seem to have a lot of bad luck finding a full time job that doesn't suck away my soul from day to day.

So perhaps, maybe I'm onto something. I found a part time job that has an extremely set-in-stone schedule that honestly feels good to me. These are short shifts and fulfilling work. It allows me to be creative in my downtime because I won't be too exhausted when I get home. It also keeps my brain nice and juicy, which is something I've been craving. Yes, that makes me sound like a zombie. But really, that's how I've been the last few months. I have a lot of passions and hobbies, but if I don't have a set reason to get up in the morning, I won't. And I do not like that feeling. I need an assignment, a deadline, a place to be...people to be around and new things to learn. All of those things keep me in line, make me feel happy, and inspire me to continue my creative projects.

My first day was yesterday. I felt welcomed and warm. I am excited to go back later tonight. I am also excited to figure out a new kind of schedule that makes room for everything I love. That's truly all I've ever wanted. Yes, it would be so easy to list a bunch of resolutions on here and say THIS IS MY YEAR! But I'm not going to do that. I always have goals and ideas in mind, but for now, taking it one day at a time is exactly what I need to survive then thrive.

Anyway, PHEW this was a long rant. But I hope this mostly made sense. I do want to thank you, whoever you may be, for reading this. And possibly reading other posts as well. 2021 was the year I sold the most art EVER. It made me feel confident as an artist. It made me feel lost at times, but I was always able to come back to what I love. Cheers to a new year of creativity, sometimes laziness, and hopefully....BALANCE.

Happy New Year!

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