Running your own Creative Business

It seems so ideal - working from home, setting your own hours, indulging in your creative side.  And while it is so rewarding - there are many things that aren't said about starting and running your own creative business.  In this post I'm going to run through a few pointers to anyone who is looking towards this alternative.

Folks, it's a lot of work. A TON of work.  From an outsider's perspective, I slap some paint on a piece, and sell it for big profit.  What an easy way to make money!

Not really so.  What's usually not taken into account is the amount of time and work that's involved.  This is what goes into my profit: scouring kijiji ads and auctions for pieces, bargaining down to the right price point, picking up the item, figuring out what to do with it, picking up the paint / hardware, painting it, climbing all over it while it cures in the kitchen for a week, photographing it, editing the photos, hauling it back into the garage, posting it on kijiji, pinterest, the blog, etsy, facebook... posting, and re-posting, and re-posting the ads, responding to myriads of e-mails to finally get someone to show up to view it, negotiating another price point, delivering it, then recording all the expenses and profits from the piece in my binder for taxes.

What is understated, is that running your own creative business is a lot of hard, nitty gritty work.  Another element to it, is that as much as you want to let your creative juices flow - you have to stick to what works.

 This is a piece I did this week.  I had it sold before I had finished it to a couple who have plans to convert it into a bathroom vanity.  I just counted, and this is my 11th teal buffet in this antique style that I've done.  It's pretty repetitive, but I have to do what sells. It's a business.  Teal buffets sell.  I need to generate an income.

Look familiar?  This is one of the very first teal buffets I did.  Amazing!

Today I spent the entire day at an auction in Elmira.  I'm so thankful my Mom loves my girls so much, and is so happy to watch them for a day here and there.  I was able to go with Mark, and we had a happy time, bidding against all the Mennonites and antique dealers.  I'm guessing the Mennonites don't have kijiji, since the bidding was going quite high on some of the items.  Luckily, I was just there for the old antiques, and they didn't seem too interested in those, so I got them for a pretty good price.

 We came home with the center hutch, and the sideboard on the right.  It's AWESOME.  It's so old, the casters on the bottom are wooden.  Wild!

On a very happy note, I have started my wardrobe.  I've decided to keep the colour a surprise, but I promise, you will not be disapointed.  We're in the current stage of letting the finish dry and crackle, so it's a little bothersome having it in our front entryway.  But every time I see it, I get a little tickle inside.  I just love it so much - it's so gorgeous!

This was the label on the inside.  All we could find on it online was that the company is out of business.  We couldn't find any other piece like it.  So it's pretty rare.

And finally.  This is a sign I painted this week.  When I worked in kid's camps, my cousin, who was a counselor, would take this hyper-active kid named Cody into her arms, and sing (completely off-tune) "You are my sunshine!!"  It calmed him down every time.  So this makes me smile.

Last Saturday I was a vendor at a fundraiser for human trafficking called "Priceless".  My friends and I spent a few nights painting these barnboard signs, and we sold them for $20 a piece.  We sold all but 4 - and raised a total of $600 for the event.  It was mad!  

This is Mark, taking care of the girls, while I scrambled around setting up the booth.

 Someone snapped these photos of Marika and I vending away.  Hannah was much more interested in watching me drink water!

Me with a sign

My parents adore our girls.  This was taken on my Dad's birthday, right before I left to go home.  Dad took out his guitar, and sang to them.  They were so happy to listen to the music during what is normally a fussier time - right before bedtime.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Well, that's all folks.  It's been a busy week - I've had 4 sales this week, which I am so thankful to God for.  It's been a busy one, but very rewarding.  Today I've been up since 5:30 with these munchkins, and I'm ready to join them in their sleep for the night!


  1. Wow. I didn't know all that went into it. I am so proud of you for sticking to it. I cant wait to feature you on my blog. Love ya!

  2. Jen, thank you SO much for your work! You're right, Priceless WAS mad - in a fantastic way. Thank you for your wonderful and generous contribution to helping us raise enough money to rescue 4-5 people from slavery!! What a blessing you are and my friends cannot stop talking about your work! It's beautiful and so well done! While it is a business and there may be lots of repetition, I thank God for the talent He has given you and for the joy you derive from it, because you sure bring so much joy to others through it. Keep up the excellent work!

  3. That last picture melts my heart!!! It needs to be framed =)