The Roller Coaster Ride

First and foremost, HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!! Just in case someone hasn’t told you lately… You’re beautiful, you can do this, and you’re very much loved! 


Today is March 8th, 2019 - it is my 10-year dating anniversary with my fiancé (a whole decade!!!) and International Women’s Day! What a day to celebrate! My fiancé plays a huge role in Sweet Thangs and I like to think I’m a girl boss, so writing this post today is very fitting.

I wrote in my last blog about why I became a freelance designer, and the reason I started Sweet Thangs wasn’t much different; I followed my dream. I have always been passionate about what I do and knew that the entrepreneurial lifestyle was for me. I love being able to create anything and everything without someone telling me I can’t. I enjoy having autonomy over my schedule, working from wherever, and challenging myself each day with new projects. However, I’m going to be brutally honest with you all, starting a business is also terrifying and hard.

January 2018 is when I started planning for my business launch, and I focused on all the fun things first. I researched the market, made a business plan, and built a brand identity.  I had a blast branding, but coming up with the name of my business was a large task because I put a lot of pressure on myself to choose the perfect name. I wanted a name that had meaning - that way it didn’t only brand my business, but also tell the story behind it. I  spent a good month brainstorming for about an hour a day. One night I decided to take a break from brainstorming, to scroll social media, and realized my phone went missing (cue panic attack). I grabbed Andrew’s (my fiancé) phone and typed in my number. The name Sweet Thang appeared on his screen and that’s when I knew. Andrew has been calling me Sweet Thang for as long as I can remember (he’s a movie quoter), and I realized right then the name couldn’t fit my business more perfectly. Sweet Thangs was perfect because it has two important meanings behind the name. 

  1. It represents my life and the person who fully supports my dreams 

  2. It represents what this business is all about; the sweet thangs in life (love, celebrations, and home)

After coming up with the ideal name, I crafted the logo - a heart-semicolon.  A semicolon is used when you choose not to end your sentence, and today used to symbolize hope, survival and support. This heart-semicolon represents all of this, and to not stop doing the things you love. Three months in, and this was the high point of my business journey. Everything was finally falling into place and I was inspired and excited to get my business Online. Yet, sure enough, those feelings went on a roller coaster ride when making the business official.

To make your business official you (most likely) have to do the following:

  • Decide on your business structure (Sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, Cooperative)

  • Register your Business

  • Register for Federal and/or State tax IDs

  • Get a permit and/or obtain a Business License

  • Look into trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc.

  • Apply for a business bank account

Making my business official was the lowest, most confusing, and difficult part of my journey. I did this all on my own, and learning everything took a couple of months. My suggestion? Hire an expert to do it for you. Use your expertise in your business and let others help you with theirs. 

Now let’s talk taxes. This is another boring, but important part of a business. I have been self-employed for a while now, and I have always done my own taxes with the help of QuickBooks Self-Employed. This is sponsored content, but I wouldn’t share it with you if I didn’t believe in the product. If you are a freelancer or are self employed, I highly recommend using it for book keeping and taxes. It has always been and still is my go-to. Check it out here if you’re interested. If you end up using it, let me know how you like it!

Finally, after more than 8 months of research, branding, and making my business official, my website went live! Now, almost six months in the business, I’m still on that rollercoaster ride. It’s not easy and I’m still learning so much, but with every low there’s always a high. 

Below are things I wish I would’ve done differently, things I’m working on now, and daily thoughts for your amusement.


THINGS I REGRET

  • Rushing into things (waste of money!!!)

    • Bought my website at my high point in March, didn’t use it until September

    • Bought all this stuff I was told to get, haven’t used yet

  • Research. Research. Research. (Do this, but not too much)

    • Save the tax and business stuff for the experts - find someone you trust, it’ll save you so much time and stress

    • Researched the heck out of what I was going to make instead of just making!

  • Comparing myself to Others

    • Followers does not equal customers.

    • Everyone starts somewhere - trust yourself and your talents.

THINGS I’M WORKING ON NOW

  • Pricing

    • Not charging enough to help people out. As much as I’d love to keep doing this, I can’t make a living off of it.

  • Taking time for myself

    • It’s OK to eat lunch or not answer emails after 6pm

    • Discovering new creative outlets

DAILY THOUGHTS

  • I have to pay how much for that? I need a part time job.

  • Those invitations are so much prettier than mine. My designs are crap. I suck. Oh my gosh, I got it. It’s stunning! I’m amazing! 

  • This printer is stupid and never works. I LOVE you printer, you are the best! 

  • People can be so mean. People are so sweet!

  • I have so much to do. I’m just going to look at my list of things while I stretch for a few minutes. Maybe I’ll just clean the apartment instead.

Starting your business is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you get stuck, which is scary and a waste of money, but mostly it’s exhilarating, fun, and worth every penny!

xoxo,
KB


Kelsey Brosseau
Inspired by Kelsey

Hi! Welcome to my very first blog post!

I’m Kelsey, a 24-year-old, from Chicago, Illinois. I’m the Founder and Creative Director of Sweet Thangs; and, now, the voice behind this blog. 

Starting a blog is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I could never decide on the type of blog I wanted to create. Truth is, choosing one creative path has always been a battle for me. When I graduated college I decided my dream job would be in a hybrid role, as an art director and strategist, in an advertising agency. Boy was I disappointed when I realized that position didn’t entirely exist, and I found myself forced to choose between working as a designer or creative strategist. What did I choose? Not to work at an advertising agency at all. I wasn’t able to make the decision because choosing just one didn’t fulfill my passion. Instead, I became a freelance designer who was open to any project thrown my way. Two years later, I’ve created digital and painted wall art for homes, invitations for just about any event, the strategy behind corporate campaigns, flyers for local bars, identity branding for startups, social material for non-profits, banners for events, clothing items for teams, and so much more. I’ve also designed events, planned a wedding, and used my photography skills here and there. I have been so lucky and I honestly can’t put into words how rewarding each project is.

Everything I work on keeps my creative stems growing because I learn something new with each process I endeavor. Sometimes I gain new knowledge on a printing technique and other times I learn something wonderful about the person or event behind the project. Regardless of what I learn, I learn something, and that’s what I love most. Being able to experience so many different outlets inspires me to not only become a better designer, but to become a better version of myself. I wouldn’t have some of these experiences if I hadn’t followed my heart, so that is exactly what I hope this blog does for you.

I hope it teaches you something new, inspires you, and pushes you to follow your heart.

My biggest advice, and motto in life, is love what you do. Not everything will be smooth sailing; things will go wrong and you will have doubts… but when you have passion about something you’ll have all the strength and desire you’ll need to be successful. 

I’m so excited to share my life and inspirations with you! Below you’ll learn more about me and the topics I’ll post about most often. 

Wellness:
The only way to feel great on the outside is if you feel great on the inside. I have Celiac Disease, Barrett’s Esophagus, and consistent Migraines, so I’m always trying new things to feel my best. These posts will be focused on the mind and body - I’ll also share workouts, vitamins/products, diets, stress relieving tips and much more… maybe even some beauty tips.

Relationships:
My fiancé and I started dating when I was 14 years old - we literally went through life together. (This Friday will be our 10 year anniversary!!!) I believe in love and everything that comes with it, so these posts will be focused on date nights, gifts, moving in/living together, engagements, weddings, and anything else focused on relationships!

Fashion/Style:
I’m 5ft and half an inch tall (5’1’’ at the doctors sometimes!), no chest (in my opinion), and a straight waist. Trying on clothes in a dressing room looks like I’m a child playing dress up in my mom’s clothes - the struggle is real. Hopefully these posts will help all my petite gals out! I’ll also post cute accessories, sales, and home decor, because why not? (:

Holiday and Occasions: 
I love holidays and all other occasions (trust me, you’ll notice). I’m the person who goes all out with decorations and food, even if it’s just for my fiancé and I.  These blog posts will consist of decorations, food & drink recipes, games/festive ideas (elf on the shelf!!), and anything else to get you in the spirit! 

Sweet Thangs:
Basically all things related to my business, and my perfectionist/OCD personality. Tips and tricks, DIY, new items, weddings, lefty-lettering, starting a business, freelancing, taxes, office organization, people who inspire me, etc.

I hope you enjoy following my blog!  Let me know if there’s a post you would like to see!

xoxo,
KB

Kelsey Brosseau