" THE ONLY WAY TO DO GREAT WORK IS TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO "
...So winter is over, and the off-season or how we call it here "Mud Season" starts. Which means that it is time for vacation, time for travel. It's my favorite time. I get 6-7 weeks off from work and usually we put everything in our two employee storage units and "Bon Voyage", we hit the road to some new destinations.
There is something magical about it, the freedom, the unknown adventure and exploring new horizons is my fuel to happiness. It is one of my biggest passions traveling the world, so at that time, I wasn't thinking my jewelry business to be my top priority. I was all about living in the moment. So I put my Etsy shop on vacation mode and enjoyed some unforgettable moments through my journeys in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines.
At the same time, I was able to clear my head and dream big. I was getting inspiration everywhere I went, new ideas, new materials and supplies from different countries and I was so motivated to get my business going as soon as I got back to the States. It's amazing how positivly charging a vacation can be.
We got back in Vail mid June, we rented a new place for the summer and moved in. I got back to full time working at the restaurant, full time making jewelry at home, and full time living my life. The biggest step I did was that I finally officially registered my business, Fast Love Designs was born July 16th, 2013. Whit no idea or experience I was researching everything online on how to register a business and I was hopping I was doing it right. To be honest, it was very intimidating for me not knowing anything, but hey if I did it, You can do it too. It's a very important step of the process of starting your own small business and as scary it is, it must be done if you are serious about it.
I ordered a lot more new supplies and materials and made a lot of new style bracelets and necklaces for the summers. The hardest part was getting sales online, it was just not happening. I would have some sales hear and there. Most of the orders came from friends and maybe one or two random sales, which was very hard to swallow. Here comes the sad part, to be honest with you, I had so many moments of just being crushed from my own disappointment, laying down on the floor crying and saying that I am giving up, that I can't do this, that noting is happening and had negative thoughts of what I was doing. I tried to go to one local store to see if they would like to sell my jewelry and of course they said NO, which was very discouraging for me to continue.
In these dark times of me giving up, I felt like a failure and that i was completely lost. But then, it just so happens that I have the most supporting boyfriend in the whole world, so in down moments like that, he was right there by my side to give me a hand and he would always say: "I would never let you give up. You can Do This, I believe in you". The love and courage he gave me and is continuing to give me through all this time has been my saver, my light, my love. Then I tried to shake off all the negative thoughts in my head and replace them with my happy, positive dreams, and get back to work.
Dream Big, know what you want and work hard for it, is my motivation. At the end of the summer I had my first ever lifestyle photo session for Fast Love. My photographer friend Daniel Milchev ( if you have a chance check out his work ) was behind the camera, I was the model and my boyfriend was in charge of the rest. The photos turned out great and I had materials to use as advertising, Instagram posts, thank you cards, and my new Facebook page that I had just created.
Summer was over, and the fall has just started. My designs changed a lot with the time and the experience I was building up. I learned to use only hight quality materials such a sterling silver instead of silver plated and gold filled instead of gold plated as well as semi precious gems and minerals. My expenses were more expensive due to the small quantity, but high quality. I needed to rase my prices but I was scared that no one would buy them, since most of my customers were friends and family. In two words I wasn't making any profit so far. I have to add something here, I was a very bad business girl, by means that I still didn't know anything about how to run and do business. So when I had to tell someone how much a necklace cost, I would always say: "Whatever you want to pay me". I was feeling bad for taking money for my work, which it doesn't really make sense, I know. Like I said, it's been an learning experience for me.
That fall I had my first custom order for 10 wrap bracelets for a store in Telluride and my first jewelry show. I was surprised how well it turned out to be. I had enough friends who came, they all bought something and we had a great time. I made some cash to buy more materials for the winter's collection. Overall I was still down with my money, I was investing more than I was making, but I tried to stay motivated, tried to have less meltdowns and to tell myself that one day this will be all worth it.
After that, the fall off season started and its a similar story. Yes, here in Vail we have two off seasons and pretty much I have 3 months of the year for vacation. We moved out of the apartment, put everything in storage, put my Etsy shop on vacation mode and it was time to travel again before the winter started. There is one thing you have to understand, I live my life for travels. Maybe thats one thing why it's taking so long for my business to grow and succeed, because I am putting in on hold so often, but I can't imagine myself not being able to travel the world. I am still figuring out how to manage it all: full time job, running a business, travel and personal life. But like I said before it's a journey of learning experiences.
We did a road trip to California and then flew to Hawaii. During the vacation I would mostly work on my social media, Instagram, and Facebook. I took pictures with my jewelry on the beach, and posted them every other day, I would follow people and hope to get more and more followers and more people to start knowing what Fast Love is.
The bottom line is, it's never easy. But having the passion and love for what you do is the key. It is human nature to have ups and downs, to do mistakes and fail, but that's the necessary steps of the path we choose. Thank you for reading and following my journey, I would love to hear your thoughts.
To Be Continuing.....
We are back!!!
It's been a long time since our last blog post, I know. There is no excuse, no matter what. I've been procrastinating this moment since December 2014, and I don't know why. After the last post about our trip to Morocco, we got busy with the holiday season, and my full time job at the restaurant consumed most of my time from December until April. Also, ( if you remember I got engaged ) planning my wedding was very overwhelming and as a result
It's been quite a while since my last post, and the reason was that I was traveling again. A week a go, we came back from our off season trip before the winter. This time went to Morocco and Amsterdam. For the first week we went to the coast in a small surfing town called Taghazout. We stayed at Surf Maroc in their Villa Taghazout and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Since lately I haven't been working much on my business ( due to traveling abroad, I will tell you later where ), in this blog post I want you to get to know the person behind Fast Love. Let me introduce myself: My name is Jana, some of you may already know I am from Bulgaria but I've lived for the most part in Vail, Colorado the last nine years and I am the designer and owner of Fast Love.