I started Handcrafted by Heather in February of 2010 after Graham (our youngest son) was born. I was able to stay home with him and be there for Emmah when she got off the bus – I loved this! But there was way more month at the end of the money so Jeremy (my husband, aka Hubs, Hubby, biggest kid in our house) and I decided it was time for me to go back to work. NOTE: I cringed and cried and threw a huge hissy fit before I gave into the idea of going back to work. I wanted to be home. But, alas…
While I was home for those 6 months I started dreaming of owning my own crafting business – I was heavily into scrapbooking at the time and wanted to do something with that. Up until that point, I hadn’t even thought of making jewelry, although I did attend a super fun party where I learned how to make it. (ps. the gal that taught all of us ladies how to make jewelry that night in 2007 is my amazing, loving, giant-hearted and talented friend, Linda. She makes gorgeous jewelry and owns Loudee’s Jewelry! We are still close friends to this day + she has given so much of her time and knowledge to me for only hugs in return!)
I was back at work, doing my thing, not hating it but not madly in love with it either, and one day I’d just had enough of the corporate world, being disrespected and certainly unneeded. My kids needed me to be happy, doing something I love every day more than they needed me to be making money. So I quit. Please don’t think it was easy – I cried the whole way out of the store. I wasn’t just leaving the corporate world, I was leaving people I’d worked with and cherished for years. It was hard, but my heart needed that freedom.
It was probably the worst timing! We had a minivan with a $600 payment (YIKES!) and we were barely making it financially even with me working. Truth be told, I should’ve made a plan, dealt with the corporate bologna and stayed another 6 months or so. It wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.
I dove right into my business! I scoured the internet for tips, ideas, and information about how to start your own business. I got myself a DBA and a business tax code and started creating! It was very exciting!
Fast-forward a few years: Handcrafted by Heather wasn’t making a million dollars like I thought it would, and everyone that I loved, respected and cared about had been telling me to “go back to work”, “this little jewelry thing will never pay off”, “this kind of thing is for people that already have money and they do it on the side for fun.” I had nobody cheering me on. I felt defeated, helpless and alone. I think the only two people that kept pushing me forward were my late Grandpa (he owned his own carpentry business and my grandmother discouraged him from it – he made it successful anyway) whose spirit would fill me up and say “don’t ever give up! Keep going! You’re my granddaughter – you can do anything!” and Linda <3
Now, over 8 years later, my family, friends and past co-workers cheer me on, have faith in me and are proud of me for not giving up or giving in. The biggest naysayers are now my loudest cheerleaders. And in 2015, I let the biggest, best and brightest cheerleader into my business – God! I realize now He’s been there all along, but now I pray over each piece I design. What a difference it’s made in my work + income + customers!
I’m always dreaming up new stuff + creating new goodies! Check out my latest jewelry and home goods line at my Etsy shop!