Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today is the Day

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"Today is the Day" poster by thebigharumph

"Nothing is worth more than this day." ~ Goethe

It's been an intense week. I feel like I want to jump headlong off the mental cliff. When I feel this way, I often tell myself now is the hardest time. If you have been reading for awhile, then you know that my business began exclusively handmade while I was teaching. Gradually, demand for my product has driven me into manufactured... first boots, then clothing. Now, I am working on a whole line of fall items: clothing for little girls, a few clothing pieces for women, and a full line of firm-soled shoes. In the interim, I also have an intern who works 25 hours a week {she is doing an amazing job}, and she and our staff make all our shoes via in-house fabrication. For those shoes, I often handle all the detail/finish work on the shoes personally {i.e. flowers, bows, etc.}

I used to idealize what it would be like to have manufactured product. Now I know all the demands, trouble shooting, emails, etc. that it requires. Over the past few weeks, just my manufacturing lines alone have needed full time attention. However, I also do the bulk of the order management, and currently answer 100% of the Joyfolie email volume. So, I am dealing with the handmade {now} and the manufacturing {future} and also doing all the things moms do... taking care of my kiddos, buying the groceries, cleaning the house, folding the laundry, etc. Robert picks up much of slack, and we eat out more than we eat in. Nonetheless, it is too much. I keep telling myself that it's hard now, but when I have more manufactured product in, I'll be able to hire full time staff. I won't have a personal hand in production any more. It will get easier.
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"Today" print by NejellaPhotoArt

You are probably starting to glaze over... because it's sort of boring and not many people care about the nitty gritty of my life/biz. But today, even though I am swamped, I felt like sharing it for two reasons.

First, if you have sent me an email, I'm sorry, as it is probably taking me a really long time to answer. Also, if your email is about a custom order {which I do not offer} or just a general comment, please understand that I might not be able to respond. I know, it sounds unappreciative, which breaks my heart. But especially for my kiddos, I need to draw as many boundaries with my business as I can. I could easily spend a few hours a day, explaining how we have very limited inventory, our items sell out immediately when listed, and due to the nature of the business, we don't offer different sizes/colors. In the end, I have decided that the best way to address this issue, rather than putting my energy into emails is channeling it towards future growth, so that I will be able to staff emails/general customer inquiries in the future.

Second, I realized that in my pursuit of tomorrow, I don't want to lose sight of today. Have you ever been in a place in your life where you were longing for tomorrow, whether is be for a new job, a better house, a different season? I think it's good to hope for tomorrow so long as we don't let it rob today of its joys. A few days ago I read this: "What is my vision of God's purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose for me is to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working towards a particular finish--His purpose is in the process itself." ~ Oswald Chambers

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"Today" photo by NumericDesign

It resonated with me. It's not that I am unhappy today, just too busy. I have let my health, my patience, and my god-given mandate for rest fall slack. I don't want to let interest in my product {flattering as it may be} drive the momentum of my life, especially while my kiddos are still so young. I really don't know what the solution is, but if I keep thinking, praying, and asking, I'll figure it out.

On a lighter note and in keeping with the theme of "today," I thought I would share this vinyl wall decal by Empressive Designs:
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I haven't forgotten about the women's giveaway, but it is falling behind some more pressing issues. I also have dozens of shoes piling up on the table in the studio: shiny gold shoes, Amry's, a version of the Novi's, and a new design of indigo blue shoes. It's our 10th anniversary this week, and Robert and I are going away for just a few days. This is part of what it throwing me into a tailspin. The end of the week, I'll post some times for the shoes mentioned.

Wishing you a lovely today wherever and however you spend it!

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I would also like to extend my personal thanks to those of you who have been patient with our company as we go through growing pains. Our staff is so small, that it only takes a bit of press or additional exposure to spike our sales to the point where we start running behind. I really care about my customers and the integrity of my business. It bothers me tremendously when this happens, and I am striving for ways to combat this issue. I am perpetually amazed at the kindness with which my customers respond to this problem; it is like a soothing balm to my anxiety and one of the biggest indicators that God's hand is on this small company!

17 comments:

Mande said...

So glad you are focusing on you Jessica. I think about you and pray about you often and wish you only the best in life. Hope you have a wonderful 10th Anniversary!! Congratulations to you both!!

Alisha said...

Praying for you Jess... It will get easier, I am sure of it. God gave you this business and He will lead and guide you. You are doing the right thing by putting Aidan and Mia first and I guarantee all the mommies out there will agree that family comes first.

Wishing you and Robert a wonderful 10 year anniversary... I hope you two have lovely time this weekend celebrating it.

p.s. love the quote you shared from Oswald Chambers.

Jessica Haley said...

Mande, I think about you, too, and pray of you. Our boys are similar, and often times Aidan is a lot harder to deal with than I let on. {I think you know what I mean.} It can be very challenging, not only b/c of the patience but also because I frequently feel seasoned with guilt that I get so frustrated with this child of mine (!!!)

Alisha, you are really a godsend to me. I appreciate your patience. It's funny... I was in the studio, sitting on the floor, with literally dozens of boxes around my feet, agonizing, and thinking, "what in the world am I doing?" Even in that moment, I felt like God was saying He was leading me to this place. I'm not saying I feel justified in being busy, but that I am headed in the right direction. Ss glad He brought us together!

Brianne-zam said...

Jessica,
I think you underestimate yourself. I believe that anyone who has come in contact with you and your company have instantly become very concerned about the "nitty gritty" of your life/biz. You are phenomenal as a person and in the beautiful product you have to share.
Thank you for sharing your frustrations and especially the inspiration you have found to keep on moving forward.
A man I believe to be a man of God, Pres. Thomas S Monson reminded us all to "find joy in the journey". That is something I strive to do each day and I believe that is exactly what you are trying to do too.
I am excited for you and your family. Happy 10th Anniversary, isn't it wonderful. I'm going on my 13th:-)
Happy Sunday
Briana J

Mande said...

Jessica- I do not know how you do it. I have a hard time keeping my day even somewhat organized, and you run this amazing business, as well as being a full time mom to your sweet kiddos. I am truly inspired by you. Our special and loving boys keep us on our toes. I try not to focus on the 500 times I ask him not to do something, but the 1 time he comes over to put his arms around me and say "love you so much". It makes the chocolate milk stain on the white carpet a little easier to look at. :) Keep your chin up. Alisha is so right, we are all here for you, and will continue to be. She is such a blessing and true friend. Thank you for all the friendships you have brought together by being you and having this blog, & this little dream of yours that became a reality.
Love & hugs to you!! xo

Meredith said...

It might be your clear-minded writing about your day to day in this post or it might be pregnancy hormones ;) but I'm all emotional (after laughing far too loud for 6AM at "Laundry today or naked tomorrow" lol!) HOWEVER thank you for writing entries like these as it gives us a window into Joyfolie that is beyond the sweet designs, pretty pretty fabrics and little romance of beautiful shoes for our children and makes us appreciate you so much more!
Enjoy your anniversary, enjoy your success - it must be hard to see it when you're in the middle of it but what you've built is so remarkable and it's been amazing and inspiring to watch you progress and grow!, your priorities are 100% correct and never feel that us fans who love your creations oh so much would ever begrudge you the time, responsibilities and love a family needs!
You rock! And if there's anything I can help with from Nova Scotia you just let me know ;)

Lisa said...

I haven't commented much on your blog, but have been following for quite some time now. I am reminded of the verses Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 where he talks about there being a season for everything and it sounds like you are in quite a season right now! I always take comfort in knowing that the seasons change and we do make it through - even when it seems like we won't ever see the end of the season. I just finished teaching a graduate level class for the first time (using material from the dark ages as a starting point, in other words, starting from scratch!), shortened the class from 10 weeks to 9 weeks, and had a baby 8 weeks prior to the class starting. I was busier than I ever thought possible and sleep deprived to boot. I look back now and have no idea how I did it! Actually, I do - it was by the grace of God that I survived intact and didn't go crazy! One of the best practical things I did for myself was hire a housekeeper - it was a little thing that turned out to be huge. Your shoes are beautiful and your plate is full, I pray you will find peace and a way to lighten your load.

Jenni said...

It has been so fun to watch you grow, I think I started following/buying from you when you just started getting "big"! You are doing an amazing job trying to find the balance in it all, I don't know how you do it, but you do, and I love how you are so honest with us and share your successes as well as your struggles with us too.

I hope that you and your hubby are able to enjoy a few days away with each other to celebrate your 10 years together! Congratulations!

Jackie Postnikoff said...

Taking some 'you' time, and a mental break is ulitimatly what makes us the best at what we do. I wish for you some light at the end of this....I can only imagine how demending it could be. Enjoy some time with your family and babies....before we know it, they will be grown and we'll wonder what we will do with all this free time.
xo

Megan said...

i think it is wonderful that you are able see the need for, and draw, boundry lines in your life. you are a very inspiring person and your blog is by far my favorite. you let people see the real you and in turn your readers feel comfortable giving that back to you. it's great to know that i am not the only mom with laundry issues and kids with odd behaviors ;) i obviously look forward to your fall line, but no one wants to know that their love for your shoes is causing you and your family unneccessary stress! so i will try to keep my obsession in check :) i hope your manufacturing goes smoothly and that life settles down for you soon. oh, and congratulations on 10 years of marriage!!!, we are celebrating our 6 years on the 7th of this month, time just flys by :)i hope you both enjoy your much needed get away... many prayers and good thoughts heading your way!

xoxoxo

Mrs Soup said...

You are so amazing, don't ever forget that! And also, keep the Today in your mind. So important.

I'd email you this offer, but I don't want it to get lost. I've been helping several bloggers/photographers get and keep their virtual communications organized and would love to help you. Being able to take even something simple like the repeat questions that you receive off of your plate will allow you to concentrate on what you love! Feel free to email me if you have any questions, I would love to help you out. mrssoup at gmail.

Karen said...

hugs to you! thank you so much for the encouragement! it is hard to run a successful business and it can be all-consuming, often at the sacrifice of our family and our walk. i can completely relate! i'm so inspired and rejuvenated as i hear other women who are making the choice to set boundaries to keep their focus on God and their families! He does have a purpose and great things in store for you and i pray that He will reveal them to you.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to wind the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

Windy Ridge said...

WOW! A clothing line too? YAY! You can do it!:)

Brittany Larsen said...

It is wonderful to explore your creativity and discover all the talents we have been blessed with. i think it is something we are supposed to do, but the balance with family responsibilites is hard to acheive! I know my sister Skye, who does a lot of photography, finds its very difficult. I am constantly helping her with household chores and tending the kids! Your ability to draw lines between buisness and family is also a talent i think - and sometimes it just comes from trial and error!

paigely said...

your post really struck a chord with me this evening... i've been struggling to enjoy this particular season of my life as well without yearning for the next too much.

prayers for continued guidance and peace to you. and patience. every mom needs an eternal reservoir of that!

Jessica Haley said...

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I put every moment I had into getting packages in the mail before we left, that I didn't check back in on these comments.

It's nice to hear your respective thoughts and backgrounds... how long you have been married and/or your thoughts on balance and seasons. It's such an interesting stage of life! I feel I constantly live in the flux/juxtaposition of wanting it to simultaneously speed up and slow down. I am sure you can relate.

To Mrs. Soup, I'm not sure what you have in mind, but I'll email you an inquiry in reference. I'm getting to emails now... although these days I drag my feet to answering them b/c they a little like laundry... I'm never caught up!

Lisa Bacon said...

Jessica,
I completely understand how hard it is to keep everything together and truly believe that you will find your balance. You have a great attitude and I know you will get there. :)

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