Simple Illusions, a small business, created from my imagination after spinal injuries grounded me. A discovery of passion, that turned into marketing. A journey, that turned a handicap into a purpose. This is my story…
It was beautiful ,September day 2011, we stopped at a local retailer, and I a slipped and fell. Two sprained ankles, and what was thought to be spinal strains, was later diagnosed as 7 herniated discs. My neck was straightened where it should be curved. Then, the nerve damage yielding numbness of my left arm and hand, sciatica down my right leg, migraines beyond belief, and worsened asthma symptoms, all from the injuries. Pain and discouragement is such an understatement. Once active and now grounded, what’s a gal to do? I found a hobby; I began creating jewelry. With no formal training I discovered a passion and turned it into a business. After all life isn’t about what happens to you but how you react to it.
Simple Illusions is a small business of handcrafted jewelry and vintage jewelry finds; it’s a diamond in the rough. It was a discovery of talent and passion in the midst of a debilitating injury. Meant only as a hobby, my small business was a $100 investment. My bargain boutique was built upon little to no cost sites, such as Etsy, madeitmyself.com, ShopHandmade.com, a Facebook page, a web page by Intuit, a product showcase by Weebly, and a small business listing by Manta. Simple Illusions is an ecommerce shop to eliminate the cost of retail space so, my “store” costs are only that of craft amp; jewelry show booths. Knowing that I should keep this voyage within a small budget as I was sailing into unfamiliar waters.
This was my venture alone, and through the pain and tears I did it. The story goes somewhat similar to what a spine specialist in Austin has to go through to achieve success in his field. As you can see there are images of my work on this page; I had to teach myself how to photo shoot which has been pretty hit or miss. I, also, had to learn to create and use different websites which yielded frustration. My designs came to me fairly easy but, the skill and execution took practice.Still I have no training in jewelry making nor photography, no business classes, no advertising experience, nor web design. I do, however, have the power of determination, and with that I’ve paved each step of the way. Though the road to perfection seems miles away it has already become profitable.
I would have to say that I was pretty “fly by night” just blindly going with a vision; having no real plan, directive, resources, or mentor. However, I would suggest to anyone that wanted to start their own small business to do something that you are passionate about. Without passion you won’t have a healthy attitude and that will present itself in your venture. Determination and charisma, a can-do attitude, is first and foremost in your excursion. Research your niche; do you need certifications, equipment and supplies, funding? Structuring your small business will take a lot of time and effort so, be sure you are up to the challenge. A plan of action and organization are a must for success. Finding your customers and designing your products or services to meet their needs is another key factor. Then, there’s promotion; how will you advertise your business so that it may become profitable? These ideas can help equate a strong business plan. A strong business plan promotes a strong business, this I have learned.
Simple Illusions has been a pilgrimage of trial and error; a journey of overcoming. For my small business this is, only, but the beginning, just as my healing.