Feeling the Love from the Best Clients Ever, They're the Reason I'm Still Here On This Beautiful Journey
The Journey. You just never know what is going to be waiting for you when you decide to start a business. That's probably the thrill factor of it all. The not knowing. The anticipation and excitement. The possibilities that await you. Obviously, you are faced with fears, as well, the fear of failure. The fear of rejection and ridicule. But the Dream, the dream is the best part. It's has a wonder-land affect. It's filled with so many days filled with dreams as you work hard to put yourself out there, build a reputation/name for yourself and there's an overwhelming abundance of a joyful pride.
As an artist, you are very vulnerable. You always worry, you always wonder "is it good enough, will they see my vision and will they understand my art?" But I am my own worse critic. I am harder on myself than anyone or any critic could ever be. I questioned myself during a project more than a teacher to a student during a quiz. But one question I always ask is "Am I truly happy with this piece?" And my other "Did I put my whole heart into this piece to achieve my vision? Is this really who I want to be as an artist?"
Once a piece is done; once it meets your sense of pride/passion and you see your vision full of life, you move onto the next process. The staging of pictures, capturing all its beauty in the right light, the right setting and with the right accessories. Which for me is always the hardest part. I am no photographer. So I struggle with this part a lot, I am learning and working on getting better though.
So, now I have the perfect picture (in my mindat least) and I am ready to share it with all to see. This is the Scariest part of all. This is where your heart is now on your sleeve for all to see and rip off (if they so choose); this is the part where you know that once you hit the Share button, that's it. It's really out there for everyone and anyone. And it's open to criticism, compliments, excitement emoji's and disappointment. It is a very Raw Emotional Moment for an artist. Many hide it well and may even be a little arrogant to say "I fear nothing". But trust me, it's there. And they feel it. We all do.
In a gallery with show openings and presenting your art; you were face to face with your audience and maybe some were more polite and kept negative comments to themselves (or not) but technology has made it a little easier in some ways by being able to hide behind the screen and wait to see. Wait to see if it is well received, is getting likes, shares and comments. Waiting for a compliment or recognition of any sorts. But it can also be a negative tool too; many will ridicule and insult and feel safe doing so from behind a computer. It is quite nerve wrecking, honestly. But at the same time it can also be very rewarding. Rewarding in the sense it gives you a space to grow, learn and digest all the good/bad.
When I first began this journey, I felt all of this. When I did my first showing, I was a basket case. I was nervous and scared but all it took was one person to enter my booth with a smile and my nerves were set aside and I was able to speak of my work with passion and excitement. I was able to allow myself to receive compliments with poise & gratitude; and corrective criticism/feedback without feeling rejected or insulted. I was realistic, I knew I wasn't going to please everyone with my art, craft and talent. I knew there would be some where it just wasn't their style or maybe they just didn't get my vision. But boy was I nervous about how I would handle it. Would that be what would scare me off? My first show was a mix of compliments and not so complimenting feedback but it was filled with a lot to take in, some lessons to learn and some pretty amazing people. With all the nerves, the ups & downs, the mistakes made and successes; it is still an absolute THRILL for me. I love it. I love my work and the people it brings into my life. I am Blessed.
From that very first moment, I knew where ever this journey took me it was already lining me up with some pretty amazing clients/customers. Ones that I could grow from, be challenged by and to lean on for support and encouragement. And that is exactly what I have. I may not have 10K followers or people who like my page but the 901 that do follow me well what can I say "they are the Just The Best around". I am so forever grateful for their love and support. Grateful for the joy they bring me and the stories they share with me.
They say the Lord puts the right people in your path at the right moment and for the right reasons. And that is exactly what he has done. (Amen)
In just four years I have reached heights I didn't think possible. I have followers, What? I know, That is crazy. I have met so many amazing, wonderful people. Talented people. Educators. Caregivers. Motivational Speakers. Celebrities'. I have trained with those that are top in this field, Queens of the Industry. And I am overwhelmed with such joy of being allowed to pursue my dreams and passion for rescuing and restoring furniture. I am honored to have this opportunity, I will keep going for as long as I can on this beautiful journey. And for as long as you, all will grant me the opportunity to. (And of course the Good Lord willing)
Quick Side Story: I had a great blessing today, I had potential new client/customers coming by today, I am always a little nervous at first but I had spoken with this woman a few times via online. So I felt like we built a rapport. She came with her daughter, and the two of them were such joy. It was a pleasure meeting them both but the blessing came in the form of not what they purchased but in the relationship as mother and daughter that they shared that I witnessed. You see, it reminded me of mine and my mom (Patsy, who is no longer with us) and seeing that same relationship bond in another mom and daughter brought a flood of memories & tears to my heart. I knew while speaking with them, that my mom was right there with me, watching over me. I felt her presence and it was Simply Amazingly Beautiful. And that was the blessing. That is something no purchase could ever matched. So, Thank You for blessing today more than you know and for more than I deserved. It was an honor and pleasure to receive.
Now, I guess I played around on this blog long enough and I am sure there is a hubby wondering what we are doing for dinner and two fur puppies waiting to go out.
Thanks for sticking around with me on this beautifully insane journey.
Recently I was asked some questions for an local interview and I realized I get asked these a lot, so I figured why not answer them all right here.
How did you get started?:
I've been painting and crafting since I was a kid. One of my favorite things to do growing up was draw, sketch, color and paint. I loved crafting with my mom and learning how to refinish furniture with my dad. My mom, dad and I even did craft fairs together. My dad would make wood cut outs, my mom and I would paint and decorate them. I kept up on my painting and refinishing but it was only for myself or family. I took up painting and crafting again about 6 years ago, when my son went off to college. I found I had a lot of time on my hands and had no idea what to do with it. So I got back to my passion and began a business.
What training or education have you had?:
I have been trained by my dad an average woodworker and handyman (not his only profession, he was a pipefitter fulltime) My dad was great he was a "jack of all trades", he dabbled in just abut everything. My mom liked to decorate and make our home as welcoming and inviting as she could with a tight budget. I played and experimenting with painting as a teen (which didn't always please my mom especially since it was my bedroom furniture) I took art classes in high school, I attended college for Architectural Design, I recently was certified in Old World Finishes and I will be attending another course this Fall. A lot of my training and education is experience and a lot of trial & error followed by some pretty cool successes. I also watch a lot of videos on YouTube.
What is your favorite style?:
I am still trying to figure that all out. There are many talented furniture artists who have a specialty or preference but for me I still like looking for a challenge. I haven't honed in on one style or another yet. I love Old World finishes, I think it's because of the history you can feel in the antique you are refinishing. But I also find it fun to refinish with a retro or mcm feel too. The colors are bolder, brighter and vibrant making the refinishing process excitingly fun.
Why has your business name changed?:
I began the business under the name CP's Shabby Chic Creations. The CP has always been reference to two really important and inspiring women. My mom and my mother-in-law. Both believed in me and always gave me their support. For legal reasons (which I cannot disclose) I had to change the name to Cece's & Patsy's (Cece being my mother-in-law and Patsy being my mom) I'm still CP's just had to spell it out in full. Many thought it had to do with mine and my husbands names (Pattie and Craig) hence the legal issues (again can't disclose all the details, sorry) Besides I think by changing the name it elevated me to really set my goals and motivated me to make these two special ladies proud.
Will you be doing live Facebook videos and YouTube videos?:
Yes, I'm working on it. I've done a couple lives on Facebook already but yeah I'm working on my courage to do more. Fun fact I hate being on camera. I hate how I sound and most of the time I am a hot mess when I am working on a piece, so I hate how I look too. It's also a huge feeling of vulnerability being live or on YouTube. I don't like feeling vulnerable. I run through the "what ifs" and get extremely nervous. I feel awkward but I am working on facing my fears. My husband and son are very encouraging and keep pushing me to do more.
Will you be shipping soon?:
Yes, I am still learning all the in's and out's of the process and researching the many shipping options out there. I'm a little nervous though, my fear is something happening to a piece that I poured so much of myself into or the client not being as happy when they finally receive it. Pictures and Reality can always differ in ones mind. What you see something on a screen and then see it in person, it can really translate into different emotions and feelings. So, I guess a little vulnerability plays a role in this scenario too. My son says I worry too much and I need more confidence. But I think as an artist you always feel a tug of vulnerability.
How do you feel when someone buys one of your pieces?:
I get really gitty and excited (like a kid at Christmas, you know that feeling). It's pure joy when I see the excitement in a clients eye for one of my pieces. Seeing their expression of understanding my vision makes it all worth it. Two memories stand out for me, one being at a Craft Show and having a young lady yell across the hall to me "OMG, I follow you on social media, I love you" I was so in awe and shock. "Like what? Are you talking to me? Really?" I blushed and felt really awkward at first. We talked for a while, she introduced me to her mom and grandmother and next thing I know I was commissioned to help her furnish her newly bought home. By the way, that was my first craft show in 15 years, it was my "let's introduce myself and my new found business and see what happens". The second memory is this young couple at the flea market, she fell in love with my mermaid dresser, her excitement and joy over it just melted my heart. She was as excited about it as I was when I finished it. And that played perfectly into her getting a great deal on it. I just knew she was the one the dresser was meant to be with. They were the cutest young couple. I have been blessed by all my clients/customers. They are truly all amazing. Very Supportive and Encouraging.
How do you face criticism and feel when someone speaks negatively?:
It depends on the situation. If it is something I need to make right then I will own up to it and go out of my way to get it done. If it's just negative feedback from another artist, I look at it as constructive criticism. I mostly look at it as a tool to work harder, to grow in my experience and knowledge, to perfect my craftsmanship. I also know I am not going please everyone all the time, I know there is always going to be some negativity and I try to not let it get to me (too much) I don't like to think of myself or other artist in this industry as competition because we are all talented and we differentiate in our techniques and style. We all bring something beautiful and unique to the table. I'd like to think we inspire and motivate it each other rather than compete with each other.
Do you ever get creative block?:
yes, I do. and that's when I know I need to take a break. Or at least I have learned that I need to take a break and recharge the batteries. I've done pieces during a creative block and later looked at them with a clear mind and thought to myself "what were you thinking?" I'm my own worse critic. I've come to learn if I'm not feeling it and nothing comes to mind that excites me then walk a way and take a break. My son, helps to recharge my batteries, I love hearing his thoughts, visions and feelings on art, history, nature and life, for some reason hearing it from a 24 year old helps me see things clearer again.
What is your least favorite thing to do?:
My least favorite things to do are; computer work, the books/ledgers, figuring what to write in a blog (blogging is new to me) and staging pics (although I'm learning and getting a little better at it, after all they say a picture is worth a thousand words, it's your best marketing tool) I struggle with staying on track. If I schedule in my calendar computer work I often get distracted with starting a new project. Writing blogs as I said are new to me, so the whole building an audience, allowing your followers to get to know you and your products, services etc. is a little nerve wrecking. I struggle with what to write, will they read it, will they like it, etc... It's that whole vulnerability thing again.
Favorite Hobbies Outside of Painting and Crafting?:
I love curling up with a good book. Reading is my escape. When I need some me time I find a good book, make a cup of tea and find a quiet corner to curl up in. I love gardening but unfortunately don't always get the time to do it. And lately summers have been brutal so I have for now temporarily put it on hold, I've just been planting perennials and maintaining them. I do find walking barefoot through the yard, just planting my feet into the earth, feeling all that beautiful nature and breathing in that amazing landscape that God has created for us to enjoy each day helps with my own self doubt and confidence. Sometimes I just need to feel close to nature to get my head straight. And I love to cook and bake. I love trying new recipes, using fresh garden herbs and veggies. I'll put some music on and create quite a mess but love every minute of it especially when it turns out yummy.
What are your business goals?:
I think I've been on a steady growth and learning curve. I have grown a lot as an artist and pray to continue on that path of growth and expanding. Having a business is a constant learning curve between running a business, knowing the technology, upkeep with social media, marketing, how to price and stage a piece. It is never ending but I think I'm getting the hang of it. The COVID-19 lock down has given a chance to catch up, to catch my breath and really figure out what I want for my business and for me as an artist and crafter in my future. I took some detours along the way and some were not so favorable with my followers. I am needed the reminder of how I started my little shop and what really mattered to me. And that's my regular clientele and customers who helped to get me started. I got a little too tangled up in the business portion, the money making part and forgot about the creativity and uniqueness that was me. I began following too closely to the trends and trying to imitate those instead of staying true to me. So, now I have to rebuild that trust, rebuild my brand and reputation. I know it has been rough on a lot of people and families with all the turmoil from the pandemic, so I hope once we all get back to a normal routine and back on our feet, I will be able to build a solid foundation once again with my followers and clients. I really want to get back to creating, handcrafting, repurposing, painting and refinishing pieces because they reflect me as an artist not what is trending or what will quickly fill a shop booth. Just want to be me again.
If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please feel free to message me or leave a comment on this blog and I will answer the best I can.
If you have any topics for future blogs that you would like me to do, hit me up with comments.
If you have any suggestions for DIY/How To Videos send me a message.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to bringing more to you in the future.
God Bless and Be Well
Much Love to you all xoxoxox
So, here I sit trying desperately to get this website finished, updated and what have you's. And all I can think is if my followers could only see me. "What would they say?" "What would they think?" I am a hot mess. My hair is all over the place, I'm still in my jammies and its two o'clock in the afternoon. I'm talking to myself, screaming at the computer and pulling my hair out. I'm sure some of you would think "how does this woman get anything done?" Honestly, sometimes I have no idea. Seriously, I don't know how I do some of the things I do. My mind is constantly all over the place. Racing from one project idea to the next. For example, I am suppose to be adding more products, eh I don't like that term, art? (no that sounds kind of arrogant, right?) "My Creations" that sounds a little better, I think. Or do I sound like a mad scientist? Ugh! (Did you just see what happened?) OMG! I need to stop. Instead of adding more items, I am writing a blog because I got frustrated with the computer not playing nice with me.
Ok, let me explain a bit. See what I mean? I'm a hot mess. My thoughts are all over the place. I want my passion to become a thriving business and in order to do that you have to have business plan, a goal and schedule to follow to achieve these goals. There's like a huge list of what it takes to make a business, to get it up and going. You have to build your brand, your reputation, your style and targeted audience. (Why do I only want one type of audience? I don't know) And there are so many legalities and they vary from Federal to State to Local... Like why can't we just make it simple for those wanting to start/setup a business. Interesting Fact did you know you didn't have to ask the government permission to start up a business in the early 1900's? Yeah, in my process of researching what I needed to do, I found that little tid bit of information. Ooops! There I go again, going off topic. Sorry, guys that's just my brain and how it works. My poor husband has such hard time keeping up with me and my constant changing of topics.
Anywho, back to making my passion for arts, painting and creating into a business. I love what I do, I love being able to paint. I love being able to re-create, repurpose and upcycle an old forgotten piece and make it meaningful again. But I need to be able to feed this passion(and pay the bills) and in order to do that I need to sell what I have already transformed and recreated. In order to do that I need to follow all the rules, regs and requirements that make a business legit, accountable, responsible and successful. It's never-ending. It's downright exhausting. I mean how do people do it? I know they do it because there are successful small businesses everywhere. So, when I think of that I think, "am I doing something wrong?" Is there an easier, smarter way? Or do I just keep plunging along and hope for the best. Hence, my appearance currently. You know, the jammies, hair pulling and screaming at the computer. It's not a pretty sight. Trust me.
I also have this problem, like many others I paint furniture but that isn't all I do. And I don't stick to one style of painting. I don't use the same colors over and over. I don't do the same patterns. I use a lot of different textures, create depth through colors, layers, waxes, papers and whatever else happens to talk to me. I let the piece talk to me. I experiment a lot, sometimes it works out and people get me. Other times not so much. As an artist, I'm not really into following the trend or rules, but I also know trendy is what is selling. So it is really hard for me to narrow down my path, my style and my brand.
I've read countless books/articles and have been taking classes, watching how-to videos on growing your business presence online. One of the big things that repeatedly gets said through all these webinars is "Online Presence" "You need to do videos, live videos and teach your technique" Or "hold classes" That sounds amazing, right? Wrong. I hate how I sound and look on screen. When I decide to paint or create, I'm not dressed up. I don't have make-up on, my hair isn't done... I'm a total disaster. And often I don't know what I am doing to a piece until I start working on it and just becomes what it becomes. How do I teach what I often don't know yet until it happens? Sometimes it's 3am, I can't sleep because an idea popped into my head and I just go and do. No one wants to see that. No one wants to see a 51 year old woman at 3am in her jammies painting a piece of furniture. I mean really, who wants to see that? And would anyone ever take me seriously? I think not. Not to mention, I think my husband would have me committed if he heard me at 3am talking to myself in front of a camera. So, I have been trying to figure out who I am as an artist? How can I relate or reach my audience without being untrue to myself? What can I do differently that would inspire my audience/followers? I don't want to be like everyone else, I don't just want to follow the herd. I want to be me, branch out and inspire others. I want my brand or style or art to make others smile, feel happy and joyous. Maybe it moves them spiritually or emotionally. Maybe it reminds them of simpler and happier times. Or maybe it will make them think of current times and change. I don't know.
I know I just babbled a lot, I hope you stuck with me during this. I usually don't like to show the vulnerable side of me, I tend to keep things locked in but I figured part one of building my audience is "putting myself out there"(so I am told) So, this is me. My name is Patricia. I am an artist, furniture flipper, furniture refinisher and one hell of a hot mess. I am a mom, wife and creative entrepreneur. And I am just trying to be the best version of me I can be.
I hope you will follow me along this crazy journey. I will be doing videos (eventually, I'll build the nerve up, I promise). I will be creating some blogs of how I created looks and even some how to videos (DIY) so you can challenge yourself too. After-all, it's no fun doing this alone. Hugs and Kisses. Until Next Time, God Bless
I never imagined that I would be here, in this phase of owning and running a business when I started four years ago.
This has been such an amazing and yet at times challenging journey.
I have met some amazingly wonderful people. Clients. Customers and Fellow Artists. I have trained with some of the tops in the field. I have had the pleasure of learning from so many talented artist. I am overwhelmed and forever grateful for all these opportunities.
I am even more pleased knowing that I will be passing down my wisdom, knowledge and techniques to my son. With guidance and his own creative vision, he will be able to produce and design original art too. He has an a very creative eye. And carry on family traditions.
During these past four years, I have learned so much and continue to learn. There are so many ins and outs to owning and running a business. Silly me, thought "Hey, I just want to paint and make things pretty again". It's so much more than that. There are so many other aspects that you just have to make time for, in order to have a successful business. I'm still learning that you're always learning. It's a continuous cycle of growth.
You learn what works and what doesn't. And how to stay trendy and up to date on social media outlets. You learn to step out of your comfort zone and perform live videos and how to videos. And before you know it, you begin to think about teaching classes. It's so crazy. I didn't think any of this four years ago. I asked my husband, "do you think I'm crazy?" His response was simple, he said "This is your passion, you light up like a Christmas Tree when you talk about refinishing a piece or working on a custom order for a client. The excitement that radiates from you when you see a clients expression of their vision becoming real is pure joy" He's right. I absolutely love what I do. And even with the hiccups, headaches and small challenges, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I love working on special custom pieces, I love making someone else's vision come to life. I love seeing a customers face when they see a piece I transformed and they just have to have it. The joy and happiness I see from my clients/customers makes this crazy amazing journey all worth it.
I am going to be venturing on in this journey to see where else it takes me and with that I will be adding videos, lives and so much more to the blog. I like to talk too. So this blog is a good way to get my thoughts out there. I hope you stay with me and watch me grow. Learn with me. Try new crafts. And I really hope you share your experiences with me too.
I am sure I will talk more about all in this in the future. Did I mention I like to talk? LOL
If you have any questions and you think I can help just reach out and I'll do my best.
And remember, Life is too short to have boring furniture. Have fun with your home furnishings and decor. (It's kind of my motto)
Peace and Love My Friends
Hi, I'm Pattie. Owner and Furniture Artist of CeCe's & Patsy's Boutique.
This is my first ever blog and first ever of building a website. I much rather be painting or restoring an old beautiful piece of furniture but part of growing your business and carrying your passion further is moving forward with the not so fun stuff. So, here I am taking a break from this confusing task of website building and righting my first blog. I really hope you like it..
So, I said in the beginning of this blog "Hi, I'm Pattie" and I am the owner of CeCe's & Patsy's Boutique. I am a wife and mother of one, a son; he has just recently finished college is moving on to his next part of his journey. My husband is retired law enforcement. He served 26 years in law enforcement before being forced into retirement by injuries sustained on the job. I, for the most part, was a stay at home mom. I had a few jobs here and there when my son got older and was in school. I found I needed something to fill my time or I went absolutely stir crazy. But none of them entertained or fed my heart. I knew I wanted to do more. I found my passion for repurposing, painting and redesigning furniture right within my own home. Funny, right? Not really, I know. But seriously, I did. Living on public servants pay is a good living but I think we all wish sometimes we had a little extra especially when kids are involve. As parents, we tend to take the backseat to our kids needs and that's ok, that's how it should be. So, what is a girl to do when she wants new and pretty things for her home? But of course, create them herself. And that's what I did.
I started by updating, painting, stenciling my own furniture and before I knew it friends and family were asking me to do it for them. I was so excited because I found my passion. I found something that really made me happy. It was peaceful place, my happy place. It was my therapy.
As I continued to learn and grow with new experiences and techniques by watching youtube, how to videos, joining groups of facebook and other social medias; I had to take a quick halt, my husband injured on the job and needed me. I had to take some time off to play the role of nurse (no regrets either) but I knew where my passion lied and I knew as soon as my hubby was able I would go right back to it. And I did.
Once my husband retired, I dragged him along with me. And only with slight kicking and screaming. I started going to auctions, estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, junkin' all to find pieces I could paint, repurpose, recreate and restore. I needed to build my inventory so I could present my creations to the world. And let me tell you I was scared to death. I did my first showing of my work at a church craft fair and it was a huge success. I was overwhelmed by the publics reaction and compliments. I was on cloud nine. From there, I built our business online through Facebook and Instagram. Then, I added Twitter. And I can honestly say, I have been blessed. It has been a roller coaster ride but I still feel blessed.
Now four years later, with a few ups and downs that I like to call the trial and error period cause you never know til you try it out, I am finally sitting here building my highly requested website. I am trying to figure it all out, make sure the pictures are just right, making sure I have the cart set up right for shopping etc, etc, etc... blah, blah, blah.... Boy this is hard! Whine.... or maybe I need wine? LOL
Anyways, if you read this all the way through, thank you. How did I do for my first blog? Don't worry I'll get better. I promise. And I'll do my best to make these a little more fun.