November 19, 2007.
It is totally official I have been in business for five years, five very, very long years. Yessirree - yep, five years, uh.....I wonder when my boss is going to give me a 3 week sabbatical, an anniversary cake or that engraved watch? A party? Anyone? Are you guys going to surprise me and take me to El Torrito for lunch? Not even a pen?
Sigh....this is one of the non-perks of owning your own business, no one will be making a speech about me today, or getting me a cake, or flowers, or uh giving me that paper weight I so covet. I am thinking that pat on the back is not coming either.....
However, it is not so bad. With five years under my belt I thought I might finish off November with a walk down memory lane. A sort of (blushing from embarrassment) showing everyone where I started, because we have come a long way. Warts and all, I have no problem admitting where I came from, what I did to get here, no matter how embarrassing the past is. It is not that I am ashamed of where we started or where we are today, but it can be painful to go back and look how far you have come. I would hope it helps others that feel that there is no end in sight, or no end in the orders to fill by December 24th. So, for the next few posts please, um take a walk down memory lane with me, only if you promise not to laugh:
I speak with business women all the time, those that are trying to get started, establish a brand or just want a cool logo for their company. I get asked a lot to develop logos, help design websites and even on occasion to develop a mascot.
Although I may be an artist, I am not a graphic designer. Now, I am flattered when asked to help someone, however artistically talented, I am not properly equipped. It is like asking a Major League Baseball Player to go sub in for an NFL game - yes he is a professional, but he is NOT equipped to play that sport. Not sure if that analogy worked but my husband has the Monday night football game on in the other room and it is SO LOUD!!! I do NOT, I did not ever develop logos, I leave that to the professionals - I could possibly hurt myself or pull something....sheesh.
Our original logo is from late 2002, and um, well....my husband created it. Yep, true story - I did not even do our first logo. Our second one (the existing one) was created by a good friend and a very talented graphic designer....see the difference is, she does this for a living. Work on your product, your pitch, your sales, your packaging and your customer service and um, try for some local press. The logo is NOT going to sell the product. It won't even be remembered five years from now (uh, see that one up there, case in point, I bet no one has even seen it....ever!).
The Importance of A Logo
So, back to logos- they are not that important when you start out. A logo is a nice to have, and if you can make one or create it yourself, by all means doodle to your hearts content. But, do not lose focus on your business - the world will keep spinning while you sit around and try to figure out a logo - and I mean it, it will spin baby, it will spin. I have high school art, two years of graphic design study in college, an art degree, 5 plus years in cartooning, extra art classes, animation for four years, 5 years designing over 350 pieces of original art for my own business.........I can not even design my own logo!
I know what you are thinking, ya but...ya but.....I know I was there, say um five years ago. I spent hours, and days trying to create this original creative logo that said ceramic art, instead of writing a business plan, going after sales, or painting damn tiles. My husband literally jumped in and took over - saved me from myself. He has no art experience, he has no art talent (no it's okay he knows it, just like I can't do math) he created the simple logo in five minutes. It is so simple, it is so not thought-out and yet it worked for a good two years. What is that from school they used to say? K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple Stupid...or so I do not offend Keep It Simple Silly.
It really is not about the logo in the beginning, you need to just work on the product - trust me, hubby is still taking credit for that logo. Humor him please, God knows I do.
This is an old staged photo from early 2003, for some article, or something - but in the beginning I did spend many an afternoon with a baby on my lap and a paint brush in my hand (the crying toddler and barking dog have been so nicely cut from the photo). The years make us soft and we (me) look back with rose colored glasses, I know. Sometimes I so miss the one room studio....or maybe it is just the sweet little baby in my arms I miss. Ya, I am sure that is it. I miss her, not the rest of it....