Why I share…

Today’s post was going to be about refinishing picture frames, but after some interesting questions and  much thought into this process, I thought I’d answer questions as to why I share tutorials, or tips I find useful.  So all of you interested in refinishing picture frames, come back and read all about the process on Wednesday 🙂

First, I must be honest and say I was never intending to share my deep, dark, painting secrets.  I really just wanted a way to “publicize” my business and what I had to offer beyond just the walls of my booths.  However, I have had some really amazing role models as I’ve built my business and each one has been so amazing to share their steps to success along the way.  In any type of creative business, it is very easy to spend an unbelievable amount of time and money on steps or products that just don’t benefit you or your project goals.  It is easy to go out and buy a ton of supplies you don’t really need, sign up for shows that aren’t truly beneficial to  your particular business, and invest in services you don’t truly understand.  When I began Southern Charm Designs, it was not for the purpose of making money or creating a financial venture.  It was to heal a broken place inside of me and to take my mind to peaceful, even calm, place (nothing says calm like a power sander!) This leads me to the question I hear most often:

1.  How do you make money if you teach people how to do re-finish items themselves?   I always have to let out a little laugh when I hear this question. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had the same thought a time or two when I first started, or read other’s blogs.  However, as you grow and develope your craft, it becomes a part of you and all you do.  When I first decided to start selling my work, I was actually surprised when people bought it!  I knew this was something I loved doing, but people would ACTUALLY PAY for my work??? HOLY SMOKES! Then as I grew, it just seemed natural to want to share this experience with others.  I can honestly say, and yes I know how cheesy it sounds, but painting literally saved a part of me…gave me an outlet to release so many emotions and it gave me back a part of myself I had not seen in a long time.  With sunshine and roses like that…who wouldn’t want to share??? Also, bottom line, as with any art, there are always customers out there. Not everyone is a DIYer and they would rather pay for an item than go out and search for a piece, buy the supplies, and try to do it themselves.  That is just reality…I would much rather buy my clothes than learn how to make them 🙂

2.  Aren’t you afraid someone will copy your work?  Ahhh…the wonderful world of sharing a part of yourself on the World Wide Web!  I have learned to become confident in what I do. I know my aesthetic, I know my level of skill,  and I know what I like to design and create (for example, I quickly learned wreaths are NOT  my “thing”).  Here is where it also gets complicated though. I am not the first person to refurbish furniture…there were millions before me, and there are only so many takes on a turquoise/white distressed dresser. However, no two pieces will ever be the same when done by hand; not even I can do two pieces of my own style exactly the same…that is the beauty of the shabby chic design.   It is somewhat flattering that someone wants to re-create something you’ve done, yet it is infuriating when someone  takes credit for your work. I have actually had someone buy a dresser of mine, move it 20 miles, and mark it up $100, and tried to re-sell it as their own. Now, that,  I did not take so lightly and I did voice my concern to the mall’s owner.    Had they put “by SDC” or something on the tag, I probably would have lived with it.  At the end of the day, I really hope people are honest enough to do their own thing, be confident enough to create their own designs,  and just flat treat my work as they would want someone to treat theirs. A little naive?  Maybe. The honest truth is they have to live with their decisions and actions…as I do my own!

3.  Love to see the light in their eyes! I love watching someone learn a new skill…that “Ah Ha!” moment when it all comes together for them.  It is something I learned early on in life and has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I just love teaching others.  It is an amazing feeling to have something to offer to someone else. We all have a skill or trait that could be valuable to others…why not share it and learn more about ourselves along the way???

4. The need to continue to learn…I have a blog roll that I follow daily.  I learn so much from these amazing bloggers every day. The only way we grow is to continue to learn and educate ourselves.  There is and always will be someone better than you out there…why not learn from them and better yourself? I had been painting for about 3 years  when I decided to take a class from Allison with Refunk My Junk (www.refunkmyjunk.com) and I learned so much! I learned new techniques, learned about different products, and had a blast networking with other women eager to learn as well.  Allison and her work have become such an inspiration to me and it is FABULOUS to have someone like her to bounce ideas off of.  So my hope is that refurbishers, new and experienced, can visit my blog and find some helpful information or at least a common place to share ideas.  Networking, meeting new people, and gathering new ideas everyday  is the best part of what I do!! !

Thank you for visiting and happy painting!

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Comments

  1. Heather, you are too kind! Great post! No matter how much you share NO ONE can take your talent or passion!

  2. LOVE this post! I am a furniture junkie too, as well as a full time mommy, and have a full time job. I’m in that place where I’d love to devote all of my time to my passion. Thank you for the inspiration to continue on this journey. I used to be discouraged when I saw how many people paint-but you are absolutely right…no one can take away your passion, and no two pieces are alike. 🙂

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