I always like to write a few thoughts down on the anniversary of when Jin Designs Homeware and Gifts was established. June 8th is the special day as that was the day, back in 2013, when I launched my own range of designs and jindesigns.com was officially opened.
Watch this short video or read some thoughts below:
When I think of 8 years I think 'Goodness, is that all?!" It still feels some days like I'm at the beginning of the Jin Designs journey, still learning, still creating, still struggling up that hill called 'running a small business'.
I thought I might have a few more answers these days. Sadly not. But I guess what has changed is the experience I've had. 8 years of it now!
I think it's fair to say I've tried quite a few things to keep the business at some times surviving - and other times growing. There's been new designs, new products, various fairs and countless shows. There's even been selling into shops, offering my products on different ecommerce platforms and attempting expansion into the US. More recently, I even threw in a pandemic. Only joking!
It's been a tough year managing a business during these strange times but I have to feel like I have been one of the luckier ones. For a start I was able to carry on working. To be able to work and feel useful was a massive boost, mentally and physically and emotionally. I know others weren't so fortunate so I do feel grateful.
As we slowly emerge from lockdown and try to get back to normal life, I wonder what will happen to Jin Designs in these next few months and years. I'll be honest. Since lockdown ended there has been a slowdown in sales. When we were all trapped in our homes, there was a captive audience. People were actually listening and responding. They were actually buying too! Like I always imagined and hoped for. I began to feel that the tide had turned and things were going to go my way. Finally!
But as we get back to how things were, the struggles of running a business continue. I must find ways to generate interest when the nation is thinking about other things.
So what now? This is where you have to dig deep and carry on, adapt and learn and keep moving forward. Life is never going to be easy. Running a business is certainly never going to be easy. There will be ups and downs and peaks and troughs. I've had 8 years to work that one out.
And when it's your own business you really do need a lot of self-motivation and discipline. In fact, if I were to add any more Moments to my new Moments Collection I think I would have to include a "Cup of Discipline" and a "Cup of Self-Motivation" - oh and a "Cup of Ambition" as I love 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton and this range is crying out for one of those!
So, no plans to quit yet. I'm keeping positive. I do think there are many ways I can improve what I do. And I have to keep doing this. I am focusing on new designs these next few months. And working on bringing out new products. And trying to improve the running of the business and learning new ways to grow.
One thing I have learned though. I'm not afraid to fail. If I do have to turn around one day and hold my hands up and say 'This is just not working. I can't do this anymore. It's time to walk away.' I'm not afraid to say those words. I have learnt so much from this and it's been such a big part of my life. I want it to go on and be even better, so let's see.
It may be 8 years but it's 8 years young and there's still a long way to go. Luckily I still have the energy for it. I don't know how but I do. I love what I do and I love my customers. And there's still work to be done!
Thank you for reading this and for being here along the way. You may have just discovered Jin Designs or you may have been here from the start or joined somewhere along the way. Or you may have just happened to stumble across this blog post. However you got here, thank you. I am so so very grateful that you have let me carry on designing and creating and bringing you new things. Long may it continue!
Designer / Founder of Jin Designs