so now what?

November 20, 2009 |  Category:   life the biz


No matter what you decide to share with the world, there are countless other people going through the same thing as you. You can count on that. So now what do we do? It’s not like I have a plan or an idea – just a desire. You know, I wish there was 1 thing I was really good at or something that occupied a life-long obsession, but I tend to be all over the place. I always have.  I always envied those people who had laser sharp focus and an unwavering vision. Hard to believe that after all those years of art school, a music degree and a graduate degree I’m still searching.

But I should take a lesson from the pages of our own experience building a business from scratch. W&S came about in a way that is so unlike the way I normally operate. It was lightning fast – we didn’t have time to think much or second guess any of our decisions, from product to packaging. We did little market research and aside from feedback from 1 friend, didn’t even take our cookies or marshmallows for a private taste test. We sprinted from the start line and didn’t stop to look until our first official sale. AND we did it in less than 2 months – the business was registered, papers filed, identity designed and printed, photos taken, website up and ready to launch with 8 products that we felt good about, all in less than 60 days. But, when it comes to “my stuff” I tend to belabor over everything endlessly. So why, WHY is it so hard to figure out a way to do this again?

I’ve gotten emails from some of you asking how we started. My advice? Once you have an idea and a plan, don’t over think. If you think too much you start over analyzing and that’s when doubt seeps in. We have our cards stacked up against us already (statistically a great percentage of businesses don’t survive past 2 years), so we don’t need to add ourselves to the fray of doubters and negativity. Just do it and go, even if you think it’s crazy. If you feel scared out of your mind, but find the whole process thrilling and it makes you feel alive, then you know you’re onto something. You can chew on that. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here mulling things over. Ideas, I have. Ideas that make money? Hmmm…this is gonna be a long ride.

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  • Kwil November 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Ideas that make money…. mmmm, yes. A recipe, a creation I have yet to prefect.

  • Alicia November 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    “You know, I wish there was 1 thing I was really good at or something that occupied a life-long obsession, but I tend to be all over the place.”

    I feel the exact same way. I’m reaching back out to music a lot more than I have in recent years. Not for a profession, but I once read a book that said that you tend to choose professions based on what you liked very, very early on in life, say before age 8. What were you into then?

  • Jenna November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Alicia, that sorta makes sense. for some reason I’m finding it difficult to remember what it is I liked when I was younger. The only only thing that I can recall, but it might be around age 8 and a bit older is that I obsessively made paper dolls and outfits to go with them. I was also really really into making dioramas. LOVED it. hmmm.

  • Natalya November 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    Your cookies are awesome! Congratulations on been featured in Lucky! Write a book of the recipes perhaps 🙂
    Your blog is very engaging. I myself came thru career change from accounting to freelance textile designer and still searching.

  • Ellen Oxhorn December 11, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Hi Jenna,

    This is Ellen from Pluto Tees. I started reading you when you were doing Baby Gadget and now I’m a regular follower of Sweet Fine Day. And I also bought cookies from you a while back. 🙂

    Your greatest talent, very obviously, is your ability to discern what is excellent and even extraordinary in terms of art, clothing, design, food, life. (much like the gals over at Small Magazine and Smaller blog) and put it together in a way that is your own.
    That is why you can do great writing on your blogs, take beautiful, inspiring photos of your kids (I was the one that posted a long while back to say your photos reminded me of Helen Levitt), design gorgeous packaging for the cookies, make amazing costumes for your kids (saw the article in TONY) and, by the way, dress them in wonderful clothes.

    So as a way to make money, what about opening a store where you can show off your curatorial talents.
    Do you remember a store that used to be in Soho (years ago) called Zona. That store was like a gallery shop – it had the best of everything – clothing, housewares, art – I just loved going there. And then it closed.

    Can you perhaps open a store like that? And maybe sell the cookies and cakes there too. Sort of a gallery/cafe/shop (like Moomah, maybe, but geared towards adults). I think you would do very well. And makes lots of money. 🙂

    Take care,