May 18, 2011

Streamlining, Energizing & Passion

When things in life get hard, how do we find the inspiration to persist? Of course there is a continuum here. At one end are the day to day things that we'd like to fix: Trying to sell more on Etsy. Trying to get organized. Getting out of a rut or a funk. On the other end of the spectrum can be major life changes: handling the loss of a job, handling the loss of a loved one, making a transition from one phase of life to another.

I have experienced or vicariously experienced all of these things in the past week so have been thinking a lot about this process. It all started when I asked myself "How can I streamline & energize my work life?" The answer started an interconnected series of events.

Vintage Ladybug Brooch by SweetSugarBoutique

To get inspired myself, I went to the See Jane Do conference. It's a fantastic meeting for women with a theme of changing the world, one person at a time. I was very impressed by the keynote speakers and decided to attend a workshop. I found one that was perfect titled "How to Kick A** without Kicking Your Own" by Shawn Tuttle.

Vintage Betsy Ross Classroom Poster by vintagegoodness

It was only a one hour workshop, but I learned so much. One of the simplest was around list making. She defined the difference between a do list and a project list. Simple enough, but one I'd never considered. Buying a car (which is on my to do list) should be on my project list. Since it has so many events connected to it, it would be stuck on my to do list day after day. But when it becomes a project, I can break it out and make it it's own do list at some point.

Vintage Tulips Apricot Tablecloth by BlackRain4

The workshop was very inspiring and really focused on finding your passion. What is your passion and how can it help the world? It was fascinating learning what others were into: encouraging women to run for office, removing plastic from the environment, teaching, getting toxins out of makeup, and hundreds more. Wow. Time well spent. From that event and the people that connected there, I made several connections that led me to help inspire others as they were going through much more serious changes in their lives.

1950s Baby Blue Toy Telephone by TheFancyLamb

Seeing all these passionate women really showed me what is the vital nugget in what I do. For me it's about connections and healing for my clients. I generally get calls from elderly women. When I go to meet them, I start by building a relationship. I ask about them, I ask where the item came from and what family connection it had. I ask about their Mothers & Fathers, since that information is often vital to understanding the history of pieces. I tell them the entire process involved with selling their item. I give them the link to my Etsy shop. (Even though most of them are not online, their children are) In doing this I build trust.

Vintage Pair of Aqua Cups by Vintage Pair of Aqua Cups by beppiebags

Just this past week I have had 5 new clients, some of them coming from referrals from this conference I attended. Of them, all were women in their mid to late 80's. All of them needed inspiration and all of them needed help from someone just like me. Two were forced to sell because their husbands had died and costs were mounting. One was being foreclosed on. One had a flood and needed to salvage what she could of her remaining heirlooms. One was moving to be closer to children due to her husbands passing. They all needed some comfort, reassurance and healing.

1940s Sterling Silver Purse Brooch by alexsandras

Watching them start our meeting wary but polite and then transform into laughing and relaxed was so wonderful. They often tear up while remembering the history of their items, but it helps them to let go and heal. I love being able to build these relationships. I love being able to show them an honest, down to earth, business woman who cares more about them than the potential profit.

Vintage Art Deco Childrens Book by wonderdiva

It is funny how I started the week focused on simply getting my own life (office? desk?) organized and instead realizing just how connected we all are. My inspiration comes from inspiring and helping others during difficult times and helping see them through. What a powerful week!


cindy-the vintage hat shop said...

Wow,what a powerful and inspiring week. It sounds like you have found the mix of helping others with compassion while following your bliss. Thank you for sharing.

Beppiebags on Etsy said...

I've always known that your shop was above par and now I know that you are as a person, as well.

I'm flattered to have one of my listings featured here!


Diane Mc said...

Thank you for letting me know that you featured my Vintage Tulips Tablecloth in the Etsy Vintage Team Blog! I enjoyed reading today's blog, and now I'm really in the blogging mood! :O)

TheFancyLamb said...

What a great post, Heidi! I really enjoyed reading about your thought process through these experiences. Thank you for sharing!

Nora-transient*treasures said...

Amazing post. Your empathy with your clients is palpable. Bless you!!!

wonderdiva said...

That was simply lovely! I think you're doing something very special for the women you meet, and your passion for vintage is helping the world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out, Heidi. It's always great to hear what stuck for people in the workshops. As it was such a great weekend, I'm so thrilled to hear how it flowed into the rest of your life.

Fun vintage stuff!!!