The Creative and Coffee Story So Far…
Hello! For those of you new to the Creative and Coffee story, welcome!
As the blog had grown and evolved I’ve been so lucky to have so many new friends and followers join us over the months. For those of you who knew Creative and Coffee in the beginning, you’ve followed me on my journey as the blog grew and evolved into what it is today.
However, for those of you who are new friends, I thought I would publish this little post up here for those who are interested in Creative and Coffee’s beginnings as a little hobby blog and how it had turned into the business is today.
I hope you find the story interesting and perhaps even a little inspiring for those looking to take the big leap from hobby to business.
Enjoy, Sarah x
Whilst I went through many months of freelance writing, blogging and ghost writing, my first ‘formal’ business of my own was a design business. Though it was not particularly focused in the beginning, being part art store and half book cover design it eventually shed its awkward beginnings and became a place for design, reaching out to self-publishing authors and publishers.
After my design business turned a year old, I found, as creative souls like us often do, that having to blog around a single topic had become a little less like love and a little more like work.
We all have these periods, where our inspiration seems to go awry, however I felt that this momentarily laps of enthusiasm was hardly a reason to throw away an entire business and abandon my clients.
Instead I decided to create Creative and Coffee as an outlet. A personal project, to connect with fellow business women so I did not feel so alone in the big bad world of the internet. And through chatting with these wonderful online souls, I found myself imparting my business knowledge learned from both experience and study.
The more I shared, the more I wanted to share. The more people I taught, the more I wanted to teach. It was if I had opened an extremely addictive can of business Pringles.
Anyone else totally incapable of not eating an entire tube in one sitting?
Whilst I was happily blogging away, with no real thought of Creative and Coffee being a business in itself but merely a space where I could blog as I pleased without considering its business value, the website started to become…something else.
People started to reach out for advice. For coaching. For collaborations. For business partnerships.
The Instagram started to see followers in their hundreds and then their thousands.
Similarly, the email list which I had created, more as a way to connect directly with the people that cared, slowly crept over the 1000 subscriber mark.
Suddenly, in order to keep up with the unexpected amount of new friends, business partners and readers – I found myself dedicating more and more time to Creative and Coffee.
I wanted to create more helpful resources. So many questions did I get rolling in from Instagram I decided to write a book, I found myself setting aside time to hold one on one video sessions with Instagram friends to answer their questions in more depth. And you know, hang out, to be fair.
And I didn’t feel guilty doing it because, in my mind, this was sort of work after all. More to the point, it was something I loved doing.
However, in the midst of my content creating, teaching and socializing I came to realize that my design business had now fallen into neglect.
No longer was Creative and Coffee a little project on the side. It was very much coming into its own.
Suddenly I found, to quote Mr Weasley, that I needed to sort my priorities out.
And then it hit me.
Unfortunately I don’t mean divine inspiration or a lighting flash of clarity.
I mean a bus. Travelling through London, at the end of June, the bus I was travelling on hit a reckless driver cutting across lanes. I was launched at twenty miles an hour down the bus aisle and came to an abrupt stop when I hit the window.
Honestly, I make it sound a lot worse than it was and I won’t talk at length about it as many of you will have heard a lot about it already. However, it is necessary to mention here because, on the precipice of this great decision, I found myself unable to work for two months.
You know when you step in the shower and you stand there making all these plans and having moments of clarity?
I had two long months, sat around, unable to do much -struggling even to update the Instagram – to think. I had no daily distractions. I wasn’t fretting about writing blog posts, I wasn’t (regretfully) accepting client work and I wasn’t trying to schedule Hootsuite.
I had time to think about the big picture, rather than the daily grind.
And whilst my design business sort of floated on, occasionally loosing followers here and there – Creative and Coffee went on.
Emails kept coming in, my amazingly supportive community kept coming to check back in with me – many a ‘how are you feeling?’ DM was sent through. The sort of behaviour, quite frankly, that utterly restores your faith in humanity and creates bonds with people overseas you may never meet, but are all the more valuable for it.
And then a funny thing happened.
In August one my blog posts when ‘viral’, as in over three and a half thousand re-pins. And suddenly three hundred or so new email subscribers joined the family.
So not only did my wonderful community utterly support me and keep me going throughout this whole ordeal, I also had lots of potential new friends to introduce myself to.
Thus, when it came to deciding whether to close Creative and Coffee, or take it to the next level my decision became easy – I could not abandon all these wonderful people who had supported me and, indeed, I did not want to.
Therefore Creative and Coffee entered a new era.
The Scary Bit
Whilst the design business may carry on in some much smaller way, Creative and Coffee has now become the ‘main business’. In that Creative and Coffee, suddenly, from being a little hobby that got a tad out of control will become ‘the main source of income’.
And, quite frankly, this is almost quite as scary as starting my first business all over again.
But rest assured the whole reason why I wanted to carry on with Creative and Coffee in the first place is because of its fabulous community. It is the one thing that I am determined to fiercely protect. I am exceptional fond and indebted to all my followers.
So know that whatever lies in Creative and Coffee’s future, community will always be at its centre.
So, this is the story of Creative and Coffee so far. For those of you that have been travelling along with us, I hope you are excited for all the fun things that are coming this was I hope that we can carry on building our empire’s together for many years to come.
For those of you who are new, I hope you found the Creative and Coffee story an interesting one and that you feel inspired to go forth and build your own business.
Of course I hope that you will join us in The Coffee Club so we can keep in touch and so I can invite you to all the future community building activities we’ll be throwing. You can join here or find out more about the club here.
Until next time,