The Tale of Bird’s Tail - What I’ve Learned Five Years In
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” ~ Brené Brown
This month Bird’s Tail is celebrating its FIFTH birthday. Yes, five whole years in business!
But the road to the five-year-mark has not been without its challenges; I have faced much rejection, many late nights and even more moments of doubt and questioning as to whether I was cut out for this entrepreneurial thing.
Reflecting back on these past five years, I can say that both gratitude and my willingness to put myself out there and be vulnerable are what got me to where I am today.
The Story Behind Bird’s Tail:
I started Bird’s Tail with $500 that I spent on beads and findings from a jewelry supply shop. To me, it seemed like a huge investment—I was using our family of five’s hard earned money to start a company when I had no idea whether or not it would be successful.
But I was determined to make something out of this idea, out of my vision for Bird’s Tail. I spent many late nights teaching myself new jewelry making skills - watching videos and making piece of jewelry, after piece of jewelry.
After a couple of years of grinding away, reaching out to stores, reaching out to magazines, holding pop-up shops at boutiques on almost every weekend, I finally saw some growth, and I hired my first employee, Megan, who joined me in my dungeon of an office!
Megan and I would design the jewelry, hand-make it, package and ship it out of my basement. And all the while, I was technically still considered a ‘stay-at-home-mom’.
Thankfully, two of my kids were in school full time, but I had my then three-year-old home with me. In fact, my fondest memory has to be my daughter yelling from upstairs in front of Megan, “Mom, can you wipe my butt?” every time she pooped on the potty. Very glamorous stuff this fashion designer thing, right!?
But despite the not so glamorous side of it all, my passion for what I was doing only grew and so did my vision for what I could do with this business.
Five years later, we have a dedicated studio space outside of my home. We’re finding our way into yoga studios and boutiques across the country. I have five people on my team. Our website and online sales have taken off. We have donated thousands of dollars to local schools and charities. But none of this would have been possible without consistently reminding myself of where I began. And more importantly, none of this would have been possible without YOU.
I’m so thankful to every person who has offered encouragement, has followed along on this journey, who has shown up at our events and has purchased our jewelry.
My family and friends have been unbelievably supportive. They’ve helped with everything from putting stickers on boxes, to stamping bags, tagging jewelry and helping set up and take down shows. Most importantly, they’ve listened to me go through all of the emotions and the ups and downs of starting and running a small business. I am beyond grateful!
To Those of You Looking to Start a Small Business…
If you’re looking to start your own business, my number one piece of advice is that you don’t need to do it alone. Hire help where you can. Lean on your friends and family too.
Here are a few other tid bits I’ve learned after five years:
Your worth is not tied to your success. And furthermore, there is no one definition of success. Success might mean more free time or a more flexible schedule. Be grateful for the small victories, and be happy with where you are right now rather than always striving for the next goal. Otherwise, you will never be happy.
Let go of perfectionism. It will ruin you. You will never be perfect and will never run a perfect business. You will fail. You will be told no. But, don’t question or lose sight of your vision. Trust yourself.
Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. It is human nature to want to be liked and accepted, but you cannot please everyone, and that’s ok. No one else knows what’s best for you. And at the end of the day, this is YOUR life, not theirs.
You can’t compare yourself to others (easier said than done, I know!) Everyone is at a different place on their journey. We are all different for a reason - we each bring our own gifts, talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t doubt your talent!
Don’t be afraid of failure. You can’t succeed without it. The only way to learn and grow is to fall down, mess up and keep going anyway.
On the days you want to quit, keep in mind that, “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” ~ Brené Brown
So go for it. It will be worth it.
With gratitude each and every day,
Offer valid 6/17-6/24. Each recipient will receive two rings (size medium/gold and large/silver). No exchanges or returns on the free gift and no need to add the rings to your cart; we will automatically include the two rings in your package. Cart total must be $50 before tax and shipping.