So let’s just drop some harsh truths. I've been slowly phasing out Hey Love Designs to the point where I'm going to shut it down.
Did you know how it began? I was a bored government contractor who needed an outlet for my creativity. I found every excuse to throw a party or volunteer myself to plan or style a party. It was also an exciting time for blogs. In 2010, after a few encouraging friends and family members told me I should make this a business, I dove right in.
The outpouring of support motivated me to make this a thing. I wanted this to become a full time gig and even found my niche as a blogger (this was before people started calling themselves “influencers.”). I learned everything I could about building a brand, social media, being an entrepreneur, and hustling hard (also before words like “bossy lady” and “girl boss” were a thing). I went from designing party goodies to full wedding invitation suites to calligraphy. Eventually I would want to open a studio that allowed creatives to gather in a common place. It could double as a workshop or event space. It was amazing to see how Hey Love Designs would transform over the years.
Then I moved to California and joined an awesome start up company. I’d like to think that everything I learned to run Hey Love Designs was what got me hired, since I didn’t have much marketing experience. I then found myself getting to be creative at work, but also jumping into start up life - aka, I worked a lot, but it was super meaningful work. I had a new purpose. I found myself with less time to blog, but was still creating just for fun. Then work got a little more demanding, and I found that in my free time, I just wanted to play outside, spend time with quality people and dogs, and also just be lazy and chill on the couch having a good Netflix binge. My priorities changed to a life of leisure and not a life of working all the time.
For the last three years I let Hey Love Designs kind of coast. I had ways of making passive income with digital items, I didn’t really blog anymore, and I shared whatever other creative stuff on Instagram. Eventually, I had to face the facts. Hey Love Designs was starting to become a chore. If someone commissioned me for a job, I had to decide if was worth my freedom. My freedom? What the heck?
Even if I was getting paid to work on something, I had to reason with myself if I had time to devote to it. Did I want to stress myself out trying to do a perfect job (because I am a perfectionist)? I even threw some people some favors and gave discounts because it was “just for fun” and that kind of bit me in the butt. In the end it’s time and money that I don’t have to spare. I had to stop accepting commissions. That’s when I realized that Hey Love Designs is just not what it used to be. It’s not a brand. It’s not my company anymore.
So what does this mean, exactly? I’m not going to promote Hey Love Designs anymore. I’m going to let the website run until the domain expires. I’ll remove all the old useless blog posts. I may still let my passive income sources continue running on their own, and you may see “heylovedesigns” exist somewhere on social, but I am not a business. I have nothing to promote.
Maybe I’ll make a new website that just holds my creative work. Maybe I’ll use it as a portfolio. Maybe it will be something completely different. Maybe I'll still take commissions on a very selective case by case basis (and none for free! I’ve learned that the hard way.). I want to leave that up in the air, and I promise I’ll share what the next chapter is once it becomes something.