How did Diane's Designs and Boutique become a .com?
Many of you who are on here have seen me on my lives and have heard parts or all of my story on how I become to own my own website. But there are always new people discovering what I do and who doesn't like a walk down memory lane? So here it is, the short and sweet!
Making things is in my blood! Growing up, my mother was always making something. Weather it was home cooked meals,which my family still begs me to make some of her recipes, or handmade school clothes along with other crafts to make the time go faster while dad was away. My father was in the Navy and gone a lot, so it was just us kids and mom with not a whole lot of extra cash for designers labels. But when my father was home, I spent as much time as I could with him in the garage tinkering around soaking as up as much father daughter time as I could along with his knowledge. And if you have seen my lives, you know this girl loves her some power tools!
The creative seed starts to bloom! At 18 I received my cosmetology license in New York. And we all know the best cosmetologists come from New York! From there I went on to own my own salon and day spa and spent my days making my clients look and feel beautiful. While doing this I decorated my house using the things my parents taught me and picking up new craft ideas along the way. Which lead to me expanding to having a boutique when I moved to my in home salon. I even made the floral arrangements not only for my wedding, but my daughters wedding as well. Talk about one crafty mama!
The break heard around the world. I am a firm believer in God works in mysterious ways. But you can imagine my shock and horror when I suffered a break to my leg so bad the doctors were convinced I wouldn't be able to ever walk at least without a cane. So there I was. A woman always on the go, all laid up and non weight barring. I wasn't able to do my clients hair, or bring home abandoned furniture to be made new again. Though through much debate and the doctors finally getting tired of hearing me, I was able to roll on a knee scooter and do ONE haircut a day. (but don't tell them sometimes I did 2 or 3. I like to live on the edge!) But it still didn't satisfy my go go go attitude. Let me tell you I was going NUTS! What else was there to do with my hands...so I got crafty!
It all started with a glass of wine. Okay, okay, it was a wine glass and not me sipping on some wine. But I do enjoy a nice glass every now and again! I had lots of wine glasses, and lots of paints, so I did only what was natural. Got to painting. Once I had that down, I moved onto the wine bottles themselves, vases, beer steins, and took my decoupage from furniture to the glass itself. I also rediscovered an old love, making wreaths! Eventually I got back into the swing of things, much to my doctors surprise, not only where my clients excited to see me, but they loved what I brought with me!
“Hold on tight Diane, we are going for a ride!” My re-found love of wreaths had exploded all over my salon walls, and many never spent more then a day hung up before a client would buy it. But there was a problem. All the signs that crafts stores had for wreaths were all the same. And I am not one to be put into a box. This is where God came in and said “hold on tight Diane, we are going for a ride!” I had come across Clara Nicole on Facebook using this amazing chalk based product. I was hooked! My brain raced with all the signs and other home decor I could make. I has just discovered a wonder company called Chalk Couture and needed to get my hands on it as soon as I could! I signed up, ordered a huge order, then proceeded to stalk my mail man everyday. Anyone who is with Chalk Couture knows the excitement of waiting for the mail man. But here was problem number 2. I not only needed a larger audience to sell to, but I wanted to show the world they could make beautiful things themselves. How do I do this online thing? Once I knew what I wanted to do, the next question was how? There had to be a community out there that could help and guide me I just had to find it. That was when I found Nick Kreticos of Nick's Seasonal Decor and Damon Oates of Deco Exchange. I had two young men in front of me that knew the ins and outs of taking your business online and quickly began soaking up as much information as I could from them. Even joining there private groups and hiring Damon as my business coach. In doing this I found a side of crafting I hadn't realized was out there. It was a whole community that supported and helped each other through every bump you come across when growing an online business.
Me? Facebook? Live?! Don't get me wrong, I am was not new to Facebook. It is a great way to keep in contact with friends far and near, plus all of the grandbaby pictures my kids post! I even used it to learn the finer points of wreath making from Damon Oats, and found Clara. But I was faced with a whole new side of it. Lives. Now, I knew I had to do it. I could reach people all across the U.S., and I soon learned all over the world. Through the years I have become involved with my local VFW and even gave speeches in front of thousands of people. It would be easy right? WRONG! My throat was tight, face red, and I am glad I hadn't just ate dinner. But I did it. It wasn't perfect, or without it's bumps. But I did it. And I couldn't have done it without the support of my friends and family. So there you have it. As I got better with my lives it was quickly apparent I needed a dot com. A place for all my fans and followers to shop Chalk Couture, my Etsy page and all other things I sell, join my newly created paid group, and even read this blog! And it all started with a little girl watching her parents make something out of nothing.