A warm welcome here form the Ivytree Studio girls!
We hope that you are having a fabulous start to a fabulous new year! Why is it so fabulous? Well, I always feel a new year is a wonderful new and fresh opportunity like turning a page in a book I'm reading. You don't know what is coming, but the anticipation and hope of new and exciting things, just lifts my spirits.
I read all over Social Media how people say that 2018 was such a hard and difficult year for them. I can also agree with this. The older we get, the harder life seems to be. Life happens, right. Even our physical and emotional strength seem to not be the same as it use to, BUT I also believe that God is able to instill in us the strength we need to continue with our life's journey so we finish well.
We would like to encourage you at the beginning of this new year to:
1. Not give up!
2. Hold on to HOPE!
3. Keep moving forward.
4. Trust God more and more in everything.
5. Reach further into your creativity and live it out loud.
6. Keep collecting those life memories and document it faithfully so you can see how GOOD God really has been in your life. We tend to forget at times when things get hard.
7. To try again when you fail, because it is not about failing, it is about how you respond to that failure. This relates to your art and creativity but also to life in general.
8. To engage in community with like-minded people so the enemy doesn't isolate you, because if he can isolate you, he can influence you. (-Lisa Bevere)
9. Write down and journal about your life, dreams, hopes, feelings and do it creatively. It is therapy for the soul.
10. Share your love of creativity and art and memory keeping with the world fearlessly without comparing what you do and how you do it with anyone else. They don't have your thumbprint and you don't have their's. Our assignments here on earth are all unique and different. So, why compare?
What's new at Ivytree Studio you may ask?Oh, so many things. I am filled with excitement for this new year. I feel like the first 3 years where just our "university degree" in what to do and what not to do in small business. We learned sooooooooooooo much! I am so thankful for all the hard lessons, the difficult clients, the late nights and little sleep. I am also even more thankful for all the wonderfully patient, kind and courteous people who crossed our path. It has taught me to focus and feed the "good wolf". The positives and the beauty of the experience is what we chose to focus on and it has helped us stay on our path.
One of my big lessons was to not try and please people but to follow in obedience the vision God has placed in us. I am reminded of the parable of the seed and all the different places it was sowed. From this story I realized that it is not the seed that was the issue as the seed is provided by God and is always good. It was where it was sowed, that determined the crop it yielded. This year will see Ivytree Studio really coming into our own. Our vision has been sharpened and it means that what we set out to do 3 years ago, we now feel for the first time, we are actually going to accomplish.
Our heart is YOU! The #Creativegirl.
Yes, you. The girl in her craft studio. Whether that is just a spot somewhere in your living room or a special room in your house you turned into a full blown studio.
Check out Page Tailor Evan's craft studio here. I think this is an older studio. Her new one is even more beautiful. Just love this girl's creative mind and her layouts and her use of colour. Let it inspire you.
But then we don't really need a fancy and filled to the brim studio to be creative. Surita always says the best art is created on the floor. You just need a little inspiration, some creative elements and your imagination.
To keep you inspired this year we hope to share more online content so it reaches your heart quicker no matter where you find yourself in the world.
We are focused to develop more digital content and reach a bigger audience globally this year but our biggest heart is to create special content for the #Creativegirl.
We have already been sharing event dates over on our Facebook page about this. This year we are introducing 3 online Creative Retreats that will run over the span of about 4 weeks each.
I have been part of Cori Speaker's #ResetgirlCraftyClub and #FaithfullifeClub for a while now and I attended her Summer Camp last year. She has asked me to be a counselor on her upcoming camp. She has inspired me so much with her heart for the crafty girl. I have been researching a while before that about a way to bring you my classes and workshops on an online platform. Her very cute way of doing things has sparked alot of new ideas in me. I feel I have a lot in common with Cori as we both share the same faith and personality type, but God has been leading me to search out my own thumbprint and what He wants me to do with it. I believe that each of us has a calling and that calling doesn't change. Mine is to encourage and be a cheerleader and loadspeaker for God. To uplift others and to teach. "So what am I suppose to teach?" was the question. Cori's focus is resetting your life after hard seasons. It meant so much to me to watch her videos and listen to her heart and wisdom in regards to getting over some life-stuff of my own. She uses the crafty approach to bring her message across. She also moved from a physical product focus to fully digital products because it suited their life in an RV traveling across America and could her very large online community.
You can check out Cori's website at www.theresetgirl.com
It also suits our own life to go digital. That is why we chose an online store from the start. It has been the direction we have wanted to go in, since the beginning, but I believe God wanted us to learn some very important things and acquire some skills along the way. I love the physical products and making up orders for clients. I am just as tactile as my clients and understand their need for touching the product. But we cater for a specific market segment. Their are many girls out their who for various reasons cannot attend physical workshop or drive to stores or even have a crafty store close by. We want to bring creativity to them in any way we can. We also want to make it as affordable as we can. The digital option is the quickest most affordable way of helping #Creativegirls be creative on a regular basis. It has increasingly worked well for us over the last year while testing it out.
We also learned that we do not really like the traditional commercial road of selling and distributing our products through Retailers. It just didn't work for us. It caused way toooooo much stress. It is a forever tug of war and a relentless and graceless process. We much rather love the interaction with the client who will be using our products for their enjoyment and creative expression. The commercial route is profit driven and is all about the "hustle". We are not called to "hustle". We are called to create and to encourage and this is what I learned from Cori. She is moving more and more into and towards her calling and that is a perfect peaceful place to be. So, thank you so much Cori for your example!
Much like the Resetgirl's Summer Camp experience, we will be launching our Creative Retreats on our website. You will be able to purchase the Retreat on our store and then we will add you as member to the website where you will be able to find all the content and downloads for your experience. It will be paced over the 4 weeks.
The content will include video, tutorials, digital kits and more and their will be a community group where you will be able to share and engage with fellow Retreat goers.
This is the only common ground our Creative Retreats will have with the Resetgirl's online Camp experience. Where Cori's focus is the Reset and Selfcare and Craftyness, we have to follow our own thumbprint and the message God wants us to share with the world.
Our focus is:
4. The Creative Temperament
5. Sharing our Faith (This will be an optional element but from our point of view the foundation of what we do and why we do it)
Through our business, we found that girls love scrapbooking, papercrafting, cardmaking, mixed media art, journaling, planning, Bible and Prayer journaling and anything creative. "What do all of these things have in common?" we asked. Girls move from one class to another and try out anything creative. The latest craze is diamond dot painting and paint pouring. Creative trends and crazes come and go and come again. The bottom line is, what all these things mean is that the #Creativegirl is, for lack of a better word: CREATIVE! It is the one word that brings all of these things together and what makes her the #Creativegirl, is her very artistic and creative temperament. It is how God has put her mind and body and soul together. The way of her "muchness" as Jeanne Griffin Oliver says is not too much at all. It is just right. It is perfect in His sight.
Ok, with all that I think you are starting to get the picture. These retreats will be a way of teaching and encouraging you through our stories and the stories of other artists and creatives, how to grow in your creative temperament, what it is all about and how to manage it well.
If life, the left brain structured life we are all sometimes forced to function in, is frustrating you more and more, if you feel like a stranger and wall flower most of the time because the things that attract and interest you, just don't interest others. If you struggle to understand why you are the way that you are. If you know there must be a purpose in it, but you just don't know how to express it to the world, then these Creative Retreats will be ideal for you.
Last year I talked to Christine Ferreira from the Leef Magazine on Radio Pulpit about the Creative and Highly Sensitive Temperament. I have a website just for this, called "KaleidoSa" and I wrote a little booklet to help people understand the basics of this temperament. I planned to do an online workshop in 2018 that I advertised for a while, but I realised that I wanted to do more than that. I needed to do more than that. So, I deleted the event add and waited on God to show me. I really know that He wants me to do something for the creative temperament society. I know in my heart that He has called me through my unique story to share what I know so people can grow and thrive living this "muchness". This "muchness" has destroyed too many an artist. Van Gogh took his own life because of it. So this is very serious business for me and I would like to invite you to check out what we will be sharing in the coming months and year about these Creative Retreats. It will however be lots of fun too!
Well it is easier for most people to work it into their daily schedules. I want people to incorporate what they will be learning into their life and create new healthy habits that will help them manage their temperaments better. It will be much cheaper and easier to navigate and organize the logistics of it. More people can join in, than with a physical event. If you know the creative temperament, you will know that they can be either introverted or extroverted or like in my case a bit of both. Some people like crowds and others don't. Some like small events and others like the big conference type events with lots of busyness. The Online Retreat format caters for both as we add the community group for the interaction. If it grows over time we might do physical events too, but we are not there yet.
What about our physical products?
Well, if I had a say, I would just shut it down for now. We will take things slow however because we do have a local tribe following and supporting our products. We will however not be offering Wholesale pricing or open stock. So, any Retailers or Teachers/Layout artists who want our products, you will just have to go to our store like everyone else and purchase our products at the prices listed there.
The only way for us to move over to digital slowly is to offer our physical products in kits and bundles. It is just easier to administrate the orders and do the printing. We need to allocate more time towards building our online content. Therefor we will also no longer load any orders on client's behalf. In the past our less tech-savvy clients would have just sent us a message saying they struggle to load their order and we would do the work for them. It kept me immensely bussy and away from other things that I felt was more important.
We structured the business around the online store for a reason. The reason is so our hands are not occupied by the mundane of sales. The store system does all that for us. It serves no purpose to go against what we planned just to please a small segment of the market who hasn't caught up with the times yet. As people grow in their skills using online e-commerce systems, this will become less and less of a problem. So this year, I am putting my foot down so to speak (with a little smile and a wink) ;) ;) - You will just have to manage. If you can't load the order, try again at a later time. Sometimes it is just the internet connection and have nothing to do with our store's functionality. The platform we use is very user friendly and gets updated to the latest trends frequently. So you always get the best experience possible. Keep in mind also that we are just two on our team and we have to run all the systems in our business without any other physical help. We want to save the best and bulk of our time to design and create the content you love to see.
We have made piece with it that we won't be able to please everyone. We will however be able to bring you more and more of the things we dream of creating and isn't that what it is all about.
Our slogan is INSPIRE, CREATE, EDUCATE and that is what we aim to do more and more this year.
Check out the new branding in our store. Keep your eye on the website, our Facebook page and Instagram and don't forget to go over to our Youtube channel. We are up and running there again this year. We would love for you to like/share/subscribe!
Here is one of our latest videos:
Finally to kick of this creative year, we celebrated our National Scrapbook Day by creating a little #Creativegirl bundle and between 25-28 January proceeds went to charity. But it is now loaded as individual items and as a bundle. These are digital items but the full bundle also has a "Print&Ship to me" option. Now isn't that great! Best of both worlds. You can expect more of these types of bundles this year as we cater more and more for the #Creativegirl.
Until next time.
Buy some of our pretty paper here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here