How Far I've Come

Hello Compassionate's, How are you? I hope you are well.

It was pointed out in the social impact base group to take a moment to celebrate our wins, for me it started with Flourish and Thrieve bootcamp, then laying the foundation live and finding the Social Impact Base.

I didn't mean to take 2 years off of Artist Alley, for one of the 2 years I was a single mom to four children, while my husband had to live apart from us to look after his mental health and find the right treatment so he wasn't a risk to us, he is not proud of that and it can be hard to talk about because I want to respect just how far he has come and that my family is whole again, which helped free up a bit of time to really get back to building the dream, I loved the name Artist Alley, it had come from all my involvement in 3 theater companies, my back ground performer days and that I am a creative, not just a artist, I wanted to help other Artist's make a living while making a difference as a fundraising company but it doesn't fall in normal retail and getting it full swing like other known fundraising companies vetted in schools was proving to be very difficult.

Schools have struggled with shrinking funding, they found they needed maybe one or two fundraisiers a year, but the students didn't always know where the money was going, they just wanted the prizes, I mean I would love to win a ps4 but it started to get to the point, students went door to door, covering as much ground as they could and many houses had more then one student from their neighbourhood school and other school zones chasing after raising the most money in the whole school, To win the biggest prize. Many households couldn't afford to buy from them all and soon put up signs that they were not buying anything from any one, and I myself found some of my friends prefered just to give a donation

 Most of the students didn't point out that the funds go to cover field trips, supplies for sports teams and classrooms or for grade 8 grad, most would pitch how their families can't afford to buy them a game console and they wanted to raise the most money in the school to win it.

 I remember winning a clear camera from the cookie man, I still have the piggy bank tin that came with cookies in it then you eat the yummy cookies and use the rollar skate tin to save up for the next time. Living in a apartment building had it's perks, my family being loved in that building, that community with in community was a big perk, not just at fundraising time but all the time.

My mom was for the most part the only PTA member, did the book fairs for money for school books, booked the meeting to get parent engagement to pick fundraising companies and sort though the orders to give to parents at pick up, I remember 2 book fairs and one other fundraiser.

Countless fund raisiers with the church and the copetown lions and my schools, why not be a new vision of a fundraising company, not mass produce stuff, but handmade, heartfelt creations from local artist's that instead of 40% of the overall order sets each piece with a price, like my R.O.C.K bracelet's with 50% to the cause, or if a cd maybe set to $5.00 from the $20.00 for that local artist, I mean I saw it as a win, win for every one, you  the buyer support a local artist and a local school,and get cool stuff you love, want and maybe need, but I had no one really come aboard and then I had my twins and with everything I do for the community this business of mine stayed more like a hobby and gifts for teachers, but it's not in me to give up. Here I am going all in so to say.

I wanted to relaunch but needed to learn alittle bit more on the business end of things, I don't really fit the mould of just a jeweller as I am a crafter, yes profits would be nice but I need to share the wealth and be mindful of keeping pieces affordable for those who would love to just give to a cause but would like to treat themselves too.

I ended up changing the name but not the vision, I left the term owner behind to evolve as a CVO it sounds nicer, creative visionary officer or chief visionary officer, it leaves room for clients to feel some ownership of the vision too, we are partners in changing the world. That is where the creating Connection comes in, plus the funds, awarenness and hope.

I started to change how I designed, with a small bit of success, I try to balance creating with the flow and designed with some one in mind. Learned more about the power of a good hashtag.

Break down runs like this, before bootcamp at the start of 2018 I had my old free website, artistalley.webs.com  that I couldn't get quite right applied everything I was learning but it didn't have the features that shopify has, by the end of bootcamp or was it the middle of LTFL? I had a new website in apirl, a mailing list on mailchimp but I choose to blog more then do emails, that it felt more like a conversation then a newsletter or pitch. Got my card reader and app for my phone to sell on location, set up a new face book page, twitter and started learning on instragram as I go, proud to have 109 followers, and yes celebrate my one personalized bracelet I sold as the first Compassionate Creations sell, I celebrate that I know more will come, I have at least 5 regular blog readers, had 33 people read my blog about Paul and I think I am getting the hang of blogging to engage my audience, where once upon a time that was done on stage and awaiting in the wings.

Be proud of yourselves today, for all the kindness and compassion you do, celebrate your part in the community of trash pick up, flower planting, parent councils, coaching what ever you have done this week, summer, the year, take this time and celebrate with me, that even if it felt small it was a victory because we stood our ground, applied a positive mindset and kept going. We will keep going because that is what we do as compassionate's.

Enjoy your celebration, keep up the daily acts of kindness, the self love, self care, self compassion, keep working towards your dreams and may you be blessed, stay safe and peace be with you.


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