Can you believe it? This is my fourth year of business! Never did I imagine when I opened up my Etsy shop that I would be going strong at 4 years, shipping all over the world and actually earning income that is contributing to our living expenses (a little bit). Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy, there have been MANY ups and DOWNS, but it has been worth it. There is no way any of this would be possible without all of your support. Each time I receive an order on Etsy, the app on my phone makes a “cha-ching” sound like a cash register and my daughter always says, “go Mommy go!” It melts my heart EVERY TIME. Below I’ve shared 4 things I’ve learned in my 4th year of business, make sure to read through!

I love celebrating each year of business with our annual photo contest and this year was no exception! Have you been following on Facebook? I cannot believe how many likes the photos have received and all the kind words you’ve been sharing about Sew Bright Creations! It really does mean the world to me. 

As with past years, there are 3 ways to win the photo contest: the most likes on Facebook, a random winner and Sew Bright’s Favourite. As much as I love to see the friendly competition in getting the most likes on Facebook, it is important to me that everyone has an equal chance to win! This year the prizes were absolutely amazing due to the generous donations from so many of my maker friends! This community in which I create and sell in is full of so many lovely people who are happy to lift each other up. It truly is amazing and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. There was a total of over $375 in prizes, as shown in the photos below! 

Send these shops some love! 

A huge thank you to these businesses for their donations. Make sure to click on each name, check out their shops and tell them Sew Bright sent you! 

Hand Designed Cards – Twigs + Pine

Natural Citrus Candle – Nature’s Essence: Katrina’s Natural Products

Crochet Coffee Cozy – Precious Gems Crochet

Wood Sign & Burlap Banners – Poplar Lane Creations

Bamboo Cink Dish Set – Minna 

Shop Credit – Sweet Little MB

Shop Credit – Ink + Grace Paper Co.

Knitted Toque – Pretty Prairie Strings

Coin Purse & Key Chain – Elleinad Accessories

Hemp Slouchy Beanie, Forest Critters Baby Beanie & Scarf – Sew Bright Creations

And the Winners Are … 

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered! I always love seeing your photos so keep sharing using #sewbrightcreations or send them to me for a chance to be featured on my page throughout the year!

Submitted by Shanna Demaer featuring a Sew Bright Beanie and the winner of the MOST LIKES with a total of 577! WOW! I can’t even believe it! Congrats! 

Submitted by Brittany Biberdorf featuring a Sew Bright Madison Dress. Although not a winner, this was a close second with a  total of 477 likes and definitely worth an honourable mention! Thank you for all your shares!!

The RANDOM WINNER goes to Shawn Haines featuring a Sew Bright Headband. 

SEW BRIGHT’S FAVOURITE goes to Danielle Mentis featuring a Sew Bright Beanie + Scarf! It was a TOUGH pick this year!

4 Things I’ve Learned in my 4th Year of Business 

1. Community over Competition. I CANNOT stress enough how important this has been to me. I am friends with people who make and sell similar products and it doesn’t bother me one bit. It really only makes sense I would be friends with like minded people, so why not lift each other up? There is no way I could make bibs for every baby in the world, or even every baby in Canada or BC. As with everything out there, there will always be other people making something similar, so why not support each other? At the end of the day people are going to shop where they want and from who they want. My goal is to be me, make the best product that I can, be honest with my customers, work hard and be grateful for those who choose to spend their hard earned money on my products and support my family. If people ask for advice, I always give it. This is how we learn. The more people I collaborate with, the more I am able to build my business up. All of us. The power of numbers right? 

2. Give Back Where You Live I get asked to donate products all the time. Donations for events, raffles or bloggers looking for free product in exchange for reviews. Here’s the thing, it is not financially feasible for me to donate to everyone so as hard as it was at first, I’ve had to learn to say no and come up with some consistency on where I draw the line. For one, if you support me, I’ll do my absolute best to support you. If your cause has nothing to do with children, chances are I’ll likely also pass. BUT, if it is something that directly impacts my community, where I live and so many of my customers live and people that support me, then that’s where I’m willing to invest my time. It has always been important to me to invest in the community in which I live in and I think it goes a long way. I’m currently collaborating with a maker friend on a very special donation for babies – more info coming soon! I really do believe that the more you give back to your community, the more your community will support you. 

3. Set Real Goals This has been very important to me. I’m a hardcore goal orientated person, but with my business I haven’t always set intentional written goals. Maybe because I’ve been scared of not achieving them? Maybe because my business has been a lot of “one day at a time,” to fit into my life that is forever changing or likely a bit of both. Whatever the reason, when I have set goals and written them out, I have achieved so much more. I wish I would have done this sooner. I think it would have really helped with my fabric spending….if you sew, you know what I’m talking about here! The most important part of setting goals is writing them out and referring back to them. Set realistic dates and do whatever it takes to reach those goals. 

4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others You are you and you do you. Let that be enough and be proud of that. Business is tough. I’ve put so much hard work into this business of mine and it’s not taking me on any fancy holiday, but it helps buy some of our groceries. I could not say this for the first couple years. At that point my goal was to not lose money!! I would see other people who looked like they were rocking their businesses and would wonder what they were doing. How did they have so many followers? How were they selling out on their products so quickly? How did so many people seem to like their stuff? It NEVER ENDS. Truth is, I knew nothing about what went on in their businesses. Maybe they had worked hard for many years prior. Maybe they really weren’t killing it? Whatever the answer, it didn’t matter because they were NOT ME. That was NOT MY BUSINESS. Literally. You find out what works for you, do you and don’t second guess yourself. If its not working, trying something else, but ALWAYS DO YOU.

FREE SHIPPING Coupon Code 

I’m so grateful for all the likes, comments and shares with the photo contest. In case you missed it, there are lots of items marked down 40% off in my Etsy shop and I love you guys so much I’m even giving you FREE SHIPPING for the rest of the sale! Ends January 31st! Get your orders in now though because I WILL NOT be shipping between Feb.1-6!! Use code PHOTOCONTEST for free shipping!! 

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This post is NOT sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. If you click a link, Sew Bright Creations may make a small commission which helps to keep this blog going. Your support is greatly appreciated. The opinions are of Sew Bright Creations’.