It's been a whole week since I have had a free moment to sit and compose a new blog post...where to start, so much to write about... Finally, I think I will share a little of my journey, how I started (re-started) a coastal lifestyle company, and the pathway to live my dreams. It has not been easy, still so far to go, and so much more to learn and experience. Yay! More beach walking and traveling!
Then we built a successful website in 2004. Eventually, within 6 months of launching the site, Caron's Beach Cottage.com was featured in many national magazines, including our favorite - Coastal Living Magazine. It was a fabulous ride for 5 years! Didn't have a clue, but it all seemed to work.
And then, the big crash and burn....
It was so bad that I wouldn't talk about it to anyone. Could not face my garage full of old inventory. Friends had to come over and help organize the garage for me, it was just too darn daunting to tackle by myself. I would not go into ANY home decorating store - even avoided those departments in Macy's and Nordstrom's! Didn't EVER buy or look at Coastal Living, Country Living, Oprah Home, BHG... none of the home decorating magazines made it in my grocery cart. Awful, awful time in my life.
Guess what? At the fall of 2008, CitiMortgage announced on a 5 minute conference call that 1000 of us didn't need a job anymore.. hmmmm. Now what to do? Of course, I know - find another great job in the mortgage industry! Yeah that was a great idea. Interviewed with 6 different companies, all are out of business now.
One night on a trip down to San Francisco, before my house sold, Tom took me out for fancy cocktails at the Cliff House. Beautiful January night, cute boyfriend, fog rolling into the Bay, orange sky with the sun setting in the Pacific.
Step One: Attended C.A.S.H. class for 8 weeks to relearn some lessons about having a business. Great class offered through the unemployment office in Washington. (Still HATE the accounting part) Made some great new friends and really listened for some ideas to make the next venture work. I knew that it could not be a regular storefront retail business again, but what was it going to look like?
Graduated with a gold seal certificate.
Cannot begin to tell you the value of getting involved with Social Media. Wow, have met some incredibly smart, honest, kind, fascinating people. So much of what I've learned, I have incorporated into building the website and better blogging. Truly, it's like I have been in college. A lot for my 46 year old brain to take in!
Step Six: During that 6-7 months' time period I wrote and wrote and wrote, both for the blog and for all of the content pages, and all of the product descriptions on the "Caron's" website. OMG!! Cannot begin to describe the days of writing "nautical", " beach house", "coastal" in every creative way that I can think of. Some of the products are in constant revision, as I learn more about writing for SEO using the meta tags and key words. (any volunteers to be my copywriter?)
So here's part of the real story, when you all thought I was having these fabulous exciting adventures, I was really in my pj's, hair sticking up, having pb & j's, working furiously to get my coastal home website business up and running. Thanks for hanging with me on this adventure. Stay tuned to see where it all goes!
Comments like these from new and old friends keep me going, and I am so grateful that I can bring just a little part of my world to all of you! You are all inspiring me to keep going -
My FB friend Theresa: "ahhh I am so blessed because of you and your posts take me far far away from my desk & chair here at Casa Mendoza. Through your eyes my world had grown because you share so much in such fine detail .... I am there walking the beach .. combing for shells and glass "
My friend KJ Lange: "I love that spot. Are you sure you're not living MY life?" LOL (we were headed out to Pt. Bonita)
From Treasured Customer Karen: "Caron...the bowls arrived today and they are even more beautiful than I remembered !!! Thanks !!"
From new friend and fellow coastal artist Joan: " I LOVE you! I feel like I enjoyed some time at the beach everytime I see your postings...or when I visit your site!!!!Thank you....keep posting!"
From my fellow blogger - Privet and Holly on a blog post down to Annie Glass: "What a dreamy day....chocolate stains, and all! I especially like the first two images of the Annie Glass. Almost magical! I will definitely pop over there and take a peek. Thanks for the introduction! Have a wonderful rest of the week.
Lastly, from my new friend Annie Morhauser - fabulous glass artist in Santa Cruz:
I have to tell you about my evening at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions event last Friday. It is the 9th year and I am kicking myself for not having gone sooner- the food, the wine, meeting all the celebrity chefs! I did not even get all the way through it! The ENTIRE aquarium was set up with booths from the best restaurants from Boston to Carmel....and equal amount of excellent wineries, oysters, strawberry farms, all food related. It is the tastiest fundraiser I have ever been to.
I am lucky lucky lucky!