Can you remember the first time you attended a live concert? Have you ever had the opportunity to go backstage for a VIP meet and greet with your favorite artist or band? Exciting right? You get to see the up close and personal side reserved for a select few. Just the thought of being invited into something so incredibly special makes all your fangirl dreams come true.
Well, today, I'd like to recreate that same feeling for you (no, I'm not a celebrity), but before I jump into that, I'd like to pause and say thank you. As I'm writing this blog, which feels more like a journal really, my heart is swelling with gratitude because I get to do something that is bringing me so much joy. I'm humbled to think that God had something for me, just me, where He could take both my analytical and creative mind, my experiences from rock bottom moments to mountain top celebrations, my passions, my sweet and sour moods, and ambivert personality, and say, "I have something for you to do." Wow. God has truly taken what the enemy meant for evil, and turned it out for good. All of the visions and dreams that I've journaled and prayed about, are all springing forth right now, and I just want to sit still and absorb it all.
Through this vision turned business of curating inspirational collections, I've had the pleasure of meeting like-minded women entrepreneurs. I'm so blessed to see how these faith-fueled mothers, wives, single ladies, and grandmas are living their most purposeful lives and using business as a vehicle to spread the gospel, whether pouring candles, printing t-shirts, filling subscription boxes with hope, or crafting inspirational jewelry.
This journey is showing me that all along the desires in my heart that were placed there by God are real. They are true. They are God-inspired. Admittedly, in the beginning, when I started this entrepreneurial journey, I was all over the place. I saw someone creating planners, so I thought, I can do that too! Or another person was having huge success in a membership. Added that to my to-do list. Tshirts? Who doesn't love a funny pun or affirmation? Before I knew it, I was spinning wheels to do all the things that weren't even for me to do. I was simply doing them because someone else was, and figured if they can do it, so can I. Now, that's not to say that at some point I too wouldn't have an opportunity to create or add inspirational planners, and T-shirts into my collection, it just wasn't the right pursuit for me at that moment.
It's true that time flies when you're having fun. It's also true that time flies when you're wasting it. In hindsight, I wasted an enormous amount of time, more than I care to admit, but since confession is good for the soul, let's just say It's only failure if you don't learn. I had to put the brakes on, stop, and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. It's super hard to not be distracted in life in general right? It's no different in business. And with the social media world at our fingertips, we're often driven to jump on the comparison wagon, do all the things, or compete for visibility.
Because I'm a research junkie and a lifetime learner, I invested in a few books that I thought would help me develop, one, in particular, was The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It's difficult to focus as a multi-passionate. At least that is the thought distortion I told myself. I took a step back to reflect and reframe my focus. My dreams (and yours) are not disparate, fractured, or random ideas but rather a delicately woven pattern that had not yet become visible to me. There is nothing random about what God has placed in you.
I got focused on my "why". When I did, I began to get clear on the next step and then step after that, and so on. Trying to balance all the plates led me straight down the path to overwhelm, exhaustion, and frustration. Focusing on one thing at a time allowed me to observe, learn, listen, and respond. By doing so prayer, purpose, priority, and productivity became paramount to serving you at the highest level.
I've made a few blunders along the way but I kept going. So let's take a look at some of the ways I've responded to you in order to serve you better:
After careful research and multiple interviews, I enlisted a shipping and fulfillment partner. I didn't start this business to be in the shipping business. So I spent months and months searching for the best partner so that I could deliver orders throughout the US, and offer standard and expedited shipping efficiently. And since some have asked, I am looking into expanding shipping to Canada and internationally, but one thing at a time!
I've also added some new features to our website. On the Blessed Home & Body homepage you'll find a My Wishlist tab. This feature allows you to bookmark your favorite products, across multiple devices, share your wishlist with others via email or social media, and get alerts when your favorites are back in stock or on sale. Another feature that I've added is showing exactly how many items are in stock, sold out, or on backorder. When an item is on backorder, the "add to cart" changes to "pre-order". You can hover over the pre-order button to get an estimated delivery date. Pre-ordering is a great feature that lets you purchase those best sellers. We love this new addition, and by the looks of it, so do you!
Speaking of sales, we've also made it easy for you to find those bargains. Offering you stylish collections at an affordable price is a core value. I know that you have a bazillion options when shopping online, so I've added a new On Sale Now tab to our homepage so you can easily grab those bargains.
Speaking of bargains, did you know we offer free shipping? Yes, for orders of $100.00 or more. And to make it easy for you, we've added a shipping calculator bar on each page, so as you add your items to your cart, you can easily see how close you are to qualifying for free shipping. Who doesn't want free shipping?
Speaking of free shipping, we've also cleaned up our checkout process so that your shipping options are clear, concise, and accurate according to your location and weight. We don't want anyone getting the heebie-jeebies when they're checking out. You can even get SMS or email notifications about your order, so that you know when it's arriving at your doorstep.
After your item/s arrive, you'll receive a post email or SMS follow up. We want to know how we're doing so that we can serve you even better. We'd also love for you to write and share your review. We even throw in a pretty nice discount if you do. So, look out for that email to arrive about two weeks after you've purchased. Plus, your product review helps others in their purchase decisions too, and I appreciate that so much.
As you can see I've been pretty busy working behind the scenes here, but I still have a few more things to share. Most importantly, I want to hear from you so that I can know how I can serve you even better. I'd love to hear about what product offerings you'd like to see. Our Perfect Weekend Getaway Bags, Mini Market Totes, and The Everyday Jute Totes are a hit. Y'all love the stainless steel tumblers, especially the "Why Y'all Tryin' to Test the Jesus in me?" design.
If you're on our newsletter list, wonderful! That's definitely the best way to stay connected, hear about new arrivals, and get first dibs on special pop up sales or access to special BOGO offers and discounts. You may always respond to the email newsletter, just hit reply and drop me a message. I'd love to hear from you! As well, please comment on any blog post to let me know how I can better serve you whether it's a product offering, site navigation, or just to say hello!
So what's on the horizon for Blessed Home & Body? Well, I'd like to show up even more in this online world. And that means coming to you through social media platforms leveraging video and live stream interaction on Instagram, Facebook, and adding product video content as well to the website so that you can get a real-life view of featured products. I pray you're as excited as I am about this!
Recently, I was prompted to begin a new bible study. I chose The Bible in 52 Weeks: A Yearlong Bible Study for Women by Dr. Kimberly D. Moore. I am looking forward to deepening my study in the word one day at a time. The first lesson in the bible study is titled, "There's Nothing Too Hard for God!" Can I get an amen somebody!? I have a feeling that God's going to be doing a lot of work in me behind the scenes in this upcoming year as I commit my whole self to Him.
Sweet friend, thank you for coming along with me on this messy adventure filled with ups and downs. I'm so happy that we can share this together, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.