{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 3, Gaining support from your spouse/partner.}

Day 3// Gaining support from your spouse/partner.

This particular prompt, I realize, could be tailored in a dozen different ways to custom fit the various lifestyles + relationship statuses out there. Instead of going over them individually I’m going to focus on what the relationship between me + my husband is like, and share a bit of “behind the scenes” conversation in hopes it will shed some light on how Gussy Sews thrives. Here I go… :) When Zack + I were married, almost 4.5 years ago, we put a lot of focus on continuing the communication we had built while dating. By sharing our interests with each other over meals, evening walks, weekend activities + focusing on how we work as a team, it has been easy to support each others passions. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been times when we got off-track and said passions were discussed in a bit more muddy fashion. From the beginning I found comfort in sharing my interest of learning how to sew and having Zack help me with my Blogspot blog — it’s important to recognize from the beginning we worked as a unit.

 

I think working as a unit has been one of the key factors in gaining support from Zack. It’s more than just a marriage to us, it’s a deep friendship. Zack is my best friend and having his support + encouragement to pursue handmade {sometimes on a daily basis} is incredibly huge. I don’t think I ever had to gain his support, rather it was obtained through consistent communication + trust in our early dating years.

Sometimes I learn about relationships that don’t have right kind of support from a spouse or partner in regards to an interest in pursuing handmade. Phrases like, “he says I need to make money from this,” or “my boyfriend wants me to get a ‘real’ job” or, “my husband says I spend more money on supplies than I profit,” or {fill in the blank}. Trying new things is indeed scary. It’s new for a reason — it’s uncovered territory: financially, emotionally, physical space. Perhaps you are looking to gain support, and if so here is my advice: seek to have consistent communication, work with your personality types {instead of against} + be patient with one another.

I realize every shop owner has a unique experience when expressing interest in the handmade industry to a spouse/partner. If you are still working towards gaining support from your spouse/partner, take a deep breath. It isn’t always an overnight change of heart from the other person. Sometimes your spouse/partner simply wants to hear your plan of attack :) They want to know, how you are going to push through the hard months? How will this affect your family? Your relationship? Is this really a passion, or a soon-to-be-faded-out interest? How will you fund this business? Other times your spouse/partner just wants to be included on the process. It may sound too simple, but sometimes the answer can be just that.

Lastly, Zack + I try to have weekly “Gussy meetings” — but sometimes we skip a week or two depending on how things are going. These meetings typically cover a particular topic I need help with, but sometimes they are sales/goal updates. Even if we don’t have a “formal” weekly meeting I still share business updates with Zack, however on a daily basis. Instead of taking an hour once a week we are able to float on daily, shorter updates. We have found that having a similar heart for handmade + pursuing our passions keeps us connected on yet another wonderful level.

And I think more so Zack has seen my spirit light up when sharing my heart and that is what seals his support for Gussy Sews.

UPDATE: One supplemental reason it was easy for Zack to be on board was because Gussy Sews was making good money prior to quitting my day job. I had saved 3 months of my salary as an emergency fund in addition to being able to pay all of our bills each month. The numbers were solid proof for our family that this could work. Sales had been consistent, my online community was growing steadily, and we were making a nice profit. All of these things combined showed Zack there was no reason to doubt this new opportunity. There are many factors that play into making a decision like this and of course they color the type of support you receive from a spouse/partner. I hope that clarifies some things :)

Homework// Take some time to reflect on your business and the type of communication you have with your spouse/partner. Are there any changes you feel a heart-tug to make? What is happening currently that you are super proud of? Spend however much time you need reflecting on these things, then set an action plan. And remember,

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

– Tony Robbins

see all posts from our “31 days” series

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    I would not be able to have my business if I didn’t have the support of my husband. During busy months he is in the studio helping cut my little ornaments and he has the job of cutting the eyes out when I need them. For us, having 5 kds and 1 on the way, it is a must that we work together:) And we talk about I Sew Lucky everyday during supper time after the kids have left the table and it is just us. Like you Maggie, Matt is my best friend:) We have been together for 16 yrs:)

  2. 4

    says

    My husband is super supportive and very helpful in my handmade venture. But just last night, as I was talking about Twitter, he says “This all still seems weird to me.” He went on to explain that he feels like the online business part/presence is not something that he can participate in–almost like he feels left out. I’m not sure how I can remedy this.

    • 5

      says

      @Dani, I can totally understand where he is coming from. I think for my husband, he didn’t quite feel the same way about conferences, events + traveling until he met some of my handmade friends. They’ve been to our house, we’ve been to theirs. When you’re able to take it from online to offline I think it helps tremendously. Perhaps you could host a local meet-up with bloggers + their spouses? Take it from intangible to tangible?

  3. 6

    says

    My husband is so amazing. He listens, encourages, and even gives me ideas for the business side of things. Lately he’s been trimming seams and turning items right-side-out for me while he watches TV. :) My business just keeps growing, and I couldn’t keep up without his support and help with the kids and household. He’s between jobs right now, and sometimes we wonder aloud about turning this into a full-time thing for our family. We’ll see!

  4. 8

    says

    I love this! My shop wouldn’t be where it is today or open if it wasn’t for the support of my hubby. He is my sounding board, quality control, and he is even my sales guy – seriously, such an amazing supporter of the business. It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as putting a Smelly Jelly Air Freshener on his desk space at work – or it’s staying up late for mass orders – he is always there willing to lend a hand!

  5. 10

    says

    Zack and Gussy, You two are truly amazing and truly blessed. You must have had amazing parents to turn out so well and I KNOW you two will carry on the “amazing parenting” with your little angel. Soooooo proud, ALWAYS.

  6. 11

    says

    I love this Gussy! My husband is very supportive and we talk about the business all the time but I think setting aside a specific hour each week to discuss topics like sales trends and marketing ideas is a great way to focus and make it more of a plan than just talking! What a great idea! (and an excuse for a coffee date!) Love love love this post! I’m following along with the 31 days, can’t wait for the rest!!

    xoxo
    Michelle

  7. 12

    says

    wow wow wow..this is amazing..left me teary eyed..what a goguoers day and an amazing couple..am in awe and wish you a great future..God bless..lov u*

  8. 13

    says

    Samantha Pugh – Emma and Jasper!!! They are precious and would be soooo much fun to phpgotraoh! Emma is a character that keeps you laughing with her sweet and hilarious personality and Jasper is a ham with his contagious smile and sweet sounding chuckle!! I more than LIKE them but they dont have a LOVE button on FB!February 12, 2011 3:05 am

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