Love Your Business: Guest Post #17

All month long join me here as I welcome amazing contributors with one thing in common
we love our business {blog/shop/etc} and we want you to love yours too!
To keep up to date with this series view all posts here.

** I would like to just make a quick note and let you know that Kristi is the first business owner in this series that has posted and does not have a blog!  Some of you think that just because you have a business means you have to have a blog to go with it, that's not true.. Kristi has proven the amazing success you can achieve (over 2000 sales, 8500 fb followers and 1800 twitter fans) without one, and if you are afraid of not being able to find time for one then don't do it!  You might find greater balance without one!**

Hi {just.lovely.things} readers! My name is Kristi and I’m a mom of 2, wife of 1, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, friend and neighbor of many. I’m a day dreamer with a LONG list of projects yet to be completed. I’m a lover of coffee, breakfast for dinner and all things vintage. And I’m the creator of Barn Owl Primitives. I’ve been designing and hand painting typography word art for over two years and I have a little shop on Etsy.

I was so excited when Heather asked me to stop by today and share with you about how I find balance between my family and my business.

Finding balance for me is a work in progress. When I started my business, I was looking for something "grown up" to do with my few free hours a week. With two little ones, my free time was in the evenings after they went to bed. I started painting a few signs a week and really enjoying my creative outlet. Fast forward two and a half years and I'm painting about 40 signs a week. It's daunting and at times even suffocating, but it's also rewarding and challenging and exciting. What was once an hour here and there has blossomed into a full time job. I'd be lying if I told you this growth has all gone off without a hitch! My growth has been steady and I have been able to learn and adjust along the way. But, I'm also rather hard headed and, did I mention, procrastination is my middle name. In an effort to not neglect my kids I was painting only at night and on the weekends when my husband was home from work and able to be with the kids. My relationship with my kids was great. My relationship with my husband was, well interesting. He leaves for work before the kids and I wake up and arrives home around 8:30 pm. Our kids go to sleep around 8:00 pm, so he often arrives home and finds me in full work mode. I was throwing paint around my garage and answering emails while said paint dried and he was eating dinner and watching TV in the family room. He would stroll through the garage to say goodnight around 11:00 pm and I would paint for another few hours before collapsing into bed around 2:00 am. While this schedule was getting the work done, it was not so fun, for any of us.

So, in an effort to find a better balance I made a few changes. I converted our living room into my studio. That way I'm at least in the same part of the house as my husband in the evening and we can actually have a conversation with each other and spend more than 5 minutes together during the week. While I still do a lot of painting in the garage, I save that for the weekends and after he's gone to bed. And with my studio inside, I can now steal a few minutes to paint when the sun is awake while my kids are playing with play dough or building Thomas tracks all over our kitchen.

I also wanted to find some time for just my husband and me. So I found a babysitter and planned a romantic Friday night out for the two of us. Dinner and a movie. Perfect. (Why not Saturday, you say. Well, we save Saturday night for family night!) While dinner was nice, we were both struggling to stay awake during the movie. But I was bound and determined to have a date night. So we repeated it the following Friday. I was snoring 10 minutes into the movie. You see, we are both so exhausted from working crazy hours all week , by the weekend all I want to do is put on my pajamas and lounge around on the couch. But remember how I said I was hard headed? So I made my husband repeat this Friday night dinner and a move for a few more weeks. When I actually started to curl up in a ball to take a quick nap during dinner one night, he finally said enough is enough. Enter TGISF. Thank Goodness it's Sushi Friday. We still have our Friday Date Night, we just do it from the comfort of our couch, in our pajamas (genius). Our favorite sushi restaurant actually delivers (amazing). So each Friday, I order some sushi, tuck the kids into bed, change into my comfy pajamas, open a bottle of wine and rent an on demand movie. It's much cheaper than dinner, a movie and a babysitter. Plus people don't look at me funny when I fall asleep on the couch during dinner or the movie, or both!

I am still a work in progress when it comes to balancing my work with my kids busy schedules, my friends and my extended family. But my husband and I have managed to find a rhythm that works for us. He is my biggest supported (even though he doesn't like the pennant garland that greets everyone who comes to our front door!) and I'm very lucky to share my life with him!

About the Author


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Kristi! This is something I struggle with all the time. It's ALWAYS on my mind. My craft room is at the front of our house, so in one way, it's great that it's in the mix of things...but in another way, not so great b/c my will power sucks. I feel the draw of a craft, someone's order, and - dare i say it - Pinterest...and then I'm in the craft room, while I do the SAHM thing. Can totally relate to so much you talked about in this post. Thank you, thank you - not just for your words of wisdom, but also for helping me realize that my feeling like I have to do a craft blog *might* not be necessary...I love the idea of it, but I usually end up feeling guilty that I craft in all of my free time, and then blog about it, too. I should, at the very least, try to at least give the impression that I'm striving to blog about our 2nd child as much as I did about our 1st...right??? LOL

  2. I love hearing your story, its so nice to hear that I'm not alone in finding a balance...I'm struggling with that right now and your words are more encouraging that you know...

  3. Thank you for sharing Kristi!! You are such an inspiration to so many!!!

  4. I love Kristi! She is an inspiration to many! Thank you for sharing her with us xoxo

  5. Lovely post! "balance" has been an issue for me lately :-/ Bloggy time, time with my mister, and time for... well... everything else, is tough!
    xo Heather