The Ten S’s of Start-Up
Updated: Aug 25
So, this is our first blog post. Or, mine, I guess. Not entirely sure how the "focus group" will feel about this. Recently, while adding a Blog Page to the website, suggestions appeared. Suggesting there may be a process. For starting a blog.
Hmmm. Process. Maybe I better research this whole blog thing.
Wow. Overwhelming research. Why to blog. What to blog. When to blog. There seemed to be so many rules. Even, How to blog. After reading all of the many steps in the process, I sat back wondering,
Geez. Should I blog?
But wait. There was more.
Blogging effectively to drive my business? Huh? I had never given this a thought. 10 Great Ideas on How to Write a Blog That Will Generate Revenue. In my mind, the only idea was phoBLOGraphy. Yet another funny word. My made up word to combine a blog with photography. Pick one of many photos. Write a thousand words. About said photo. You know, because a picture is worth a thousand words. Any random photo. A photo just taken, an old iPhone photo, maybe a pop-up FB memory, a future Pulitzer Prize Winning photo. Maybe even ask people who read the blog to submit a photo. Then, I began visualizing the various photos which might be submitted. Even worse, I began thinking,
What if no one reads the blog?
Alas, we are one hundred and ninety one words into this blog.
Here’s the first photo randomly selected via the round-and-round-she-goes-where-she-stops-nobody-knows-carnival-method, scrolling through the iPhone photo album.
My dear best friend Alannah Naber, of Sutturn Designs, creatively made this cappuccino mug and gave to me as an early birthday present. It’s perfectly aligned to our Profundities Boutique label and functionally holds 6 ounces of Ristretto with a splash of cream! The photo is unfiltered and unedited. No increasing exposure or brightness -deflecting from the authentic 4 o'clock a.m. shadows. The hour at which I begin our work. Now seeing the photo, I have the idea to write about what we, at J. Alix Barber Photography, have accomplished in one week since our launch. Working those long hours. Turns out, jotting down those accomplishments, they become The S’s of Start Up. Coincidentally, there are 10! Like the ideas for a revenue increasing blog. Below, those jotted down S's - a mix of needs, extras and milestones - to the starting and launching a new company. Our company.
No, like actually start. After pulling enough together with a goal in mind to launch the renovated website on 17 August, I became so nervous up until the very moment it went live and then told the world we'd opened for business. We have to start somewhere, I kept saying in my head that day. Have to start.
Here is the we in all of this.
A few months ago, I created a focus group. Albeit small. Actually, it's five friends who live all across the US. We meet in a group text named, “The Office.” A place where I safely toss out ideas, show sample views of product and wait. For their opinions. They don’t know this, but I actually have paced nervously waiting for their responses. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Texting an entrepreneur and lifelong friend who has become quite successful. Who would not want to be in this group text of five women from all over the US. He is brutally honest. I trust him implicitly. He’s smart. He’s intuitive. He works hard. Did I mention he’s brutally honest? When I sent him a first design view of The Emilia Grand Handbag, he said, "Gorgeous." When I sent him a first design view of our leggings, the response was something you would rarely hear from him, “WOW! Holy Shit! Those are dope!” I knew, then, maybe to be onto something.
Finding an investor. Who believes in all of this. This person has been incredibly supportive to help kick-start a dream and is quickly becoming a very good friend.
My sons. They’re involved. Having seen it all first hand, building this empire right here from home, believe in this, too. Each one has a role. Director of Marketing and Social Media. Chief Operations Officer. Director of Sales. Even Brodie, our dog. He is the silent partner and Chief Furry Officer.
Other friends and family who are cheering this forward.
My Mom and my Dad. To whom I owe the creative flow. My Mom still here to physically say, "Go, Jamie, Go," while my Dad's spirit is saying, "Keep going, Jame-O." (He is a little behind the whole butterfly thing, too.)
As in media. Having never shared a story on IG or FB, I had to learn. The first thirty stories were deleted and then when I did finally stick with one, I actually posted it three times. It was the social media version of a run-on sentence. The Director shaking his head. Through the Social component, it occurred how much Start and Support have to do with it. I had to start promoting photography in a new way, while many friends and family support with shares, loves and likes. Encouraging comments.
Yep. Generated sales! Seriously. It was like Christmas around here. There were a barrage of emotions. Customers were excited. Enthused. Buying. It was encouraging and while not yet fully understanding the greater purpose in all this, I could definitely feel what was at the center of why it started. People were having fun. Excited. Empowered. Inspired.
A new customer, well they’re all new, I guess, specifically asked if I could take one design and create a different product. That evening, I went back to the drawing board and sent her the design a few hours later. She loved it. She bought it. I loved that she loved it! I loved that she bought it!
We have people who actually want to hear more. See more. Know more!
Okay. Selfie. As in one. We had our first customer selfie social media post and j. alix barber photography TAG last week. They are so happy about their Petal Pusher, “There’s Always an Upside" COVID Mask. Which made us happy!
As the orders come in, the Profundities and Fine Art go out. I mean how else could we get our first satisfied customer selfie?
A Fine Art Gallery with limited edition prints for sale - fueled by a passion for photography - as art. Is art.
An online boutique with a funny name - Profundities - but thoughtful, cool gifts to give!
Interior + Architecture photography showcasing designers' work.
10. Serendipity ...
... in the sense of momentum and fortitude! This is happening. I feel so lucky and happy to be doing it. Sharing it!
I would add another “S.” Sleep. As in, lack thereof. However, I am approaching 950 words. The energy involved with this endeavor is what's keeping it, and me, running. Also, the Ristretto. The support.
Reflecting back on our first week with J. Alix Barber Photography - introducing The Fine Art Gallery, opening the Profundities Boutique, fine tuning our Interior + Architecture photography services, creating a store - we had a very successful launch.
Success. For me, is defined not by what was achieved, rather did we exceed what was expected. We did. But there is still so much more to do! Maybe even more S's.
As for all the rules to writing a blog? Seems complicated. Perhaps there are no rules for a phoBLOGraphy. It's just a place to write about photos. Share. Encourage. Inspire. Start something.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our next photo of the week! Visit us again soon.
~ j. alix barber