Nesting Part Deux (Finally! An Update!)
Hey y'all! I'm still around, even though I haven't been nearly as active on here as I intended. As usual, life gets in the way and I fully admit that I haven't prioritized Ruby July as much as I should have. I'm looking forward to refocusing and making more of an effort for this to succeed, so I plan to post more regularly and start coming up with more content for my Instagram.
So. We're in the middle of a pandemic.
2020. Has. Been.
Year. Because of that, I've been furloughed since the end of March (yes, it's now six full months later) and things don't appear to be changing anytime soon. I'm grateful to still have my job at the camera store, and have been able to do a couple hours of work here and there as needed. The pandemic has definitely thrown a wrench into the future of many small businesses, so it's been an adjustment but I'm glad the store is still kicking and doing alright so far. As an introvert, I'm kind of built for social distancing so that part of the past few months hasn't always been terrible. There were definitely a few points over the summer where it was more mentally challenging, especially around my birthday in July (seriously, who expected this to still be going on in the summer, much less now?!) and my productivity comes and goes in spurts. Some days I spend a repulsive amount of hours swiping through TikTok or playing Animal Crossing and other days I spend furiously organizing my apartment or working on Ruby July. It's all about balance, yeah? This past week I bought a shelf from IKEA and put it up, and I'm thrilled with how it came out. I mean how can you not be inspired by this?! All of my beautiful calligraphy supplies on full display. 😍
I've also been receiving a pretty steady flow of orders on my Etsy shop for the typewritten prints, so that's been a positive experience during the past two years. It's amazing to be able to provide something unique for people and I always love the personal nature of selling through Etsy. The custom quotes have been the most popular by far, and I've loved the variety of quotes and projects that customers request. (You can view all the typewritten prints I'm offering on Etsy by clicking here.) Outside of the typewritten prints, I have been really focusing on getting the calligraphy side of Ruby July up and running. I did end up calligraphing my friend's envelopes for her wedding last year, and I learned so much from the process. I also confirmed that calligraphy is something I do truly enjoy doing, so I'd really like for that to be my primary focus moving forward. I signed up for an online calligraphy summit in October, so I'm hopeful I will learn the tools I need in order to really flourish and grow as a business. Over the summer, I was finally able to purchase all of the envelope colors I will offer through Ruby July, and calligraphed samples on each color with both of the scripts I am confident in writing at the moment (Emilia and Harper). I'm offering 30 colors, split up into four different color collections: Jewel, Summer, Pastel, and Neutral. I'm hoping this will provide enough options for many needs, but I'm definitely willing to help customers in finding something else if these colors aren't absolutely perfect for their event. You can view some samples of my envelopes in the gallery below (clicking on an image will take you to that particular Etsy listing) and you can view the full array of envelopes by clicking here.
Other than the exciting calligraphy news, I've signed up for a few online courses through Coursera, which has been surprisingly fun and is something I might consider continuing to do in the future. Some courses are being provided for free by the State of Minnesota for residents who are currently collecting unemployment insurance (that's me!) due to the pandemic. I've signed up for a Graphic Design course as a refresher on the basics, and just signed up for a Social Media Marketing specialization, which I hope will help me learn to maximize my efforts online both at work and for Ruby July.
I still plan to offer stationery designs in the coming weeks, but at this time I think I'll have those be digital downloads only. I'm looking to use Corjl as the hosting site, as it seems to be pretty user-friendly on both the seller and customer ends, and will give customers options to personalize as needed. I'll be sure to share more on that as I am able to get things finalized and posted. That's all the news I have for now! I'll try to post a bit more frequently here and will do a couple posts highlighting specific products I'm offering so you can stay up to date too!