Janery Update: Overcoming the “perfection procrastination”

It may come as no surprise to my regular readers that my handmade pet bed & pillow business, Janery, took a backseat in my life last year. Sales were lower than even my first year, and I didn’t reach my goals of launching Charlie Cushions or my new e-commerce website.   Family came first, and I don’t regret that.

I actually started to launch my Charlie Cushion dog beds in the fall, but in the process I found I’d made some mistakes with them that could only be fixed by ripping out all the seams and starting over. It was an important lesson in measure twice, cut once!

Janery Charlie Cushion Seam Ripper

There’s been more bumps in the road to launching these waterproof dog beds, but the whole story is a topic for a separate post.

Janery Charlie Cushion Progress Notes

The launch of the new Janery website has also been challenging. I’m struggling with a quest for perfection in the website; a quest which I have now realized has kept me from making enough progress. I told myself I wouldn’t launch it until I had a perfect product line, had launched the Charlie Cushions, and had all new branding and perfect product photos, and the list goes on.

The reason? About two years ago I got the idea in my head that I couldn’t advertise or promote my handmade business until it looked more professional. However, in my first two years, I advertised and promoted my business and had the sales to show it. My photos and back then? Completely amateur and embarrassing.

Oh, the irony.

My blogging friend and neighbor, Sarah, has a great podcast about exactly this type of challenge. The Sarah R. Bagley podcast is focused on “a recovering perfectionist’s guide to a B+ life” – and boy, is that just the kind of advice I need to get Janery to the next step.

While I will always strive to create A+ products at Janery, right now I need to be a little more accepting of a B+ backend to the business if I want to take steps towards growing it.

Janery New Website Draft Screenshot

With this in mind, I’ve been busily uploading my best product photos to the new website, and working with my graphic designer to get all the elements in place for a late April launch date. Once the site is live and the Charlie Cushions are really launched, I’ll go about upgrading the site to A+, one step at a time.

Sapling Status: 2 Months Old

Happy 2 months to Maple! Once again the time has flown by, and I have a feeling it’s going to be that way every month.

Maple’s Updates:

Maple 2 Mos Smile

This is the month where she discovered her smile. And oh, what fun it is to see her whole face crack open into a smile at the most random of times. She’s also been finding her giggle, though I haven’t been able to catch it in a video yet.

Maple consistently gained weight this month, which was a relief. It took about 2 weeks after her frenectomy for her nursing latch to correct itself, after which she became a perfect little eater. She’s finally on the cusp of growing out of newborn clothes and into 0-3mos.

At the same time, her acid reflux got so bad that she is now on Zantac. This was prescribed after sessions of projectile vomiting and a few times waking up screaming because she was vomiting out her nose and mouth. That was the worst. Her face had the saddest expression, like “why is this happening to me” and she was just screaming as I held her, trying to comfort her. I learned that seeing your child suffer, no matter how briefly, is an intense feeling.

Now that the ice on sidewalks has melted, we’re going for walks and she loves to look around from the stroller as we roll. It’s so much fun to see her curious face watching the world pass by.

Maple 2 Mos Stroller

She’s been having fun with baths. We fill the adult tub or the baby tub and hold her head so she can float and wiggle, which she LOVES to do.

My life as her mom:

This month I made peace with “not getting much done” when I’m home alone with her during the days, and it’s been awesome. I am happy to spend hours cuddling with her without going nuts.

Maple Shower Winning

I have officially achieved my pre-baby goal of showering every day no matter what.

The mornings are her most active time, so we spend a lot of that doing tummy time, making silly noises and laughing, and staring at ceiling fans.

I’m learning to fit smaller tasks into the shorter naps, and to tackle the more involved work during her longer naps or the evening. Ryan helps a ton when he gets home from work, and after dinner I usually work down in the Janery studio or office until midnight. Then I wake Maple up to feed her before I go to sleep.

This balance happened by accident, but it’s really working well. I’m enjoying the time in my studio more than ever because it’s so different from my time spent being a mom.
There were a few rough days, like the day where she woke up to eat at 3 am and fussed all morning and afternoon, until finally passing out around 1:30. That was a long day, because I couldn’t even put her down to make lunch. At noon I was eating peanut butter out of the jar with one hand while holding Maple with the other.

Maple Jane 2 Mos

We’ve taken her out to numerous restaurants and other places without a hitch, she sleeps consistently most nights, and she doesn’t really cry unless she needs food.I think that overall Maple would be considered a good baby, and I feel like we got extra lucky.

 

 

Planning My New Basement Office

I’m in the process of planning my basement office space. I have a small work space for my corporate job in my living room thanks to my secretary desk, but the Janery office will be in the basement TV room.

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For now my office has just the farmhouse desk I built and a file box, but there is more to come. These are the aspects I’m working on because I don’t have a full plan yet:

Desk

My plan has been to build a new desk, something large, with one solid board for the top and simple legs.

I built a farmhouse style desk for my old office, but after 2+ years of using it I’ve learned more of what I’m looking for in a desk. No drawers, because I want more leg space under the desk. A longer surface, so that I have room for my computer, but also room to spread out and work on papers.

I’m also considering making two identical desks so that I have an L-shaped workspace. I’m not sure if it’s necessary, though. For now, I’ve taped out the space the L-shaped desk would occupy. The first desk, against the wall, will be built so that the L-shaped desk plan can be used if necessary.

I taped out the space the two desks would take up, just to get a feel for the layout:

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Wall Color

I’m planning on repainting the walls. They’re currently painted a sort of eggshell white; it certainly shows up very yellow in the photos.  I think plain white walls will simplify things, and if I want to get colorful, I may put some fuchsia paint on the small triangle wall against the stairs.

Wall Shelves

I’ve installed Elfa shelf hardware from the Container Store (during the annual sale), after realizing I wanted wall shelves for storage. Installing this system saved me from having to drill holes and anchor every single shelf, which would not be ideal since this is a rental.

I’m going to add solid wood shelves just like I did in the nursery. I’m debating whether they will be painted white or stained medium brown to match the desk I will build.

Storage

In addition to the wall shelves, I’d like an under-desk, rolling filing cabinet for paper storage. Filing cabinets are really expensive! I’m considering this one from CB2 since it’s cheaper than most on Amazon, and it has small item storage in the top drawer.

CB2 TPS White Filing Cabinet

Rugs & Baby Play Space

The final consideration in all this planning is space for the baby as she grows. We’ve essentially divided the long basement into halves, with one for my office and one for our TV area. Right now we have the pack-n-play between the back of the sofa and my office corner.

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I’d like the space between sofa and desk to become the baby’s play space as she grows. Therefore I think I need a rug large enough to cover all the way from my desk to the back of the sofa.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be making decisions on shelf colors, the desk style, and storage. The rug will come last.