It's me Konstanze, founder (designer, jeweler, order packer, shipper, social media poster, email writer, website programmer, bookkeeper) of Nodeform.
10 years ago around Labor day 2011, I quit a corporate job in architecture to pursue my jewelry making full time. I had just finalized my divorce a couple months before. There was probably some midlife crisis going on. I certainly was reevaluating my life goals and knew now was the time to make changes.
I was burnt out in my architecture job. There wasn't any joy in it anymore. The money I was earning was ok. But the stress of managing multi-million dollar projects through design and construction left me anxious and with a growing pit in my stomach and constant back pain from all the tension.
So I decided to take a 6 month leave of absence from my job and try to see how far I could grow this little creative hobby of mine. I had started selling my ring creations on Etsy in 2009 and things became busier with time. But the question was could someone actually live off that income in even at that time not cheap living area called Los Angeles. I had a mortgage and bills to pay, there was nobody else that would chip in and split the living cost with me. I had some savings to carry me over for a couple months and just went for it. There always a backup plan. I could just go back to my job if things did not work out. I am not a huge risk taker, but I certainly went in with a plan and some motivation to get to work.
I sometimes can't believe it actually worked for the most part and that it has been 10 years now that I supported myself and my tiny family with the small business I built.
It wasn't always easy. There were ups and downs. Lot's of them. The first years were pretty much a rush of mostly growth. Etsy was buzzing and brought lots of sales. It was exciting to work on all these special ring projects for my customers. This was my live and I liked it. I did not mind the long hours since I was working for myself. Yes, I traded a 40 to 50 hour/week corporate job to work for my self 80 hours per week with uncertain pay. But it just never felt this way. I had gratification in my work I had not felt in years and a flexibility I just loved. I was happy. I am an introvert, so working for myself alone was actually far better for my mental health that being in a big corporate office every day. This lifestyle isn't for everyone. But it was the right fit for me.
But things became much more difficult once I became a single mother in 2016. I had certainly planed for it to some extend. But in the end it was far more challenging to manage my much more limited time be fully present in my business. I never really took a maternity leave since I knew it would kill my business. But I did slow things down a bit to be more present for those early months for my daughter.The flexibility I had being my own boss was a huge help. I could not imagine having to go back to a 9 to 5 job with a newborn like so many other mothers have to do. But I certainly faced the same struggles all mothers face when trying to do it all. Moms are just tired all the time.
The slow times in this business can be quite nerve-wracking when this is the only income for the whole family. But luckily slow times are usually followed by busier times. In some years that worked better than in others. Do I sometimes dream of having a regular dependable paycheck wit heath insurance and benefits like I had in my corporate job? Yes, sure. That would be nice. But I surely don't want to trade it for the freedom and satisfaction I get from my business and self-employed life style. I never felt happier.
But nothing would have been possible without the support of my thousands of customers over the years. I just want to say, from the absolute bottom of my heart...thank you. ❤
Your purchases, glowing reviews, love stories, heartfelt thank you notes, and ecstatic cheers mean the world to me. They get me through tough times, fuel my creativity, motivate me, and inspired new ideas.
Cheers to another 10 years together. I have lot's of plans to grow Nodeform in the next years.