Hello creatives! Oh my, how I missed blogging, but when life gets busy, it gets busy! I just got the time to properly sit down and write about what a wonder 2015 was. Scary as it is, I’m about to be transparent with you.
In early 2015, I was at home hustling to get more brand identity design clients and working on my rebrand (which l launched in June). Days, weeks and months went by without any income from this website. The only income I had was from selling my illustrated posters on Etsy but even that wasn’t enough to live on. Luckily I had money saved up from the previous year’s income but soon that also ran out and with it, my independency.
I had moved back home in November of 2014 to save on money and I loved being home; I got to spend quality time with my nephews, seeing them off to school every morning and welcoming back them back home after school for some afternoon cuddles on the couch while watching cartoons then it was outside for play. I also got some furry cuddles and licks in the shape of our lovely dogs! Even so my mother started passing me the classifieds for job openings to apply for, haha. However -and by God’s grace-, in July the company I interned for the previous year asked me to come back and help them out for a couple of months and of course I packed my bags, went back to Johannesburg and to a 10-to-6.
Johannesburg was awesome this time around; I got the opportunity to save even more money and work every day on my website and brand. I’d go to work in the mornings then come back in the evenings to work on Allebasi in my bedroom for 7 hours or so until late. I was planting seeds and I hope I planted a lot of quality ones, including a new company that wasn’t in any way related to Allebasi.
To keep sane (I didn’t want my life to be made entirely out of work) I picked up writing screenplays. I usually wrote short screenplays but this time I tried my hand on a feature-length screenplay and it was so exciting! I had also closed up my Etsy store because I didn’t have time to illustrate more posters, print, package and ship and it was okay because I was getting steady income at this point. I also booked a client and I felt like I could fly! There is nothing like someone saying they want to work with you because they love your work.
In November my time at the company was nearing an end and I registered two companies; Allebasi Holdings and Africanah. I felt so proud of myself then and I was ready for the hard work required to run both companies. November was a really awesome month for me actually, other than registering my companies I forced myself to stop being a hermit and go out and meet people and meet people I did, awesome ones at that! Also, the 16th of November was my birthday and I gave away a brand identity design package to one lucky subscriber of my mailing list.
I hope to do more giveaways of this kind to my mailing list so if you want in, feel free to sign up!
End of November my freelance contract with the company ended and I took everything, and I mean everything, I saved up and invested it into Africanah,*drum roll*, a clothing brand! Truth be told, Africanah was the hardest business I ever had to undertake; I had no co-founder and I had to do everything myself from sourcing fabric, to designing and looking for reputable seamstresses to work with and yes, even designing the ecommerce website. It was so stressful and was so glad when I got to launch, which I did with pre-orders on the 18th of January. I worked all through my Christmas and New Year holidays and I’m awed at how I could balance quality family time with work time. Hey, I’m getting really good at this balancing thing! High-fives welcome!
The launch on Africanah was taken to really well and I had more people offering their support with Africanah than they did with Allebasi but it was a great feeling regardless! It just means I’ll be able to reach more people that way. I am so happy with the branding of Africanah and I know that Africanah will still be a work in progress but it’s getting me so eager about what it can grow to be. You know why? You know why?? Because I get to actually employ people to work with! Whereas Allebasi Design is a soloprenuer thing where the workload is manageable for one person, Africanah is much more demanding and there’s only one of me. Allebasi Design is my number 1 baby and deserves more of my attention (which I rarely gave any of during the past two months, oops).
The best thing about having two businesses to my name is that they were part of my goals and back in high school, I wanted to have a clothing line but I didn’t know how I could make that happen. It’s amazing how much you learn with time and patience. The feeling of achieving goals you’ve set years before is comparable to when you’re sitting in a restaurant starving for ages and the waiter or waitress finally sets your food down in front of you. No? Okay, disregard that but you know the feeling.
So what now for Allebasi in 2016?
So much. SO MUCH! Remember I said I planted seeds back in 2015? I hope that this will be the year to reap some of them. I’d love to work with 2 brand identity design clients each month and I’d also love to collaborate with other creative entrepreneurs and bloggers as well. There are so many of you whose work I admire. Let’s work together, yes? Yes!
If you want to work with me, I’m booking for February and it is $250 dollars off your investment if you book your space this month! Yay!
Other than client bookings, I’d love to create some helpful free courses utilising what I have learned so far (I have one email course in the works and I’ll release more information closer to that date) and who knows, if my free courses REALLY help people and the content is valuable, I may just develop a paid course by collaborating with other creative entrepreneurs.
I can certainly say I’m super excited for 2016. I am excited to see my fellow entrepreneurs’ new projects and to support them as well. By the way, who’s on Periscope? I intend to make use of Periscope more often this year and I’d love to follow more entrepreneurs!
Personally I’ve got goals to travel, laugh more, love more and read more books (I’m on my 7th book of the year right now). Speaking of books, do you have any suggestions of books that particularly helped you out in business? Perhaps novels that you really loved? If so, please leave some suggestions by commenting below.