Why I started Funky Bitz (and almost didn’t…)

You know that urge you sometimes get to follow your dreams, but it all seems too hard? Well this is me, doing the hard part.

 

For years, my husband and I have been creative souls who have made everything from custom made chilly bins (eskies for all you Australians), dog houses, wall art, pallet furniture, resin wall art, polymer clay earrings, and just about anything else you could think of. We’ve always dreamed of opening Funky Bitz but never got around to the doing part!

 Funky Bitz past creations

Recently I read a book series (you may have heard of the super famous movie – Me Before You) and it inspired me to get off my ass and do something. I have always enjoyed art, we’ve had friends buy custom made pieces from us, and I’ve had people comment on my wearable art pieces like earrings. But I’ve never actually made a real go of it – by myself.

 

So this, my website? It’s me, doing it. Like really giving it a go. By this I mean, selling what I love doing best – my art. To you, it may just seem like a bunch of resin wall art canvases, polymer clay earrings and resin art serving platters. But to me – it represents everything I’ve wanted to do for years (I’m talking at least 12 years).

 

There’s a couple of things that got in the way.

 

Number one: motherhood.

 

Any mum who tells you that she definitely has her shit together, is lying to you. Or you may have the perception that she has her shit together – but I can tell you, behind closed doors it's most likely a different story. There’s heaps of social posts out there about it. You know: the ‘I had to choose between having a career or raising my baby’. The, ‘I want to breastfeed for two years’, or the ‘I couldn’t breastfeed because I had to return to work after my baby turned 18 weeks old just so I could contribute to the household’.

 

There’s a lot of shaming. And I have felt one way or another since before becoming a parent. But for me, my reality is just the busy side of running a household. This pic is of me after a really bad night with my son Wilder... I was totally wrecked!

 

By the time I do the morning ritual of making my toddler eat breakfast, ditch his soiled undies while running around after him (he’s naked with poop on his legs at this stage), drop him to kindy… Get to my ‘9 to 5’ full-time job as a Marketing Manager (where I talk to people a lot all day long), maybe fit in a quick boxing session before home (which is not half as regular as I made out just then), pick up my boy from day-care, get home, help my toddler do a poo in the potty (believe me this is like, a twenty to thirty-minute affair): I AM EXHAUSTED. And that’s all before I even say hi to my husband (who bless his cotton socks, is almost always in the kitchen cooking dinner)!

Dinner at Dirtymikehuntingfishingcooking

Just one of the many amazing dinners my husband cooks me. I am so lucky! Head over to @dirtymikehuntingfishing  to see more of the awesome dinners I am constantly treated to.

 

Number two: fear.

 

Starting a new business is scary. For a start, you have to make money. But even before that, you have to spend money to make money. I have spent hundreds of dollars (probably more in the thousands) to start this business, from little things like buying the domain for the website and purchasing the e-commerce website, to the big things like buying canvases and materials for polymer clay earrings.

 

And then there’s the time factor that has gone into testing all my products, making the products, searching for reliable suppliers and shipping carriers, creating the artworks (destroying the artworks I hate…). The sheer time of cataloguing piece by piece (because everything on my website is handmade, one-of-a-kind resin art and jewellery). The photoshopping, the uploading, the SEO, the Google Ads so I can be noticed as an artist in my own right. Hours spent on Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track it all.

 

All the while I’m thinking, what if I don’t sell anything?

 

It’s a huge fear. It’s in the back of my mind while I’m creating an art piece thinking, are these colours popular, are they going to sell? Or, this doesn’t look like a machine cut piece of polymer clay, is it too shabby? I can assure you – thoughts south of $0 are very present in my mind.

 

But what if I didn’t try?

 

Number three: I didn’t have enough time for me.

 

I think this leads back into number two, but I’m choosing to make a separate point of this one because I think almost every woman is guilty of this. I love my art! It’s my escape from my 9-5 job, it’s the creative side of me that gets to be unleashed, and not care about what the world thinks about what I produce.

 

For a long time after my boy was born, I didn’t really do a lot more than sit on the couch all depressed and give in to my role as a human milk machine. It took a long time for me to realise that perhaps it was in my own best interests to have a hobby and devote time to it. Ask my husband – I was super jealous because he got to have a hobby – climbing, while I sat around flopping my boobs out.

 Laine Brown and baby Wilder

The milk machine and baby Wilder

 

I've only just come to think that I shouldn't ever apologise for having a hobby. If I’ve learned anything it’s that self-sacrificing your hobbies leads to an unhappy life, which affects your relationships at work, with your family, to some point your finances. It’s just not worth it. Putting yourself first is super hard. If you’re anything like me, you spent years putting your husband/other half first, then had a baby and put the baby first, and the husband/other half second, and then SUDDENLY YOU DON’T KNOW HOW IT HAPPENED - you became fifth (right after doing dinner and folding the washing).

 

Funky Bitz is about me, putting me first.

 

So, as I go about my business and I make posts on social media, and if you see an ad or two on Google or on Facebook, think of me, sitting at home at 10pm on a Thursday night (while my husband and child are snoring away). Don’t think of me as a corporation like ASOS or The Iconic. Think of me as someone just like you. Even if you don’t have a child I’m sure you’ll resonate with the million points I made in this blog post in some way.

 

DID YOU KNOW:

  • I literally hide in the toilet sometimes so that I can have two minutes with my own thoughts.
  • I spend time dawdling when we’re on our way out of our house so that I can have a few minutes to myself while my husband and kid are getting into the car.
  • I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my shoulders, and I frequently lose my wallet, keys and phone when I’m out and about (but they are like boomerangs, somehow, I am super lucky, and they are always returned to me? I see no harm done…)
  • I am the oldest of four siblings, but definitely not the wisest.
  • I really do love my husband – he is amazing, and after nearly eight years together I still look forward to seeing him when I get home every day.
  • I LOVE being a mum.

 

So thanks for stopping by my website, in any capacity – whether it’s just to read this blog post, to buy something, to take a look at my art. It means a lot to me, which I’m sure you’ve already gathered. If art is my outlet, you are my excuse for having me-time (oh, you illusive friend ‘me-time’).

 

Laine

X

 

P.S – If you enjoyed these ramblings, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll be the first to read them. And comment below if you have your own thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!

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