A final word from Engraving Amore.
“When one door closes, another opens.” That’s a quote commonly attributed to Alexander Graham Bell. It calls for a really optimistic perspective. Sometimes, optimism is tough.
We’ve all had those times when we’re supposed to be optimistic. To see the silver lining in the clouds. Wow, do I really love the euphemisms or what? Anyway, I digress. It can be tough. But no matter how tough it is, looking on the bright side not only softens the blow, it often gives us something to look forward to.
Here’s another one… “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Another popular quote, this one attributed to one of my favorite authors, Theodore Geisel. (Or, as you may know him, Dr. Seuss.) Find a way to appreciate it, learn from it, and be happy you had the experience.
One Door Closes
This month, after about a year and a half of planning, followed by two years of working, building, testing, selling and, most of all, trying, Andrea and I are going to close the door on our business, Engraving Amore. We put in a lot of time and effort, and it has been a great experience for many reasons. We could look back on it with regret and say, “Man, that was a lot of time and energy (and money) on something that didn’t work”, but I don’t see it that way. Yes, it’s sad that it comes to this, but I have learned a whole lot in the past three or four years since we have started our fledgling business.
We have learned about the processes involved in running a business. We’ve learned about the time it takes, the work-life balance required, the energy required after an already long week, the dedication and financial commitment, and the list goes on and on. We’ve also learned about lasers, engraving, graphic design, social media marketing and accounting software. And skills we already had from other areas of life have become stronger. Skills like project management, interpersonal skills, web design, customer service and more.
The Most Important Lesson
And what have we learned most of all? We’ve learned that we can do it. This business model was a good model, but it just wasn’t right for us for a lot of reasons. That doesn’t mean it’s not right for someone else, lots of people do it. But it just didn’t work for our personal situation. But we did create something from nothing. We took a concept and created a business. In our garage and at our kitchen table, we manufactured trophies, signs, wine charms, engraved pictures, Christmas ornaments, wedding keepsakes, clocks, personalized glassware and mugs and a whole lot more. We put in place accounting, billing, operational processes, stock management, marketing and sales efforts and everything else it takes to make a business. And we built relationships. Some of the people we worked with showed more support for us than we could have imagined. We had family members who supported us, and also some long-time friends. But there were also some new friends who came through for us and showed faith in us before we even had the chance to prove ourselves. We have some great people in our lives, and the Engraving Amore experience made some of those relationships stronger. That is irreplaceable.
While this business did not take off the way we wanted, it was an immense learning and growth experience, which I am very glad to have had.
And the most important thing? The skills we honed, the knowledge we gained, and the relationships we built are ours now. We have them. We own them. And we will use them in the future.
On to the Next Door
This is a blog post on listening to your business. In this case, our business is saying, “You did a good job. Maybe this one isn’t exactly the right fit, but there’s still something out there. Go get it.”
And we will be back.
When one door closes, another opens.
Engraving Amore’s Work
Below are some of the projects we worked on for Engraving Amore. They were fun to do, and we hope you enjoy them as well. Click on any pic to enlarge them.