Senn & Sons Anniversary, In Three Parts. Part 1: Launching the Business.

I’ll say it first because there’s no way for you to know: happy anniversary to me. April marks the first full year of Senn & Sons. I can’t really mark a specific date, because there are so many steps that make a dream like this come true. There was coming up with a name, having a logo developed, filing my paperwork with the city of San Francisco and state of California, filing a fictitious business name statement, getting a seller’s permit, creating the blog, making business cards, creating a studio space and then – the actual fun part – starting to share my work with people. Some of those things happened earlier than April. Some happened later. But April 11th was my launch post on Senn & Sons, the day I announced it to the world. So there it is. Year One, done.

Looking back, there was no plan to get from there to here. And I think that’s okay. How else would I have done it? I didn’t know what people would like, or what they’d want. I didn’t even know what I’d like or want. So, I’ve let it grow organically. (Isn’t that always the best way, for everything?) And it did grow, sometimes like a flower, sometimes like a weed. What started out small and easy to manage became more challenging as word got our and interest grew. So I had to make adjustments as I went along.

Time was my biggest issue. Still is. Only a few hours a week to do what quickly became a full-time job. I couldn’t create more hours in the day, so I found some extra help to take care of my son. That wasn’t a small thing for me. Not only is childcare expensive in San Francisco, but I was a stay-at-home-mom, and I loved being a stay-at-home-mom. It forced me to change my mindset of what Senn & Sons was and what it could become. It had to move from being project to being a real job and real business.

It’s all an experiment still, but today I can officially say I now work part-time (two full days a week, plus extra time where I find it) and can also still claim to be a stay-at-home mom (three full days a week – oh, and weekends, but we don’t count those because they’re weekends). It’s my happiest achievement - finding a way to be a part of my son’s day-to-day life, and still feeding my creative side and building on the business skills I spent a decade developing in a full-time advertising job. They say you can’t have it all, but I decided to try anyway.

Time, of course, wasn’t the only place where I needed help. The whole idea of having my own business was and still is new to me. Luckily, I have a lot of friends who are entrepreneurs – artists, photographers, start-up owners, freelancers – and watching them create their vision as they do what they love was one of the main things that inspired me to enter this crazy world of entrepreneurship. These friends are the people who inspire me everyday to make Senn & Sons happen, with their encouragement, their help, and their own success and experience. Now, bear in mind these are people who have found some serious success, so my bar for finding that success myself is probably unreasonably high. But I’ve always liked a challenge.

It’s been a wild year. A hard year. A happy year. An amazing year. So I’m not going to wrap it all up in a single post. More on the year that was tomorrow, and then onto the year ahead.