Busy mom and entrepreneur, Christine Haynes, tells how she hangs on to her sanity while running a business and keeping up with her family.
When I started my business, Fezelry Jewelry Designs, several years ago, I had no clue that I would actually work harder for myself then I ever would for other people. Being the Owner, Designer, Vice President, Office Manager, Public Relations Department, Marketing Director, Web Designer, Photographer, Accountant, and Creative Master Mind behind my brand is both exhausting and time consuming, but it’s rewarding.
I have had the honor of adorning many beautiful, talented, and inspiring women with my jewelry designs. With hard work, and lost sleep, I have watched my dream come to life and I have watched my business grow. Now I am able to step back and smile with pride over the success I have achieved thus far and I look ahead with anticipation towards the success to come. However, I am also a mother and a wife. Building a business is a challenge, but building a family while building a business is even more challenging. It’s a balancing act and at times it’s hard to find a balance between home and the business, especially when your business is in your home! So how do I maintain balance and sanity? I admit it took some time to figure it out, and I’m still fine tuning things, but I have a few things that help me keep it all together.
The very first thing that comes to my mind when I think of how I have been able to keep my head on straight is the huge web of support I have holding me up. I make it a point to only surround myself with people that are genuine, inspiring, and truly have my best interest at heart. We support each other and together we celebrate each success and provide a sounding board when things go wrong.
Get People, People!
When I started my business, I was everyone! But I needed to focus first on being the Jewelry Designer! No jewelry, no business! As the business grew, I knew I had to “get people.” I’m not an accountant and I don’t even play one on TV, LOL! So, I have no business messing around with accounting forms and filing my own taxes. That’s why God invented accountants and that was the very first thing I outsourced. Time management is critical. I must use all available time to create and assemble these unique designs, so the more assistance I can secure insures a premier product for my customers.
I realized sometimes I really wasn’t getting anything done. So now I make it a point to focus my schedule toward design and brainstorming. If I am spending three hours designing jewelry, I’m not simultaneously checking my e-mail or making phone calls. This goes for family time too! It may sound a little odd but I schedule family time. This helps me set boundaries and my children know exactly what to expect. Mommy is “at work” for the next three hours when I am done we can go out. The key is to schedule it and build consistency. When I am “off” work, that’s it. I shut down and “go home,” so to speak.
Time with family should be time with family. I un-plug and make myself completely available. Even if we are just hanging out at home watching television, I’m not checking the Blackberry, I’m there and present in the moment. Running a business requires a lot of sacrifice and family time can be difficult to come by. I make the effort to find time and be there to enjoy it. You can never get back lost moments! Don’t let the business get in the way of living your life and enjoying your family.
Take a Time Out!
My business needs attention, my family needs my attention, and I need my attention! It’s ok to take a time out from everything to recover and rejuvenate. That being said, I have to confess, I have one hell of a time “turning off,” even to sleep! I have been known to jump out of bed in the middle of the night and “sleep work!” I had to gradually convince myself that it’s OK to take a moment to myself. I’m a much better business woman, mother, and wife if I take a little time out for me. Even if it is just a few hours at the end of a crazy week or an hour to work out, meditate, or just do nothing at all. I admit I still have some struggles with this time out thing, but I force myself to turn off and I do it without guilt or explanation. Burn out is not a good look.
There’s a lot of learning and perfecting still ahead, but I will never regret taking the plunge and turning my art into a business. The work is hard but the rewards are great. The success I am seeing from the fruits of my own labor and the joy I receive from the work I do is priceless. And yes, I still jump out of the bed in the middle of the night sometimes!
About the Author
Christine Haynes, A.J.P. Owner/Designer, Fezelry Jewelry Designs is an Accredited Jewelry Professional, with a degree from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America. An award winning jewelry designer with more than 10 years design experience, she has designed original creations for magazines, fashion shows, and various TV personalities including actress Julie Pinson (Janet Ciccone) of As The World Turns, and News anchors, Angie Goff, WUSA Channel 9 News, and Shawn Yancy, WTTG Fox 5 News. She is also a frequent contributor to Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine and Beadstyle magazine. She is a contributing author to two books, Jewelry in a Flash and Easy Beading Vol.6. Married for 16 years, she and her husband have two beautiful little jewels, their daughter’s, ages 4 and 10.
“As long work-hours introduce conflict between work and family into many dual-earner families, couples often resolve conflict in ways that prioritise husbands’ careers.” [Women 'Give Up Careers Because of Unhelpful Husbands' · Laura Roberts · Telegraph.co.uk · 02 April 2010]