Laying it Down

“Man up”
“Stop being such a perfectionist”
“It is what it is…”

These are the things I tell myself almost on a daily basis concerning Twillypop.   I struggle with fitting everything in: time with my God, my kids, my husband, schoolwork, housework and even time with my friends.  I war with myself daily over the fact that I can’t seem to relax about Twillypop even though it’s NO BIG DEAL.  I have wished and wished that I could just stick a few necklaces on Etsy and leave it at that.  But I can’t.   New designs, pictures, names, descriptions, a second shop and all that these things entail constantly invade my thoughts.  All the time.   When I’m present, I am not present because there is something else on my mind.  When I am doing anything other than working on my business, I constantly feel burdened to get back at it.   Twillypop has invaded all that I think and do…

And that’s just plain silly.  Ribbons and beads? Really, Sara?  When you look back on your life are you going to wish you had made more ribbon jewelry? 

And because I KNOW how silly it is to have let this become so important I try to fight it, and stick with it, and fight what it is in my nature that so desperately wants to do EVERYTHING well……and perfect.  I have come to realize that there really is no fighting this part of me..any more than there is a way to devote this much of myself to more than one area of my life.   So, I admit…….acknowledge, that almost every other area of my life has suffered as a result…….

Driving home from the gym this morning, all I wanted more than anything was to think about how to best manage my household & mother my children today……to think about how I could make their schoolday more fun…how I could soak in time with them.   Instead, my mind was cluttered with thoughts of orders I need to package & mail, special orders to fill, emails to answer & the ever present pressure I put on myself to keep creating new ones.  I have reasoned one hundred different ways why I should keep going with Twillypop. ………….but always come back to the  three reasons I shouldn’t.
I wish I could do it all, but am ready to stop telling myself that I SHOULD be able to and  admit…….I just can’t.
So, this is where I am today.  My shops will be closing after this week, indefinitely.  I will still be blogging & tweeting.  I will still be looking forward to “time” with all of you.  I am laying Twillypop down for  now.  I’m going to dig my heels into being a wife and mom for now……time with my precious angels grows shorter with each passing day…..
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  1. You are a precious woman! I totally understand how you feel and what you’re going through. Kids are far more precious than any bead or listing or sale! They grow up so fast and every passing day should be embraced! Big hugs and smooches for your choice between your shop or kids and hubby. There’s always time to sell online, but only a short time to hug, kiss, and encourage your kids futures. Hats off to you special lady!!!

  2. You have to do what is best for you and your family and I cannot see how you could possibly regret spending more time with your kids while they’re still young. They’ll be grown and out of the house before you know it.

    I know it must have been a difficult decision, but it’s one I admire.

    I hope you’ll still be tweeting and I’m glad you’ll still be blogging 🙂

  3. I admit I am not surprised to hear it, although I hate to see you go, as you already know what I think of your shop. I hope you are happy doing whatever it is you decide to do, that is what is most important. I am glad I met you though, and take care.


  4. Hugs to you Sara. I will miss your shop but hope to see you on Twitter once in a while. Congratulations on spending more time with your kiddos! That’s wonderful. We will all miss your pretty jewelry though!

  5. For every season there is a reason.

    I know exactly where you are coming from. This so brings me back to the day my daughter told me she was pregnant with my youngest grandchild, while driving home from picking up some supplies, my head was full of so many emotions and questions. At the time, I owned and lived in an old firehall, where I made, sold and taught pottery. The city had declared that i was an industry and my taxes had tripled. I was still making a living, but working very hard to do so. $9,000. a year in taxes, is a lot of mugs!!!

    To make a long story short, when I got home, I said to hubby “We are selling” I am not going to miss another of Madison’s dance recitals and any important days with this new grandchild. Had the for sale sign up by 4 o’clock that afternoon and sold the building in 2 weeks.

    I have not regretted the decision for one moment.

    Etsy now is the perfect place for me to be, and some day, when the time is right it will be for you too.

    Jo Ann

    BTW….those are the cutest 3 reason I’ve seen.

  6. Best of luck to you on this. It is so great that you have recognized this! I pray things go well for you!

  7. Children are a precious gift and should be the most important things in our lives. They grow up so quickly that the time just flies by! Enjoy every second, minute and day possible!

  8. Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing this huge part of your life with us. I’ve been struggling with balance and priorities in my own life as well. My precious little boy is 3 years old and I can’t stand the thought of him heading off to kindergarten and me wishing I had spent more time with him while he was home with me.

    I am not quite ready to close my shop but I’m making gigantic and drastic changes in my life. Thank you for being inspirational and reminding me that there is so much more to life 🙂


  9. Awww. And to think I just found your shop. But, I’m glad to have “met” you and I’m looking forward to your future tweets and blogs.

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I often ask myself “How are cookies going to change the world?” I had the big “sit down” with myself a couple months ago and I had to put it all into perspective. I’m at a point where I’ve decided to let the business do what it’s going to do, I refuse to be consumed by it, and the minute it’s no longer fun, I’ll hang up the apron.

    Life is so short, and there’s just too much to experience. It doesn’t make sense to let one thing take over your life. You have 3 great reasons to be out there experiencing all that life has to offer! 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I definitely understand where you are coming from and as another etsy seller with young kids I feel exactly the same way everyday.

    I will miss your very pretty jewelry. Good luck to you always.

  11. Dear Sweet friend-
    I am so glad that you are able to come to this decision. I of course will miss shopping with you, but your love of family and friends is what makes you you, not your ribbon and pearls. You are an amazing woman and I feel so blessed to know you, even if only thru cyberspace. Praying blessings on you, no matter what you are doing.

  12. What an amazingly brave woman you are, Sara! To embrace your choice even tho it is different and outside the box of “normal”…I am so proud of you for taking a chance to be who you are!

    I will be praying for you…and waiting to see the blessing you find on the “other side”. 🙂

  13. Whatever you decide, we will all support you in it. Do whatever you feel God telling you to do, always seems to work out the best. :O)

  14. So heartfelt…I feel it.

    The right thing to do for you now. 🙂

    So, feel good about it and know that I support you Sara 100%!


  15. I am so impressed—–You know how much i love what you do w/ Twillypop—but i also know how you have struggled—-those beautiful, precious lives are what your God gave you to do for now–I admire your awesome wisdom—you make me proud to be your momma–I love you Sara

  16. I was so close to this same decision back in January. I don’t know what changed to make it become easier for me (maybe that we had finally made our big move and had settled into our new home, so that stressor was gone), but I can totally relate to how you are feeling right now. You’ve got to do what feels right in your heart, and you have made the best decision for yourself and your family. That’s the beauty of owning your own business, and selling your own creations, is that *you* are in charge. You can put it down when you need to, and pick it back up if you ever want to. It is all in your hands, and your heart 🙂

    I’m glad you’ll still be tweeting and blogging, though, cause otherwise I might not be so supportive. 😀

  17. Sara, Keep listening to that still small voice and you’ll always know what to do. 🙂

  18. East Coast Sara-

    I feel much of what you’ve written more often than I care to admit. But I just need to ask (not that you haven’t already thought of this) – is there any way to strike a balance — rather than going all or nothing? I lean toward the all or nothing (I’m a typical Sag) style of life most of the time, but I realize it can lead to negativity. I’m always learning to try practicing having a sensible balance and I don’t always succeed, but I take baby steps toward getting better. I only mention all of this for two reasons: 1) Know that you’re far from being alone. So many mothers who do love their jobs, art, hobbies, etc. experience the very same thoughts constantly. 2) Please be sure you’re not giving up a piece of that potentially completes your puzzle. Of course your family comes first — but your family includes YOU. Personally, if I neglect to make room for (non-kiddie) creative time, having grown up fun and generally having zen/me time, I eventually encounter a void that’s sometimes overtaken by less positive/rational/sensible choices.When there, it sucks for SO many reasons. These seem to be imperative elements to my emotional health and thusly, my ability to be a positive role model for MiniMe. With that (blathering), just laying some opinionated, subjective food for thought on ya. Please take it or leave it. Either way, I won’t be offended. I just think you’re so awesometastic and would regret not typing it out loud.

    Smooches no matter what,
    Midwest Sarah

  19. I totally understand. It does take over. Glad you’ll still be around in other ways. Have a great time!

  20. I totally understand! I felt similarly about my handmade shop.

  21. Sara that is a hard decision. But, your kids will never be this age again. I totally support your decision. Blessings on you and your family.

  22. Good for you!! to realize what is really worthy of your time “your family” time that you can never get back. Some people don’t realize it until it’s too late and they have missed so much.
    So much of what you wrote I can relate to, the constant thinking of the business, promotions, orders…it can take over.
    There is a season for everything. When I’ve spoken on the Proverbs 31 woman “I’ve” always taught she didn’t do it all everyday, these are seasons in her life. I don’t know if that’s considered heresy or not but I can tell you you’d hear a collective sigh of relief from the ladies!
    Glad to hear you’ll still be blogging and tweeting I’d miss those 🙂


  23. oh Sara! I love this…your honesty and realization of where you are as a mom, wife, person.
    That is a huge decision…and I am so proud of you for following your heart and what you know is the right thing- regardless of how hard.

  24. Sara,
    Thank you for such an honest post. It takes courage to step away from something that is so much a part of you. I know first hand… I started selling my creations when my kids (now 10 & 12) were just 2 & 4 years old. It was exciting at first. It was a way to keep an identity that was “other than mother”. And in all honesty, I liked the kudos I got from my clients. But a couple of years into it and I started realizing things were out of balance. I had to decide whether to hire help with my shop or to close up. I decided closing was what was best for my family. Forward nearly 8 years later… I realized it was a good time to try it again! I reconnected with vendors, clients and the new world of Twitter & Etsy and here we are! While I missed all that was “my business life” while the shop was closed, I look back at all the amazing things I got to do with my kids, husband, family & friends and know it was the right thing to do at the time.

    So good luck with your decision. And if you decide to come back to it someday, it will love you all over again 🙂

    Tweet ya on Twitter and see you on fb? Hope so!

  25. Sending you a hug Sara! Your post struck a cord with me because I came close to the same decision lately. I’m a ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to spending time creating, and selling on Etsy. My daughter is now a grown woman and I have just started spending my time on my love for creating. I haven’t really sold very much, but I am very happy when I’m making jewelry. Thought I would close shop because of the lack of sales….. but I’m not ready to close the door on my creative self. I shelved that for many years to raise my daughter. Just do what feels right in your heart….. the time will come again, when you will be able to indulge your creative side…. take it from someone who knows….:)

  26. Sara,

    I know how hard this must have been for you. I know that everyone else has already said it, but just know I will miss you around Etsy and hope one day things will even out for you and that you will be back.

    Hugs and Love,

  27. Anonymous says:

    I just find out you are Twillypop and now you are closing your shop. I can understand that you want to spend all your time with your wonderful family. Just know that for me, you were a joy to have in my second grade class and that you made a big impact in my teaching career because you CARED and wanted to learn and were a special student. Your first priority is FAMILY and know that your decision is what is best for you and them. Maybe we can get together sometime and chat about “old times”. All my love, Carol

  28. God bless you and your family. You are an amazing woman … you should be proud of yourself.

  29. you are so strong and self-aware. I’m so glad I have gotten to know you and hope we can still be twitter friends. Let us know how you are doing… hugs to you xoxo

  30. There have been many occasions in my life where I have had to sit back and take stock, reassess my priorities and determine what is the important stuff and what is just sapping my energy.

    When I have needed to find the balance and say what do I really love, what deserves my attention and focus right now? Usually these times have been preceded by a tragedy or a crisis.

    I thank God that you have had your refocus moment without either of those. (((Hugs))) to you & those precious babies.

  31. I know how difficult it is to come to a big decision as this, but the 3 little reasons you have deserve to win your time 🙂 There are a few things that midwest Sara mentioned in her comment that might ring in at some point; especially the puzzle piece of you that includes creativity. If you can fit that in for an hour or so on those rare occaisons, the creative part of your brain will be happy too, without the need to have an open shop. I wish you loads of cuddles and laughter with your children! xo

  32. I salute you for your decision and hope one day you will be back for now enjoy your children they grow up so quickly. Good luck and look forward to reading your blog again.

  33. Congrats, Sara! It takes strength to make such a bold decision and although I love your creations sometimes you need to focus on what’s the most important thing at the moment. Family is the biggest and best part of our lives, right? Why not be there fully and completely now when your kids are growing up. Don’t miss out on any of those incredible times because of a business. You’ve opened my eyes a bit to what I should be doing as well. I know I am guilty of spending way too much time on my business and feeling guilty later on for it 🙁 I wish you the absolute best, Sara. You are a fantastic person and I’m so glad you will continue to blog and tweet because the world needs to hear what great people like yourself are up to for inspiration and happiness each day. Hugs sweet girl!

  34. This is such a brave choice. I applaud your decision!

  35. Sara-
    You have shared a very thoughtful moment in your life. You are brave and corageous. You have expressed thoughts that have gone through many of our minds. Many wonderful events, ideas and opportunities will resurface when the time is right for you again. And now now you will be re-energized by your decision and your mind is clearer to be with yourself, your fmaily and your friends.

    Here’s on of my favortie poems by Robert Frost that that is perfect for this moment…

    The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same, 10

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  36. Congratulations Sara – I hope to be as brave as you one day soon!

    You are a success to everyone that has met you – especially to your family most of all.

    Now I am off to grab one of those Twillypops that I have always wanted!

  37. Sara~ God bless you in whatever adventures await you!!! God places us where we are supposed to be if we have ears to hear and eyes to see and it sounds like you’ve been listening and seeing 😉 See you on Twitter!! Off to give you a drink of encourage on your fitness goals and all the other goals in your life!
    Best Wishes~

  38. I admit, I was so surprised to hear this news, but after reading your post I totally get it. You are doing what you need to do, what’s good for you, what’s best for your kids, for your family. I so admire your honesty, sometimes doing it all, means something has to give and you’re not willing to let this time in your life pass you by. YOU have made the right decision for you! Be proud of your decision. I am however so very happy to hear you’ll still be blogging and tweeting,all the best to you, my friend.

  39. I’m sad to loose the chance to buy EVERYTHING you make, but I’m really happy for you and your family! I TOTALLY understand the pressure of an etsy store– I don’t have kids, but I have 2 jobs and I find myself stressing about the etsy shop in my few spare hours! I love that you are taking things back to where they are fun and rewarding and letting the stress trying to loose the stress that built up around it all!

  40. Sara,
    I found your post via Handmade Highway, and for me it’s very timely. I have been trying to come to terms lately with the fact that my “little girl”, who is now 14, will go off to college in just 4 short years.
    The time sure has flown by, but I’m happy that I was able to spend so much of it being with her. It’s time I wouldn’t trade for anything. Etsy shops may come and go, like so many other things in life, but you only get one chance to watch your kids grow up. I can promise you that you will never, ever regret your decision!
    The best to you and your beautiful family!

  41. Awwww – I’m sad to see you go, BUT – I understand about managing it all and doing your best! I think timing is everything. Your kids will not always be little – enjoy them now while they are! What a precious blog post! Thanks for keeping it real!

  42. Oh, I SO know how this is! But you’re right — you have three wonderful reasons to make this decision!

    And that perfection thing? It’s so over-rated. Pales in comparison to GRACE.

    Take care, and come over and see me for some mom inspiration!

  43. I think this is a wise decision. I could not have run Etsy shops when I was a young mum. I only had one son but how I loved that [precious time. Now he is 34, almost 35, and we have a marvelous relationship. I am sure the wonderful years we had when he was a child were years well spent. I gave up work because I chose to have a child. We were poor and it was tough but it was also wonderful. When your children have flown the nest you might return to your jewelry. For now, your treasures are both here as your three children and laid up in Heaven.

  44. Sara: I so admire you for this decision. You are young and creative; you have many years once the kids are grown to do beads and ribbon. I love you for putting your fam first. God is proud of you. Now, have your DH take you out to dinner to celebrate his loving,wise wife!


  45. you’re such a good mom. I don’t even have to guess. And you know what, I know EXACTLY how you feel. How the little business can be all too consuming and always on your mind. It IS frustrating sometimes! You inspire me, Miss Sara!
    Btw, your kids are SO CUTE!!

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