Bad Business (Part 1)

I have received a few emails from you wondering what happened to my job at Winter Water Factory, since I no longer work there anymore. At first I thought I wouldn’t say anything about it here, I had done some explaining about it already on my Instagram account, and had even reached out to those that follow me there for some aide in surviving how hurt it had left me, and received such lovely private messages that I felt that was enough, time to move on.

But recently I was thinking about 3 moments in my life that had a hand in shaping it, that were also bad business.

Now this blog of mine is small potatoes, I write her mostly as a love letter to my girls. It isn’t the best love letter as it is mostly rushed writing, and pictures – but damnit hopefully they know I did my best with heavy eyelids and a scrambled mind after having them.

Occasionally I share posts about my home and love of gardening, but I don’t consider myself a house or garden blog – though I can’t tell you have many emails I receive about our home and source questions…and even with the tiny bit of it I’ve shared…which I appreciate for sure, but also always feel kind of silly about it, like I don’t deserve your interest. So thank you. Truly.

And even more occasionally than that, I write a really personal post where I’m just so tired of being in my mind with it I need to get it out and then I receive an email from my aunt like, “girl, you ok?” Ha! And I am ok…I am just from the early days of blogging when you could actually make a career from over sharing the grit, not how perfect your life is. Instagram and Facebook have changed that. This is actually my third blog…my other two were much more personal, so you’re welcome! 😉

As some of you know I opened a brick and mortar shop when I as 24 and sold it when I was 28. I was at a loss after selling my shop as I didn’t truly want to do that, I just needed some advice that never came, and so I got so stuck inside my head with all of it and the worry of sustaining it, since I was doing it all through credit card loans, I sold it.

I slowly started another business as a content curator. There wasn’t Pinterest back then, so I was Pinterest for several really big blogs. I’ve never had the money to do what I really wanted with my own home, so it was a lot of fun for me to create content pages for these blogs of beautiful products/places. I was good at this too, I have always been a curator by nature and before content became this saturated market of same, it was a really lovely place to explore and discover unknown artists and places to visit.

Now everyone seems to be afraid to truly express themselves, and many have become this Pleasentville of black and white ideas, a singular idea that never strays, from their homes, to their clothes, to their husbands clothes, to their children. A singular idea that for the life of me I can’t understand why it’s so popular, at least on Instagram it is. I also find it strange that these same singular idea people are also considered creatives and often contacted by businesses to create for them a unique identity that of course just ends up looking like the rest.

But I digress…so as I entered these world of freelance…which is basically you work part-time for a lot of different businesses, I started to build a client lists of bloggers, small businesses, and even some magazine work.

The first bad business I experienced was actually the selling of my own business. I was SUPER naive and didn’t even consult with a lawyer. Long story short, I gave over all the details of my business before receiving the last payment, the new owner locked me out of everything, I lost hundreds of contacts and even personal emails etc…it was horrible. I cried so hard over it, I broke blood vessels all over my face. I did eventually receive the last payment, but the experience really shook me, how could I have been so foolish? How could I have allowed someone to take control over something I had worked so hard to build. I hate to say it, but I have alway been too trusting, even though I like to think of myself as someone that can see through the BS, when it comes to myself….not so much.

Once I was fully into my freelance career, I again found myself in a bit of a mess. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the first experience, but I again did very little to protect myself when helping a client that I saw as a friend. I had worked for her for years, I had been there for her when she lost her father, and I had made her blog into something that was making her a decent income. When she asked me to redesign her blog, because she had, had a falling out with the first web designer, I agreed, feeling sorry for her that she had, had such a bad previous experience.

I soon realized that SHE was the reason for her previously bad experience. She kept going on vacations (she was very wealthy woman, and her work ethic was terrible) never turned in anything I needed to complete the job on time. I eventually saw it going badly for us, and I feared I could lose her as a client altogether, so I sent her a simple email saying that I was worried that this project was going to hurt our working relationship, that I didn’t think I was the right one to complete it as it had already been going passed the deadline for months (which was costing me money, not her). She never replied, she just freaked out. She locked me out of everything, started posting on Twitter that I was a terrible person (though she didn’t use my name) she threatened to sue me. Her husband was a big time business lawyer, and he even started to write me, and threatened me. I had only received payment for the work that I had completed, but they said they would sue me to complete the job. We didn’t have a contract, so they couldn’t sue me…but I was shocked, I didn’t even know what to do. I immediately tried fixing it and tried explaining that I was just stressed about the project, and I was worried it wasn’t going anywhere, but was open to talk about it, and figure it out. She never replied, and painted herself as a victim all over social media and her blog. She started posting that sign everywhere that says, “Work Hard and Be Nice to People” and to this day when I see that sign, I always pause and think back to that crazy moment.

Later, I learned some things that were going on her in life at that time that were pretty shady, so I think I was just wrong place at the wrong time, but it still left me shaken for awhile. She was a very well known blogger and during that time when blogging was everything, it felt like my career was over. (To be continued, ha!)

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