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small-business folks share their 2022 goals

small-business folks share their 2022 goals

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Setting aside time to create, being more focused and collaborating with other creatives more often are some of the things these makers are prioritising this year.

It’s been a long January for small-business owners, so we get it if you’re feeling less than inspired for the year ahead. If you're in need of some goal-setting ideas, have a squiz at what six talented local makers are aiming to achieve in 2022.Kendall Walker, one half of homewares and stationery brand S&K Hand Crafts

KEEP GROWING I feel like I’m constantly changing and evolving, which is awesome. I want to keep that up! I want to keep growing, finding my art style, experimenting with different mediums and sharing S&K. I’d also like to expand the number of products I make. I love our hand-painted homewares so much and I’m in the process of expanding our homewares range. I’m also really enjoying having prints and notepads in the shop and want to keep making more.

COLLABORATE MORE I cannot explain the feeling I get when I connect with another creative person who compliments my art style and work – it sparks me! I feel so incredibly inspired, energised and in awe of other creatives when we collab on a project or even just have a meeting or a cheeky Zoom call. Collaborating makes me want to make more which is the BEST.

DOCUMENT My favourite videos to watch on YouTube while I work are studio vlogs by other creatives. I would love to dip into making my own. I want to show more behind-the-scenes things, talk more on Instagram Stories, connect more and film more. It sounds like a lot, but I think I can do it. I also think it will encourage me to keep being creative. I’ll start small by creating mini-vlogs on Instagram Reels and TikTok, but I’d really like to eventually make some larger vlogs.

CREATE MORE I sometimes get stuck in this loop of only creating things that are in demand, and then I get bored, frustrated and creating becomes mundane. I need to remember that it’s OK to make things for myself and that I’m allowed to keep my art. As an artist, you can feel like you’re constantly creating for everyone else and forget to make things for you. In saying that, I feel like if I give myself more creative freedom, I will never get bored of creating for S&K. Bec and Simon McIntyre, owners of sustainable packaging and custom tools brand Woodruff and Co

BE MORE SUSTAINABLE Bec: Our goal has always been to make products that have as little impact on the environment as possible. We love that small businesses are leading the way when it comes to embracing more sustainable packaging practices, but it’s a really complicated area, with lots of greenwashing and confusing information. We want to play a part in helping people navigate this more confidently. It’s a continual process, but we’ll start by communicating how and where each of our products are made, as well as their environmental claims in simple terms.

MORE COLLABORATIONS Simon: Over the past few years we’ve worked with several local illustrators, letterers and designers for a range of water-activated paper tape and rubber stamp designs, and these have been hugely popular. There’s an enormous talent pool of local creatives out there, and we’re excited to tap into that to make even more beautifully designed tools that resolve common packaging needs for small businesses. 

FOCUS Bec: Like lots of small businesses, we often find ourselves with a seemingly endless list of tasks and projects outside the day-to-day running of our business. It’s easy for us to get excited by new ideas for the business, but we often end up spreading ourselves too thin. Our goal for 2022 is to prioritise and be more focused. We’ll look at projects in terms of which ones will give us the biggest win – from a business perspective and for our customers – and focus on those.Kirbee Lawler, illustrator and jewellery designer

STOP OVERTHINKING AND JUST CREATE Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about how to go about creating something new, that I end up getting overwhelmed and doing nothing instead! This year I'm going to try and live more in the moment and create when inspiration strikes. I’ll be trying not to get caught up in what the end product will be and enjoy the process more. 

CREATE FOR MYSELF Running a creative business means that so often I’m thinking about end products and how saleable they may be. It can be a bit of a creativity killer! I think it is important that this year I also make time to create things for myself. 

FIND BALANCE The last couple of years I’ve tried really hard to increase my production quantities, but when you do it all yourself (with the help of parents when they can) it means that it can be a LOT of work. In the times we are in at the moment, combining the sheer volume of things to make with mental burnout and stress has meant that this year I really want to do my best to find the balance between these two things.

WORK TOWARDS AN EXHIBITION OR EVENT It’s been so long since I took part in a group show or had an exhibition and I’d really love to work towards that this year. In the past when I have done these things it has been really great to work to a theme and create a body of work. 

DRAW For a few years now it has been my goal to get back to drawing more, and I haven’t quite reached that goal yet. Maybe 2022 will be the year. Karina Ward, founder of craft business The Crafty Cowgirl

GROW In 2021 I exhibited at Bowerbird Design Market and met so many amazing customers and local business owners. It was such an incredible experience and it motivated and inspired me to focus on my business. This year I’d love to attend a design market interstate and meet more people who love craft as much as I do. I’d also like to create better content for my social media sites and focus on a strategy to grow and connect with my audience.

STAY OFFLINE I have a love/hate relationship with screens. I get lots of my inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, but continuously scrolling through videos and ads is such a time-waster. I also think social media can sometimes be damaging – it’s so easy to compare your work to others’ work and feel inadequate. I’m at my happiest when I replace my phone with an embroidery hoop or project to keep my hands and mind busy.

REFLECT I put a lot of pressure on myself to meet my own high expectations and have a perfect business, but mistakes and compromises are inevitable and that’s OK. Sometimes when things go wrong or I run out of time it can be so stressful and I almost want to give up, but I should learn from my mistakes and use those lessons going forward. Instead of getting upset, I should reflect on the goals I have accomplished and be proud of my achievements. Remembering that I built this business from nothing and turned it into something is enough to pull me out of any mood. 

FOCUS As I come from a creative background, I’m always thinking about what to make next before finishing the current project. This means I end up with boxes of unfinished projects and sometimes neglect necessary tasks like accounting and social media management. I’d like to get to the stage where I treat my business like a 9-5 occupation and allocate the necessary time to these tasks.Sarah de Witt, founder of specialty tea brand Impala & Peacock, mental health support start-up talklink, and high-tea business Mary Eats Cake (which she recently sold)

TAKE RISKS I like the philosophy that business rewards momentum. While research and due diligence has its place, there’s also something to be said for taking a leap and being open and curious to test things out. So, my goal in 2022 is to fail better and faster – to learn lessons from the small setbacks, not take rejection personally, and continue looking forward to what tweaks could make all the difference.

MAKE TIME FOR GOOD PEOPLE They say you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. I’m really lucky to have a small inner-circle of wise and supportive people around me who I admire for being business savvy, hardworking, ambitious, and good accountability partners. I think carefully about who I spend time with and how other people’s energy can impact my mood. Friends and partners who help keep me in check, support my dreams and give me the proverbial kick up the backside when I need it is everything.

CREATE I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades in business, but one of my favourite things to do is create. I like creating brands, products and concepts, and because you never quite know what direction business takes you in, I like to keep an open and creative mind to whatever comes my way. This year is all about keeping creativity strong with time each day to sit, think and create. To help me do this, I’ve set a 10-minute daily meditation goal.

DRINK TEA, SOLO One of the good things to come out of COVID lockdowns was solo time. I quite enjoy my own company and love the small habits that made the lockdowns enjoyable (at times); the morning cup of tea on my deck with my Great Dane (who is a 75kg lap baby) and an afternoon tea pause for a sweet treat and a cuppa in the sun without my phone and distractions. Little moments of pause bring me great joy.

BE KIND Kindness is magic. It helps to bridge gaps, make people feel seen, dissolve disputes and helps people move forward towards shared goals and passions. I’m a passionate person with a lot of up-and-go and fire within me, so it’s a continued goal for me to stay grounded, compassionate and to keep things real. I love the quote, “don’t let success get to your head or failure get to your heart”.  

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