Takeaways from Alt Summit

image source // graphics by me for PSS

One thing I’ve learned after attending a few extremely-inspiring conferences is that you come home on fire and with approximately 2.38billion ideas in your head. WHAT WILL I DO?! WHERE WILL I GO?! WHO SHALL I EMAIL NOW?!?!?!

The New Diplomat’s Wife said it best on Twitter the other day: “husband wanted to know if I would be having my “semi-annual post#altsummit identity crisis and soul search” today. the answer was yes.”

So what do you do with all that post-awesome energy? You channel it into a tangible list of to-dos. Here’s mine:

1. I’m not going to lie: this one is the hardest one for me. Hiring help. Isn’t it true that most of us have a hard time asking for help? I know I do. So I’m going to be working on developing a plan to hire an assistant to help with Etsy convos and customer service issues. I need more time to focus on design – the thing I do best.

2. Additionally, I want to launch an eCommerce site this year in addition to my Etsy site. My traffic is finally big enough to support it (blog traffic has grown 30% in the last month ALONE! You guys ROCK!)

3. Attending the media kit panel was a good choice because there were some great ideas thrown out there on how to improve your media kit.

4. Additionally, I met with some fantastic sponsors who got my wheels spinning on some great ideas. More on this later.

5. Licensing has been a fantastic thing that grew out of my experience at Alt Summit in 2012. I’m hopeful to expand that facet of my career into 2013.

6. No more explanation needed on this one: I’m always looking to improve Pencil Shavings Studio’s look with better photos, better product styling, and better packaging.

7. Finally, I want to attend Surtex and the Stationery Show this year in May. I’m not looking to exhibit, but I want to attend as a way to meet new people and make new connections. This has been on the list for YEARS, people. YEARS. 2013 is the year of  MAKING IT HAPPEN. This is going to be the Year of the Show Stopper.

Are you fired up yet? Because I am. What are YOU going to make happen in 2013?



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  • great post, rachel! alt was exactly what i needed and i’m so excited to see where it takes me. i can’t wait to bring a new product line into existence (i have way more motivation to actually make this happen now!) and i’m definitely going to focus on better photography and packaging for the items i’ll be creating. also, we’ll have to meet up at the stationery show! i walked it last year and can’t wait to walk it again! 🙂

    • RachelShingleton

      How was your experience walking the Stationery Show? I think my fear is that it will be a lot of money and I won’t make many contacts. Did you feel like you got a lot out of it?

      • last year was tough because i actually went with the company i work for so i couldn’t make any connections without being sketchy about it. had i actually spent time not with a co-worker, i think it would have been a much more valuable experience. regardless, i was ridiculously inspired afterwards. and i’m definitely going without any co-workers this time around so i don’t feel so weird about passing out a foxtrot business card!

        • RachelShingleton

          Ahh, I gotcha. Yeah, going this year will definitely be better because you can promote YOU. 🙂

  • Yay for hiring help!!! Deligating will help you focus on the creative side of things. I feel like when I finally added people to my team it transformed my business in so many positive ways. It’s scary to let go of things, but it’s worth it. Let me know if you need any help with the process. Xoxo

    • RachelShingleton

      Drop me an email, Olivia – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the process.

  • Becky Rosenthal

    Great round up! I was just going through the business cards I collected at alt and found yours. It was great to meet you and connect over our Oklahoma connections!

    • RachelShingleton

      Yes, same here! Isn’t it such a crazy small world?

  • Chelsi Krause

    As a long time silent reader, I’m a little bit giddy to see you’re thinking of hiring help. I’m local in OKC, work in sales and do customer service all day anyway. I’d love more information when you’re ready to hire!

    • RachelShingleton

      Yay! Thanks for coming out of comment-hiding 🙂

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  • amy c

    Awesome to meet you Rachel! I knew of your greatness so it was wonderful to meet the real thing. 🙂 Keep rocking it. You are awesome. Take care!

  • Fabulous recap…I am nervous to hire someone as well!

  • Jamie Feisal

    Yay for hiring help :)! Hire me 😉 my brain would love to talk to more than an almost 3 year old all day!! Seriously so excited for you and can’t wait to see you keep growing!

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