100 Days of Kismet Progress: A Recap and Celebration of My 2019 100 Day Project


Katie Kismet's 100 Day Project Recap and Celebration

I made it! Yesterday, July 10th, marked the end of 2019’s #The100DayProject! (July 10th was significant to me for another big reason, but more on that in the next post.)

Back on April 2nd (fine, 3rd pour moi) I kicked off my 100 Days by talking about my (at the time) *three* businesses and that, while I’m stoked about them, I’m in a chapter of life where I have little time, energy or financial resources to give them. I spent a couple months feeling frustrated, yet not even doing little things to make progress despite circumstances. The switch was turned to ‘off’ while I was pity partying.

Around the end of March I started thinking about #The100DayProject. While it’s a social media group challenge most people utilize to get them creating more consistently, I decided to use the concept to generate momentum for my businesses. AND. I. DID.

What I said at kick-off:

For 100 days, I will do 1 thing each day, no matter how small, that moves my businesses forward. Things like making an Instagram post, ordering jewelry findings, working on a pattern, telling someone about my jewelry, sharing client work I’m proud of… literally anything, as long as it benefits my businesses.⁣
The day’s accomplishment won’t always be visual in nature [ed note: most weren’t], but I’ll try to record them with the hashtag #100DaysofKismetProgress.
I might not post exactly daily. [ed note: I didn’t] I also might not finish in exactly 100 days. [ed note: I DID!] But the most important part for me is DOING the 100 THINGS, to gain momentum and traction, feel good about my efforts, and maybe create a habit or two.
And now I present my...

Top 10 Highlights and Takeaways of #100DaysofKismetProgress

1. I decided I don’t have three businesses, I have two.
Kismet Creative is where my graphic design service lives. Kismet Workshop is all things retail. They’re both part of one business under the “Kismet” umbrella. (“Printworks” is no more.)

This decision brought HUGE relief. When it came time to start working on “Kismet Printworks”, what was to be a ‘patterned printed goods’ business (more on that journey in another post), the idea of creating a THIRD website and managing a THIRD Instagram (when let’s face it I barely do the two I’ve got), was exhausting and seemed plain stupid. So I changed “Handmade” to “Workshop” (b/c I might not *always* sell fully-handmade-by-me items and I am SO TEDIOUS) and reveled in the weight that lifted from my shoulders.

2. The Workshop Under the Stairs
It’s still a ‘not now’ thing… but it’s a maybe-hopefully before-the-year-is-out thing. The opportunity and planning alone give me sparky joy sparks.

3. I found my co-working happy home!
After only two weeks of going, it has been everything I’d hoped it would be and I’ll be blogging about it soon. (Or will I?! See #4…)

4. I did better on social media.
Not much. But more than before, which was close to nothing! Look, it’s not that I *can’t* do it, I just don’t want to. I have no idea why I have an allergy to social media. It’s currently the backbone of my business’s marketing plan, and super unfortunately I have black belt-level resistance going on with it.

It honestly feels like a race I will never win, puts a demand on my creativity, and triggers my perfectionism. I would LOVE to outsource it, but this business is not ready for outsourcing much. And C’MON IT’S JUST INSTAGRAM. Whatever. The point of #4 is that I trudged myself into a “do better” mode and, technically, I did better.

5. I tried something that would’ve supported a whole new line for the Workshop, but it didn’t work out. So I’m pivoting.
The aforementioned “patterned printed goods” part of my retail business was supposed to utilize a print-on-demand company. But when I received my test order I was disappointed with the quality - especially in light of what I’d have to charge to make an okay profit. This was kind of a blow.

But after a good conversation with my husband, J, my brain got to work noodling it over. I’m currently hot on the heels of another angle that has me even more excited. It will come with greater complexity in some ways, but it also manages to bring greater simplicity and is more on-brand and unique in the marketplace. When a door closes, make lemonade! Amiright?!

6. I applied to my first craft fair.
This is the weirdest feeling because my mom did craft shows for decades and I never expected to follow that path. Anyway, we’ll see if I even get accepted!

7. I really love the “figure-it-outing” of building this retail business.
AKA, “Gawrsh, I just love learning y’all!” Whether figuring out Shopify, sourcing manufacturers, or upping my pattern design game through Skillshare, I’m in my happy place when I’m learning.

8. MailChimp tells me I have over 300 newsletter subscribers. HA!
Boy that was a ‘wha-tha-wha?!’ moment last night. I finally got to work taking some steps toward maybe possibly nurturing a newsletter, and after the sync I was gobsmacked! I mean, I knew I had a spot on my website for people to sign up, but I would’ve put money on the fact that my entire list consisted of J and my mom. Maybe just J. Some of them could be spam but it doesn’t matter to me right now :))) THANK YOU to those who signed up! I promise I won’t be annoying or overly-salesy. I may occasionally nerd-out, though.

9. I love my network.
For someone for whom “networking” has always felt inauthentic (nay, slimy), after four years in Austin I find that I have an amazing network of interesting, creative, and generous folks here. I’m building on it now in the handmade / maker space and am just so grateful for the (mostly women) in my orbit.

10. Platitudes and Stuart Smalley-style affirmations I’m living as a result of this challenge:

  • I usually know more than I think I do and I should trust that.
  • My vision is worthy, unique and informed.
  • It’s okay to change my mind.
  • It doesn’t all have to happen today (or even this month).
  • One foot in front of the other.
  • Keep going!

Katie Kismet's 100 Days Project, 100 Days of moving my business forward