To wind down my collaboration with HP Canada to help promote Small Business Week 2016, I wanted to show you a “Day in the life of” me, so you can see what a “typical day” is over here. (although there is never a typical day) How I start it, how I integrate being a Mom, what tools I use (hint – HP!) to get things done. It’s a general view of my day, and if anyone wants me to elaborate more on certain aspects of it, let me know! So … first things first…
I’m typically awake by 6:45am in the morning when Aubrey taps me on the shoulder and tells me it’s morning. (I would likely sleep until 10am if I could). I head down to my office (pictured above) to tackle some e-mails that are time sensitive. Since some of my production is overseas – they’ve been working while I’m asleep, and so if I can get down here in the morning I can still shoot off some e-mails, approve production on items, and get things moving before they shut down for the day.
Aub is a huge help in the mornings so we actually have a great tag team system going. While I quickly check e-mails in the office, he gets Oscar breakfast. Then I pop upstairs while I make his lunch and try to figure out if everything is in Oscar’s backpack. I get him into the car, wave goodbye to Aub and we head off to school by car.
I’m now done school drop off and either head straight home or, if I don’t have too pressing to get back to, I pop over to my local Starbucks to have a morning coffee with my girlfriends.
They too have just finished the morning drop off & head here for a morning coffee. (I know their routine, because I was a part of it for 2 years) I find a morning coffee with them helps me feel less isolated from working solo. That occasional early morning coffee break with friends, before the hustle of the workday begins, is really helpful. Obviously for the friendship, but it’s also nice because we all have things to do, so we can chat for a bit – sometimes talk about what we’re all working on. We’ll part ways usually after a half hour coffee, I’ll pop back in my car, head home and get to work. This is why I like coffee dates right in the AM. Once I get into work mode, I find it terribly hard to stop or take myself away from what I’m doing.
I get home and usually pop onto my new HP EliteBook Folio 1020 G1 to login to e-mail see if anything major has happened that needs my attention. It floats around my house (figuratively speaking) being so light, that it’s pretty ridiculously perfect for toting around with papers. I’m negotiating a contract (it has been signed, sealed and delivered!) for a new product line coming out in the Spring. I leave my main design work to my Mac in the studio, but I LOVE this little laptop for browsing Pinterest, doing e-mails and such.
Hhaving a little laptop allows me to work throughout my house and not lose any work time.
If the lighting is right I’ll take an opportunity to set up a photoshoot like for myself or, some of my freelance clients I take on in small projects. It’s nice to have some variety in my creative work, as sometimes looking through the lens or, a design project for someone else, helps me in my own creative projects.
I’ll head into the studio in my basement and start up my photo editing software to see if the shots look good, or, if I should go back up and shoot other ways. If they look good, I’ll typically leave the majority of them to edit later, but I like the catch the light when it’s just right, hence some morning photos and other times I do it in the afternoon.
I switch gears a bunch of times, juggling different jobs and creative projects. The one that tends to take up the most work in the Fall is definitely The Penny Paper Co. for retail and wholesale orders. Orders come in and I have to fulfill them.
11:30 am – sitting down in the office – order fulfilling for The Penny Paper Co.
I sell to stores who e-mail me orders or, also place orders online on www.PennyPaperCo.com with their own wholesale login. I sell on PennyPaperCo.com to regular customers too, and, also sell on Etsy. When orders come in, no matter which method I do have to print receipts – in part for “picking” – which is picking the product from the inventory, and keeping it all together to ship. What I do is when an order comes in, I print their receipt and packing slip using my HP PageWide Pro MFP 577dw …..
…. that is wirelessly connected across the room. HUZZAH! This is order central right now, where the order comes off my printer, and then we fulfill the orders…
I LOVE THIS PRINTER.
The order comes off the printer and I immediate assign a bin to the orders. As you can see, I use these dollar store bins to sort orders – it keeps orders organized with the printed receipts, products, shipping labels and extras.
I actually ADORE this colour printer, which is also a fax machine AND scanner all in one. I must say, not having to wire it to my computer for printing is pretty spectacular. And it’s SUPER fast from pressing print to getting the page. Which is helpful when doing lots of things all at once.
Afternoon through to 3:30pm
Some days if time permits, before going to pick up Oscar from school – I may head to HomeSense to find items to style with – and while there I sometimes walk by (and freak out a little, and do a little dance) my art and pillow collection that is found in stores like HomeSense across Canada.
In today’s discovery, the art is supposed to be branded with my name. I’m sorting that out with my art publisher. But I can attest to the fact that they are indeed my designs. If you flip them over they say my name. Just one of those things that I tackle in those e-mails I talked about. So I make a note on my phone to e-mail them, and, head back out on my way to pick up Oscar.
I pick up Oscar – look at this pigeon he made. It cracks me up I love it so. They have a fall museum in his class and they each made an animal. Sorry, proud Mama has to come out in this post, because being a Mom is my first and foremost love in my life. He’s the one that gives me inspiration, and I just love seeing what they do, and getting a hug after school. My work is put on hold, and we go home…
4:00pm – 5:00 pm
I let Oscar chill and usually watch some TV after school while I make dinner. The he typically draws or, goes and does lego or plays with Aubrey, who has just returned home from work around this time
I like to start bedtime routines pretty early as it helps keep things calm, so I typically give O a bath and then it’s stories and bedtime.
When Oscar falls asleep, I typically go right back into here..
….to finish packing up orders and get e-mails to overseas, as they are just starting the workday as I’m wrapping up mine. I don’t spend much time down here, but just enough until I hear Aubrey come down, and ask me when I’m closing down the office for the day. I’ll shut everything down, go upstairs where Aubrey has steeped some tea for me – and then we watch some Netflix together. I’ll leave Aub to watch his sports, and them I go up to have a bath and surf Instagram in bed until I fall asleep. I have to say, I totally love how it all fits together in a day. I’m creatively fulfilled, have all of the tools that I need to help me work remotely and I can still be the Mom to Oscar that I love being. I think Aubrey is likely the one that gets the worst of it – as I do like working so much. I can’t help it, seeing things I design come to life in products – working with awesome manufacturing partners and customers.
Anyhow, thank you to HP Canada for asking me to be a part of their #SmallBusinessWeek2016 series, sponsoring me to write these three posts. I legitimately adore HP products, and have used their laptops and printers in my home office for the last 12 years of being self employed. Their products are well made, affordable for the self-employed entrepreneur and help businesses like mine run smoothly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a day in the life of a self-employed lady over here. It was terribly fun documenting all that I do! Each day is wildly different in what I create, but the constants are all the same – being able to connect with like minded friends, having flexibility to work from home, being able to be there for when Oscar needs me, and a supportive husband that knows that I love to work, and how to help me find time to make it all happen. I’m grateful, and hopefully can continue to do this for 12 (and more!) years!
*This 3 part series of posts have been sponsored by HP Canada