I haven’t answered any of your questions on the blog for awhile.

I asked for questions on our Facebook Business Page this week.

Here are some of your questions and my answers.

Keep your questions coming:-)

Heather asked

How do you handle blatant knock offs of your work? And, how do you feel about others selling your packaging as their own? (For instance, I went to a local antique mall and noticed several burlap bags with a 5 stamped on them, with a piece of rolled up french script and a merci tag all attached together, in a booth. I mentioned it to the store proprietor, but wondered how you, as the artist and creator felt about it.

This is a really good one.  I am very open with my readers and I really try to share my experiences hoping they will help others.  I sure appreciate when someone that is ahead of me in business shares their knowledge.  I share photos of my work, my packaging, and of course you see the packaging when you receive your order.  My clothing, bags etc are all online for everyone to see.  My best answer to this is that I have friends that have done online art courses.  I see their work reproduced all of the time and I always know it is reproduced.  Does that make sense?  It doesn’t ever look as good as the original.  Even if it does….hopefully that artist/business owner has moved on and is on to their next creative idea.  I also think people imitating your work pushes you to make new things and stretches you.  The old thing loses its appeal. I guess I better change up some of my packaging now:-)

Tracy asked

Is there any creative business tip/advice that as soon as you shared it, it sort of snowballed out of control and you wished you’d never shared?

 I really believe that you get more from sharing than keeping things to yourself.  At this point I have never regretted anything I have shared.  I hope I never do.  I hope I will also have the discernment to know if there is anything I shouldn’t share.

Kip asked

What’s the latest status on your Dad? Are you talking to him?

 I guess I did say you guys could ask anything:-)  I forget that even though I don’t talk about it much.. I have talked about it and you may wonder about things.  I have reached out to my father over the past year to try to talk about his actions and the pain it has caused our family.  He is not interested at this time to hear about our pain and would like us to move on.  Because of this there is no desire on my part of have a superficial relationship.  I am constantly working on forgiveness in this situation. I have had to forgive him many times in my past and I know I will this time too.    Please know that I do not have a heart of hatred for him but of sadness for what his actions have caused.

Kimberly asked

How many hours do you spend on homeschooling each day and do you follow a structured schedule for working on your business?

I get this one a lot!  A lot!  I would like to say that I honestly believe that I have more time for my business because I homeshool.  I know that sounds crazy but we don’t have homework at night, no volunteering at school, no unexpected big projects, no driving kids to school and then picking them up etc.

During the school year we start around 9am.  Keep in mind that my two older children are pretty self motivated to be finished early so they sometimes have things done before I even wake up.  Things that they can do by themselves like math, reading, memory work, piano etc can be finished before 9.  I then do school with all three from 9-12:00 (sometimes 1pm).  It will be a little more time added this year because Benjamin will be in first grade.

I really like to start my morning with devotions and a cup of tea or coffee.  After that I will spend an hour going through emails that the business received in the night. I will use that time to answers emails, register students into one of our online classes, update orders etc.  I have this all done before we start school at 9.  After school the kids know that this is the time that we work on orders, new product, calls to factory/contractors, ordering of fabrics etc.  There are plenty of days when no business is worked on until really late and we are playing with friends, at a museum, making art or just hanging out doing nothing.  After the kids head up to bed I spend many nights checking in on social media, answering emails and working on blog posts.  I guess I work on business in the free moments throughout the day.   Some days there are more free moments than others and some days there are no free moments.  My children are amazing about understanding when I have to get things done.  They are good about this because they know how many days we just have fun all day and no work is done.  I really do work 7 days a week though..even if I just check in and make sure things are ok.  I have just hired an assistant that I know will help give me more free time with my family and more time to create.

I know that wasn’t very detailed but I hope it gives you a little idea about the structure of our days.  There is no balance in my eyes.  Some days the kids get every drop of me, some days the house wins and some days the business has to get all of my attention.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section or email me at jeanneoli@hotmail.com or jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com


Come visit me over at Kimberly Taylor’s blog for her “Simple Moments” series.