MKKM Designs

Reflecting on Seven Years of Being in Business!

Military Life, Freebie FridaysMelissa KayComment
Cheers to Seven Years // Reflecting on 7 years of being a small business owner. Grab the signs freebie on the blog // mkkmdesigns

It’s our birthday and we’ll blog if we want to. If you follow us on social media, then you know we just celebrated our SEVENTH year in business this week. In those past 7 years, I’ve moved to 3 continents, birthed 2 babies, and tried to keep my sanity intact, while navigating this crazy military lifestyle (spoiler alert, I didn’t).

What I have learned over the years, is that being a small business owner is tough, but amazing. The people I’ve connected with, the reviews from happy party planners, the friends who get excited finding out what I do, make all of the bad parts worth it.

This week I threw myself a party to celebrate, because in the words of one of my favorite milspouse biz owners, Kelly from Third Space Yoga, sometimes you just have to be your own hype person. Read on for my 4 biggest lessons learned from running a small biz, and grab the printables from the #bizbirthday party.

Cheers - Free printable sign from MKKM Designs. Grab the freebie for your birthday party or anniversary. Edit the number to match your year!
Melissa from MKKM Designs, reflects on 7 years of being a small business owner while also being a military spouse
Building my empire one cuss word at a time // Quote from MKKM Designs
Building My Empire, One Cuss Word At A Time
— Melissa from MKKM Designs

If you know me in real life, you probably realized I have a bad sailor’s mouth. I keep it low key around my kids, and then as soon as I’m around adults it just rolls out. This sign and quote sums me up to a T!

You can grab the free printable for it here!

#justhereforthecake // MKKM Designs on 7 years of business on the blog.
Cheers to Seven Years // Reflecting on 7 years of being a small business owner. Grab the signs freebie on the blog // mkkmdesigns
DIY washi tape straw flags, an easy way to dress up a drink. // mkkmdesigns #partytips

Get the Party Prints!


4 Small Business Lessons from Seven Years in Business

4 Small Business Lessons for Mompreneurs // Head over to the blog to read all about them! // mkkmdesigns

Lesson 1: Say No to Stress

The whole just say no is ridiculously cliche, but true. I feel it takes most biz owners awhile to finally take it to heart. In the beginning of our business, I said yes to EVERYTHING. Things I didn’t like, didn’t have an interest in, custom orders I thought were downright ugly. After a few years and especially this last year, I learned that you don’t have to take on everything. If you say no, they’ll find someone else. You’ll be happy and a client won’t have someone working on a project they don’t have their heart in

Lesson 2: Stand Up For Yourself

A.K.A Don't let those copycats get away with that shiz. This has been one of the roughest parts of being a designer. Walking that very thin line between honored that your designs are good enough for copycats, and shaking in rage that someone would have the balls to do that. I still get mad, but now I don’t hesitate for a second when I send that knock it off letter. Seriously, don’t let people walk all over you. You don’t have to be hateful, but you do need to protect your business. Why let other people profit off our your hard work, right?!?

Lesson 3: Know Your Worth, Then Add Tax

What usually happens in the beginning of every small business, is you figure you would rather be inexpensive and raise prices later, than not sell anything at all. DON’T DO IT. Read this blog from The Merriweather Council. Or just read all of her posts. I bought her Etsy course a long time ago and it was a life changer. You’re worth more than less than minimum wage.

Lesson 4: Understand That There Is A Season For Everything

This one has been the hardest one to accept. This past year when we moved from Japan to Germany, I thought a month off from my business wouldn’t be a big deal. It was. Once I finally got my computer back, I was so unmotivated to do anything and so excited to explore our new home. Then we couldn’t get my 4 year old into a preschool. He’s been going to school since he was 10 months old, so this was a massive shock to him, and me! For a while, I had to let my business suffer, because I couldn’t just sit him in front of a tv all day. (Full disclosure, I totally did some days, still do actually. Netflix is the greatest thing ever invented). The first 6 months of the year was my mothering season. Now with fall pre-school quickly approaching, I get the next 6 months for my business.

What are your best small business lessons? Leave a comment here or message us on Instagram! I’d love to share them!

Melissa from MKKM Designs, reflects on 7 years of being a small business owner while also being a military spouse

Bow Wow Luau, a Tropical Puppy Birthday Party

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment
Bow Wow Luau, A Puppy party designed by MKKM Designs. Grab the free printable Adopt A Puppy signs and adoption certificate.

Warmer weather is on it’s way and so are our spring and summer party blogs! First up, this tropical Bow Wow Luau. This puppy party is perfect for a summer pool party. Read through and grab some free printables and party ideas.

We made all of the food outdoor entertaining friendly. Everything was finger foods and most of it was punny, because I love a good food pun LOL. We had pupcakes, frisbees, pupcorn, pawtato chips, and more. You can get these cards or have us customize them to your wording here.

Party Supplies used from Amazon (af. Links)

The green popcorn boxes were the perfect “dog house” to house our puppies. Grab the free printables for the Adopt a Pup station at the end of the post.

Puppy party decor. This Bow Wow Luau party is perfect for summer! Designed by MKKM Designs
Tropical Puppy Party Signs from shopmkkm.com

Free Printables from Melissa & Kara

  • Let’s Pawty Banner PDF

  • Bottle Wrappers* JPEG zip | PDF

  • Adoption Certificate JPEG | PDF

  • Favor Sign 4x6” JPEG | PDF

  • Favor Tags JPEG | PDF

  • “Let’s Pawty” Cupcake Topper PDF (Get the customized version here)

*Please see zip folder notice at bottom of post

Check out our other party themes here! Grab the custom printables shown in the party here!


*We included the JPEG files in zip folder format for you to use. Zip folders can only be opened from a computer. You must download, copy/paste the files into a new folder on your computer to print*

As these are free files, to be used for personal use only, we do not individually email the JPEG's out as it is time consuming and takes away from our business work. If you're having trouble downloading the zip folders, a quick google tutorial will usually help you out. Thanks for your understanding!

This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Monday Motivation for the New Year

Mantra MondayMelissa Corkin1 Comment

Happy New Year everyone! 2018 was a doozy. A military move to yet another country (Hello Germany!) and the struggle of starting all over again. Here’s to hoping 2019 is much less of an emotional roller coaster. I’m starting the year off right with a little motivation and a part of my personal #designdaily challenge.

Live now, worry later. ✦ Quote of the day ✦ Monday motivation, New Years Motivation  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
It may not be home, but it is an adventure ✦ Quote of the day ✦ Moving Quote, Military Life Quotes  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live - Albus Dumbledore✦ Quote of the day ✦ Monday motivation, New Years Motivation  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
book. coffee. sweater. repeat. #mood ✦ Quote of the day ✦ morning feels, New Years Vibes  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
You don't do Magic, You Are Magic - Rainbow Rowell #bookquotes ✦ Quote of the day ✦ girlboss life, #mood  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
for they shall have adventures. and coffee. lots of coffee. #mood ✦ Quote of the day ✦ travel quotes  // ✦ mkkmdesigns
this girl runs on coffee and oversized sweaters. #mood ✦ Quote of the day ✦ morning feels, New Years Vibes  // ✦ mkkmdesigns

This year, I’m most looking forward to getting out and exploring a new country! What are you looking forward to??