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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

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??

Mantra Monday ✦ Motivation for Mompreneurs & Boss Ladies

Mantra MondayMelissa KayComment

Happy Monday guys! This past week has been a DOOZY. Those of you stationed on Okinawa with me, know what I’m talking about. Typhoon Trami just ripped through our little island and has created so much devastation. We didn’t have internet for a couple of days, and hundreds of thousands of people still don’t have power. The entire situation is terrible. To top it off, my kids haven’t been in school since Thursday, and we have another typhoon headed our way later this week.

My business life got put on hold over the weekend as I couldn’t check on anything without the internet. I’ve been so anxious and ready to get back to work so I’m sharing a story and some motivation from over the summer when my biz life also got put on hold.

Mama, you get better everyday - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs  // Quotes from MKKMDesigns

Have you ever been in a total business rut and just felt lost and unmotivated? That was me a couple of months ago. My boys had been out of school for a couple of months and my business was STRUGGLING.

I was unmotivated and barely spending any time working on my biz. My stats were in the toilet, sales were few and far between, and I was spiraling into an anxiety hole. My husband sat me down and talked to me about needing to "do the work"( A fav sayings from the podcast of the Boss ladies over at Being Boss). I realized I was expecting everything to stay the same, even if I wasn't putting in any work. 

Don't Just Want It, Go Out and Get it - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs  // Quotes from MKKMDesigns

In August, I started building my biz again. I put in hours upon hours of work. I started blogging again, and using Pinterest on a daily basis, and making sure that I was checking in everyday, even if I didn't have time to sit and create. The results started to show. In the past 2 months, our Pinterest has gone from 200K views to over 500K monthly. Our sales are almost back to normal, and as a boss lady, I feel confident in my business again.

Starbucks wasn't built in a day - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs  // Quotes from MKKMDesigns

The biggest change I made was making sure I was setting aside time for myself. Because my kids were home all the time, I had major mom guilt if I left them to fend for themselves for too long. I had to learn to find a balance. Play with them first, and then work for an hour. Make sure we had story time and outdoor time in between answering emails. It’s ok if you only get part of a project done, it’s ok if you get 10 projects done. As long as you are doing something that makes you feel good at the end of the day.

In the midst of chaos, make work your calm - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs  // Quotes from MKKMDesigns

The more time I spent working on my business, the more I re-discovered how much I LOVE what I do. I had started to think about shutting down, and finding a “real” job. After a month of putting a little love back into my biz, I realized I was just being silly.

Love your business and it will love you back - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs  // Quotes from MKKMDesigns
Even small victories take time - Monday Motivation for Boss Ladies and Mompreneurs // Quotes from MKKMDesigns

I’ve been working hard on a ton of new party themes, and putting together blogs of all our past parties, and can’t wait to share it all! Follow along on our NEW instagram page, we’d love to hear from you!

Hang in there boss lady, I promise it gets better.

Picking Your Word for 2016

Mantra MondayMelissa KayComment

Over the weekend I finally chose my word for 2016. I was so excited that I ran downstairs and told my husband who proceeded to say "You have to have a word? Is it like a hashtag or something"? Talk about anticlimactic. Sorry my dear instagramhusband, but yes this year I feel the need, like so many others of you, to have a "word". 

Have you picked your word yet? Share it with us over on twitter! For me/us, 2016 is the year to Create

Create, our 2016 word.

I personally spent most of 2015 focusing on keeping a business going while having a newborn and a toddler at my feet every second. There was a whole lot of surviving, (both in business and in life) and not very much creating. This year, that will change. Kara and I both have a ton of fun projects planned for this year, and hope that you guys love them as much as we do.

Always be creating


This weekend I also sat down and read Big Magic finally. It was everything I was expecting and so much more and has me so fired up to dig even deeper into my creativity this year. This book is a must read for creatives. Although as stated in the book "If You're Alive, You're A Creative Person". Really, go get it. Now.

 

Also super exciting, Kara's been busy getting her creativity on and is rolling out some new city prints to add to the collection. First up Portland! Get it here. If you haven't checked out her prints in the shop, you need to. They inspire some serious wanderlust.