10 October 2007


The last couple of days have shaken my confidence. I know that doing business is competitive and people are entitled to make their own choices and make up their own minds but it can still hurt when a herd of people run over to the "next new thing/ person." I was feeling pretty good about Bluhm Studios and my design business, with the launch of my website which I worked SO.HARD.ON. I felt like I had found my calling. I have struggled with this for so long, "what do I want to do with my life", "how can I contribute", "what do people want". I felt I had found my niche in specializing in blogs and collateral for small businesses. This has allowed me to be home with my daughter, our only child, while she is young and in her formative years. I have been able to contribute to our household (read = mortgage) AND do something I love.
Now I am feeling a little uneasy, It seems like there has been a surge of new people in our "community" who have decided to do blog design work and clients, present and past have run to the latest name out there. I *know* that no one owes me any loyalty (well maybe a couple of people do) but it still hurts and is a blow to my confidence.
My Mom says that in business it is important to stay mobile and be able to change direction quickly. I guess this is a point where I need to try to stay ahead of the pack and do something different. Fortunately for me, like my friend Holly says, I am blessed with my own good ideas and I DO have some "new things" in the works.
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent here. It helps to get this stuff OUT.. not good to bottle stuff up for sure. I have been back working in my studio and it feels good. I have a rather large, special project to get done so I have been using my sewing machine! here are some sneak peeks...


  1. I'm sorry that you were hurt, ((((Heather)))) I feel for you, those of us in business for ourselves, especially us sensitive ones, really have to suck it up once in a while, but your friend is right, you are talented, and full of wonderful ideas, and it will be OK. The sewing projects look fantastic!

  2. Heather....
    I love your work!
    I can't wait until my other banner is done...thanks!

  3. Oh Heather....I want to give you a big hug afte reading your post! Try not to let fickle people who run to the next "big" thing get to you. You keep doing what you're doing because your creative work is amazing. And you are so VERY patient and sweet with those of us who have done business with you. Believe me, you are not alone because you are the third person/artist I know who has posted about this very thing recently. I suppose that is what happens with the free enterprise system, but that really doesn't make it any easier to swallow. You are sensitive like me and we both take things too personally. Believe me you will continue to gain new customers to replace the old and your business will flourish because of who you are.
    xo jeanne

  4. Dear Heather,

    I am sorry that you had this experience! But let me tell you, NO ONE can do banners as beautifully as you do!!!! You have a beautiful style and your work is BREATHTAKING!!!!!!!!!

    lots of love,

  5. Heather,
    I know how you feel, being a new business person myself. I know it is just a matter of time until my ideas and designs are copied out there as well. You have your own style. Not only that, you have good communication with your clients (Of which I am one). I have seen others out there, but haven't been tempted once to stray there. I know that you can do whatever I need and make it even better than I imagined. Don't let it get you down... Now, we know why they say it's.... JUST BUSINESS. I happen to believe that business also intertwines with relationships and courtesy. You have all of my business. Maybe that's not a good thing for you. lol.

  6. holly doodle designs10/10/07, 6:58 PM

    Heather, don't sweat it.... you are such a talented and visionary artist. Also, your communication skills, patience, and desire to please your customers will always win you a loyal following. I LOVE my banner and get compliments on it all the time. Your work and personality will always bring you customers. You rock. XO

  7. Heather, Please know that your work is outstanding and I have received tons of compliments on the banner and business cards you did fo rme. I do know how it feels to be discouraged as every one is making greeting cardsand that gets to me but I keep going and try to stick to my own style. I love your work! You are a sweet person and that to me is worth a heck of a lot! Hugs,Angelina

  8. oh Heather, that is really and truly a bummer. i'm sure when peeps see your amazing work at flickr that you will get new...hopefully more loyal customers :) i love your sewing projects, they are quite lovely!!

  9. Heather,
    I will never leave! You have my business until the day I keel over! I've seen what some others are doing and you have a definite quality, uniqueness, and vibe with your work. You do it best. Don't be disheartened (I know, easier said then done!) - you have a strong product/service and you will always have customers - even those that may try others will most likely return to you. I'm actually going to e-mail you because I have a project I'm wondering if you could assist with.

  10. It definitely is a dog-eat-dog world. Some people just like the latest and greatest- others like to stay with ried and true results. Try not to take it so personally. Business is business- it is not YOU. Obviously you are talented- that speaks for itself. Just keep planning and running with your ideas- give the masses more to love!

  11. tricia samsal10/11/07, 3:14 PM

    I would like to have a banner made up for my typepad. COuld you please email me so we can discuss some details? I had asked another person(maybe one of the ones that you mentioned in your post) but she never got back to me with anything. That was about a month and a half ago. I looked at your portfolio and you really are talented. thanks, tricia@vintagebliss.net

  12. You should have no Worries! Your talent is SO unique! There is no one out there Like you! You are very blessed! I wish that I had a Fraction of what you have! You are great and I wouldn't give any of that other stuff a second thought! O.k.! You Go Girl!

  13. ah phooey....

    I hate that feeling!!!

    Heather, your Asian sewn piece is ADORABLE!

  14. I love your fabric pieces! I will do my best to promote you the best that I can! Your style is brilliant. Keep your chin up!

  15. Your banners are beautiful and you are a very talented and creative artist. It's hard when fields become competitive, but true talent and excellent customer skills will win out in the end.

    And I just love your red sewn fabric piece! So wonderful!

  16. You are a trend setter & the original is ALWAYS the best. You can keep doing what you are doing, just find your niche-what makes you special? Personal service? Style? Prices? Let people know why they should pick you over the competition. You are fantastic & everything will work out okay!

  17. You WIP's are great! Keep doing what you love to do and the rest will pan out! I started a wholesale business from my home over 17 years ago, just so that I could be at home raising my two little girls (age 3 and 8 at the time). God has blessed me and my family, it's now 17 years later I'm still at home running the same business and am having more fun than ever! I would have to attribute my long years of success to persistence, excellence, honesty and just plan hard work! Keep your chin up, you'll look back one day and be proud! {{hugs}}

  18. i love that i have my own personal banner faerie, she is the original one and only!!

  19. Karin (creativechaos)10/17/07, 3:40 PM

    Well you know I'm not going anywhere.......well....only if you decide not renew that restraining order. But this time I "promise" I won't stalk you to do my banner......just my business card.... :) You're tremendously talented Heather. Have no worries!

  20. Heather, I have been noticing that, and was feeling disgruntled about it too! (and I didn't even know you had lost clients due to it)
    I'm really sorry about that!!
    I think that people see that someone is making money at something and decided "oh, well I can do that too" It's the only thing about being in business for myself that really bugs me. I often wish people would just get their own ideas, find their own products to carry, etc. But, all you can do is keep on doing what you do and keep trying to stay one step ahead.
    You do absolutely fabulous work. I adore everything you designed for me, and believe me, I will not go to anyone else for future design work! (and I will be back...I already have more things I want done. LOL)
    Hugs my friend, and just keep doing what you love, you know you rock at this. Others are just cheap imitations.
    ~Cerri xoxo

  21. I had also noticed lately others jumping on the banner bandwagon, but I think your's is by far the best. I think some people just want to go with the most popular name at the moment. Don't despair, keep going with a good thing.