This is a repost of sorts. Some of the answers have changed a bit. I get a lot of questions about my business so I thought I’d do another FAQ for ya.
1) How did you start your business?
First off let me say that if you have the idea and desire and the confidence you can start your own business. The biggest hurdle for me was all the people that were like “You can’t just start a business.” And “Anyone can have a website, so what.” And “But you are going to have to take out a big business loan” But I got over it and was like “Well, this is where I think God is pointing me, so here we go!”
I did not take out a small business loan. Fortunately an art business can have very little overhead so I just worked with what I had. For a while I was constantly putting all of my money back into the business. But then eventually I started making a consistent profit.
When I started this whole thing it was me and an idea and a bunch of art supplies and a new camera. Then I wanted to have a booth at this art fair and I started filling out the application. On the application it asked for my tax ID #. And I was like what!? I have to be all official to sell crafts in a park? Yep, apparently. And Shane said "Well, you have to do it some time so why not now?"
So I went to this website because I live in the lovely state of Missouri. Each state probably has their own. It is pretty helpful I must say. They tell you want forms to fill out and you can print them from the website. It can be kind of confusing, but was not as bad as I thought. I had this anxiety like if I didn’t fill out the right forms someone was going to come arrest me. Guess what? They won’t. Just go through the steps one at a time and you’ll figure it out.
2) What type of business is Just The Thing?
When you register a business you have to choose a type. Just The Thing is a sole proprietorship.
3) Do you have to charge sales tax? Is it a hassle?
Yep, it’s the law and stuff. You are required to pay sales tax on any service or product you produce. I pay my sales tax quarterly and its really not a big deal. I just have to remember to pay it on time which lately I have flubbed! They give you a form to fill out and you send in a check and that’s it.
4) How did you pick a name?
I was looking for a synonym for the word “original” and I typed it in to my computer’s thesaurus. The phrase “just the thing” came up and there ya go.
I plan to change my business name in the next few months. "Just The Thing" has been good to me, but I am pretty tired of it and feel the need for change.
5) How do you get your work done and take care of Monkey Pants?
Once a week my BFF Beth has her for 3 hours at a time so I get some stuff done then. Sometimes I have a babysitter for a half day once a week. Once a week Shane's mom has Marlie for the whole day so I try and get a lot done then. I get most of my work done at night. Shane is in class almost every night so I put Monkey to bed and then I get to work. My friend Beth is my sign assembler extraordinare. She works really hard at putting the collages together so that I can concentrate more on the photography aspect of my business and so that I don’t loose my mind trying to do it all.
6) I’ve seen other signs that are similar to your name collages. Did you know that you didn’t event them? I could make one myself ya know?
Yes, I know that I am not the inventor of the name collage. I have seen quite a few similar things done by other artists. But, I have done a lot of work to make them look how I want them to and make them affordable for you. You could make your own, it's true. But by the time you buy a custom size frame and have a custom mat cut it would cost 3 times as much as buying one from me would. Since I buy all of my supplies in bulk I can sell them to you at a reasonable price.
7) Where are the letters in the name collages from?
The letters are from all over the state of Missouri. Last fall Beth and I drove all over the state gathering new photos of letters for our brand new spiffy alphabet.
8) How long does it take to get a name collage after you order one?
It takes about 2 weeks to receive a collage.
9) What kind of camera do you have?
I use a Canon 30D. I love it!
10) Do you work full time?
This is always a hard question for me to answer. I mean I guess not. I don't put in 40 hours a week in photography. Although I always want to answer yes because I am a full time mom with photography worked in there. Pretty much if I'm not mothering then I am working on business things.
And now it is bed time. Any other questions? Fire away!