¨ It’s just a piece of paper.”
Depending on the circumstance, you’ve probably heard this phrase on more than one occasion as someone refers to the credibility of what “just a piece of paper” can sometimes represent.
I’ve heard people say it when they have been together for years…but not married. Kids that bring home a report card with less than stellar grades say it. The person handed a ticket for going 30 in a 20mph school zone says it, (under their breath), after the officer walks away from their car. How about the unlucky soul who opens the mailbox and reads the words “jury duty” on a letter inside? Well, they say a LOT of things when that happens!
But, how about the day you walked across the stage to receive your diploma? The moment the nurse handed you a tiny set of your newborn’s footprints freshly stamped in ink on an official hospital card? The day you were handed an envelope, and inside you found your very first paycheck? Remember the feeling you had when you saw your name printed on a wall outside the gym saying you finally made the team? The smell of an old family Bible with the “love thy neighbor” verse underlined in your grandmother’s pen? Or, how about the time you signed your name, in oath, promising to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America?
All those were just a piece of paper, too, right
Let me rewind for a moment.
Many of you have been with me since I officially began my business, Sarah Berry Designs, back in 2014….and many of you have known me much, much longer! Goodness knows I’ve been a “creative” as long as I can remember, but back in January of that year, I took the leap, drew a line in the sand, and said “I’m in business” out loud for the first time. I’ve always had what I would describe as an entrepreneurial “spark,” but having a spark and keeping the embers of a business burning are two very different things!
Being an entrepreneur has taught me almost as much about life as being a mother has…nothing tops the experience of raising my boys, hands-down. But, oh, the ups and downs of running a business have not been uneventful, for sure!!
I’ve met countless new customers….many of whom have become dear friends.
I’ve burned enough midnight oil that the delivery guy knows to bring it by the barrel now. I’ve had moments when all the hamsters are on their correct wheels, and the hum of progress was like music to my ears. However, I’ve also had moments when it feels like a dumpster fire is happening and all I have is an empty extinguisher and no sign of water anywhere. I’m not the first person in business to feel all these feels, and certainly won’t be the last, but despite the many “downs,” the “ups” have been worth every minute.
As I type this message to you at my kitchen table in the early morning hours before my house begins to stir, I can’t help but feel gratitude for this tiny boat that is somehow still afloat!! Statistics show that 50% of small businesses fail in the first year, and 90% fail before hitting the five-year mark. Those are tough numbers to chew, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder at times if my name was ever going to be added to the arbitrary “no longer in business” report at the end of my first couple of years in operation.
But, I’m still here.
It might be the same boat that left the dock back in 2014, but today, I hoist a new sail and can’t help but be excited to share this news from my tiny corner of the internet!!
Sarah Berry Designs started as a Sole Proprietorship, (which is a fancy way of saying that if I accidentally burned someone with my hot glue gun, they could sue and take away my home…no big deal, right?!) But after adding a few “official” people to my payroll, and continuing to forge ahead with several die-hard volunteers who refuse to be paid in anything more than pizza and hugs, Sarah Berry Designs needed a new flag to fly.
So, after holding my breath, crossing my fingers, and leaping from the ledge, I filed for an official LLC. The “I” has changed to “we,” and there are faster hamsters and bigger wheels now. However, Sarah Berry Designs is not going away…the “designs” remain, but are now a subset of a bigger mission.
So, let me be the first to announce the brand new Sarah Berry & Company, LLC. You are ALL welcome here, and I am certain that things are always better when people connect for a common cause!
Sarah Berry & Company is a place for people looking for support in transitioning a hobby to a home-based business, a springboard for all things creative, and a place to finally knock the dust off that old dream that keeps you awake at night.
There will continue to be handmade goods, DIY videos and tutorials, and a wide and FUN variety of gifts and home décor, however, after being asked increasingly about “how can I start a business from home,” I knew it was time to expand my offerings to help people take a chance on themselves, much like I did back in 2014.
So, today, as I sit here with my new LLC Articles of Incorporation, it feels like I’m holding a ticket to the front row seat of OUR next chapter. A permission slip for broader service. A fresh list of ways I can bring a small impact to a big world in desperate need of authenticity and hope…even if the impact reaches only one.
It’s just a piece of paper, though…right?
Far from it, and I’m grateful to even have the opportunity to hold it, much less do my darndest to put it into positive action.
So, my friend, I welcome to Sarah Berry & Company. It’s a blessing and a privilege to be here with you.