Struggles + Slowing Down

it's Thursday // January 14th, 2016

I’ll admit, I fell off the blogging wagon again and I am so sorry for my lack of updates. I thought “Hey, I’m a full time freelancer now, I’ll have tons of time to do everything!”, but I was wrong. So here’s a little transparent behind-the-scenes catch-up with a tad bit of venting.

Currently I’m running and trying to grow 3 small businesses on my own (with the help and support of my wonderful husband, who talks me off so many ledges). Why? Because each one has become a little piece of me and each one brings me joy in some way, despite the struggles I’ve ran into.

The Simple Cup (est 2014!) – A collection of simple, small batch, handmade items that inspire you to give back. 75% of profits are given to help women and children in Ethiopia.

I started this project when I was a senior in college and I refuse to give up on it. I absolutely love having free-reign over my company – which is probably why I run 3 of them, all funded from The Schweitzer’s bank account. And it’s so exciting to create for a purpose. Finding meaning in what we do on a day to day basis is SO important, and it’s how you grow to love what you do everyday. However, it does come with it’s share of challenges.

I’ve struggled with creating meaningful partnerships, I’ve struggled with the financial aspect (since only 25% of profits are for my disposal), I’ve struggled with creating + finding products, and I’ve struggled with settling with + getting the correct message out there. It’s ALL about telling a story and I want it to be a story that inspires others. I’m now on my third reiteration of that story and I’m starting to feel clarity being achieved.

My Simple Cup struggle remedy : I’m slowing down. I’m focusing on one thing at a time and I’m not fretting about the things that are simply out of my hands. I’m seeking out partners that are excited to be working alongside me, I’m finding new + simple ways to save profits, and I’m crafting a story and brand image that I’m happy with.

 The Curio Company (work in progress) – Inspired by tradition and driven by a sense of curiosity, we craft rare and intriguing brand experiences.

Once I began freelancing full time, I realized I needed a new identity as a designer + developer. It’s still very much a work in process but it is in process and that’s what really matters.

I’ve struggled with figuring out what that new identity should be both conceptually + visually, I’ve struggled with finding the time + making it a priority to actually work on the many pieces a new brand needs and I’ve struggled with conflict of interest issues.

My Curio Company struggle remedy : I’m slowing down. I’m focusing on one thing at a time and I’m not fretting about the things that are simply out of my hands. I’m going to be satisfied with the visuals + start refining the overall image, I’m making it a priority to schedule in time to work on the various moving pieces and I’m thinking about my future in order to make smart business decisions.

Curio Paper (work in progress) – Rare, intriguing and handmade paper goods.

I love making things with my hands. I craft all of the paper goods for The Simple Cup and I wanted to step out of those confines a bit. Create for the sake of creating – yet still for a purpose.

I’ve struggled with making the time to create products, I’ve struggled with figuring out the logistics and I’ve struggled with the fear of people hating what I make (typical personal issue of mine).

My Curio Paper struggle remedy : I’m slowing down. I’m focusing on one thing at a time and I’m not fretting about the things that are simply out of my hands. I’m starting to make it a priority to work on new products and create for the sake of creating, I’m figuring out the logistics slowly with the help of business books + studying others, and I’m slowing building my confidence + starting to not worry about what others think in order to do what makes me happy.

I’ve found that slowing down is a consistent need in my life. I try to do it all, and I try to do it all at once. Let me tell you first hand, that’s impossible. I’m learning to let go of the worries I have about the future and take baby steps towards my dreams. We will get there – it just takes time.


The struggles are so worth it. Without struggles in life + business, would any of us be where we are today?

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5 comments on “Struggles + Slowing Down

  1. Melissa Yeager

    Couldn’t be more with you on this one, miss lady. It’s especially difficult with the multitude of information and hustle propaganda out there. Let’s be slow-down accountability partners (AKA hang out, make fun things and listen to mash-ups)!

    1. Ashley Schweitzer Post author

      Absolutely! There is a time and a place for the hustle, but that’s not all the time and everywhere. Slowing down, taking deep breaths and enjoying life is just as important. And definitely! I just can’t get enough of those mash-ups.

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