This Isn’t Easy, I’m Just Gonna Be Honest Here – Truths About Starting a Small Business

Here it is, I’m just gonna spill it…starting a small business is not easy. I know most of us know this, but it can be easy to forget given the dozens of adds we see on social media about building an empire overnight, growing your Instagram followers by 3,000 in a week, or funneling tons of traffic to your website with just a few simple steps. The truth is, it takes a lot of time and effort to be successful.

I decided to write this post in order to be a breath of fresh air, to be an encouragement to those of you who may just be embarking on your journey. Because when you don’t see numbers increasing while it seems like everyone else around you does, it can be discouraging. I just want to let you know that there are others out there who are experiencing the same things. But first a little background information.

I started blogging about 10 months ago and I would be lying if I said that I have been wildly successful. I have a hard time with consistency and even went without blogging for several months, which you can read about here. I started the blog shortly after opening an online boutique calledLydia & Lilac. This is in addition to being a full time behavior specialist for our school district, volunteering in youth ministry at our church, and being a wife and mother of 3 boys. Needless to say, we are a little busy, so I do what I can to prep and plan ahead of time and one day I may write about that when I figure it all out…lol.

We are constantly hearing about all the wonderful things about starting a blog or small business and it’s true, there are a lot of great things about both. However, there are hard times too and these shouldn’t be overlooked, because if you want to have any sort of success it’s gonna take a little elbow grease, or in my case a whole lotta elbow grease! So here are some truths about the struggle, it’s real.

Money…I’m supposed to make that right?

So here is something that has been true, at least for me. Because I was not just starting a blog, but also a boutique, there were start up costs. Now that our business is almost a year old, the truth is we haven’t made much and anything that we do has gone right back into the boutique. This has been fine for us because we don’t rely on money from our boutique. If we did, I’m sure I would be working a whole lot harder to make that happen. But even then, I’m not sure we would have made enough to live off of or anything like that. I’m not saying we never could, I’m just saying it takes a lot of time and effort and it doesn’t happen instantly for most.

Money…now your telling me I have to spend it?

In my case with the boutique I have found that we have to spend money on adds. At first I tried to get reach without them, but I was getting absolutely no traffic. Zero. None. Zilch. Even now I don’t get a whole lot, no where near where I need to be. This is mostly because I don’t spend a lot of money on adds, which in the end means less views.

You’re on all the time.

This is so true! Each day, every activity, any event, they always become an opportunity…am I wearing something from the boutique, will there be a good photo opportunity in the day, is this something I could blog about, did I make sure to check in with our followers on social media, did I make sure to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest? You see, there is opportunity every moment of the day and if you don’t take it, someone else will. For this reason I am still learning how to balance it all.

The creative juices are flowing, BUT.

There are many times during the week that ideas will just hit me, but I can’t do anything about it at the moment. Such is life, right? Raising a family, working, and volunteering, there are times that I cannot stop what I am doing to work on my business. During these times I make a lot of mental notes, lists on my phone, or grab a sticky note. Even this post was a result of list I put together on my phone.

Although there are struggles that come with starting a small business, I do have to say that it can be very rewarding too! When someone tells you how much they like your content, that they really related to your blog, or that they adore what you sell in your shop, it makes it all worth it!

Special Occasion? Have We Got the Dress for You!

Spring is on its way, which means wedding season, Easter, and Mother’s Day are fast approaching! Many of us are looking for something beautiful and fresh to add to our wardrobe as the weather begins to warm.

I personally have been looking for a lace dress to add to our boutique collection for quite some time. When I came across Victoria, I knew this dress was perfect!

It is one of those dresses that you could wear on Easter Sunday, to a tea, a bridal shower, or even to a wedding, making it an ideal piece to add to your wardrobe this season.

We love the simple beauty of this dress, as it reminds of of times gown by and has a hint of southern charm.

The knee length, scoop neck, and wrist length sleeves on Victoria give this dress a romantic touch. The loose fit allows the dress to slightly sway when touched with a gentle spring breeze.

Currently available in Teal in both S/M and M/L. Find Victoria here!

If your just joining us, and want to know more about our brand, please check out our post here!

Dressing Up Our Most Loved Dress for Winter

Winter is officially here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear your favorite dress anymore! This post is all about dressing up our best selling dress, Mia, for winter. Chosen by our customers for its comfort and flattering style, Mia is loved by all who purchase it! We currently offer Mia in Charcoal, Eggplant, and Lilac. So settle in with a cup of coffee or tea and browse our winter looks.

Look 1: Blissful Burgundy

For this look we paired our Mia Dress in Charcoal with burgundy leggings, a burgundy cardigan, brown boots, and our Lainey Blanket Scarf in Burgundy. I love how incredibly comfortable this outfit it!

Look 2: Cozy in Cream

I totally love this look, because it is centered around a vintage cream sweater that had once belongs to my Grandma Gron. I paired our Mia Dress in Charcoal with sweater tights, black wedges, and a cream knit hat. For a little added style, I wore my Cora Necklace from Lydia & Lilac as well.

Look 3: Pops of Color

I love pairing mustard with rich colors together and I love how much fun this outfit is! I paired my favorite mustard cardigan with our Mia in Eggplant and our Francesca Floppy Wool Hat in Teal. I added a pair of leggings and some brown boots for some added warmth and finished the look off with our Vera Statement Necklace.

Look 4: Grey Pea Coat

This look is great for a night out! I paired our Mia in Eggplant with my favorite grey pea coat and black thigh high boots. To provide an extra layer of warmth I added our cozy Lainey Blanket Scarf in Teal.

So there you have it, several ways to dress up our Mia Dresses for those blustery days ahead. How do you like to dress up your wardrobe for the winter?

Win a $20 Gift Certificate for Lydia & Lilac

Want a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to use at lydiaandlilac.com? Like or comment this post over at Facebook to be entered to win! Just click on this link to head on over! You’ll find the link pinned to the top of our page. Contest runs from 8 am EST December 31, 2017 to 3 am EST January 7, 2018. Winner will be announced January 8, 2018 at 8 pm EST via Facebook Live! You must like or comment on the original link at Facebook.com/lovelylydiaandlilac to enter.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on all of our latest news!

See official terms and conditions below.

Official terms and conditions:

* This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to Lydia & Lilac LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for this contest only and will not be shared with any other party outside of Lydia & Lilac LLC.

* This contest is being run by Lydia & Lilac LLC.

* Must be 18 years old or older to enter.

* Must reside in the United States to enter.

* Must like or comment this post to enter.

* All entries will be entered into the competition and the winner will be randomly selected.

* No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter.

* Making a purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

* The contest begins December 31, 2017 at 8 am EST and closes January 7, 2018 at 3 am EST.

* The winner will receive $20 gift certificate that can be used toward purchases at lydiaandlila.com.

* The gift certificate cannot be exchanged for cash.

* The winner will be emailed an electronic gift certificate with code that can be entered at checkout.

* Winner will be announced on Facebook Live Monday January 8, 2018 at 8 pm EST.

* Winner will be contacted via Facebook Messenger for contact information in order for Lydia & Lilac LLC to deliver the prize.

* Void where prohibited.

The Reasons Why I’m Shopping Small this Christmas and Why You Should Too!

I love shopping for others during the holidays. Giving gifts is a way to show someone else that you care for them. And yes, I will be dressing in my Christmas attire, heading out during the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday, and checking off a few of my boxes on my Christmas list. After all, shopping Black Friday has become a tradition for the girls in my family. However, this year I will be shopping small as much as I can! Why, you ask? Read on to find out my friend!

I get to support someone’s dream. You see, each small business represents someone dream. There is always a person, a family, a story behind each one. Our family loves these stories! We love that each time we make a purchase from the small shops we have grown to love, we are supporting someone’s dream and helping it become a reality! What a fantastic feeling!

You find unique items you can’t find anywhere else. Of course there will Buzz-Saw Louie at every store and everyone you know will be getting one (yes that is a Veggie Tales reference! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can click here.), but what about giving something different for a change? My sister is the best gift giver ever! She always finds something thoughtful and unique. I have learned so much from her over the years and have really been trying to put more thought into what I give. You know, not just giving to give. Shopping small gives me options for gift giving that I simply can’t get in department stores.

I can finally find something for the difficult ones. Let’s face it, some people are just hard to shop for. Because small businesses have unique products, I’m able to find something for those who want things in even the most unique niche.

Many small businesses are now located online. Honestly, a lot of the small businesses I will be buying from this year are online. This is great for me, because I cannot stand the traffic this time of year! Shopping online means I don’t have to worry about traffic at all. In fact I’m able to do most of my shopping after my boys are tucked snuggly in their beds and from the comfort of my couch. Score!

There are so many reasons to shop small this holiday season and we only scratched the surface. If your looking for gifts for her this year, check out lydiaandlilac.com today! What are some of your reasons for shopping small this year?

Perfect Holiday Dresses and the Reasons You’ll Love Them!

I love dressing up! Yes, me! Who woulda thunk right? 😉 The holiday season is filled with family get togethers, parties, and other occasions that call for dressing your best. For this reason, I have put a list together of some gorgeous pieces here at lydiaandliac.com that will make you the best dressed guest, guaranteed!

Sophia is THE perfect party dress! This dress is currently available in blush and black. This adorable tank dress has a beautiful gold belt with a tassel detail. The best part of this dress though is the tulle skirt! This dress can be worn as is or with a cardigan. Picture Sophia in black with a red cardigan and you have an adorable look for Christmas. I love dressing this one up with my favorite heels and statement necklace. In fact, Sophia in black is the dress I am planning to wear to Thanksgiving this year, but more about that look later.

Valentina is a classic and looks incredible on any figure! This mock wrap dress is available in black. We suggest pairing it with your favorite heals or wedges, as it is a full length maxi. Picture Valentina with one of our Stella Statement Necklace sets and a gorgeous updo. This look would be perfect for a holiday concert or a night at the theater. Just thinking about it makes me want to buy some tickets to the Nutcracker (why, yes this will be showing at the Staz in December!).

Lyla is such a feminine skirt, which is also available in black. (Starting to see a trend here?) Why such a feminine skirt you ask? It could be the black lace or it could be the pleated tulle overlay, you take your pick! Lyla looks fantastic with a cami and cardigan, but we also dare you to pair this high waisted skirt with a tucked in sweater. It would look adorable with a black and white striped sweater, red sweater, or even pink! We adore this skirt with our white scalloped cami and love it even more paired with red velvet heals!

Last but certainly not least, is Allie. We could not talk about holiday dresses without mentioning our special edition holiday dress! This. Dress. Is. Adorable. The plaid pattern makes it the perfect dress to wear from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s and every holiday in between! We love this one paired with knee high boots. The long sleeves can be buttoned up and be worn as 3/4 length. Adorable with tights, a beanie, a statement necklace, you name it! Dress it up, dress it down, we just can’t get enough of Allie!

Check out lydiaandlilac.com today for even more holiday dresses, skirts, and accessories!