Saturday, February 8, 2020

Saying Goodye to Cardinal + Finch

My C+F tshirt, boxes made by Grandpa Don in our garage

At the end of 2019, I closed my sweet little business Cardinal + Finch. It was a decision that didn't come lightly. I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and quit all the time over the course of two years, with tears and frustration. But choosing to finally do it was without drama--just a quiet deletion of accounts and a letter to the Secretary of State. 

Showing a gift box used as a keepsake for a marriage

The heart of Cardinal + Finch was giving a gift with love. Grandpa Don built wooden keepsake boxes and I filled them with carefully chosen items for the gift occasion. I know that my gifts touched the hearts of many recipients and gave the givers a sense of satisfaction that their gift mattered--often when it was hard to know what to do for someone. C+F took up all of my time and energy and I really felt like I was the business. Now that the doors have closed, I am looking forward to finding a new part-time job (my barista position came and went in the matter of 4 months) and having time for reading and writing.

My first delivery! Haha

My greatest joy as I worked was creating the product photos and stationary. I captured everything on my back porch with a simple Canon and post-edited with an Instant filter. Playing with the textures of ribbon, flowers, products, and paper. For the stationary, I created templates in InDesign and used Illustrator to play with vintage photos of birds and create labels for the boxes, as well as my business cards. I received endless compliments for my marketing and product photos, as well as the stationary. These things, as well as product sourcing, were my strength. Running a business however, was my weakness, along with a constant feeling of inferiority and doubt. I actually had a really hard time selling my product and pushing my brand, utilizing the networking I did, and getting the business going with mere pennies. I knew that I could push through the doubts and struggles, and I did, until it didn't make sense for me and my family anymore. This is the last of several businesses I have tried to create and operate ... and let's just say if you have Bipolar Disorder, it's really, really tricky to make it work. At least it is for me. It's a catch 22 because a flexible, from-home, creative job is ideal YET the lack of structure and direction did me in. I would love to hear from other people with BD who HAVE made it work!

I can look back and see where I fell short, but mostly I look back with pride and love for what I made and accomplished. I created a little album to forever remember my creations ... You can view it here.

Thank you to everyone who supported my endeavor and loved Cardinal + Finch. It was a lesson in self-belief and limitations, grief, creativity, and community that I will always value.


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