A Tiny Arrow is all about creating clothing and accessories for a magical childhood.  The collection of feather crowns and clips are so beautiful – what little girl wouldn’t look adorable with one of these creations in her hair.  Inspired by her own daughter, Janis Wales began A Tiny Arrow just this springtime… and already demand for her intricate creations are rightly on an upward trajectory.  Janis kindly shares a peek behind the scenes of her fledgling business today…

Hi Janis, please introduce yourself to the Glitterati Girls…

I’m Janis Wales, owner and designer A Tiny Arrow

Tell me a bit about your business:

My business is all about fun and whimsical creations for little ones. Right now I am mainly focused on feather crowns and clips, but I also have a few other accessories…and moccasins are coming soon! I plan on expanding to clothing sometime next year

Describe your typical day/week schedule.

Well, up until a week ago I had a full time job so a typical day meant waking up at 6am to reply to emails, update my shop and despatch orders from the previous day. Then, my daughter Arrow would usually get up around 8am. I’d make her breakfast, play for half an hour and then get myself ready and it was off to work. I was the Director of Merchandising for an apparel company for 11 years. When I got home around 6pm, I would make Arrow dinner, play, give her a bath, read a book, sing a song and she was off to sleep. Then around 8:30pm it was time to start working on my business, often until about 1am. This would repeat every day. A Tiny Arrow was growing so quickly that I could no longer keep up with both so I made the decision to quit my day job and focus all of my attention on my business instead. It’s only been a week so, right now, I’m playing catch up. Now, my day starts at 6am.  I answer emails, update my shop and make Arrow breakfast…then get to work.  I’ll take little breaks throughout the day to play a game, go outside and draw or spend time with Arrow but I am pretty much working on my business all day. Unfortunately I am still working to about 1am until I can get caught up..I hope!

customHow do you plan and organise your time?  What are your biggest challenges with this?  What tips can you offer?

My time is not really organised at all right now! I wish I could say it was. I started this business about 5 months ago and have been really fortunate to have it grow so quickly…but with that has come plenty of challenges. I just moved into a new office in our home and I have slowly been organising all of my supplies. I know I need to make the time to get organised because, in the long run, it will make my process more efficient but I am so busy I haven’t set aside the time to do it. It’s also a new challenge working from home. It’s so tempting to stop what I am doing and spend all day with my daughter – and it doesn’t help that she can see me and doesn’t understand why I’m not playing with her. (This is why I am moving to a new office in the house!)  I think the only tip I can give right now is to go easy on yourself. You can’t do everything all at once. Set goals and come up with a plan that is realistic. Don’t try to be everything to everyone – as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, people will notice! 

[Tweet “”Don’t try to be everything to everyone – as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, people will notice!” Janis of @atinyarrow via @emmagwillim”]

What are your essential office tools?

I absolutely need tweezers, tiny embroidery scissors and lots of containers. I have so many little odds and ends that I work with… I have to have all kinds of different storage containers to house them in so I don’t lose my mind.

Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women?

I don’t know how they do it but every time I get an email from Paper & Stitch it’s like they were reading my mind.  There is a great section on the blog that is dedicated to the business of being creative and I swear every time I’m thinking of something or wondering how to do something…they’ll suddenly have a post about it.

I also cannot live without the app Afterlight. I use it to edit every last one of my photos.

Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style. 

I am just transitioning into my new home office and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s a nice wide open space surrounded by windows and lots of natural light. It’s a small separated building from our home so I will be able to work uninterrupted. The biggest plus is the room is wired up for playing music…loud, which is key for me. Music keeps me motivated and inspired!

lolaHow does it motivate/focus your work?

Having this space separate from our main home is huge! It was really hard working inside the house since Arrow didn’t understand why I wasn’t playing with her all day. I felt horrible. I started this business to hopefully be able to spend more time with her…but during this transitional time I really need to focus and get my business functioning on a true schedule.

What book has most inspired you?

I used to read all the time.  Now I barely have time to read my own mail. I wish I had a book to tell you about…but I’m not even going to try to make one up.

What’s your typical working lunch?

Lunch is a luxury right now.  Lately I’ve been making fresh fruit and vegetable juice every day for lunch. It’s quick and I feel energized again after drinking it.

And how do you switch off once the working day is done?

My working day doesn’t end until about 1am so shutting off is falling asleep…and it is the best feeling ever!

What makes your life sparkle?

My daughter is definitely the sparkle in my life. She is what motivates and inspires all that I do. She is the reason I started this little venture and I am so excited to see where it goes!

If you want to see more of Janis’ beautiful work, visit A Tiny Arrow shop on Etsy or say hello on Facebook.

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