Now You Know My Business Story

Have you ever sat down to plan or attend an event? Would you invite your golfing club to attend a buying show for kids room accessories? Would you invite your mommy group to your business networking event? You might, but my guess is those in my mommy group would rather spend their precious time at a girls night out with girlfriends. I have been asked over and over why I have an online presences representing three different categories. I typically answer with, “I actually have four websites/categories.” My answers then get even more interesting and raise a few eyebrows. People have  this idea that I am super charged and have the energy of 5 people when one person can hardly manage their one website.
It started when I was 18 years old. Long before there was Social Media and long before I even knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

1. I started working as a Young Life leader. Getting together weekly with high-school girls and investing my time to get to know them and give them an ear of understanding. This turned into mentoring and I have been in these kinds of relationship my entire adult life.  Mentoring women on matters important to their heart.

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2. When I was in my young 20’s I started my first business. Then another small business and then a business that grew in the millions with over 50 employees. It was a kids high end design store. It gave me an outlet to be crafting. Painting furniture, sewing bedding and learning how to run and manage something that was only intended to be a fun hobby with a side income. God had a different plan. That store was called Skip To My Room.

Skip To My Room

This was my very fist sign from 1992.

3. The success of Skip To My Room had brands and products in the kid industry hiring me as a consultant to help strategically help their business, help with design, and helping to teach their sales teams how to sell and most important build relationship with their customers. I felt the success of Skip To My Room had the success due in part to the relationships our staff made with our customers.

How does all of this turn into four online websites and three twitter handles. It seems kind  of silly, or as others have said, “hard to manage all four.” Yes, I can understand how it would be hard to manage if I was just starting my career when Social Media started. I had many years of practice long before there was Social Media. Social Media has actually made the managing of the things I love so much easier.

I first started eight years ago with a personal blog called Sharing the personal things about my life that I felt could help others along.  Sharing my stories of being a mom to five kids, my relationship with God, with life, and with my personal life experiences.

I then took my passion for kids room design and started a side business from home. It had been years since Skip To My Room had closed. Divorce can do that to a thriving business. I still had those creative juices burning inside and so was born, an online boutique called Hung Out To Buy. Like some play in a garden for therapy, I play in the elements of kids room design. I have been at this for over 20 years, so it was easy to set up the kind of online business I could manage. I had no desire to have over 50 employees again and this suited me well with young boys still at home.  It made sense to also set up a twitter @HungOutToBuy

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I had been meeting  a host of women through mentoring. I wanted to do the same in this internet space and allow women a place to walk and talk in the beauty of their stories. was built. Taking what I have been doing in real time, and allowing the opportunity to share more and bring other women along in this journey of growing up.  It also made sense that this, too would have it’s own Twitter handle. @Girlfriendshub

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Working as a business consultant and being able to be part of teams is something that I grew up in. I did not even know what a consultant was. The first time I was invited to share my ideas with a company I thought it was really cool. They flew me out to their Canadian factory. They had a lovely stretch limo pick me up and they put up in a lovely hotel. They paid for all my expenses and the wife of the owner even took me shopping. ( I was only 27 years old.) I spent 5 days with this company and helped the design team forecast colors and designs for the next season. I helped rewrite their sales tools. It was fun and exciting until my dad asked how much I was paid. You see I thought I was being a help to their collection. I sold their brand well and was in the million dollar club. If I helped with these decisions all the stores across the nation would do well. I was quickly schooled in what it meant to be paid to think. A consultant was born. Taking my business brand and having that website.  I had no idea what to call my consulting business. I no longer had a niche. I could study and research a company and help where the need was.  ETC made sense.  It also happens to be my initials.  Here you have and of course the Twitter handle for that is @elizabethtraub

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I love answering this question, “How do you do it all?” Those who are closest to me know that over the past 20 years I have not done it all. I have had the blessing of being able to have some hired help. I have a husband who supports my passions and takes care of a lot of the little details. Every time I am traveling he schedules my trips right down to printing out driving direction from point A to point B to point C and back to point A. My five children have grown up being part of my business.  They have traveled with me as nursing babies and they have worked alongside me when they old enough.

Emily At a Trade Show

Emily helps at a trade show for a client.

I have chosen to break down the three different parts of my life on Social Media because it makes sense to me. Girlfriends, and the women I mentor are not so interested in business. Nor do I need to be pitching and peddling kid’s products to these girlfriends. In the same way I would not want to pitch kids products to those whom I do business with that have nothing to do with that industry.  All three categories of my life are about relationships. As people get to know me, they learn of the things I am up to and can go and visit those places.   I love that I have been able to pour my heart and time into the things I have loved. When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I realize that I started practicing what I wanted to be by God’s natural design of me.  I am thankful daily that I get to be me, and if the truth be known there are days when I have the energy of five people. I have always been this way. Rest and good nutrition are my secret, along with a really fun family.  I now end with, “Now you know the rest of the story. Good Day” Paul Harvey.  That seemed appropriate don’t you think?

Interior Designer, Consultant, Artist. Which is it they ask? All of the above. God has blessed me in ways that words cannot describe. Doing what I love and making a career out of it all. Starting with a beautiful designer showroom. Decorating homes and specializing in kid's spaces. Magazine covers and spreads, then show homes. Adding in business consulting. Working alongside my clients to develop a strategic plan to design and market their product or service in the correct markets. Then one day, after years of painting for my clients, a few gallies, my hobby business I decided in the second half of my life to bring Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery to life. I took my paintings to the streets and flipped my website into my "Art You Love" business. Do what you love and love what you do. Adding Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery and creating artful pieces for your home, office, business. An empty wall invites art you love by Elizabeth Harris Art Gallery. Your Dreams & Passions, My Experience & Help. Let's work together and build something beautiful in your home business, or on your walls.

Posted in In Real Life

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