Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Beginning

Hi, I'm Gela Smith. I am first and foremost a mommy of 2 wonderful children and a wife to my amazing hubby. But also I am an entrepreneur. I am the Founder of Gela's RaineBows. Using this name, I handcraft custom made-to-order Flower Bows for my customers. The website for my shop is

But now that all that plugging is over, I wanna talk about something else in particular. My JOURNEY. Let's face it folks. It's a terrible economy still. We all see small businesses rise up and then ultimately fail within a short period of time. We see this DAILY. Not exactly the most opportune time to be starting up a business. What makes me different? Well, NOTHING of course!! Except that since I am a mommy and the wife of a soon-to-be college student, there's not a lot of money to spend in order to fuel my business. So this going to be essentially "The Do's and Don'ts of Running a Business on a Budget". And I do mean a tiny tiny tiny budget. So come on my journey with me. See how epically I fail, or how epically I triumph! And in the meantime, maybe get some useful tips and advice for your own business along the way. No matter what service or product you offer.

FIRST! Some history. As I said, my name is Gela, and this is the name that I prefer to go by. However, I was born with the name Angela (see? [an]Gela. Get it?) on November 1, 1989 in Buena Park, California. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers, and I am the youngest girl in my family (I have one younger brother). We moved to Cedar City, Utah (where I currently reside) when I was 2 months old. So I pretty much grew up here. I grew up in a musical and creative family, and that pretty much sums up what I am as a person. I dreamed for a long time of being a singer until I realized how terrible the public treats celebrities (especially the ones who succeed, which has always seemed backwards to me), and I decided my new dream was to be a mommy. Well, when I met my future husband Max when I was only 13 years old, the dream was realized probably a little too early. We started dating when I was 15, go engaged shortly after I turned 16, and got pregnant when I was 17. My parents practically shoved us down the aisle after that (but what did we care? we were already engaged anyway!), and about 5 months later we had a beautiful baby boy. Vincent. That little boy is now 4 years old and getting ready to go to preschool. WHEW! How's that for a flash forward? Life has been crazy, what can I say? But in any case, I also just recently gave birth to our 2nd (AND LAST) child, our daughter Evangeline. In fact, her name is Evangeline Raine - which is where I got the name RaineBows from. There's a big fat behind-the-scenes fact for ya! And now for some more present news - my hubby got accepted into Dixie State College of Utah just days before my daughter was born. And now our whole future has been altered. We are going to be moving away from our hometown for the first time within the next few months - and with 2 kids on top of it. It's going to be an adventure!

And now for the history of Gela's RaineBows. It doesn't go back very far. My parents have never been very well-off due to the fact that neither of them has a degree of any kind, and so when Christmas rolled around last year my Mom didn't have a lot of money to go around (especially since there are 7 of us kids, plus a lot of grandchildren). So, my Mom had an ideas. She works at Jo-Ann, and so she gets everything there for a really good price especially when they have deals going on. So she decided that she would give all of us girls a free class from Jo-Ann as a Christmas present. One that we could all take together. I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled about this idea at first because I have always wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, but my mom and my other sisters already know how to do that so I knew we wouldn't be taking that class. But BEHOLD!! We found a class that we were all interested in. A Flowers & Bows class! So in February 2012 (a month ago almost exactly) I took my first class with my mom and sisters. It was so much fun. I had a blast and by the end of the night I had a beautiful flower bow for my baby girl's hair to show for it. After the series of classes was over, I started going to town making a million different flower bows. I made some for me, I made some for my daughter, I made some for friends and family..... And still had an excess. I was averaging one bow a day.... And that was taking it easy. Some of my friends and family members saw the pictures I took of them when I posted them on Facebook, and they all started saying that I should sell them. I was reluctant at first. I mean, I have always been one of those people that generally succeeds at everything they try. But I always assumed that it was because I pick and choose WHICH things to try. I'm not the most adventurous person ever. I was afraid that I might crash-and-burn. But you know what? After some long, hard thought, I decided that maybe a good crash-and-burn experience would be good for me. I've never had one before. And I need to start experiencing some more stuff. Especially now that I'm flying away from the nest and exploring the world for myself. (Or, at least the next town over to start with!) And the alternative is that I make a few more bucks to help my hubby get through college. Woot!

So, there you have it folks. I hope I am able to look back on this post some day and have fond memories of the beginning of my THRIVING business!! And I hope that you all will help me get there. Until next time!!!


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