Many of you know me and a lot of you don't. I'm Kris and I own The Blue Ox Shop.
I'm a mom to an awesome 11 (going on 15) year old and she was my inspiration for starting this adventure back in 2012. I wish I had pictures of the bows I used to make because many of you wouldn't believe how awful they were (yep, it was that bad.)
After years (yes, I said years) of shoppers telling me they didn't have kids or didn't have girls in their family, I decided to do a bit of rebranding. But it wasn't that easy. Building a brand from the ground up had its many challenges. Jealousy, lack of experience and knowledge, you name it, it stood in my way. Fortunately, I didn't let any of that stop me.
Let's get the Green-Eyed monster out of here. This is a long one so bear with me. As we all know and see every day on Social Media, Google, etc. there are thousands of businesses selling shirts, mugs, their kitchen sink, you know where I'm going with this. Guess what they all have in common? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? They all have the SAME exact, if not extremely similar designs on their products. It's like nails on a chalkboard annoying, drives me up the freakin' wall! One fellow business owner felt the need to threaten my entire shop because... yup, you guessed it! They thought they had some overlord right to all things sold on Etsy and every Screen Print provider you can think of. I was told to stop selling my items immediately or else... I guess they were going to call the Etsy police on me? Let me set the record straight here, we had the same damn suppliers. Nothing was theirs, nothing was owned by them with a trademark or copyright. This was just obstacle number one.
Phew, I need to catch my breath after that! Ok, so challenge number two... drumroll please... an oversaturated market, yikes! Everyone under the sun is trying to sell the same thing and this goes back to what I mentioned above, they all have like-designs. ::Cringe:: Of course, something had to be done to stand out. I took a big leap (sustaining a few minor scratches on the way) and started to teach myself the art of Graphic Design. Somewhere along the way my hard work was paying off because Facebook took notice. I was inducted into their super secret Leaders Network for my efforts on growing my little business. ::Squealing like a kid in a candy store:: This brings me to where I am today.
I am thrilled to be able to offer products featuring designs you won't see anywhere else and I am beyond proud to say they are mine. The rush I get when clothes I wear featuring these designs get noticed by passersby asking where it's from and being able to say "I made it!" Wow! Now it's time to get emotional for a minute.
To my family and friends who stood by me even at my worst when I let the stupid sh*t get to me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your love and support is what kept me going (even though you had to push pretty hard at times because I am beyond stubborn.)