Little Paper Dream

I’m so excited to share a big announcement with the Two Rubies mailing list at midnight tonight!! You can join the list here!! Note: this list is separate from the list associated with A Beautiful Ripple Effect or CarolynRubenstein.com.

Happy Thursday!
Carolyn

Over the next few months, I will be writing periodic reports on my little paper dream. These reports are written in a journal format to help express how this journey unfolds. I would love your feedback/comments as I write these reports (would be really helpful!). Also, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or via email!

If you are new to this little dream of mine, catch up by reading dream report no. 1, no. 2, and no. 3

photo: confetti system

The Little Paper Dream Has a Name!

If you are signed up for the little paper dream mailing list, you found out awhile ago the name of this dream of mine (and why the name is so important to me).

The name of the Little Paper Dream is Two Rubies. This name is something I’ve always wanted to use for a project, but never had a project that warranted such a personally important name.

While Two Rubies is the name of this little paper dream, it’s also the name of something I hope becomes much more beyond this dream project. The Big Dream: to run Two Rubies with my sister, Kimberly (she doesn’t know yet!).

My sister and I are the “two rubies.” The nickname comes from our last name, Rubenstein. However, when my sister gets married soon, she may be changing her last name. Regardless of our names, our relationship as sisters will always be etched in our identity. Having a sister, being a sister, is a sacred gift.

I hope Two Rubies becomes the home for your most important gifts—especially the gifts and sentiments you give to those you love most.

In my mind and in my heart, this little paper dream is the catalyst for something much bigger—something that will evolve with time and perspective. I believe and hope that like family, Two Rubies will be a constant in my life. It is formed on a foundation of unconditional love and compassion for ourselves and others.

This Little Paper Dream is the first collection from Two Rubies.

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Join the little paper dream mailing list to receive notes/emails. In these notes, I plan on sharing more behind the scenes information about this process. I will also be answering reader questions, sharing resources, and more! You can sign up here.

photo: confetti system

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After publishing the little paper dream report yesterday, I decided to finally create a mailing list dedicated solely to this project. This list is separate from all other lists I’ve created in the past. I plan on sending little updates to this list periodically and making announcements via the list before posting/tweeting/facebooking/pinning.

In the first note to the list (next week), I will be sharing more details about the project along with its name! If you’re interested in joining this list, you can sign up here.

Below are a few links for you to peruse this weekend.

May your weekend be filled with lots of dreaming :)!

Why the Best Way to Get Creative is to Make Some Rules by Aimee Bender

Create a summer list of fun (via effervescence)

Love these fun “Hey, I Just Met You” cards (via 8Balloons aka Brown Eyed Girl You Just Met)

“If you leave a comment, I will be your best friend.” (via Aidan Donnelly Rowley)

Golfing with Monkeys (podcast by Tara Brach—link to mp3 or search “golfing with monkeys” on Tara’s website). So much wisdom in this talk. I’ve listened to it multiple times and gain something new each time.

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image: anna malin (found via DustJacket Attic)

–> sign up for the little paper dream list here!

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Over the next few months, I will be writing periodic reports on my little paper dream. These reports are written in a journal format to help express how this journey unfolds. I would love your feedback/comments as I write these reports (would be really helpful!). Also, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or via email!

*If you have no idea what crazy little paper dream I’m talking about, check out report no. 1 and report no. 2.

This little paper dream of mine is getting real—really real. I think I just realized that. It’s so much more fun to dream than to implement. However, turning this dream into a reality is turning into a very rewarding (and fun) process!

Things I’ve relearned about myself so far:

  • I’m very hard on myself.
  • I set unrealistic expectations.
  • I don’t give up.
  • I’m not good at letting others help me (but I’m trying so very hard to get better at this).

The Not So Good

I’m upset with myself about the timing of this project. Although it may not have looked like it, this past year has been a less hectic year for me schedule wise. I wish I would have started this project and been able to release the final product when I had time to fully enjoy it. When the paper dream comes to life, my schedule will again be in overdrive. I really want to soak up this experience so will try my best to be gentle on myself and celebrate this little paper dream despite an over filled calendar. To this end, I’ve begun brainstorming what I want my involvement to look like when this paper dream launches. The goal is to begin preparing ahead of time for my ideal involvement rather than when I’m feeling overwhelmed and absolutely exhausted.

The Good

Currently, I have a lot of different components in motion. I need to begin to pull the pieces together and get back to big picture planning and project management.

I went a bit overboard with all the details. I did not slack off on any area. I want this experience and dream to fully come alive and to do that I had to find just the right people to compose my “dream team!” The dream team is pretty much complete and I’m really proud of the diversity of talents I’ve brought together.

Since the last report, I found a new printer (Mama’s Sauce) and officially placed the order yesterday! I have also finalized most of the photo styling ideas with the ladies of Beau and Arrow (who are truly beyond amazing, so creative and detail-oriented—the perfect combination).

As an aside: why does nobody share their resources in this business!? It’s crazy to me. I’m obviously not following that rule and will be sharing all the resources along the way (will even put together a little resource guide for other dreamers at the end of this journey).

Reflection

I’ve been thinking a lot about my preparation going into this project. And it’s eerily similar to my preparation going into almost all of my past dreams that became a reality.

I jumped into this project without doing much (or any) real research. I can probably safely say that no business consultant would advise this tactic. There are so many things I could have learned before embarking on this paper project that would have made the logistics SO MUCH EASIER, but I didn’t. Honestly, if I knew about all the work that this little dream would entail, I probably would have never started. I would have over researched and over analyzed until the passion dwindled away. So I guess you can say I learn things the hard way; however, I learn them my own way which is most important to me. I don’t think there is any one formula for anything we do. Each person comes from a different background with different experiences/different knowledge/different resources. We best learn what works for us by diving in and doing some experimental navigating. And by doing things a little differently than everyone else, you tend to stand out which can be the hardest variable of all to master.

So many people ask me, how I’ve done some of the things I’ve accomplished. Honestly, I have no idea. I work my butt off and let my passion speak for itself. You can’t learn passion, but you surely can express it. That’s my formula I suppose. Find your passion and let it be your primary guide. The how will connect the dots, but the dots are scattered from point a to point b by passion. It sounds crazy and similar to the trite advice to “follow your passion and the money will follow.” Yes, follow your passion. But passion does not equal financial success. There is a strong relationship between the two, but it’s simply that—a relationship. It’s a relationship that requires a lot of hard work and perseverance.

What I’ve learned through this project, this little paper dream, is that above all else keep your passion alive. When your passion begins to fade, you are steering in the wrong direction. Find a way to keep that passion sparked and you will find a way to make your dream a reality.

Next Steps

… I’m digging into Pink Elephant’s workbooks for creative entrepreneurs. I’m not an affiliate but a huge fan of these workbooks. They are helping me turn the words behind this project into a beautiful story.

… I’m going to create a mailing list for this little paper dream that lives separately from my other projects. I will share the list if you are interested in signing up when I’ve got that checked off my list. UPDATE 6.29: Sign up for the list here!

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. I can’t wait for Report No. 4 and to see what new surprises will pop up for me to discuss.

photo credit: kate spade via neo-traditionalist; text by carolyn for a beautiful ripple effect

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Over the next few months, I will be writing periodic reports on my little paper dream. These reports are written in a journal format to help express how this journey unfolds. I would love your feedback/comments as I write these reports (would be really helpful!). Also, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or via email!

In my first report, I shared the inspiration behind this little dream of mine. Since that report, I’ve made a lot of progress but not as much as I had hoped. As soon as I shared this little dream report, I became a bit crippled by the anxiety of what others would think. Would I fail your expectations? Would I be compared to others who have done this paper thing so well? Would no one buy any of these little dreams of mine? These questions and fears feel horrible to share but I don’t think that I’m alone in feeling these things/thinking these thoughts.

Whenever we navigate an unknown process in front of others isn’t there always a sense of wonder about how we are being observed by those watching? Yet, to ask this question means we believe people are watching. For whatever reason, we believe that others are intrigued by our actions. For me, this realization that our actions have repercussions is what propels me. If by sharing this dream of mine and making it a reality allow others to do the same (i.e., follow their own dreams—follow your own dream) then this scary process of sharing is all worth it for me. If my dream succeeds, then I hope I can share what made that happen. If my dream flops and no one buys a single item then I hope I can share what may have contributed to this happening. There will be lessons to be learned regardless of the outcome. Finally arriving at this perspective, I feel at peace not knowing what the outcome will be. Will I feel joy? Will I feel disappointment? I hope I feel lots of emotions and will share these emotions. I won’t sugar coat it. I’ve done my share of sugarcoating in the past and learned my lesson. It doesn’t help me or anyone else.

Since Report No. 1

=> I had the most wonderful chat with my friend, Piper (One Sydney Road). She gave some incredible advice from her perspective as a shop owner. To see this project from her unique perspective opened my eyes a lot. It’s easy to see things solely from your own perspective, especially when you are working for the most part alone. You forget how much you don’t know and how much you can learn by reaching out to others.

=> I have been focusing on how to accurately portray what makes this little paper dream so unique. I realized how important the photos will be to tell this story. Aside from product photographs, I will be creating a visual story that brings this paper alive. To help me do this, I am working with the uber talented duo behind Beau & Arrow.

=> We’ve had a little setback with the printer working on this project. Right before going to print, the printer realized they had made a $500 error in their original estimate. Obviously this error is not minor. I’m so lucky to have Carolynn by my side. She is a miracle worker. She is already lining up different options and one option that could possibly (fingers crossed!) be better than our original printer in so many ways. However, this error means our timeline is up in the air.

Next Steps

=> Receive estimates from new printers. Select the printer for this project and receive samples. After samples are approved, the production process will begin.

=> Revise and finalize project timeline.

=> Set up shop website using Big Cartel.

What I Need Help With

As I move through this process, I’m learning that there is so much that I will need help with! I’m going to flex my “ask for help” muscles in these reports. If you know someone or are someone that could possibly help with an item below, please send me an email at carolynblog@me.com with the subject, “Little Paper Dream.”

=> Product Launch/Marketing Consultant to help launch my little paper dream to the right people.

=> Copywriting for shop website and product pages.

image: the wheatfield

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