The reason why I started my business
Two years ago, I started Oh! Good Idea because I love planners, and I love stationery and I love everything that keeps me organised- I've been always been a planner girl at heart.
I've always used planners throughout my academic years and when I became a mum, planning became an important part of my life: I couldn't cope without a planner! I had so many appointments and so many things to remember and keep track of and I kept forgetting everything (baby brain is not a myth!), so planning was my survival kit at the time.
I then discovered the planner community. It's hard to believe that such a community exists, but I can tell you is amazing and it's growing. Although we are in a Wold of technology (phones, iPads, laptops), still, the analog planners are strong and getting stronger because people feel like they need to detox and not use their phones so much. You can have millions and millions of apps on your phone to track this, remind you of that but, having an analog planner that you can put in your desk, open, and have all the information in one place is just priceless. Naturally, I fell in love with the planner community.
And then I discovered planner stickers and all the beautiful ephemera we can use to decorate our planners and journals so we can make it our own. And that was actually one of the things that inspired me to open Oh! Good Idea. I've always been very artistic, I've always been around art- I have artists in the family, and I've always been very creative, so the idea of using my talent for art and drawing combined with another passion of mine (planning and journaling) whilst I was at home full time looking after my third baby, was what catapulted me to open my shop two and a half years ago.
I started just selling, at the time, very basic designs that I've created with the intention of being more functional and to create a vast portfolio first that I could sell, and then find my true identity throughout this journey. And that's been happening ever since! Especially over the last year, I decided that I have to, not only put my art at the forefront of my business, but I also need to put myself as an identity part of my business. So, I started to be very open about my own battles with Mental Health and I started to design not only planner stickers but journaling cards, and covers for planners and all sorts of stationery I could think about with a theme in mind, and always with the mission to motivate and inspire other women that might not have mental health, but they know the struggles of dealing with negative emotions and not feeling good enough, not feel worthy.
Every time I release some kind of new products or launch something like I did now with a journaling pack, it's another reflection of me, it's my passions and my values. As a business owner, in any field, it's really important to always be authentic. Of course, you don't need to tell everybody all parts of your life, there are things that you keep for yourself. But people connect with you if you are transparent and you are genuine, and you are open, and I couldn't explain how I came up with so many designs and what was my inspiration and my mission without talking about my own journey with mental health.
After having my second baby 11 years ago, I really went through a very dark time with postnatal depression, and ever since I have been battling the underlying problem - chronic anxiety. It's been a journey that allowed me to learn so much, that allowed me to grow as a person and emotionally. I don't hide these struggles because it's part of me. It's part of who I am. And for that reason, it's part of my business and my business story.
And my mission just got stronger with the lockdown. I could see, not only in the planning community but all over social media, that even people that never experienced mental health before, started to feel anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, sad, depressed because they had to be stuck at home, not having a social life, not doing the things that they normally used to do, and enjoyed doing.
So my mission just got stronger because I knew everything they were going through- I've been through that, even before the current situations when I was battling mental health. So I wanted to help people and what started with me putting a week of guest expert trainings together for my Facebook Group back in April, turned into me investing in courses myself to become a Journaling Therapy Coach- I am now graduated and got my diploma last month!
Oh! Good Idea now offers more than stickers and stationery to inspire and motivate other women, but it's now complemented with trainings and courses that will, in the long run, reach out more women and help more and more people to overcome their negative emotions, find what is blocking them and help them find their purpose in life.
I never would have thought 10 years ago when I was dealing with depression, the way I was, that 10 years later I would be a business owner, I would be a CEO, and I would be preparing myself to coach, and help other women overcome the things I was experiencing at the time.
It is completely possible. If I could do it, you can do it too.