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Save Money & Support Local Business: Functional Rustic Approach

Functional Rustic has a promo code now! Use Promo Code: save50 when you check out at Functional Rustic and save 50% on your entire order. And, as always, Functional Rustic offers FAST and FREE delivery right to your door!

Save50 Promo Code
Use Promo Code SAVE50 at www.FunctionalRustic.com to save 50% PLUS FREE SHIPPING on the entire Functional Rustic inventory of handmade rustic décor. Valid thru 12/31/18.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am struggling to get the word out that Functional Rustic is a place to buy things – beautiful, handmade things at that! Apparently most stores use sales and promotional offers to get customers in the door – so Functional Rustic will too!

Sales and promotions are nice and all – but I am most proud of the new items I’ve created. The consistent piece of feedback that I have received is that Functional Rustic could benefit from a bit more color. It is this advice that inspired the purple, green and blue coat racks. Talk about colorful! Not only do I love the colors, but the round “hooks” are actually repurposed drawer handles. Gives them such a unique look!

The coat racks are fun to create but I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more until I sold what I already have. They are priced to sell so I will get to build more in not time. (If you want a coat rack but in a different color let me know and I will happily repaint it for you! Also, if you can’t make it to Countryside but want items you see from the pictures – let me know and I can arrange to have it delivered FREE.)

As of today, all of the new Functional Rustic items are in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. The plan moving forward is to store all the new products at Countryside and pull them off the shelves as needed for craft shows. Keep an eye out for the monthly storewide sales (on top of already low prices) and receive at least 25% discounts on all Functional Rustic items.

Check out the new items at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall below!

Looking for a way to help a stranger this holiday season?

Small home business like Functional Rustic can’t afford the advertising that big retailers are able to utilize. We rely on individuals like you to help us introduce ourselves to the public. By sharing/liking posts from your friends (or strangers like me) you allow their products and ideas to be seen by hundreds more people.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful...

Also, we also do happy a dance anytime someone interacts with our content. Seriously.

Each time Linda Schaub and Dutchll like something I published I grin from ear to ear and do a little dance. They are consistently supportive so I am fortunate to do my happy dance every day. It’s hard to say if their specific interactions increase visitors to the website – but the impact their support has on my confidence & motivation is worth more than any number of visitors. Thank you Linda and Dutch!

Some people believe it is only great power....

I also cannot say enough nice things about a woman I recently met named Anna Hitch. I met her and her husband at our last craft show and it was such a treat. Both she and her husband create beautiful handmade crafts. She works with yarn and he with leather. Anna gets a special shout out in the post because she consistently “likes” the Functional Rustic Facebook posts & she left my first review! Anna is my first non-family member to interact with my Functional Rustic Facebook so she is kind of big deal around here. Please help me say thank you to her by following Anna on Facebook and checking out her Etsy store. (Feel free to use the comment section to help me peer pressure her into starting her own website with an online store. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading and checking out my newest creations. I welcome your feedback in the comments below and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Below are a few of the items available in the Functional Rustic Store:

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Red

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00



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25 DIY Halloween Costumes Presented by Functional Rustic

This week’s DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic is not actually from Functional Rustic. I recently found a website created by a remarkable woman, Lasamoa. Just as I am repurposing myself to build the life I always wanted, she too is creating the life she wants for herself.

I had high hopes of publishing a tutorial about how to repurpose a shutter into a Functionally Rustic Chalk Board today. Well….as is often the case with repurposing projects, things did not go as planned. Ha. You can read about my struggles Here.

Writing tutorials each week is something I do to encourage myself to learn new things each week. Sharing them with you enables you to learn the new skill or craft too. I am learning a lot – but not in a way conducive to writing a tutorial for others to follow.

The duck enclosure requires my immediate attention today. As a result I am not in a position to learn a new skill AND write a tutorial for you today. (One of the things I learned this week is the importance of a back up plan if my DIY project does not actually get done.) Lucky for all of us, I found Lasamoa and her website: lifeoneastpowersdrive.com.

Check out the DIY Halloween costumes she collected:

25 Ridiculously Easy and Fun DIY Halloween Costumes for Everyone

lifeoneastpowersdrive halloween tutorial
25 Ridiculously Easy, Fun & For Everyone DIY Halloween Costumes from www.LifeOnEastPowersDrive.com

 

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic also creates Handmade Rustic Décor? FREE SHIPPING when you shop in the Functional Rustic Store.

 

Wooden Thank You Card SILVER

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

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Functional Rustic is Running the Day

KIMG3082
Functional Rustic Barn as the sun rises. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

I’m running the day and knocking out tasks like crazy.

I. Love. It.

The 10 Inspirational Quotes blog was written and posted early today. Then I spent a few hours taking photos around the property, winterizing the barn and enjoying coffee by the wood burning stove with my husband and our dog.

Today I am working on some new pieces for upcoming craft shows and to sell at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. They are not available in the Functional Rustic online store yet but you can find many of them in the Functional Rustic Etsy Store.

I encourage you to check out the Etsy store. I spent a considerable amount of time last week updating all of the products, photos and descriptions. When I first set up the Etsy store it took me over a week to take and edit photos, write out descriptions and all of the other steps involved in listing items for sale on Etsy. This time around I was able to make all the changes to the store in the course of one day. I am quite proud of myself.

The expert in anything was once a beginner..jpg
The expert in anything was once a beginner.

It has been year since I started Functional Rustic and the anniversary is providing me with the opportunity to reflect on how far I have come and how much I have learned. The Etsy store is a perfect example of this. The reason it went so quickly was because I was prepared. I have spent the year taking and editing product photos so when I had to do it last week it was second nature. I did not have to think about how to get the proper angles or correct lighting – because I practiced taking photos everyday for a year I now do it instinctively.

I do not consider myself an expert on building an online store – but I am knowledgeable. This time last year I was completely clueless. I had never used a hashtag #, never published a blog, never thought to sell something I created and never thought I would own my own business.

WordPress Stats 102318.JPG
Functional Rustic WordPress Website Statistics since August 2018.

I taught myself how to do all of this. Over 10,000 website visitors in the past three months and over 7 million monthly Pinterest views and over 1.6 K followers. (I promise to publish how I did it soon. I have over 50 photos that still need to be edited before I publish the final product. But please, feel free to ask any specific questions you have in the meantime.) I read articles & research papers, watched videos and listened to pod casts. I talked to other start up business owners, crafters and bloggers. I spent days viewing every TedTalk I could find on marketing, branding, and overcoming doubts.

Every single day I taught myself something new about how to start a business. ALSO – each week I taught myself a new DIY skill or project. The amount of knowledge and wisdom I have gained in the past year is astounding.

I really am in awe of what I have accomplished for myself this past year.

I want to see what happens if I dont give up

Like I said, I am getting a lot accomplished today. One of the more productive tasks I accomplished was making promo videos for my signs and chalkboards. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to properly demonstrate the size of my wooden signs and chalkboards. I am hopeful that the videos I took demonstrate it effectively.

I don’t know of any other signs that are thick enough to stand upright on a table. The thickness of the boards has always been the part of my signs that I find most unique. It’s hard to tell in the videos, but it was actually very windy. I’m shocked really, that none of them blew off the deck while I was filming. Ha.

Let me know what you think of the new products / videos below. I can use all the feedback I can get. Thanks in advance!

I’m off to create new projects….may your day be as inspiring as mine!

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

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Threatened with Legal Action after Unfriending Someone on Facebook

Last month Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the senate judiciary committee regarding her sexual assault when she was younger. I believe her. I admire her courage in coming forward. On Facebook, I shared stories and memes expressing my support for her and all women struggling with trauma.

A guy I was friends with on Facebook did not share my support of women and used the comment section to say so. I was actually grateful for his demeaning response because it taught me I would benefit from no longer seeing his comments and posts on my Facebook newsfeed.

Unfriend!

Problem solved. Or so I thought…

Apparently I was not the only person who did not appreciate what he was saying on the internet. Someone saw what he posted in the comments and chose to inform his employer. It seems his employer gave credence to the complaint and reprimanded him in some way. The only reason I am aware of the complaint against him is because of the following message that he sent to me 2 days later:

Guy on Facebook: “I’m glad to see you deleted me becasue I was about to do the same to you. I do want you to know that your actions or your friends actions of calling my work to report something I posted on a social media site where I’m free to Express my 1st amendment rights could have major repercussions on my employment or advancement through the company. If that does occur I will be taking legal action against anyone involved in calling my corporate office all phone records have been recorded and I’m not taking this issue lightly. If you cant handle other people’s words and opinions you should not be part of a social media website.”

This exchange occurred two weeks ago and I am still dumbfounded that he chose this as his response to being reprimanded at work for things he said on Facebook. I was happy just unfriending him. I whole heartedly support whoever filed the initial complaint – but I was satisfied with simply not associating with him anymore.

His threat stuck with me though. The threat itself is laughable; I know this. The troubling part is that he thought to make the threat in the first place. Two days later I even gave him the opportunity to apologize or at least back track on his threat.

He chose instead to double down.

That was disappointing. If he had apologized or at least made some excuse of “I was drunk” or “I shouldn’t have been sending messages when I was angry” – basically anything other than doubling down on his threat – I would have forgotten all about the incident and moved on with my life.

These past few weeks though – his threat has been eating away at me. I know he has no legal grounds but I have to wonder – who else has he threatened / will threaten with legal action or some other retaliation? I am in a position to defend myself if I need to – but what about the next person? What about the next innocent bystander that he decides to threaten because he is facing a consequence for something that he said/did?

He is a manager for an appliance store. He is in a position of authority over others. He has the potential to seriously impact the lives of those working beneath him. Is this how he handles complaints? Is this the type of work environment he fosters? If I say nothing I am siding with him. If I say nothing I am teaching him that threats are the solution. If I say nothing I am emboldening him to do it again to someone else – to someone who does not have the courage or resources to stand up to him.

First thing this morning – I forwarded the messages he sent to me to his employer.

He may not have a legal case against me for unfriending him or forwarding a message he sent me- but he can still hurt me and Functional Rustic. I am keenly aware of this. I know that by doing the right thing, standing up for myself and others, I am inviting him to retaliate. Once he figures out he can’t sue he will want to lash out even more.

I hope he doesn’t. I’ve known him for 15 years – there is a reason we were friends in the first place. I’ve always known him to be a descent guy. The fact that I saw him as a descent guy makes all of this so much harder. I’m not trying to ruin his life. I’m not trying to destroy his career.

But here is the thing – I’m not responsible for his life. I’m not responsible for his actions. I’m not responsible for his words. I’m not responsible for the actions of his employer. I’m not responsible for the consequences of his actions.

I am responsible for my actions, my words, my life. I choose my destiny. I choose standing up to intimidation instead of backing down. I choose confronting the things that could hurt me instead of avoiding them. I choose to defend my boundaries and no longer permit violations.

I choose me.

I believe in me.

Just as I stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford – I also stand, proudly, by myself. I hold my head high today knowing my actions properly reflect my character. I hold my head high today knowing I advocated for me. I hold my head high today knowing I faced my fears. I hold my head high today knowing that someone may read my story and feel empowered to do the same for themselves.

I don’t know what the future holds or how all of this will play out but, I know I am ready, willing and capable to do whatever it takes to live the life I want and become the person I want to be.

Chin up princess or the crown slips.

Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.

For what its worth it is never too late to be whoever you want to be....Exaine what you tolerate.

Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it.Praying for the woman I will be in 5 years

Speak with honesty. think with sincerity

Start over, my darling. Be brave enough to find the life....

She need a hero so that is what she became

 

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card SILVER

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

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Fake It Until You Make It Functional Rustic Approach

I am learning a lot of DIY lessons today – and I’m not thrilled about it. It is a creative day so I am coming up with new project ideas and trouble shooting problems on previous projects. So far, each project I have focused on has gotten worse. Ugh.

It started with pop cans. I have many ideas for crafts I can make out of  pop cans but today I was specifically trying to make a pumpkin. I still feel good about the concept however, executing it is proving harder than I’d like.

 

This is a very, very rough draft. The plan is three cans on the bottom, four in the middle and two one top. The idea is that once the cans are properly attached to each other and painted orange it will look like a pumpkin. The tops of the cans will be removed and then the back side becomes 9 little storage areas.

pop can no top.JPG

It keeps falling apart when I try to assemble it though. Gluing it is problematic because the points of contact for the cans is actually quite narrow. It is harder to glue round objects together than I anticipated. Ha. Needless to say, it is not going well and I am growing more and more frustrated – not deterred – just frustrated.

I will not let this hiccup sabotage the whole day. When I am frustrated with a project the most effective solution for me is to take a break. At first the break was just going for a walk and then returning to the project. When I returned though, I was having the same problems. (I can’t imagine why doing the exact thing I did before did not illicit a different result. Ha.)

Obviously taking a break did not fix my problem and I am still having difficulty focusing on the issue at hand. Trying to fix something while I’m already very irritated usually ends up in more things going wrong. So, instead of trying to problem solve when upset – I changed projects.

 

You may recall a recent post where I discussed repurposing a shutter I found. I love this project because it reminds me of all the Pinterest projects I looked at for years and convinced myself I did not have the talent to create.

The pictures do not show it very well, but the edges of the black chalk board and the white border are not straight. Personally I like the rough edges but, my husband pointed out, and I’m inclined to agree, people paying me money for it will expect straight lines.

So, after abandoning the pop can pumpkin project I turned to touching up the shutter chalk board. I used white paint to touch up the framing and put painters tape on the chalkboard part to protect it from drips.

Well….

Paint Peeling

After everything was dry and I removed the painters tape – the paint came off too. Uh Oh. This picture does not show it but, the paint is coming off in sheets. I now need to remove all the paint and start over.

Ugh.

This really is not that big of a problem. It is very fixable. Fixable problems are just new goals. The blow to my ego and motivation is because of the deadline I imposed on myself before I started. The plan was to do touch ups this morning and then head to Countryside Craft & Antique Mall so it can be sold. This is exactly the kind of eye catching item that will draw people in to the store display.

What I am inclined to do is curl up in a ball and throw an elaborate pity party in my mind. Just as I was preparing for my ‘party’ I remembered that I write a blog based on the premise of sharing my bad days and how I get through them in order to achieve my goal. A ‘pity party’ is not a solution.

You are going to want to give up. Don't.
You are going to want to give up. Don’t.

Fortunately for me I collect Quotes so I have a huge resource of positive words I can review to help me refocus my thoughts.

 

I’ve read my quotes and regained my motivation. I am ready to go! Took apart a shipping pallet, cut some boards and sanded them smooth. A true wood working day! Makes me feel very productive.

I enjoy building practical items like coat/towel racks and toilet paper holders. I like things to be functional. (shocking!) Creating something functional and pretty is the dream and provides a huge boost to my self confidence when I achieve it. With this in mind I am working on a coat rack today with the boards I prepped.

 

The boards are securely attached (I’ve had some problems with this recently so I am very pleased that I got it right the first time.). I even found cool items to repurpose as the hooks – wood post insulators for the electric fence. Very rustic. Very functional.

One might think that after reading my quotes and successfully attaching the boards that I would be feeling on top of the world. No. I am overwhelmed with doubt. I’m feeling unlucky today so I fear that when I go to paint this coat rack I will mess that project up too.

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

That bring us to now. I was really hoping that writing this post would give me the boost of motivation I am looking for. It usually does. Normally when I write out my
‘problem’ I end up finding the solution.

.

.

.

.

It’s been about 20 minutes since I wrote what you see above. In that time I wandered around aimlessly and dwelled on how I am allowing fear to dictate my day. Woe is me.

Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become...
Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become the greatest version of yourself. 

Then I had a realization. “Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become the greatest version of yourself”. Although my goal for the day was to build something, the universe has a different goal. I am realizing that my purpose today is to share my struggle.

It has been awhile since I wrote about overcoming the emotional/psychological obstacles I encounter as I start my own business. I haven’t been sharing those stories because I have not been thinking about them. It’s not that I was staying positive but rather that I was in denial.

Instead of acknowledging the doubts, fears and failures I was experiencing I pretended I did not have them. I pushed through and just did my job. That approach is effective to a point. It is the ‘fake it til you make it’ approach. However, faking it is not facing it.

And that lesson is what the day is about. The obstacles that came up today are really small issues. These are not things that usually get in my way. To the contrary, I normally become more determined and inspired when things go ‘wrong’ in the creative process. The fact that I am having such a strong reaction to such a small trigger is what needs to be addressed. The universe provided me with situations today that reminded me where my focus needs to be.

You cant change what you refuse to confront
You can’t change what you refuse to confront.

Lesson of the Day: Faking it is not facing it.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card PINK

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

 

 

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Latest Updates to FunctionalRustic.com

New Updates to FunctionalRustic.com!

What do you think of the latest updates to the website?

What suggestions do you have?

Functional Rustic wants to provide you with more of the content you love and your feedback helps make that possible. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thank you in advance for taking the time and consideration to help me improve the Functional Rustic website.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card ORANGE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

Posted on 21 Comments

Overcoming Doubts Before Opening to the Public – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published April 30, 2018. Updated September 5, 2018.

My business is opening to the public in a few days and I am a whirlwind of emotions.

Overcoming Doubts Before Opening to the Public Title.png
Overcoming Doubts Before Opening to the Public – A Functional Rustic Approach.

I started Functional Rustic about six months ago. I began the business intending to repurpose salvaged wood into furniture and décor and sell it at craft shows. However, winter is a horrible time of year to try to find local craft shows in Michigan.

Realizing the difficulties in selling crafts without a craft show; I started the Functional Rustic website. I took pictures of everything I built and uploaded them to the site. I even set up an online store through Facebook and Etsy.

Welcome Sign.jpg
“Welcome” Wooden Sign by Functional Rustic.

No one was coming to the website, Facebook page or Etsy store. I felt like such a failure during those early days. (It may be only six months ago but it feels like a lifetime.) I researched everything I could find about building an online business.

The basic principle behind promoting a website is to give visitors a reason to come. I chose to start a blog as a way of increasing interest and awareness for Functional Rustic.

The blog idea came at an ideal time for me. First, it was winter in Michigan so it was quite cold outside. Below freezing temperatures are not ideal for wood working and painting. Second, I hurt my elbow and was unable to build anything anyway.

A little background on me: my youth was spent playing travel ice hockey. For that reason, my instinct when I am hurt or injured is to push through and suck it up. I’m not trying to be tough – I’m trying to stay in the game. For instance, I tore my ACL (a ligament in the knee) during a pre-season skate. It was excruciating. Doctors said I would need surgery to repair it. This was my junior year of high school so I was reaching the point where college scouts could talk to me about playing hockey for them. It was the worst possible time for a high school athlete to have an injury. As I said earlier, the doctors said I needed surgery. However, they also said that because the ligament was torn I could not injure the ACL any more than I already had. I interpreted that as meaning that I could still play hockey if I was able to cope with the pain. Long story short – not only did I continue to play that season but we had over 80 games that year, won the State Championship AND the National Championship. I had surgery on my knee the day after we won nationals. That experience though, changed me. It reinforced a very bad habit of not taking care of myself. It also taught me that I can push through a great deal of pain to achieve a goal. The thing is, just because I can do something does not mean I should.

I mention the high pain tolerance because when I hurt my elbow I did not see my doctor. I figured if I simply rested it would get better. Of course I didn’t actually rest it so, a few months later I officially injured the elbow (Medial epicondylitis & right lateral epicondylitis – aka golfers elbow and tennis elbow.)

Now it was time to see a doctor. I couldn’t even move the arm, much less hold anything in my hand. If I’m willing to see a doctor though, then something is very wrong. How did I allow the pain to get so bad?

You were unsure which pain was worse
You were unsure which pain is worse – the shock of what happened or the ache of what never will.

I cried a lot in the week between scheduling my appointment with the doctor and actually seeing him. I wasn’t crying because I was hurt (ok, maybe a few of the tears were from physical pain); I was crying because my dream of starting my own business by creating décor may now not be possible. My stubbornness in seeing a doctor was sabotaging my goals.

I finally saw the doctor and sat sheepishly as he explained all the reasons that waiting to see him could seriously have jeopardized my recovery. He prescribed a couple of anti-inflammatory pain killers and some physical therapy and I was all set. I may have been feeling physically better after following the doctor’s orders but, the impact on my self confidence and hope for Functional Rustic being successful were greatly impacted.

Adding to the fears of running my own business, I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder). For me IBS/GERD means chronic fatigue, pain and nausea. It also means that there are days when I physically cannot do anything. I have been lucky since I moved to the country that I haven’t had any major episodes, but at anytime I could be out of commission for several days. As the only employee of Functional Rustic, I cant afford to not do anything for my business for a week simply because I feel sick. I need an approach that promotes both physical wellness and business success.

Not one to give up; I changed the focus of Functional Rustic from just an online store to a DIY resource and source for coping with anxiety and depressive symptoms. As much as it was a business strategy, mostly it was a coping mechanism for dealing with my stressors. I posted things on the website that made me happy and made me feel like I am contributing positively to society. I will lead by example.

It was when I started focusing on taking care of me and helping to inspire others with my experiences that Functional Rustic started to take off. When the focus was making money I was miserable and no one came to the website. As soon as I stopped focusing on earning that dollar and instead focused on just sharing positivity and my life lessons, my website went from 100 visitors a month to over 7,000 a month.

I dont want my struggle to make me.png
I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero.

So, for the past four months I have been building my online presence and increasing awareness for Functional Rustic. I have not thought much about increasing my inventory due to the weather and my injury. However, it is starting to warm outside and my elbow is healed. The time has come to start building again.

I am thrilled to be able to start creating and repurposing again – but I’m also scared. I’m having doubts about my ability to do all of this by myself. Promoting the website, writing blogs and managing social media already take much of my day. That was fine when I was injured and it was snowing, but now I need those hours to build actual products.

Where am I going to find the time to complete everything I need to do? As my success increases so do my responsibilities. I actually wrote a blog about this exact fear here.
That brings us to today. I have been invited to participate in a multi-family garage sale this weekend. I couldn’t be happier about the venue as a location for introducing Functional Rustic to the public.

M15 Garage Sale
M-15 Garage Sale. 60 miles of garage, yard and barn sales.

However, my current inventory is sparse. Everything on the website is everything I have. One of each. Since I have no idea what the public will like and want to buy, I did not build duplicates. I was really hoping that people would be shopping in the online store and I could get an idea of what the public liked. Since I have made no sales in the online store – I have no idea what, if anything, people want.

After I write this post I plan to go to the barn and start building. (hmmm….I wonder if this post is longer than I intended because I am avoiding starting my next task?) I still have no idea what I’m going to build though, and it is definitely stressing me out. I did great when I was focused on sharing and teaching – but building the products is about making money.

I may have a graduate level education – but both of my degrees are in Social Work not business. Social Work is about people – not money. In fact, a social worker’s life is devoted to achieving great things with little-to-no resources or money. Those skills are helpful for starting a business – but less helpful when trying to sell actual items.

Eureka! I figured it out. After writing that last paragraph I read through what I have written so far in this post and found the solution to my problem. (Imagine that, the solution was in front of me all along.)

Sometimes life is about risking everything
Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.

Right now I am letting fear dictate my actions. Instead of focusing on things I know will make me feel good I am directing my attention to the uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts I have. What I need to do is change my focus.

www.FunctionalRustic.com is more successful than I ever could have imagined at this stage of the game. I accomplished this success by staying true to my original goal of building the life I want. I want to feel at peace. I want to be healthy. I want to inspire others.

The signs and shelves I create make me happy. I feel proud of myself each time I complete a project. My designs are intentionally simple because the point of them is to inspire others that they too can build something like this for themselves. I want people to see what I build and say, “I could build that.”.

I am confident that if I stay true to the vision of inspiring others with what I create then the money part will work itself out.

Functional Rustic Product Collage
Whether I am repurposing a pop can into a plant marker, bending a fork into a business card holder or salvaging discarded pallet wood and creating rustic home décor – there is no shortage of possibilities for the Functional Rustic inventory.

Through sharing my story I intend to demonstrate to others that success can still be achieved even if you are feeling overwhelmed. It is inspiring to see someone struggle yet still achieve greatness. As I work through my doubts I find comfort in knowing that the people I look up to also struggled when they were at this stage.

Functional Rustic is about sharing my story in an effort to inspire others to realize what they want their story to say. Today when I head out to the barn to start building I am going to focus on creating things that make me smile instead of things that will earn me money.

This new mindset is not going to give me more hours in the day to accomplish what I want to do but, it does get me excited to get something done. More importantly, it properly prepares me to accomplish my goals.

Give me six hours to cut down a tree.png
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

I would love to wrap this post up with an eloquent summary and sage advice but, honestly, I really want to get out in the barn now and start playing with my power tools and pallets.

I may still be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions regarding my introduction to the public but, those emotions are now of determination rather than doubt.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

Posted on 5 Comments

Do Your Research Before Naming Your Business – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 7, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

Do your research. This is good advice for anything but especially when you are naming your business/blog.

Success occurs when opportunity meets preperation
Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

I did not do my research when I started my blog and have spent the day deleting and editing all of my posts. I am paying my penance for not doing my homework.

The Functional Rustic Blog at www.FunctionalRustic.com was called My Repurposed Life – for about a week. Ha. It was a good week though. The blog is about repurposing negative thoughts into strategies for success and talking about projects I make from repurposing pallets. My Repurposed Life was a great name for that concept.

Once I had the name, My Repurposed Life Blog, and concept I started writing every day. I linked the blog across all my social media platforms. I made different pins for each of the blog entries and shared them like crazy. I even completed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the new blog. I was very proud of my efforts and what I had accomplished in just a week.

Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things...
Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things so believe in yourself. 

Wanting to see if all my efforts to promote it were working – I googled “My Repurposed Life.” Imagine my surprise when www.MyRepurposedLife.com shows up at the top of the search. It even has the little trademark symbol (TM) next to it. Ugh. (Check it out. Great site. Very much like what I want to do.)

My heart sank. Prior to making that search I was feeling so proud, so productive, so capable. I set a lot of goals that week and achieved them. This google search was going to be the icing on the positivity cake. To continue the metaphor, seeing that trademark symbol was like someone throwing the cake on the floor.

Struggles are required in order to...
Struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you have to know what falling down is like. 

I knew immediately I was going to be deleting and editing my content. I felt bad for essentially stealing her name and reached out to inform her of what happened. She was great about it. She simply confirmed it was trademarked and that others couldn’t use the name. I let her know I was editing everything to reflect my new found knowledge and we shared a laugh about how lucky I was to find it so early in my blogging.

I was fortunate that I found my mistake early and that she was as understanding as she was. Imagine if she found my page a year later and had to tell me to cease and desist.

I’ve lost an entire day to fixing this. Some of that time was spent doubting everything I have ever created – but most of it was locating and editing content. If it took me a day to re-do one weeks worth of posts imagine how long it would take to re-do a year’s worth.

Lesson of the Day: Do your research. Even if it is just a Google or Bing search, see if anyone else is using the name.

You cant go back and change the beginning
You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

UPDATE: The Functional Rustic blog continues to be a success. However, today I am in a similar position as I was when I had to change the name. I am switching blogging platforms from GoDaddy to WordPress and now need to update all of my links. Once again I am going through every blog, image and video I posted in the past year (over 2000) to update the links in order to reflect the platform change.

All of the links I have to GoDaddy are going to be non-existent in October when my contract with them expires. In preparation of allowing the website hosting to end, I am transferring and linking all of my content to WordPress.

Courage is going from failure to failure
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. 

Fortunately, my experience with the My Repurposed Life/Functional Rustic Blog enables me to know exactly what I need to do now. Considering the amount of work involved in this process, I am grateful that when it came time to do this project I already knew how. Because of my “mistake” before I am not feeling overwhelmed (well, not AS overwhelmed) about the task that lies before me.

UPDATED Lesson of the day: I’ve done this before and I will do it again – better this time.

So far youve survived 100%....
So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. This too shall pass.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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Finding Inspiration Day to Day – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 6, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

I was created to create
I was created to create.

I’m a busy little bee this week. Having the blog has helped me to stay focused. With all the new tasks I am undertaking it is important to find time management. I’m disappointed that I did not publish a blog post yesterday – but I did write one.

When I start a post for My Repurposed Life it always starts off as a quick message or update. It seems to get away from me once I start to write though. I will be finishing up yesterdays post later this morning. There came a point in the day when my brain just stopped – so I did too.

Where I use to struggle to come up with ideas to write about or projects to build – lately I have too many. I want to do all the projects now. That’s not necessarily bad – but I can’t just build the way I used to.

Before I started writing DIY tutorials I just created whatever came to my mind. Now, I have to take pictures and think out how I will explain to others. It adds an extra layer to the repurposing process.

It is causing me to slow down my approach. This is good – and new for me. As much as I plan and think things through – the ‘art’ part of my work is very much on a whim. When I feel inspired I let the mood dictate what I do. This is great when I am feeling inspired but inspiration is not all day or every day.

On days when I have the inspiration I will write them down. Complete one of them but save the other ideas for tomorrow or next week. The idea is still inspiring and I will still be excited about it next weekend.

By slowing my approach I am not “chasing the high” of completing a project. I get a lot accomplished in a day but when I build something the feeling of completion and a job well done is more concrete. I can see, touch and experience the task I completed from conception.

By pacing my new creations over a couple of days I can “chase the high” longer. Ha. I am assured an empowering experience another day. Although it is satisfying to invent two things in a day – the stress of organizing my pictures, videos and thoughts on both projects at the same time is increased. Building something new to teach someone has a lot more steps involved in just creating a new pallet project.

I’m aware of my learning style and approach to projects. In college I was the person writing a 20 page research paper the night before. I had spent the semester thinking about what I wanted to write but didn’t start until just before the deadline.

It’s not so much that I needed the deadline – but rather if I am going to complete a project, in this case a 20 page research paper, I want to have all the information in front me from the start. I absorb all the information on that topic and while it is fresh on my mind and all together in front of me – then I write about it. Any research I read early in the semester on the topic is forgotten, or at least not used as a reference because it is not in front of me when I write.

Based on previous experience – if I don’t write about it soon after experiencing it than it wont get written. I have pictures from many builds I did over the summer with the intention of writing a tutorial. However – because now they are just pictures and the experience I had when they were created is now faded from memory – the inspiration to write about it is diminished.

Lesson of the day: Find activities that make you feel inspired and integrate them into your daily routine.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

Posted on 1 Comment

How Often Should I Post Blogs – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally published March 7, 2018. Updated August 8, 2018. 

How Often to Post Blogs .png
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it! How Often Should I Post Blogs – A Functional Rustic Approach.

I’ve started my own DIY blog but I don’t know how often I should post my tutorials. Right now I have a lot of time on my hand because its too cold to work in the barn. (That’s a lie. I mean, it is 20 degrees….but I could easily bundle up and start breaking down pallets and building things. But it is the excuse I’m using today) Because I’m not building all day I have more time to write.

The extra time has enabled me to start the Functional Rustic blog that talks about my day to day obstacles and successes while starting my own DIY business.

(UPDATE: when I first published this piece 5 months ago my blog was called My Repurposed Life. However, someone else already has a trademark on that name. I did not know about her trademark until I had published several blogs under that title. I had to go back and edit every link I had that used her trademarked name. She was really nice about it. I saw the error and informed her of my mistake and my plans to remedy the situation long before she knew I even existed. However, if you ever see something from Functional Rustic that also promotes my original My Repurposed Life blog, please let me know so I can delete the link. But learn from my mistakes when you start your blog and do your research before you publish. She too published tutorials – check ’em out here.)

It is easy to share my thoughts daily – and I don’t need a schedule for that – but I don’t know yet how often to post my tutorials.

I posted a tutorial this morning and plan to write two more today. My impulse is to post it immediately but, I am trying to establish some sort of schedule for myself regarding publishing content. That way my readers can depend on me for quality, timely content.

Ok – so this post was intended to ask you how often I should post. However, in the process of asking for your advice, I think I figured out what I need to do.

Plan: Post DIY tutorials weekly – Friday. That way people can complete that week’s DIY project over the weekend. I can write tutorials as I think of them and just save them for publication on a weekly schedule.

To think….I have been trying to decide this question for a week or so now – but not until I reached out to get feedback from others did I realize my solution.

Lesson of the day: Put a voice to your questions and they will be answered.

Follow Functional Rustic on Social Media for the latest content.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic