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tonya_kauffman
Thank you for stopping by! 
I’m so glad we can chat here because if you popped by my house, at any given time, you might find my monsters and me dancing and singing with Swiffer sticks as microphones in our pj's to old-school pop…because we can’t stop and we won’t stop…for the doorbell or anything else ;)
400 Days - An End to the Silence

Launching the Blog

 
- The Silence is Over -

It has officially been 400 days since the last Toluka Paper blog post. My last three posts (which are also the first three and only three) were written shortly after my new website went live. I was so excited and motivated for my business to 'have it all' - online boutique, Facebook, Twitter, blog! All of those, in addition to my daily to-do's: design custom orders, fill online orders, load more items to boutique, respond to email, day to day business matters, be a mom, be a wife, attempt to keep the house clean, prepare meals, etc. What I found out quickly is I can't grow everything at once. So instead I have worked to slowly incorporate the new items into my current schedule one by one and make adjustments where needed. I can't say everything runs smoothly all the time - in fact, most of the time it isn't smooth at all...but the 'bumps' are what make life exciting, right? So, as I have now worked a little Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) into my schedule, I have moved on to my next step...The Blog.
 
This is an intimidating one for me to attempt. How do I start? What do I write about? I have spent the past few weeks really thinking this through and have decided this is something I really need to do.
 
- Why have I decided to blog? -

It goes beyond the benefits of keeping my online boutique fresh and relevant as far as Google searches, etc go. I want to blog for the following reasons:
 
Blogging is a way to journal: 
I love the idea of journaling. There is something therapeutic about writing (typing) out your thoughts. For me, it helps me process ideas, brainstorm and organize my ideas and goals.
 
Show and tell + inspiration: 
 I do a lot of custom work that only my client and their guests see. Some of it is the usual party invitations, but some of my work is unusual and off-the-wall stuff that keeps me guessing and keeps me challenged. It will be interesting to look back at these projects and see them as stepping stones to where ever it is I end up with this business and to see the evolution I have taken to get there. I also hope my posts will help to inspire your parties, events, and projects.
 
Making connections: 
 Before starting Toluka Paper I worked for a large corporation doing systems analysis and coding (that seems like light-years ago!). After 4 years there, I wanted to move to something with more room for creativity (and a shorter commute) so I managed a wonderful stationery/gift shop. Both positions required a lot of client interaction. I especially enjoyed my daily conversations with the customers at the stationery shop. It was in a smaller town and many of the same people would come in daily, weekly, monthly and I would get to know them. I knew most customers by name and could tell you their kids' names, their friends names and the last couple things they came in for. "Hi Catherine, how are you? How was Ella's birthday party at the park? Was Barbara and her family able to make it?"  They shared wedding details, pictures, then roll in months later to pick out baby announcements, etc.  I truly enjoyed being a part of their lives and 'life events.' 
After having my son, my husband and I decided I would stay at home with him and grow my own business. Even though I feel this was (and still is) a good decision for me and my family I do miss the side conversations and funny stories that would take place at the shop. Those stories helped me get to know the customers better...they were no longer customers, they were my friends.  I still see that cycle of life events through my current position, but the face time and little stories and details aren't always there. This blog is my attempt to strengthen my connection to my clients and community - I would love to hear these little details from you too! Your comments are always welcome.
 
So, here it is...the re-launching of my blog.  I won't be posting every day...remember, I have to slowly incorporate!   But my initial goal is every couple weeks or once a month and certainly more than every 400 days.
 
What would YOU like to see me write about?  Do you have a blog?  If so, why do you write?
Posted on 3/6/2013 to News & Announcements

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Date 3/6/2013
amy
Hi Tonya! Yay! The blog is back! OK, something I have been meaning to ask you and never have, (so I think you should blog about it) is...how did you learn to do this? Did you take a class? Teach yourself? What I mean is, how do you come up with ideas and then where did you get your design skills? In college one of my art instructors told me that some artists are "idea" people and some artists are the "get it done" people. But you do both. How do you do it?!
Date 3/7/2013
Tonya @ Toluka Paper
Hi Amy, Thank you for your comment (and compliment)! This is a great idea for a future post. Thank you!

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