THE TINY CLOSET LINE: Things I'd do differently if I started today...


For weeks, I’ve been trying to squeeze in any moment I can find to write. After years of being so consumed with creating Content! Marketing! and Sales!, It’s only now become obvious to me that I’m needing more than a moment to switch my focus toward a more contemplative, long-form style of sharing. Your girl is rusty.

Going back over old archive posts from 2012, during the first few years I was blogging about style, it got me wondering what I’d do differently if I opened my shop today... This week, I was able to carve out a little time to write up a fun list of things I would do if I started The Tiny Closet shop today, knowing what I know now. 1. GET AN ACCOUNTANT - end of list. Ha, just kidding.

5 Things I'd Do If I Started The Tiny Closet Shop in 2024


When I was first starting out, I received a lot of questions from people who admired what I was building. A fashion designer, retailer, blogger! It seemed to them (and to me as well) that all I'd be doing everyday was exactly that: designing clothing, keeping my pretty shop site updated, blogging about fashion and selling clothes... In actuality, my days were spent sourcing fabric in dark, dusty, male-dominated warehouses, emailing customers and contractors constantly, making hand-wringing decisions on how much money to spend on any one thing, balancing cash flow on a tight rope, trying to come up with worthy content for my newsletter and social media, and trying to keep up with new season trends, driven by fast fashion. Yes, there was blogging, and designing and keeping my shop site pretty and on-brand, but ironically, I spent very, very little time on those things.

Aside from sourcing fabric, which I grew to absolutely love, I was beyond disappointed with my day to day duties. Not only were they not how I wanted to spend my time and life, but they also weren't jobs where I naturally excelled. I didn't shine in bookkeeping, or cut throat budgeting. And sadly, I couldn't stand social media. I should have hired someone as soon as I possibly could to take over those integral tasks so that I could focus on the jobs no one could do like me. 

Many careers look quite glamorous on the outside. Particularly jobs in fashion. But when careers are whittled down to the day to day, make sure all those jobs within the job are things you want to do, and more importantly, things you're actually good at doing.


Believe it or not, The Tiny Closet Shop's revenue was dumped into my personal checking account for a couple years [she shakes her head as she types] before my personal and business finances were finally separated. Back in 2016, I started my business with $50, on a Made to Order business modal. The Tiny Closet was a side project and I was happy if I could make a little extra cash for travel or just fun things. Business picked up however, very fast and within several months of opening, my side hustle grew too busy for me to even go to work. Thousands of dollars were being dumped from my retail business straight into my little free entry level personal checking account. I didn't know what to do with it all, how much to pay myself, or how much to put back into the business. I was paying shipping fees, my apartment rent, fabric, groceries and Netflix all on the same debit card and it was chaos.

Starting a business today, as soon as the website is live, as soon as the first item is published and visible, as soon as you're registered with the state for a business license or permit, get you a business checking account. Even if it's a separate Venmo or CashApp account. And even if I didn't do any of that, I'd follow a simpler method: as soon as you start making a minimum of $500 per month in gross revenue, get a separate account dedicated to at least, hold all the money together in one place, for goodness sake.


I had no idea how popular or busy I'd be as a new business owner. Orders came in and it was all I could do to just keep my head down, work hard, and get through it. Afterall, being too busy was what I kept being told, was "a good problem to have". Except that I was way too busy and it was a problem that should've been dealt with. But all I could see clearly at the time was, at least I was making more money than bussing tables at a restaurant, so I couldn't complain. What I learned over the years however, was with an online, global shop that never closed, there would always be work, so there was no way to "get through it". Orders were coming 24 hours a day, 7 days a weeks, and it would never stop unless I stopped it. It took me a long time to realize I couldn't relax when the job was done. The job, especially as the owner, would never be done. I had to take breaks throughout the work. I had to learn how to shut off work and go home.

If I started my business today, I'd immediately skip over the years of heart and backaches and immediately create a calendar and schedule that allowed for: store closure, seasonal breaks, lunch breaks, weekends, monthly revenue and income goals, and personal days. No guilt trips allowed.


I was lucky to have such good years with my shop, right off the bat. My first rainy day wasn't until last year: 7 years into my business!!! Long enough for me to naively believe that The Tiny Closet was immune to low sales. I roll my eyes and slightly cringe writing this. Oh the excessive confidence! I'd grown very used to a high cash flow, careless last minute spending on flashy, quick projects, and overspending on contractor work. My experience had always been: whatever cash I lost, I gained it back almost immediately. Until one day, I didn't. And that day turned into a year. What's worse, I was equally cavalier with the IRS... when I finally decided to put my big girl boss pants on, and pay up, the revenue wasn't there, I had no business savings and the incredible and consistent earnings I'd made for years prior, had been spent.

Starting a business in 2024, you better believe the majority of earnings would be saved for a rainy day. Even the Mojave Desert gets flooded. No one is immune to slow business.


Back in 2016, all I wanted was to make more money. I knew I possessed the skills to run something on my own. I wasn't afraid of hard work and I wanted to be of service. I also knew I didn't like the politics of a 9-5 or the disrespect I received working in hospitality services, like a restaurant. Other than that, I had no clue what I wanted in life. I had no experience answering to myself. Only to others.

So when I started my own business and began working for myself, I didn't really know what I was working for, other than the money. Money and work was all I knew. You work, you make money, you work harder, you make more money. So of course work/life balance got wildly out of control almost immediately. And the money part was also incredibly vague and arbitrary. No matter how much I made, I never knew if it was enough, to that point that even big sales months always felt a bit empty.

If I started a business today, I'd make sure my job worked for me. I'd make sure I wrote my personal goals first. When a business is your own, who else is calling the shots but you? What is your business Besides the customers, who does it benefit, if not you?? By writing down my personal goals first, and then strategizing how my business goals would assist me in achieving those personal goals, imagine how much more personal and fulfilling that business would be. It would also be incredibly more robust to the those it serves. Because it doesn't work the other way around. In fact, leading ones life by business goals, with personal goals as secondary or worse, irrelevant, will only make those business ventures harder, empty, with far less potency when finally achieved.

So there you have it. If you're thinking of starting something new on your own, I hope this can be of help. These spooky stories, I tell with amusement and a chuckle, certainly never to discourage. Of course, hindsight will forever be 20/20, but as I set out on a new chapter with The Tiny Closet, I've found so long as you move with heart, believe in what you do, and have a great accountant, no matter the outcome, 
you'll have very few regrets, if any. 

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