When is it Right to Pivot Your Creative Business with Roben-Marie Smith
[00:00:00] Kellee: Hello. Hello, everybody out there in Podcast Land. We are back. It is the Made Remarkable podcast, and I am your host, Kellee Wynne. And we are doing it. We are rolling right into season two, and yes, we have changed the name and I'm quite excited about it. So for all of you who listen to season one, as we were unfold with Kellee Wynne, now I have done my unfolding. Well I will always be unfolding, but I did a hell of a lot of unfolding last year. A lot of searching to see where I was gonna take the direction of the podcast and who I wanted to talk to and how I wanted to show up and how I was gonna serve you best. And in the process of that and really looking at what was important, I think, for the world right now, and what would light me up to talk about. [00:01:00] Who would be so much fun to talk to and help you in your journey?
[00:01:05] Kellee: Well, I just realized that I, this idea that we want remarkable lives, we are made remarkable. There's so much goodness, and I wanna bring that to you, and I wanna be able to shine the light on creative entrepreneurs who are also building remarkable businesses and a amazing lives because of it, so that you can see that it's all possible, that it's all there within you already.
[00:01:35] Kellee: So we're gonna start off the podcast season with two really amazing interviews today. We're releasing two episodes for you and I'm gonna introduce to you our first guest, who is Robin-Marie Smith. Now Robin-Maria and I have been friends at least since about 2018 when I asked her to be a guest in my former [00:02:00] Art Membership.
[00:02:01] Kellee: And since then, we've really created an amazing friendship and we rely on each other a lot for support, which is really important when you start creating a business, building a business. And then, you know, there's the tech and the marketing and the. And the decision making and changing your mind along the way.
[00:02:20] Kellee: And Robin Marie and I have been there for each other through that. So I know a lot of her story. She knows a lot of mine and we have a lot of, um, similarities in how we feel about showing up online. And I think that's the reason that I connect with her so much. She has a lot of integrity. She has a huge heart.
[00:02:39] Kellee: She never. To stop serving. And I think that that's a beautiful thing about her. And if you haven't met her online yet, you're gonna really enjoy this conversation because you're gonna see the entire journey, like how she started with product and switched along the way and pivoted again, and she's about to make [00:03:00] another big change.
[00:03:00] Kellee: And I admire her for that to continue to follow her intuition so that she can thrive in her business and she can help her community and customers thrive as well. And I think she's built that remarkable life around her business, and I have no doubt you're gonna really love this interview. Enough Gibber jabbering. Let's get on with it. Introducing Roben Marie Smith.
[00:03:27] Kellee: Well, hello Robin Marie, good friend of mine and artist extraordinaire. Welcome to my very first interview for the Made Remarkable Podcast. Now that we've changed from Unfold, some Made Remarkable, we're all in on the artist entrepreneur journey. So why don't you give us a little introduction.
[00:03:49] Roben Marie: All right. Thank you again so much for inviting me and asking me to be a part of this, um, podcast. I'm really excited. I think this topic is so important for us to share our [00:04:00] experiences with others, um, that are coming up in their journey to give them advice and tips and encouragement. Cause I think it's super important.
[00:04:08] Roben Marie: So thank you again for having me. Um, what do I share? My goodness, I've been in business for a long time, so. The, the basic, I'm a mixed media artist. Um, I love to share my my love of art. Um, I've over the years, have had product lines. I have, um, had programs where I've helped other artists with the technology side of things.
[00:04:29] Roben Marie: I love all things creative, all things related to art. So I really, I guess I'm multi-passionate about all kinds of things, much like you mm-hmm. , we get these great ideas and then like, oh, , like kinda shiny object syndrome. Um, but. Personally, I live in Florida and um, I lived here for quite a few years. I'm married, I have, my husband and I have been married for 33 years.
[00:04:51] Roben Marie: And, um, yeah, I just, I'm real excited to be here and thank you for asking me. So yeah, thank you
[00:04:58] Kellee: so, so thrilled [00:05:00] to have you here. Now Roben-Marie and I have been friends for quite a long time now. The very first time that we connected was when I was running my membership True Colors, and I invited you to be a guest there and since then we've just struck up a lovely relationship through, thank goodness, the magic of Zoom to be able to meet from time to time and just help each other with our businesses.
[00:05:24] Kellee: And it's amazing. Like how many changes you and I have both had, I think I asked you in probably was 2018/ 2019 to be a guest and we've been kind of on this path side by side, by side, like back and forth the whole time. So, When did you start working for yourself without, you know, this, you know that big dream that people have is to let the corporate job go, let the nine to five go and start working for yourself. Let's go back a little in his,
[00:05:56] Roben Marie: yeah. We're gonna go back ways because my, my husband's [00:06:00] job. Made, uh, allowed us to move a bit. And so each time we moved, I had to find a job or do something. I had to, you know, use my skills. And my skills were in, um, marketing and advertising. And I say marketing loosely cuz you're definitely more of a marketing expert than me.
[00:06:15] Roben Marie: But I worked in public relations primarily and that was a creative field. So his job moved us and when we moved, um, to North Carolina in 1994, um, I met someone who owned an advertising agency and they said, look, we don't wanna hire you. We want you to work freelance for us. And I was like, I don't even know what that means.
[00:06:35] Roben Marie: You know, what does that mean exactly? And so I had to buy a computer, I had to figure it all out, and I started working for myself. So technically that was sort of the first step in that journey. It wasn't art related necessarily, but it gave me a taste of working for myself. And I knew that I was suited for it, and that's what I wanted.
[00:06:52] Roben Marie: And so then when we left and we moved to Florida back again, um, I was like, okay, what, what can I do to make this a reality for me [00:07:00] here? And I really wanted to do something creative. So back then, scrapbooking, stamping, all of that was very popular. It was like 19 98, 19 99. So I was like, all right, well I'm gonna explore that option cuz a lot of that was new.
[00:07:13] Roben Marie: The mixed media world was very new to me then, and that's really where it started. It was like, well, I'm gonna sell stamps, I'm gonna do scrapbooking. And it kind of, that was the beginning and the entry into that journey of working for myself. Um, so that was the, the entry point. It's changed a lot since then, but that was really the entry point forme.
[00:07:32] Kellee: And you and I have a very similar start in that, well, I did do art before when I was in high school in my early twenties, but my entry into this whole world of online was through scrapbooking and stamping as well. There's a, it was a it, right? It was a big, huge thing, and it's transitioned more into mixed media and art journaling since then, but it's been an amazing journey to just kinda like open up doors of possibility. I remember those first [00:08:00] forums that we'd hang out long before Facebook was really a thing.
[00:08:03] Roben Marie: Yahoo
[00:08:04] Kellee: spent all of our time, you know, meeting up with other artists and sharing our, our, our pages or our ideas, and so I think that that was like a real early born love of online community for me. And it opened up doors for you to be able to do actually selling physical products then?
[00:08:24] Kellee: Yeah, absolutely. Because we didn't
[00:08:26] Roben Marie: have, back then, Instagram and Facebook was primarily, uh, a tool to find your high school friends. It wasn't today, you know, we didn't have groups, we didn't have any of that. In fact, we had Flicker. To share photos. And we had, uh, the Yahoo groups to kind of have that. And I mean, it has changed so much.
[00:08:43] Roben Marie: It's like, I laugh, I think, wow, I'm so old. You know, it's like when you, you talked about your, your childhood and you're like, oh, I remember the day when, well, it's like that for us in this, in this industry, it's like, well, I remember when, you know, and it's like,
[00:08:54] Kellee: well, 20 years ago was a long time ago for all of this industry.
[00:08:59] Kellee: Yeah, it really [00:09:00] is. And it. I mean, I remember getting
[00:09:02] Roben Marie: excited going to Michael's to find some, a few rubber stance and some stickers like it was, that was like a thrill. And I mean, things have just changed so much. And it's awesome because the opportunities are so great. Not not just with the art and what's out there, but with the technology to be able to communicate and share and have community with each other. So it's changed a lot over the.
[00:09:23] Kellee: Extraordinarily so, especially the way that we connect with the customer, the way that we are able to make really innovative ideas for our offerings. Right. What was, when was the first time you went online for, as a business to sell something? Tell me about that.
[00:09:42] Roben Marie: Yeah, I think it started with my blog and my website. And the reason I say that is because I love the technology side of things and it always been somebody who's been like, I wonder how that works and I wanna figure that out. So I remember seeing, I think it was a blogger blog or maybe a Typepad, and I [00:10:00] remember, I don't even remember whose it was, but I remember seeing it and thought, I don't know what this blog thing is, but I want one.
[00:10:06] Roben Marie: And so that was like, I want this, I don't know. I don't know what to do with it, but I want this. And at the same, at that time, I was, um, teaching some in-person classes. I was in Miami at the time and I remember thinking, I'm gonna document this. And so I remember, um, I'm gonna take photographs and I'm gonna post this on a blog and I'm gonna write about it.
[00:10:26] Roben Marie: And I had developed a stamp company, a rubber stamp company. So during that period of time, I had to also figure out how I was gonna sell those, um mm-hmm. . And there really wasn't, there wasn't the, uh, Shopify's and the, the vehicles to do that. It was basically go and create a PayPal button, put it on a website.
[00:10:46] Kellee: Mm-hmm. .
[00:10:46] Roben Marie: Every single product. It was, it was insane.
[00:10:49] Kellee: Either that or be a web developer and Exactly. Do html. Right. Exactly that. What was the name of that first blog?
[00:10:58] Roben Marie: Hold on. Um, [00:11:00] my, something, my, It's My Site is what it was. Oh, my blog. My first blog was Typepad, but It's My Site was where I put the button's on to someone?
[00:11:10] Kellee: No, no, no, no. What was the name you chose to name it?
[00:11:13] Roben Marie: Oh, it was called Every Life Has a Story. That was my very beginning was like, that's what I started with and I,
[00:11:20] Kellee: I love it.
[00:11:20] Roben Marie: I had no idea what I was gonna do with it. I just knew my wanted one, so, but that I did too. I
[00:11:25] Kellee: I started a blog too way back then, and I called it My Life With Monkeys because, oh, , my kids, three little kids, you know,
[00:11:34] Kellee: I love.
[00:11:35] Roben Marie: But wasn't. That was how we connected and Right. Still following. And a lot of them are still following me. The the ones, we had our list and every morning we'd go in and we'd check and see what are you doing, what's up? A lot of what we do on Instagram now with our captions and our stories is what we did in blog posts back then, right?
[00:11:55] Roben Marie: Oh, go on vacation. Here's where we went, or here's what I'm working on. And so we were able to connect and [00:12:00] keep up with each other. through that medium. Now it's so different, you know, but so different.
[00:12:06] Kellee: Do you still blog?
[00:12:07] Roben Marie: I do. It's different though. It's not the same now as it was before. Like, I don't, I'm not a long form writer, so in fact, it's one of those things that's well known.
[00:12:16] Roben Marie: If you know me, you know that writing is not my favorite thing to do. I, I don't feel very confident with it. So it's like I, I'd rather not do writing, but, um, it's just different. It's not the. I don't blog the same. So when you think of a traditional blog, a lot of that was long form writing. It was a lot of sharing and more.
[00:12:34] Roben Marie: So now it's just, here's some projects I'm working on. Here's a link, you know, a video tutorial or things like that. Um, just to keep. Inside Google the SEO,
[00:12:45] Kellee: right. Update something new. Updating on your website on a regular basis. Seo, and then something to pin on Pinterest.
[00:12:52] Roben Marie: Exactly. Driving people back to your blog and really that, because Pinterest is the top driver [00:13:00] of people to my website, but I've been focused on Pinterest for a long time, and so that, and having that content and having that update brings people over there, so
[00:13:09] Kellee: Right. Amazing. I know Pinterest has been around for me longer than I've been using Instagram, and I do know that, that it's a long game with Pinterest. I still have pins. You know, eight years ago that are leading people to my website. How weird is that? Absolutely. So you got, you got this, um, you got this product line up and running, rubber stamps and whatnot, and I think you ran it all the way until the end of the 20 teens, right? Yeah, it was. How long were you doing that?
[00:13:37] Roben Marie: Um, I started that company, um, in 2004. It was roughly 2004. And the way that this started, I love sharing this story because it, it shows that if you have an idea, Uh, sometimes you just have to roll with it and just give it a chance. So I was teaching locally at a rubber stamp store. It was my early days of just starting to teach in person.
[00:13:56] Roben Marie: Mm-hmm. , a store opened up and I was teaching there very [00:14:00] basic, you know, making cards, things that would be, uh, attractive to her customers. And she had a lot of rubber stamps. She was a stamp company or store. So I was ordering stamps to use in the projects. And I remember in the, in the, we were in the back room and I was doing, looking through all the, the catalogs cuz everything was by book.
[00:14:17] Roben Marie: And I remember thinking said out loud, I know a book really. We had a catalog, a physical,
[00:14:22] Kellee: remember those catalogs? .
[00:14:25] Roben Marie: So I, I remember there was a, a friend of ours in there and I said, you. If I just made my own stamps, I could use the ones I, I'd be using things that I like. And she said, yeah, you should do that.
[00:14:36] Roben Marie: And I'm like, you know, maybe I should start a rubber stamp company. So I asked my husband, I said, what do you think of this idea? And he said, well, how much is it gonna cost? I said, well, I'm not really sure, but in what little research I've done, I think, I don't know, maybe six or $700 just to kind of get it off the ground.
[00:14:50] Roben Marie: He's like, do it. Go for it. And that's how it started. It was called Paper Bag Studio. and it just grew from there. So that's kind of how it started. Yeah. [00:15:00] And I had no idea the massive growth that we'd have. And I was teaching in person a lot back then, cuz again, limited internet ish where I was. Using the stamps. I was selling them at little, um, like the vendor shows wherever we went. And then my name was getting, we, then we started selling wholesale and we sold all over the world really. And it just kept growing and growing and getting bigger and bigger. And so that's kind of how that, that started that part of the com, that part of my business.
[00:15:27] Kellee: Yeah. You were one of the first of us to end up online teaching. Hmm. I mean, you've been doing it longer than most people I know. When was the very first time you created, recorded something and put it online as a course?
[00:15:43] Roben Marie: Yeah, and I remember the course, I remember the circumstance and it happened. I, I think, I forget what summer it was, but I remember. I'd been traveling a lot like I was teaching at retreats and stores, and my husband was home working a full-time job. We manufactured the stamps and [00:16:00] it went, it was like gangbusters that summer and he, he said to me, I really need you home more because. I can't do this with my job and, and you not here and all.
[00:16:10] Kellee: So he was actually helping you, like,
[00:16:12] Roben Marie: oh, yeah. Oh, oh, yeah. He helped me manufacture stamp. I mean, it was like his little part-time job. So I said, okay, I, I have to make some changes, but then I'm like, but I need to still be able to teach and have that part of my business. So I need to teach online. I'm gonna have to put this stuff online somehow.
[00:16:30] Roben Marie: So I remember the first time, the first class I did was, uh, It was the Urban Journal. I have since updated it and I filmed it in my dining room with a handy cam. Those have little cassettes. For those of you that don't know what a handy cam is, it's a, it's a little per, um, little tiny. You put a little cassette in it and you Yeah.
[00:16:49] Roben Marie: It was not good. Yeah. So it was long before the, the iPhone, we didn't have memory cards. No. And so I. At least I don't think we did, or I didn't have a very fancy camera and I had a ladder [00:17:00] that I set up behind me, a big step, a big huge ladder, and it had the, the, the boom stand. Oh. It was just crazy how I had it all set up.
[00:17:10] Roben Marie: And so I recorded it and I'm trying to think. What platform I used for that because I actually was using Teachable before they were teachable that that's a, a, a course delivery platform for those of you that aren't familiar. And they were called something totally different. So I remember thinking, how am I going to.
[00:17:28] Roben Marie: Delivered this class because there weren't a lot of options out there. And so that was the first class that I did. And it was, what year was it? Do you remember? I think it was 2005. So it was like right in 2005 two. That's a, that's why first I remember it's like how I do this, I gotta figure out a way to make this happen.
[00:17:48] Roben Marie: So again, it was a lot of, of researching, figuring things out, and there just weren't a lot of options out there for. I mean, there's so many platforms out there now and so many ways that you can do it. But, [00:18:00] but, but that's part of the challenge, and I love that part of the challenge of running a business.
[00:18:03] Roben Marie: It's like, all right, here's my vision. How do I execute this? How do I make this happen? And, um, again, I, I don't, I think it was, I put it on teachable when it, it wasn't called teachable. I think that's how I actually delivered it, cuz that was like the early days of kind of people starting to, and I did a lot of research to try to figure out, well, how do I wanna make this happen? But, oh my goodness, I'm so glad we have better, uh, video tools now than we did .
[00:18:28] Kellee: So like almost everything. I use my phone to record now Oh. Know that people are like, oh, I have fancy cameras. I'm like, my phone seems to do fine. And then it just uploads right from my phone to where I need it to go. Oh yeah.
[00:18:39] Kellee: Yeah. It's really, it's really. And the options, like starting a business now is easier than it's ever been before. You need so little money to start it going. It's just get that idea and execute. Exactly. Going right.
[00:18:55] Roben Marie: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:18:57] Kellee: So that's like two decades of, [00:19:00] of a beautiful, I don't know if I wanna call it a rollercoaster, but it's been a train ride, I'm sure.
[00:19:07] Roben Marie: Oh yeah.
[00:19:08] Kellee: Trying different things from. Physical products, selling your own art teaching and in rudimentary ways with an old camcorder and a video tape all the way up to deciding that. So this is the part that I really love when. You know, my listeners and and creatives out there can see that there are so many ways to build a beautiful business.
[00:19:35] Kellee: That, that there's, you know, whether it's a product base or it's teaching how to make art, or in your case, you started because you love tech and because you have such a great history of PR and technology, you started a membership called Makers Tech U. So rather than teaching people how to make art, you were teaching artists how to use the technology that's available to them, right? Not how to sell their [00:20:00] business. Not necessarily marketing skills, but how to use Squarespace, how to use Pinterest, how to make reels simply in Canva. These are all things that you've been teaching for how many years now? Like I think
[00:20:11] Roben Marie: we started, I started in 2018 with a founding members group, and then we launched it, uh, to everyone in the January of 2019. So four years, four and a half years, four years. And there was a big transition in there. I had the stamp company. I then moved into creating products from my art. I was doing stickers and papers and cards, and I had that whole product line. And it really got to a point where I felt like I wasn't, , I wasn't able to be creative as much as I had been, and it was, I just was ready for a change.
[00:20:43] Roben Marie: And I think it's important to even voice that you don't, you're not, you're not stuck with something that you start in a business. If you decide you wanna change it or evolve or move, then do it because you, you really need to have your heart into it and mm-hmm. , and it was a hard decision because we had built such a great customer base, and [00:21:00] I knew there would be people that were disappointed, but when I was ready, I knew I was ready and I wanted to, Uh, start helping other artists and creatives because I was doing that already, kind of with my friends on the side, and I felt like there was a, a gap there, there was something missing.
[00:21:15] Roben Marie: People could tell you what you needed, but then they, there was nowhere to go to figure out how to do it. . And so that's when I decided I'm gonna help multiple people through a membership and help them with that technology. And so that was in 2018 that I made that transition into still teaching online courses, still teaching in person. But that was kind of on the, you know, in parallel to what I was doing with Maker staff.
[00:21:37] Kellee: Yeah. But that's about approximately when you shut down your paper bag studios, right?
[00:21:43] Roben Marie: Yes, it was. I, I did everything. My husband was very disappointed. I have to say , he's like, can I just do it? And I'm like, no, we're done.
[00:21:51] Kellee: That's so awesome. So awesome.
[00:21:52] Roben Marie: Yeah. And so those two components that, and I felt like I was moving in a direction. I was too far down the road of being a [00:22:00] retailer and I didn't want, I was spending so much time. Shipping producing that I was, I just didn't wanna do that anymore. I wanted to move away from being a retailer and, and be doing the creative side of things.
[00:22:13] Kellee: So, yeah, I remember when you closed down that product line and what you had said really kind of sparked something in me, cuz this was when I was first 2017/2018 was about when I started putting online courses out myself. Way after you the OG in, in video, online video courses, um, that you had said maybe only about 20% of your income was coming from that product line versus 80% of your income was coming from the online courses? That's correct, yeah. Um, and then also just where the flip was about 80% of your efforts had to go into the physical product versus That's right. 80% of your efforts [00:23:00] going towards your online courses. No, and so that was something that really stuck in my head because I've felt that a lot over the years, like selling physical product.
[00:23:10] Kellee: You can do it very successfully, but when you look at how much energy and where your satisfaction is and what you know, the nice thing about digital products, like an online course or anything else like that that's repeatable, like. The income potential is greater because you don't have to do an exchange for an object versus just that exchange of Yeah, cause information,
[00:23:35] Roben Marie: energy, and time because you only have so much time. And so that said, though, we also made the conscious decision that we didn't wanna hire. And bring in and grow a business where we had staff. Now, if we had chosen that path, we would've been able to perhaps keep that side running. But that was something we chose not to. I wanted to stay small. I wanted it just to be me because I didn't want, all that was gonna do was [00:24:00] add more to the plate of now managing and running right in a different way.
[00:24:05] Roben Marie: And so we. That it had to be one or the other because we did not wanna go down the path of, of building a business where we had staff and then we did everything out of our home. I didn't wanna have a location and a warehouse and all that stuff. So that was a decision that we made as well, to keep it small to where it was just me and him when he needed to help me so that I didn't have to deal with any of that.
[00:24:26] Roben Marie: And I knew that I would just be sucked into that and be focusing all my attention on running a business in that way. So, yeah.
[00:24:32] Kellee: I can understand that completely. I mean, I have a phobia of having to ship my artwork , which is why I haven't put it up for sale in like a year. I'm like, oh, I think it's probably time.
[00:24:44] Kellee: Mm-hmm. . But I do understand that though. I know people who, where that's all, they focus their energy and they do wonderfully with it. So it's being really. Um, aware of your own heart's desire and your energy and what you're capable of and, [00:25:00] and what's inspiring you to move down a different direction. And speaking of that, it seems like things have come full circle and you're ready to make another big change. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that and why?
[00:25:12] Roben Marie: Yeah. I, I, and this is all very, uh, very recent. Um, I, I feel like I've been, uh, over, well since I started Maker's Tech U I knew going in that it would probably be something that would be difficult to maintain really long term. And the reason for that is technology changes so rapidly.
[00:25:31] Roben Marie: Mm-hmm. that unlike creating an online art course that. That stays the same. People access it, they take the course, you create another one with the technology, there's a constant need to update. There're every, and it's almost like every week there's another app, another software that's got an update and something's changed.
[00:25:49] Roben Marie: So it's a constant, I, I love Makers Techu and I've loved helping other creatives build their websites and all the things, but it is labor intensive [00:26:00] and I think I was just reaching that point where I was like, We're at a crossroads here now where things have to be completely updated, like almost the entire membership.
[00:26:08] Roben Marie: There's just way too many things that have changed. Mm-hmm. or do I, am I being pulled in another direction? And I think it's important to listen to yourself and I have a hard time because I don't wanna disappoint anyone. And I know that people are counting on me, so it makes it hard, you know, to make that.
[00:26:23] Roben Marie: But I know I have to do what I feel I'm being called to do. And I, one thing that has been taken the backseat is creative time. It's art, it's being in there. I mean, I was creating courses. I mean, it's been, sometimes I'll, I'll go a year because it's just, there's just, I can't focus on that and I'm not having the time to do it.
[00:26:41] Roben Marie: So, and I say that, but I suppose if I really buckle down, I could make the time. But creativity comes when creativity comes. And if you can't capture it in that moment, sometimes it gets lost. Like you can't force yourself to be creative. I know everyone listening to, as a creative knows that. And so if those moments are pass by and they're lost, then it's almost like I [00:27:00] gotta wait for it to come back again. So, I, um,
[00:27:02] Kellee: especially when you're so like that, I know what that pressure is. There are so many tasks that need to be accomplished with a membership. It is, it is a completely different beast than courses, and you and I have discussed this many times because I had a membership and I ran it for almost three years.
[00:27:19] Kellee: and I hit my breaking point in 2020 and I was like, this isn't serving me the way I want to. I felt like I was on this hamster wheel always. And a lot of that has to do with the systems you put in place. Did you decide to create the right kind of membership? You know, and, and I didn't have all of that in place.
[00:27:38] Kellee: I know more now and I could probably handle a membership now, but you have to be very thoughtful of that because you, you. Like you said, your energy, your desires, your focus can change over the years. And listening to that is, Imperative for building a business. There's a difference between being flighty and switching back and forth too often and giving up too soon, [00:28:00] versus you've been in it for like four or five years now it's run its course.
[00:28:04] Kellee: Right. You realize what you were capable of and it's come to that point where it's like, I have a fork in road. I have to choose one way or another. Right? And moving forward would mean that I'd have to redo everything. And is it worth it? Do I have enough customers to even warrant that kind of action?
[00:28:24] Kellee: Right? And also then when your, when your heart starts lighting up with this and you hear this calling and your customers, you know, all your creative customers are like, we want more of you Robin Marie. We want more art courses. I think that there are times where it's really important to pivot and you're at that like, really big junction again in your career.
[00:28:44] Roben Marie: Yeah, and it was like that in 2018 when I was like, I knew when I reached the point I need to, uh, no longer do the stamp company and the product line, and I need to refocus. And I, and I know, and this is all really, we've talked about this so many times privately. [00:29:00] Here's where I'm at.
[00:29:00] Roben Marie: And like you said, you had made a good point, not being flighty and going, oh, I'm going here, I'm going there. But to be really intentional about making something work. But if you reach that point where it's like, all right, my heart's being pulled in another direction and I need to honor that because that's where I feel my passion is.
[00:29:17] Roben Marie: And. And I'm in there again. And that's okay because when you're in business, things do change. And I just don't feel like I ever wanna be stuck in a business running a business that I'm like, well, I started it, so now I have to continue it until, I don't know, until I die. It just, I don't wanna do that because I'm not gonna, it's not gonna work anyway.
[00:29:36] Roben Marie: And I think I, and I wanna say this too, because we're all, all of those of you that are listening, and even Kellee and I, although we're close in age, is that we're all in different seasons of our life and my season changed a lot in 2016 when my husband retired, so he's been retired a long time and I'm still working, and so I wanna cut back a little, but still run my business.
[00:29:59] Roben Marie: But I have to figure [00:30:00] out what does that look like in the season that I'm in now, because I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago. I don't even have the same energy level I had 10 years ago. So I think those are things as just being. Uh, intentional about how you're feeling, where you are and being able, and I still wanna run a business.
[00:30:15] Roben Marie: I wanna work, I love working, but what, where is that taking me now? And I have put creating an art on the back burner. So to speak, where I'm just, I'm just craving being in the studio and creating in all kinds of ways, not just for the business, but just for me personally. There's like, there's things I wanna explore that I feel like, well, it's not really gonna benefit the business and you need to commit this time because you, you've built this, you need to continue with this.
[00:30:42] Roben Marie: And so I think I've just been, it's been an internal battle over the last few months. It's almost like it just suddenly hit me one day and I was like, Listen to what's happening. And when I really analyzed it and listened, that's when I realized, okay, you have to make a decision. There's you, it's like you said, there's this fork, now it's [00:31:00] this or it's this. And. I just had to make that decision. So yeah. So, mm-hmm. ,
[00:31:05] Kellee: it can be a big battle too, in the entrepreneur's heart and mind, because I know that every time I've come up against that fork in the road, and I'm here again, personally, I'm at that fork in the road. Do I go all in here? Do I go in all here? Do I divide my time?
[00:31:21] Kellee: Do I keep. Moving straightforward and let the answers come to me. I do rely a lot on listening to my intuition, my heart, and, and I take it very seriously. Just like you. It's like I, I respect the people who've been with me on this journey, and I wanna make sure that I can continue to serve. What am I called to serve at a higher level?
[00:31:42] Kellee: Like what is it that is needed of me now? And I think that, Everything we've been through the last few years have been extraordinarily challenging. Mm-hmm. , especially after 2020, um, people are craving community, they're craving in person, they're [00:32:00] cra creating right. Creativity and making and whatnot, and you're poised to do that.
[00:32:07] Kellee: You have two decades or more of having taught, and now you're teaching in person again, and you have just really these lovely opportunities to connect on a very soul level. So I see that your service is continuing. It's just changing a little, but your services. Very much changing back to maybe even where your roots were in the very beginning.
[00:32:28] Roben Marie: Yeah, and it's interesting you brought that up because I think there was a switch that just sort of, it just changed for me in September of last year, 2022. And the reason for that was I was teaching in-person at a retreat. It was a very small, intimate. I hadn't taught in person since 2018. Um, I didn't feel ready.
[00:32:50] Roben Marie: There was all the issues with Covid and everything, so it really just didn't happen. And after I taught at that retreat, I just took away something that just in my heart, I felt like, oh my [00:33:00] gosh, I need more of this. I need more community. I need more creative connection with those that are doing what I love and, and me helping.
[00:33:08] Roben Marie: It was just, and it, the part that made it amazing too was that every student I had, In the two classes I taught were new to mixed media. They, they, I, I was blown away. It was like, wow. Oh, I was just like, oh my gosh. It was so fun and so rewarding and satisfying for me, and it just, I think it planted that seed during that time where I came back and I was like, oh, I want more of that.
[00:33:33] Kellee: Yeah.
[00:33:35] Roben Marie: I want that community. I want collaboration. These are some things I really wanna focus on going into the new year and where things are going for me. And do I have an answer to say here? What I got planned. Not exactly. I'm still working it out, but I know I'm in that, I'm going down that road now. So, but that's where it started, which was just a few months ago.
[00:33:56] Kellee: No, see, it's amazing how each little journey in our life will [00:34:00] like, take us into a new direction to spark new ideas. And really, honestly, sometimes I think it's uncovering what was underneath all along. And, uh, I, I totally agree with this, like spark. Watching the spark in someone else is like the most exciting thing with some of the programs that I've released in this last year.
[00:34:20] Kellee: When I hear back how much it makes a difference in people's lives, I think as artists, we forget that when we are building a business, putting stuff out there, it's not just for ourselves. Yes, we have to do what lights us up, but when we're doing this, we're actually. Amazing service to others. People need what we're offering, whether it's beautiful art or it's lessons in art, or it's how to build your art business or any of the other things along that line like.
[00:34:50] Kellee: Creating a business is actually one of the most amazing things you can do because you're really connecting people, and that's been my favorite part. Like, I never feel lonely or bored [00:35:00] because I get to talk to people like you on a regular basis and, and my customers and whatever coaching program that I'm in.
[00:35:07] Kellee: And like, yeah, I, I'm craving in person as well. Like I really know that that's an important factor moving forward. Our hearts and souls ache for it. After everything. Yes. You know, we realize how important it was. I'm so glad that we could keep our families safe. You know, I know that I have family members that would not have weathered so well with having gotten covid in that first year, but now we're at this point where, great, now we're ready. We realize the value of it again, and you're offering that. One of the other ways you're collaborating, I'm really excited about, and I want you to tell everybody about your new little audio summit that's coming out.
[00:35:48] Roben Marie: Yeah. The other thing that I love is podcasting. Um, I've had a podcast in the past with a fellow art friend and I was a little hesitant to continue it on my own and I wasn't sure I was comfortable at [00:36:00] the time interviewing and doing interviews cuz it, it's a big commitment and I wasn't sure, but I, I do love listening to podcasts and I love doing a podcast. So I created a private audio podcast for myself, for, for, just so people can listen to, you know, me, basically. But then I got to thinking, what can I bring to the community of creatives in, in this way? And I decided to create what is called the Create and Thrive Audio Summit.
[00:36:28] Roben Marie: So what is an audio summit?
[00:36:29] Roben Marie: Basically, rather than doing videos where you sit and watch all the videos, you will just have it delivered by audio, and so I'm calling it the Create and Thrive Audio Summit because it's going to reach. Creatives, artists, makers, but I'm gonna do it by season so that there will be a topic that'll be different each time we do it.
[00:36:49] Roben Marie: And the first one is launching, uh, on the 20th of January. I'm so excited And it's called the really
[00:36:55] Kellee: right around the corner. That's why we wanted to make sure you are on the [00:37:00] podcast enough. And I thank you all. The listeners can come and join and the best part is,
[00:37:06] Roben Marie: It's, it's, it's free . It's always, that's always great. And the topic for this one is so, um, timely. It's the art of gathering and teaching. So it, there's seven interviews with industry leaders in teaching online, in person doing retreats, art memberships, teaching overseas. I mean, we are covering, I think all of the things that. There's great tips. There's, uh, experiences, those things that they've learned along the way, and it's invaluable.
[00:37:37] Roben Marie: If you're wanting to, to even start down that road of teaching in any form, this will be really beneficial for you to listen to. So I'm, I'm just really excited about it.
[00:37:46] Kellee: I'm so excited. It, it almost gives me chills because I'm like the art of gathering and teaching, like, I mean, That's gorgeous. You really come up with a beautiful, gorgeous idea, and it's so perfect.
[00:37:59] Kellee: Like, I [00:38:00] love listening to podcasts because there's something very intimate and close, and with a podcast, I can keep my hands busy doing other things. So for all you makers out there, this is a really nice opportunity to continue to create while listening to something inspiring. Sometimes I'm cooking while I'm podcasting.
[00:38:18] Kellee: Sometimes I'm, I'm putting a puzzle together or, right. You know. Working on little doodles in my art journal, whatever it is, I love that connection that I feel with the person who's talking. And so I'm really excited because you've already given me the lineup. So where can everyone go to sign up? Do you have that? Uh, or shall we just put it in the show notes? Uh, we'll just put that in the show notes.
[00:38:41] Roben Marie: Um, the link is robin marie.com/summit. Easy and that that's easy. And that's the signup page. So registration will, there'll be a period of time where registration will be open and then you can sign up for that. And it's delivered through a podcasting app.
[00:38:59] Roben Marie: [00:39:00] And so once you've downloaded the, um, the audio files, basically the summit, you'll be able to listen to it any time you want to. And the cool thing is there'll be another season, and so you'll get access to that one as well. So I'm just so excited. I don't know what the next topic is yet, but I'm working on some ideas, so,
[00:39:15] Kellee: yeah, I love it. So you're gonna be able to infuse all the creatives out there with, you know, inspiration on a. On a seasonal basis. So what a beautiful way to create the podcast experience in a whole new way. I love it. And you definitely are inspiring me to consider audio summits sometime in the future. Um, so I have to ask you a little bit about some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
[00:39:44] Kellee: We've talked about the ups and downs and needing to change along the way, and then just, you know, one of the things that I'm really interested in learning more about those who are in business, those who are entrepreneurs, I'm very much. Obsessed if you, if you will, about the [00:40:00] entrepreneurial journey and how people, you know, thrive in business.
[00:40:04] Kellee: It's fascinating to me, and which is why I'm teaching more and more coming in the, this year and in the year's future to really help with, uh, marketing and brand strategy. But I love going back to the early years and seeing where that golden thread is, how everything connects together and how you ended up here. Now, we've heard a lot over the last 20 years, this has been part of your journey, but do you have any inkling from childhood that this is where you would end up?
[00:40:32] Roben Marie: Um, that's a great question. Uh, creatively, yes. Um, I was that kid that would be like, mom, dad, see this, whatever I want this, whatever it is. I want this craft kit. I want this latch hook rug kit. I want this painting kit. It's summer camp. I was always in the craft hut, like the creative part of it. Yes. But I was also someone who. Mindful of, I guess back then I didn't realize what it was, but it was that [00:41:00] working for myself, the entrepreneurial spirit that you mentioned.
[00:41:03] Roben Marie: I was the Girl Scout who got out there and sold the most cookies. I was the one raising money for the SC athon for whatever nonprofit, like back in the day. These were things you did. Selling the candy bars for the school. Like there was always things I was doing. Um, I was in, in eighth grade, I decided our school needs to have a dance.
[00:41:23] Roben Marie: So it's like, how can we plan this dance and make money at it as well, selling candy and sodas and things. And then I create, I mean, I went to the principal and said, here's my, here's what I wanna do, here's my proposal. I don't look backing on that now. It's like, yeah, those were very much things of that mind going, okay, maybe I wasn't, it wasn't a business, but it was that create an, take an idea and implement it and make that happen.
[00:41:49] Roben Marie: I babysat. Um, in college, I typed up term papers. Um, football players were my best, uh, uh, source of revenue. Like, there was always [00:42:00] something in the background of, okay, what, you know, I wa I don't know. I look back now and I think, you know, it was always there. Whatever in those little bits, like you said, that thread of, okay, it's there.
[00:42:10] Kellee: Yeah, it's there. It was always part the creativity. And then what I hear that maybe you don't hear is that you like to connect people. Mm-hmm. , because who would create a school dance if you didn't want to create a party for everyone to be able to have fun, like,
[00:42:26] Roben Marie: oh my gosh, that was hilarious. But yes, I mean, it was just like, It was almost like the whole thing with the stamp company.
[00:42:32] Roben Marie: You know, we need to have a school dance. Alright, let's plan it. And then I got my friends together. I'm like, let's go talk to the principal. Let's make it happen. Here's our presentation of what we're proposing.
[00:42:42] Kellee: How did the school dance turn out?
[00:42:44] Roben Marie: Oh, it was awesome. And then we did it again the next, uh, that was seventh grade. Then we did it again in eighth grade, so we did it two years in a row. So seventh and eighth grade, it was, it was a blast. I mean, I had to hire the dj. I mean, it was like all those things just came together and it was so amazing. I just, yeah.
[00:42:59] Kellee: I love it. [00:43:00] Yeah, you can see those connections too. And, and I, I love, I love thinking about that golden thread because those, those journeys and experiences of our life, even something as as simple as discovering stamps and scrapbooking and teaching and that, that leading you on to the next half for those who are listening, the whole idea behind the golden thread and what I call creative core mapping is, Looking at those experiences, those journeys, the things that you're passionate about, the, the people that you've met along the way, the things that you've been able to do, the clues are in your life, you know, and so you can see which why probably the tech. Makers, tech U was so right for you at the time that you were creating it, because you know, you knew you were great with tech all along, but I see a thread of connection for you and you are a very giving spirit, and I've always loved that about you, is [00:44:00] just, I know like. Your enthusiasm, your willingness to be there, just how much you encourage other artists, like I'm in awe, in all honesty, that you've pulled off the 100 day project. How many years in a row now?
[00:44:14] Roben Marie: I think it's six. Six hours. Are you gonna do it again this year? Here's the thing, I don't even know when it's supposed to start. The date hasn't been released, but I am brainstorming what I want to do. I wasn't sure I wanted to, but I think because I've now made this transition to. Focus more on art and get back in there. This is the perfect thing for me to do now, to be like, this will help guide me in that and I won't feel as stressed trying to do it right. Um, but yes, yes, that, yeah. Yeah.
[00:44:43] Kellee: When it comes to. Showing up for your business. This is one of the most important things, the consistency and I, that's one of the reasons why the 100 day project is fabulous, both for the maker who's going to grow as a maker, and then also from [00:45:00] the business point of view.
[00:45:01] Kellee: So for all of you who are ready to jump in and start your own business, or you've been in business in a while for a while, these organic ways of being seen and heard are unbelievable. How things catch on fire that way, you know, like it just spreads. So I love the 100 day project. I've only got, I've gotten to like day 80 before and that's it.
[00:45:24] Kellee: So I've never completed it. I'm not sure if I'll have the chance to do it again this year, but I love watching you through that journey and I do know that that repeat of doing something regular, Really does create kind of its own buzz and following. Is there anything else that you can talk about that you've done or tried that has made a difference in bringing attention to your business? The marketing side of it, the, the brand strategy side of it, which is always kind of my favorite part to talk about.
[00:45:55] Roben Marie: Yeah. And your favorite? Not my favorite. In fact, I go to you for advice cuz I, and I know that [00:46:00] people say, oh, you do fine in all of that. But I think it's just maybe you're so close to something that you don't see the bigger picture often.
[00:46:06] Roben Marie: But I think, I think for me, in answering your question, and, and this isn't revolutionary, but it's consistency. and I, and I cannot tell you how many times I've said that to my, my membership, my members say, you have to be consistent. It can't, now you don't have to. Sacrifice in your life to show up on Instagram every day, 10 times a day.
[00:46:27] Roben Marie: It's just being consistent for that community that you've created that those people that want to be in your, I say your circle, but they wanna be a part of what you're doing. You've gotta be consistent in that. And it's okay to change and it's okay to to pivot and move, but being consistent, you know, email list sending newsletters and talking to your, your whoever is following you. It's, it's just being consistent is so important and really just being who you are. Not trying to be the person that you see on Instagram that looks like they're being really successful, so you have to do [00:47:00] what they're doing and be them. Be who you are because that's what attracts people to you and brings them into your orbit. It's you.
[00:47:08] Roben Marie: There's people are doing art classes, people are doing all the things that's not new and revolutionary, but you are unique and you are different, and that's what you bring to your community and those that, that you want to have, be a part of that. So it's not this, you know, mind blowing advice, but it's consistency and just being who you are.
[00:47:28] Roben Marie: And will you have times where you're. I'm a poser. Can I tell you how many times I've said that to my husband? I have no idea what I'm doing. They're gonna see through it and go, what? And we joke around about it, but it's true. We, we were just talking about this. You get nervous when there's something you're getting ready to do.
[00:47:47] Roben Marie: Even though you've done it a bazillion times and you're confident in it, it's still, there's still those times where you're gonna feel like, I have no idea what I'm doing. So from an entrepreneur to all of those listening, you are going to feel that way. And it will not. It will not. [00:48:00]
[00:48:00] Kellee: Doesn't go away, does go away couple decades into it. And you're still like, I'm getting on to to record this episode with you. And I'm like, oh, I'm nervous. I'm probably gonna be sweating right through my clothes. Like you're like, what? You, you're, yes, exactly. Cause there's always that moment where you're like, oh, I'm just faking it. I don't know what I'm doing it.
[00:48:22] Kellee: But you know what you do when you just trust yourself and listen. But your advice is golden. And I would say, Like the number one most important thing. And you're right, that consistency and showing up as who you are over and over and over again for decades, even if you change and grow and evolve, oh my goodness, there's nothing that's gonna build your business more than that. I agree. Yeah.
[00:48:50] Roben Marie: Oh, you're welcome. I do wanna say one more thing, because if you are not being you, you will get exhausted and you will not be able to, you can't. You just can't do it. And don't [00:49:00] think that you don't have something to offer because you do. Every one of us is unique. Find whatever that is, and
[00:49:06] Kellee: then look your golden thread and see your life experience and all the things that you bring to the table. That's right. Mm-hmm. . Exactly. And that's what people want to be there for. You know, is you? That's right. I know. That's why people show up for you, Roben Marie.
[00:49:22] Roben Marie: And you as well, Kellee . Thank you. Like I always get excited when we have a scheduled call and I'm like, I get so excited I get to talk to Kellee today and my husband like, I'm like,
[00:49:31] Kellee: cause we have fun when we chat and we've been like, it's been so great, like, you know, all the tech things and you've given me advice of which software to use and which apps are gonna be able to help me.
[00:49:42] Kellee: And, and then I get to sit and like brainstorm the next juicy marketing thing that you get to do. Things that are fun and lively and and inclusive, but really make a difference in being able to grow your business. So it's been a fun journey, and this is it. Everybody who's [00:50:00] listening, you have friends in this community, we have connections, right?
[00:50:04] Kellee: We need to rely on and. It's a beautiful connection, so I just appreciate you so much. I am so grateful. Not only just that you came on the podcast, but that you said yes all those years ago to being a guest in my program and we've been able to build a really lovely friendship. So everyone, please, where can you find Roben Marie?
[00:50:27] Roben Marie: Robiemarie.com. That's easy. And I'm Roben Marie on Instagram, and that's Roben with an E. Roben Marie with an E, so r o b e n m a r i e. There you go, everyone please. And, um, all of the details will be in the show notes so that you can find out about the audio summit and how to find and connect with Roben Marie.
[00:50:50] Kellee: Thank you so much everybody. Bye Kellee bye.
[00:50:56] Kellee: Oh my goodness. Didn't you just love that conversation with Roben Marie Smith? [00:51:00] She is such a gem, and I appreciate her so much. So here's my main takeaway from today's podcast. The entrepreneurial journey is long, and we're gonna come to many crossroads. Trust your intuition, follow your heart, and it's okay to pivot.
[00:51:18] Kellee: Your business can thrive and you can be successful even when you make changes along the way. And Roben Marie Smith showed us exactly this, that even as her businesses continue to evolve, She's still found a way to make it remarkable. Okay, friends, if you've enjoyed this podcast, I would love it if you would hit subscribe and give us that five star review.
[00:51:41] Kellee: It would make all the difference. This is how we're gonna get the podcast to thrive for years to come. This isn't just about this week or this month, or you know, given a good shot and being done. I wanna be here for you for years to be able to support your. Bring you quality content interview [00:52:00] really interesting people tell the stories that help you know that you are made remarkable, that it is possible to follow your dreams and that you can do this.
[00:52:09] Kellee: All right, so. Hit me up on Instagram. It's Kellee Wynne k e l l e e w y n n e, and share this podcast episode. Share it in your stories or on your feed, and I'll repost it to my feed and I'm gonna give you a good shout out. It'll probably give you even a shout out on my My Art account, Kellee Wynne Studios. I just wanna make sure you know that I appreciate you for helping me grow the podcast.
[00:52:37] Kellee: So thank you for everything. I have some really big news coming up in the next week or so, and I can't wait to share with you how the whole big business of doing business is transforming. So, And just glad that you're here with me and in season two of the Made Remarkable podcast. Love you so much. [00:53:00] Thank you.
If you'd like to listen to or learn more about the podcast visit https://www.maderemarkable.com/blog for our show notes and links to the main players.