Working From Home For MYSELF + Jewelry Shop Grand Re-Opening!

Hey Guys!

Thank you so much for all the continued support of this blog – and hello to all my new readers who came here for my “Work From Home” blog post! Whether you were referred here from ABC News on Facebook, or my YouTube video, I’m so glad you’re here, and I hope you’ll stick around!

I wanted to update because I have been super hard at work building my own “work from home” empire… (Okay, so not exactly an empire… more like a one-woman small business) and am excited about sharing it with you. I know many of you are here for work from home tips – and maybe this blog will inspire you to turn what you love to do into your full time job like I have!

I wish I could say I had all the answers, or that it’s been simple, but unfortunately; that’s not the case. I have run a small (very, very small) jewelry business for over 8 years, and only within the past year or so have I really seen all my hard work start to pay off, to the point that it’s become my full-time job. For some, it takes even less time – but the more time you invest, the bigger the reward in the end. If you can stick with it, it can be very rewarding.

My passion has always been mental health awareness, while my greatest hobby has been crafting/jewelry making, and only when I merged my passion for spreading awareness with my crafty side and created my Awareness Jewelry Business, did I start making a living for myself while doing the two things I loved.

As most of you know, I have made YouTube videos since 2007, and while I by no means have the biggest channel, I have gained a good sized following over the years, and I truly do credit that for giving me the boost I needed to get off the ground. You have to remember, when I started Vlogging, social media was just a baby, it was not as huge as it is today – Instagram, Twitter and even Facebook didn’t exist and certainly weren’t tools for marketing – so I was left at a disadvantage compared to those who start Vlogging today, with all the numerous ways to share content!

But that’s where YOU can benefit, where I didn’t! It may have taken me many years to get where I am, but most of that progress has been made in the past few years, as I have gotten into social media marketing and branding. You have all of these amazing free tools at your fingertips to share your talents with the world…. So what are you waiting for?!

You may think you’re not good at anything. That you could never make YouTube videos and you’re not handy with jewelry making. That’s okay, those are things that I am good at, you may be good at something else! What do you love to read about? What kind of sites do you have bookmarked and visit on a daily basis? What do you do in your free time? We all have passions and hobbies, and there many ways to express and share your love for those things, while simultaneously making a living for yourself!

  • Do you love to write? Start a free blog on WordPress just like this one! Not sure what to write about? You can write about your daily life, school, past experiences, parenting, animals, movie or book reviews, fashion, celebrity news… Your imagination is the only limit when it comes to starting a blog.
  • Do you love to talk? Start a YouTube channel or a Podcast!
  • Do you love art or photography? Join Instagram, Tumblr, create a WordPress blog, start a Facebook page and start posting photos of the things you love!
  • Do you have a crafty DIY talent? Jewelry making, woodworking, drawing, painting, sculpting, mason jar crafts, candle making, soap making (etc)? Join an online marketplace and start selling! Storenvy, Etsy, BigCartel, Indiemade, and eBay are great free places to start!
  • Do you collect things? Do you love hunting for treasures in thrift stores, garage sales, or even in your own closet? Why not join eBay, Etsy (for vintage finds), Threadflip, or Storenvy and start selling?

Of course, these are just examples of things you can do to start working for yourself and earning a living working from home. There are endless opportunities if you are dedicated and motivated. One thing you MUST keep in mind is that these are not quick ways to start making enough money to live on overnight… These things take time, dedication and patience. You will be working for yourself and that means you have to do ALL of your own business planning, inventory, photo-taking, research, posting and social media marketing and promotion.

That brings me to my final tip for this blog post: SELF PROMOTION!

In this day and age, like I said; social media is everything! It’s an essential part of building your own brand/business/full time job! Social media is how information is spread these days, and if you’re not taking advantage of every social media outlet and tool available, you’re doing yourself a real disservice. Create branded accounts for your business/blog/brand on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Linkedin
  • Google+

If you don’t know how to use one of these sites, find tutorials and figure it out! The more social media accounts you have to promote your product/brand/blog the better! Make sure the names and URL’s are very similar (or identical, if you can) to your online shop, blog, youtube channel or whatever your “home base” is – so it’s easy for customers to find you everywhere!

NETWORK! Search tags and keywords for people who love the same things you do, and follow them! Like their posts, learn from them, gain inspiration, start conversations, make friends, and post your links! If you follow someone, there’s a good chance they will follow you back, and this is a great way to get people to notice you in this HUGE world wide web.

Utilize #HASHTAGS and keywords, tag everything you post to make sure you turn up in search results!

Cross promote! If you’re selling something on Etsy or writing a blog on WordPress, for example, make sure you post links and information to all of your social media accounts! I know it seems tedious, sometimes I even have trouble doing this – but it’s the best way to make sure to catch the eye of potential customers/viewers/readers, etc.

Use Google Analytics and sign up for a Google AdSense account! If you use YouTube or a blog, you can actually get paid for page views through Google AdSense! And Google Analytics helps you determine where your traffic is coming from and how many views you’re getting. It’s essential!


Now that I have given a few tips on how to get started creating your own small business in order to work from home for yourself – I’m going to get to the second part of this blog, which is my exciting announcement about the GRAND RE-OPENING of my jewelry shop! 

ancora jewelry

Ancora Jewelry Collage

As my business expanded, I decided I needed a more unique, professional name that had a story behind it, a new logo, a new website, better products, higher quality photos, and a business plan. I have spent months overhauling my small jewelry business – I came up with a new name, set up a new jewelry store, bought my own domain name and created social media pages and accounts in order to promote my jewelry. I invested in new, high quality materials and created new items. It’s been a long process, but I am so happy with the results! The response has been amazing and overwhelming – and I am so glad I stuck with it and didn’t give up.

I have a “Shop” section here on my blog that links to my store – and I’d love it if you’d check it out! I’ve put a ton of work into it – and your support means the world. I can only hope to keep on doing what I love, creating handmade jewelry and vlogging on YouTube, as well as hopefully returning to blogging more regularly.

As a thank you for all your support, I have created a special promotional code for readers of this blog – if you head on over to my site (below) you can use the promo code “Blog10” for 10% off of any order! And with your first order, you’ll receive a coupon for 20% off a future order, as well as an offer to get a free bracelet!!

So head on over to my shop: Ancora Jewelry by simply clicking the button below – or feel free to check out the “shop” tab at the top of my blog! Thank you so much for your support!

Visit my store on Storenvy

Enter promo code “Blog10” at checkout for 10% off any order!

I truly hope this blog post was helpful for those who have been searching for alternative ways to make money online, work from home, and start your own small business. I will continue to blog about this topic if you guys are interested in it – so if you want me to keep talking about this, leave a comment letting me know! And as always, if you have any specific questions I can answer, comment and I will try my best to get back to everyone!




Late Night Drive

I was driving late tonight, listening to music… Sometimes that’s when I feel most alone with my thoughts. Sometimes it’s when I feel the most inspired. Sometimes it’s when I feel the most hopeful, or the most hopeless. There’s just something about being alone on the road, in my car with the music filling that enclosed space that makes me think and feel.

Tonight was no exception – but the feelings that came rushing over me when a certain song came on were not hopeful at all. Quite the opposite.

You know, I used to store razors everywhere with me… just in case. In my car’s glove-box, one stuck in the vinyl of the sun visor, one in my wallet, when I was in school – one or two in my backpack (can you imagine if I’d been caught? Actually — funny(ish) story: One of the times I traveled abroad to England, I took my old school backpack with me. Of course, it was cleaned out and had been collecting dust for nearly 10 years…*gulp*. Anyway, I went through customs and everything was quite routine. But, once I was on the airplane, I was fishing around in a small zipper pocket for something, and felt something sharp knick my skin. I carefully closed my fingers around it, and realized it was a razor. A very old razor, that had been tucked away in there since high school. I had no idea it was in there, must have totally missed it when I was packing. I panicked, obviously. Can you imagine if they would have caught me with that? I would have probably been detained as a suspected terrorist! The horror!)

Back to the driving-in-my-car story… So, this feeling of absolute hopelessness washed over me. Okay, it was more like a tidal wave that nearly knocked me down. And I started thinking about all the things I wish I could change. All the things I lack. All the things I’ve lost. It’s not exactly “healthy” to think of all those things, but what can you do? Once they’re there… you can’t do a lot about it – at least, not when you are trying to recover, like I am. The old me would have had a razor in that car somewhere, and the old me would have cut that feeling out of me before I had a chance to process it (the fact that I was driving would not have mattered to me… I always was good at multi-tasking). But this is the “new me” – the “new and improved version”, so that is absolutely not an option anymore. So, I have no choice but to weather the storm and just deal with it.

I think a lot of people are under the impression I am stronger than I truly am. Especially lately. Lately, I feel like I am slowly cracking more day by day, and eventually I will just fall apart. It’s scary, because I feel like I have some kind of image to live up to – not just to my online followers, but to my family and the very few people I may call friends… And if I break, then what? Will people look down on me? Abandon me? Perhaps. My family always have done that, and I’ve lost a lot of friends that way, too. It’s a very scary thought.

So I’m thinking about what I’ve lost in the past 6 months. My relationship, my constant, the love of my life, my person… Because I am a broken flawed selfish person who is so terribly incapable of making people happy when they absolutely deserve to be happy and not deal with my bullshit. That is on me, and it haunts me every single day that I am aching to just go back in time and make it all right. But I can’t go back in time, it’s not that easy, and that kills me. So there was that, and really even stopping there would be misery enough – but then there’s losing my blogging gig with and the fact that they robbed me of MY ideas, MY hard work… That was a loss that stung more than I thought. Then, there was losing my job. My actual job, that i’d had for the past year and a half, the job that made me feel like a productive fucking member of society after years of being looked down upon, disowned, judged and outcast for not being able to work normally. And since then, I lost my apartment I was proud to be able to finally afford on my own. And in the month following I have gone back to barely being able to afford to buy food, even toilet paper… stupid shit like that. Who wants to live like this?

I’ve been looking for a new job, something I can DO without having a nervous breakdown. I feel so fragile already… And the more I look for things and apply for things the more worthless I feel, the more incompetent I feel, the more fucked up and broken I know I really am. Before, I could hide it behind “but, I have a job! I make good money!” (and they say money can’t buy happiness – but the person who said that was never selling off their possessions, going without food and using paper towels from the laundry room as toilet paper because they were flat broke. No, money actually can buy happiness – because money = security and security = peace of mind, which is a key to happiness.)

I have been terrified to even tell my family about my situation – they already look down on me. They know something’s going on, but I haven’t heard from them or seen them in ages. Instead of supporting me when I am down and out, they run and hide and look down on me and gossip about what a failure I am. What a disappointment. An adult with the mentality of a child. An absolute fuck-up. Where did we go wrong? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE NORMAL?! The only time my family really supports me is when I am doing well for myself and then, and only then; can they really look me in the eye and treat me like a human being. That hurts me so much.

I don’t feel sorry for myself, exactly. Before anyone starts thinking that – I actually blame myself for every single thing that has gone wrong in my life. Everything I have lost. It’s on me. Even if it’s actually NOT my fault, I am the kind of person who takes it all on my shoulders and blames myself for everything. I don’t feel sorry for myself because part of me tells myself that I deserve it. The same voice that always told me that I deserved pain, blood, chemicals, deprivation and loneliness…. That voice is still there. Even in recovery, it comes out when I am feeling low. Sometimes, that voice comes back when I am driving alone at night, in my car, listening to music. I just respond to it differently now, and can silence it for longer periods of time.

So I’ve been sitting here thinking about my feelings. Dwelling on my losses. Feeling hopeless and trying to think of something… anything… that I can do to raise myself back up out of this pile of shit I’ve sunk down into – and my mind is screaming at me to just push it away and use pain as a distraction… but I know those kinds of distractions are temporary. As soon as the feeling wore off, I’d just have one more thing to add to my losses: My recovery.

And that isn’t something I want to sacrifice… because as bad as life can get, it’s much better in recovery. I bet it doesn’t sound like it – because hurting myself seems so easy, so quick (much quicker than typing 1,500+ words about my feelings) BUT in the long run, it just makes everything worse…

So… I push on and try to stay strong. I am writing these words on the screen instead of carving them into my skin… And I guess that is something positive I can add to the ever-growing list of losses I’ve been tallying in my mind tonight.

"Maybe I am broken, in some way I can't say
‘Cause I don’t wanna change, but lord knows that I need some help
Won’t you save me from myself?

I wish I was numb, alone here in my cell
Because something in my heart is making me not feel so well
Won’t you save me from myself?

I get no sleep ‘cause I’m all alone
Like a living shadow where there once was bone
One cut deep and the other went sour
And no one’s to blame but I feel so shattered

Maybe I am lying still inside my shell
‘Cause I keep making waves and falling victim to the swell
Won’t you save me from myself?"

-Hanson, Save Me From Myself (from "Anthem" album)