Moving Forward: Goals for 2017


Over the Christmas period on Instagram I decided to consciously focus on goals for the next year that supported my word for 2017: growth. You can see the complete 12 days of goalsetting here, but I wanted to also recap on the blog in a more concise format, with some steps and accountability checkpoints added in.


1. Let my son grow in his own way

This seemed like a softball to start with but in reality it may the the hardest goal on here to achieve – it’s less measurable and harder to benchmark.  What I really want to do here is consciously pause and take a minute to reflect/breathe before reacting when Owen does something I am not happy with. I also need to be better about taking extra time to let him do things for himself as much as he is able.  As much as I am always pressed for time, he needs me to let him take his time to learn to do things himself.

2. Relaunch the Etsy shop – and an independent shop too!

This one is very measurable – my goal is to have the Etsy shop back up and running by the end of January.  Look for more information to come on this, but the revised shop will feature the growing venue portrait library and at long last, my collection of handpainted ring boxes.

A secondary piece to this goal is to launch my own e-commerce shop through the website by at least July of this year, but hopefully sooner!

River Farm Venue Portrait | Watercolour Wedding Venue Painting by Jenn Heller Design Co

3. Paint one venue portrait each month to add to the shop print gallery.

Tied into the last goal, I’m planning to take time to paint at least one venue per month to add to the Etsy print gallery!  I’ll be taking suggestions for these so feel free to leave a comment and let me know which venues you think deserve first dibs!

4. Update the website.

I barely announced when I updated the website for Jenn Heller Design Co. because to me it didn’t feel very finished, or even a great representation of what I actually do.  There are some holes in the formatting and design that I just hadn’t gotten around to fixing, but that will change!  I’ll be adding greater mobile browsing features, and hopefully greater clarity to my services through great web design, to make it easy to find the part of my business you’re looking for.  Some of the formatting will be shifting around and this separate blog URL will be going away, but most of the changes should be seamless. Best part: I am excited to beef up information on custom commissions to make those way easier to order!

5. Create some independent “ideal” pieces, and get them photographed.

In the past year I have really started to hone in on my own personal style.  While custom stationery should always be reflective of the couple’s style, I do want to start putting forward work that represents me as a designer, so that my clients can really see what I am about before we start the consult process.  I think the most successful artists and designers let their own style bring them the clients who love it rather than try and do all styles for any client who comes calling, and my goal is to start creating some really representative pieces to get that process underway.

Then the important follow-up step: no-one can see my designs unless I get them photographed, and put them up here front and center! I’ll need to use these pieces consistently in my online presence, to make sure I am putting my style forward for perfect potential clients to see right away.

6. Create at least one DIY every month, and revamp the archives.

You may have noticed that a theme of these goals is to carve out some creative time from the crazy schedule, and I want to get back to something I love: my DIY projects! I have some really exciting new ones planned that I can’t wait to show you, but I am also super psyched to go back and revisit some of my favorites from the archives to give them a little facelift.  First up for the revamp is my ombre glitter monogram, and for new DIYs I have a tiered hanging terrarium project coming soon!

As always I will be sharing these features with my girl Bree at Capitol Romance, and we have so much good stuff in store for you this year – it’s gonna be a big one!!

Jenn Heller Design Co | Modern calligraphy practice | DC wedding stationery | Virginia wedding invitations | see more at

7. Practice calligraphy once a week

While I have no plans to add calligraphy services independent of my custom suites to what I do, I would love to offer calligraphy services to my couples as part of their projects. And to do that, I need practice! I find calligraphy practice to be a wonderful mind-clearing tool, and I’ve made it a goal to practice at least once a week to better refine my style and technique.

8. Grow Instagram community to 500 followers

This goal seemed a bit shallow to me at first but I really wanted to encourage myself to post more frequently, and with better content. So, I’ve set a goal to reach 500 followers on Instagram by the end of Q2, and from there it would be amazing to reach 1k by the end of the year!  I know that the best way to reach more people is to have a great content and to do a good job of sharing it, so both of these tasks are the underlying driving forces behind this goal.

9. Launch semi-custom venue portrait stationery

This is a big one for me, my not-so-secret darling: I want to share more venue portraits with the world.  What better way to do that than with amazing venue portrait stationery?  While I am not ready for a decision on number of options etc, I do want them to be a) simple to order and b) stunningly gorgeous. These suites will be part of the major independent shop launch planned for July and will also be available in the Etsy shop.

10. Use my purchased education tools!

This one is almost embarrassing: I have so much education I have paid for, and haven’t used to it’s fullest…or at all.  (And don’t even get me started on Honeybook, they’re starting to send snarky emails.) I have great courses that I PAID for that should be helping me on my way to success, and I just need to use them.  I am still in catch-up mode for accounting and paperwork things, but as soon as I get that under control I will be dedicating extra time EVERY DAY to those courses, to start fixing my systems and better service my clients.

Handpainted Wooden RIng Boxes by Jenn Heller Design Co.

11. Get an accountant.

I love simple goals, but I’ve been putting this one off for years.  It’s time to get an accountant, especially since this year is going to see such big growth 🙂

12. Collaborate and network with other industry creatives.

It’s really hard for planners to recommend me to their couples if they don’t know me or my work! I’d like to do a better job of getting myself out there into the radar of some great vendors this year using a simple approach:

  • Continue to work with vendors I love on styled shoots, and a few new groups too
  • Attend industry events, and try to be better about actively introducing myself
  • Send an introduction to talented creatives I would love to work with

This will be difficult for me because it involves a lot of stepping outside my comfort zone, but it needs to happen! I can’t expect amazing couples to just find me without putting in the legwork too.

Bonus goal: clean my office

This… I mean you guys should see my office.  Every once in a while I post a quick video on Instagram stories in an effort to drive away followers (kidding, but probably true.) I can’t afford to waste precious time searching for things that should be right at hand, or shuffling piles of paper when I really need to be working on bookkeeping and inventory.

Phew those are some big goals – time for a cuppa tea! Happy Monday all!

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