The Struggle Of "The Dream" (And How Money Makes Things Complicated)
Sorry guys, no traveling today. Rather we have a much more personal article about following your dreams, losing sight of that dream, and eventually bringing things back to the way things should be.
As some of you may know, back in early August, The Busy Rats got an expansion. TheBusyRats.Store was the newest of our many ventures as a business. Needless to say, we were drunk on the excitement of the next exciting chapter of The Busy Rats.
Becoming Business Owners
Everything immediately became very official. We went down to the county clerk recorder's office in our finest wear, shelled out more money than we were comfortable with (especially after just getting back from the largest trip Elise and I have done in our entire lives), and finally got the piece of paper that made it official. We were business owners.
We celebrated with a mild lunch, and got to work immediately. We worked day and night to launch The Busy Rats Store. Every second of our free time together was spent finding distributors, implementing products into our system, and advertising in any way we could. At the time, I was so certain that this was going to be our money maker!
But, as we always learn in business classes, the first attempt is never the right one, and the prospect of earning money clouded our vision. The more we worked on the store, the more we lost focus on The Busy Rats itself. We began to think of our blog as an income source first and our passion second. Of course, that is never sustainable. Every time Elise and I talked about the future of The Busy Rats, we both felt the elephant in the room. Neither of us mentioned this feeling (probably because we were afraid the other didn’t feel that way), but it was a feeling of guilt.
When we first decided we wanted to host a blog we were looking to push ourselves to try new things, to create, and most importantly to travel. While we never expressly set out to make money doing this, we always held on to the dream of being paid to do what we love (and we always will). The Busy Rats Store just didn’t fit that dream. It felt awkward and wrong, selling products from third party with no correlation to our own creativity. We made The Busy Rats to inspire both ourselves and others to get out and see the world no matter the cost, to be more creative, daring, and most importantly to discover "the dream" and achieve it. It began to feel like we were preaching at the alter with our fingers crossed behind our backs.
The Grand Re-Opening
With all that in mind, we didn’t want to shut the store down completely, but did want to make something that fit inside our original vision for this website. Something that we were proud of. So we took The Busy Rats Store down and got to work again. We want to create something that we assist every step of the way: no third parties, no drop-shippers, no nothing. We also want the items we sell to reflect the personal, intimate feeling of following our blog! And most importantly, we want to give back to the community in any small way that we can.
So, with the grand re-opening of The Busy Rats Store, we can safely say we are offering products we genuinely care about with a message we can get behind. Click the button below if you want to take a peek at some of the changes we've made!
For every purchase you make, we will donate 10% of the revenue to The Foundation To Decrease World Suck; a foundation we trust immensely that is basically and non-profit, 100% volunteer-run charity aggregate that does extensive research to sure the money you donate goes to the people who need it. On top of that we will be doing occasional fundraisers with limited edition prints of art, stickers or shirts that will give a much larger percentage to a specific charity of our choosing. To celebrate the launch, for the rest of November, you can purchase a print of this beautiful painting by Elise Peregrin and we will give $10 of your purchase to a cause that is near and dear to our heart: Rats! While rats are seen as gross or dirty, they are actually incredibly complex and smart creatures. They are capable of depression and grief just like you or I, so when they are without a home, they feel the same as you or I would feel, only they don’t know why. That’s why we’re raising money for the Rat and Mouse Club of America (RMCA) who dedicate their donations to helping rats find a home and get the care they need. So if you’re looking for a gorgeous new print for your room, or just want to support cute little rats who need your help. Consider purchasing the print below.
What can you find at our store?
We are currently only offering one design in two colors, but we have many more down the line. The A-Z Travel Tee was designed by me (Andrew) and has a list of every country on Earth. Wear it to show your love of the world, and if you want, you can even use a washable marker to cross off the countries you’ve been to!
Elise has been drawing as long as she has had the complex motor functions required to hold a pen. Only recently has she stepped out of her shell and began to share her art with the world. You can get a number of her prints from some of her more recent art now on sale here.
Andrew is the one in charge of all the photography on The Busy Rats. He has been taking pictures since he got his first camera as a present from his parents while visiting friends in Costa Rica. His love for photography has only blossomed since then. You can buy prints of some of his photography from all around the world here.
Finally, we have a spot for you to buy merchandise to sport your love for the busy rats. Right now we are only selling sticker packs, but we have more merch being designed and getting ready now. On top of that, every purchase from the store comes with a free sticker as a token of our appreciation.
Thank you so much if you were able to get through this wall of my ranting. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions since we’ve started this website, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We hope all of those who have followed us from the beginning appreciate the new change, and those just finding us now, will stay to follow our journey, not just across the world, but across the journey of our lives as well. We hope you love the store as much as we do. Feel free to comment below about your opinions of our new development, similar stories from your life, or anything else you have to say! As always, we love reading any comments we get and will respond to all of your questions and concerns.