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Finding My Purpose

I’m happy to announce I am no longer road kill!

I’ve had a slow-to-dawn  realization.

Very slow.

Sloth slow.

Now, were you sitting with me as I shared this amazing  insight you would pat me on the head in a slightly patronizing manner and say: “yes, David, thank you for catching up”  and wonder how someone so dim-witted has made it this far in life.

OK, here we go.

 I’ve been stuck for quite a while on one very important question:

“What is your goal?  What is the purpose of all this?*”

OK…. two very important questions (focus may have been an issue as well -I see that now.)

This dilemma trips me up whenever I try to deal with Branding or Marketing.  It stymies me on Pinterest and even with this blog.

What’s the goal?  Who am I trying to reach?

I mean, this isn’t a lifestyle blog (unless your lifestyle aspirations involve repeatedly smacking your head into things and being semi-permanently dusty.  In which case, welcome home!).

And it’s certainly not a “how to run a small business” blog because I just realized I totally forgot to actually bill a customer for $100s of dollars of merchandise last year….. so “captain of industry” I am not.**

But I couldn’t make up my mind.  What was I going for?  Heaven knows the “Random Ideas with a vintage flair” category was WAY over-saturated.

I needed a focus.

They say that, to be truly successful, a product must solve a problem. What problem could I possibly be solving?

It  (finally) dawned on me when I made these new coasters

and thought “my dad will love these”

and I realized


(OK, stop patting my head!!!!!!!)

So, while it’s embarrassing to realize this just now (particularly since everything I make is sold in…..what’s the word?…oh yeah…..GIFT SHOPS!!!) – it’s a new way for me to think about and focus on the entire Cheltenham Road Empire.

So I’ve made a decision.

I want people to come to my Etsy shop to find the perfect, unique gift for someone.

Do you have a wedding coming up?

Is your boss a fan of Tiki bars?

Do you and your friends have a drinking problem?I’m your guy!

I want to help people find the perfect gift idea by coming to my Pinterest boards.

And I want people to come to the blog to find out about how to make or find a great gift for that person or occasion.

Simple Father's Day Project Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI feel simultaneously totally excited and insanely stupid

But I made it!

I have a purpose!!!!  And a focus!

I am no longer an indecisive squirrel!

(Seriously, stop patting my head!)


*it should be noted that by “all this” I mean Cheltenham Road not LIFE.  That one I totally have the answer to.  But I’m sworn to secrecy.  Sorry

**The vendor in question is being very, very cool about it.  I am INSANELY lucky with the the folks I work with.  All of them are amazing.

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

20 responses »

  1. Love your candor and sense of humor.

  2. Hmmm, to me, you were the squirrel who was up in the tree, having gotten across the road, safely a while ago. It really is all about perspective. You weren’t thinking about doing, like I am…you were doing. I totally understand that you have answered a question for yourself, which is wonderful, but to others, you seemed like a very together squirrel. So, this just shows that it is alright for us to be at different points in our journeys and even the squirrels who we think have it all together, are just other squirrels, finding their own way.
    By the way, unlike many people, I adore squirrels and think they are the cutest, cleaverest little critters. I realize they are pigs when it comes to bird seed, but squirrels gotta eat too, right?
    Maybe you shouldn’t hit yourself in the forehead so much, little squirrel guy.

    • I like the idea that we are all on our own little squirrel journey across the road. And I too like squirrels. Except the ones in my yard are guilty of excessive-frolicking in my opinion. They run around like maniacs.

  3. I prefer the title “comedic gift guy”!

  4. You are SO the gift guy! And the entertaining guy. And you know what, if that ends up changing, it’s okay too. I feel like I still don’t know what I’m doing and if I’ll be doing this in a year. It’s a constant evaluation of who I am 😀

    • I’m not sure if I find it comforting or terrifying that one of the best, most accomplished, productive bloggers I know feels this way…I’m going to go with “comforting.” You’re the best Amy!

  5. I never thought about it but you are right. Everything you create makes the perfect gift. I am going to pin this to my shoppe till you drop board and hope you get some business.

  6. Jo Ann Bastanjoo

    I too think of you as the “together squirrel” sitting up in the tree with the map to all the buried acorns! You’ve made a successful business, and I’d like to believe you are one of the lucky folk that has mastered, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” We all constantly evolve, so who knows where your talents will take you in the future.

    • Thanks Jo Ann! Very true, you never know where things will take you. I’m not sure how I feel about the idea that crushed small animal carcasses will make you think of me but… least you’re thinking of me!

  7. Jo Ann Bastanjoo

    P.S. I will now ALWAYS think of you when I see an “indecisive squirrel” (that is a flattened one). LOL

  8. Richard Nugent: Hey, you remind me of a man.
    Susan Turner: What man?
    Richard Nugent: Man with the power.
    Susan Turner: What power?
    Richard Nugent: Power of hoodoo.
    Susan Turner: Hoodoo?
    Richard Nugent: You do.
    Susan Turner: Do what?
    Richard Nugent: Remind me of a man…

    man with a plan…the lines from the movie came to me…no real relation to the Gift Guy, but I felt I had to share, because I’m kind that way. or just a smartarse.


  9. Might I add that your purpose is to bring a smile to my face with every project you make and every funny blog post your write? Seriously – you do have a unique purpose! 🙂

  10. David, I’m so glad you have had this epiphany–sometimes the hardest thing to see is ourselves, but when we finally do, it’s so liberating! Knowing now that you are GG (new nickname?) gives you a new way of looking at the framework of your future CRE endeavors and refresh your outlook. I predict you will flourish on a whole new level now. Very exciting times, my friend!

  11. I am extremely happy that you have found your “purpose.” But I must admit when I first saw the title of your latest e-mail, I freaked out a little thinking, “Oh My God, he’s leaving us all!” I was grateful and much relieved to see that you were indeed not leaving us, but had found a nifty category to fit for you. I personally find that your “categories” and talents seem never ending. I always look forward to the latest offering from Cheltenham Road. I think the Gifty Guy works well for you as well as the Inspiration Guy, or the Gadzooks Great Graphic Guy. I am constantly amazed at the wonderful treasures you share with us all as well as the awesome stories.


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