TG&T: A Day In The Life

about us online selling origin story people over profits selling online Shopify small business working musician

We've been running this online business full-time for a couple of years now. At this point, we're well used to our routines, tasks, however the versions of ourselves from just a few years ago would find our current lives fantastic and foreign. The day in the life of our small business is a form-follows function model that adapts and changes as necessary. Here's what it looks like right now.

First order of business: get up and take the dogs for a quick walk. We have a puppy named Winfield who has berserk time first thing every morning, so getting him exercise right away helps drain some of that energy. Sweetie took a long time to get on the leash, but she finally walks like a champ.

Left: Winfield and Sweetie on a walk, Right: JT and Courtney have coffee on the patio
Once we get back from the walk, we make coffee and sit out in the backyard for a bit. We both worked for many years at jobs where we had to get up at 5:30 and run out the door, so now that we have control over our schedule, we refuse to be rushed right away. Morning patio coffee time can be pretty brief during the hot months, but we make a point of doing it as long into the summer as we can.

JT & Courtney at their shared desk

Now it's time to get to work, which firstly consists of putting together social media and answering any customer questions. We also use this time to do work in the shop, or anything related with checking inventory or researching new potential products. We also use this time to strategize and plan marketing, importing, managing finances and taxes...the admin type stuff. 

Next, we process and ship orders. Generally this means we are processing any order that came in the 24-hour period since the prior day. We do this Monday through Saturday. Sunday we get a respite from actually processing orders, but we very often will do some on Sunday night if there's a ton to get through.

Left: JT packages an order, Right: CT preps an order

Once orders are done, we take them directly to USPS and UPS. We have done daily pickups in the past, but currently taking them up when we're ready works better for us. Plus, our USPS station is 1.5 miles away. And it gets us out of the house a little.

Somewhere in there is a homemade breakfast (usually tofu scramble with black beans, peppers and tomatoes either burrito style or with hash browns) and lunch (which is usually dinner leftovers).  We take turns with "vicious dishes" which is what happens when you cook from scratch and eat all your meals at home.  It's rough.

Once back from the mail run we're back at work, usually a continuation of what we were doing earlier in the day. Courtney is often using this time to take care of product and social media photography, which is an everyday task. I'll usually take this time to build out new product listings.

Left: JT on the computer with Winfield, Right: Courtney works on product photography

In the evenings we'll watch TV a little, and we're usually spending that time packaging products. We carry hundreds of products, and there's ALWAYS product to package and sort. 

Evenings, especially around 10pm or so, is also the time that we work with our business partners in South Korea, since that's prime time of their work day. This is when we can message about our import orders and perform any other business we have to take care of with them.

JT & Courtney at the trailhead at sunset

So that's our day. I almost forgot to mention that we also work in a hike/long walk/gym time as well, each day. It's a lot, and we're always busy, but we absolutely love it. We have total control over our schedule, which is worth a great deal to us. We're able to do it because of our customers, so if you've read this far, thank you!


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