A Relocation Story with Cinnamon Wolfe
A Relocation Story
My friend, fellow business owner, and military spouse is on the blog today sharing about her recent move clear across the country from NJ to Washington. She is an awesome photographer, editor, and educator as well as one of the hosts of my favorite podcasts, Focus(ed). But first an introduction from Cinnamon herself.
I am Cinnamon Wolfe a private photo editor, family photographer and educator on all things blogging, business and squarespace. Paul is my husband and has recently retired (22 years!!) from the US Army. We host Focus(ed) Podcast together and we enjoy doing remodeling projects around the house, sharing coffee & couch time in the mornings and going on adventures every time we leave the house. We met and married 7 years ago in the Seattle area and have since lived in a tiny little city in the middle of the California Mojave desert and also in the crazy densely populated area known as the tri-state area in NJ about an hour away from NYC. We have recently relocated back to the Seattle area and are excited to live in a house for longer than two years. Paul has two teenage kids, one in the Army and one about to graduate high school and we both spend way too much time cuddling our 9lb yorkie, Guiness and are looking to bring home some new pups in the very near future!
What was the hardest thing about the move?
Since we have moved twice we’ve had different experiences each time and there were things about each move that were harder than the other.
In our first move from CA to NJ, I was still relatively new in my business (just at two years) and I didn’t know anyone in NJ at all. Figuring out how to keep my business moving forward and also actually get photography clients in a market where I literally knew no one was absolutely the biggest challenge.
For our 2nd move from NJ to WA its been a very different experience. I was much further along in my business (just about 5 years) and was feeling much more confident and secure about the direction I wanted to take my business etc…The hardest part was leaving all of the amazing friends I had made in New Jersey. I was really blessed to have found a lot of community during my time in New Jersey not only with other photographers and wedding vendors but also with a small group of Christian women who were all photographers and business owners. Leaving all of those awesome connections was (and still is) very difficult.
What was the funniest thing about a move?
Oh gosh all of the unexpected things that happen! No matter how much you plan, moving your life and your business is a BIG thing and its just impossible to plan for every little scenario or situation that might come up during the process. Even though its not really “funny” on our last move we all got sick literally the day before we left, so that was quite the adventure…driving all across the country while being sick. Definitely not something I want to do again! We tried to make the most of it though and just take things day by day!
How did you prepare for the move?
I prepared for each move differently since our situations were pretty different for each one. For the first one I concentrated a LOT on SEO and networking because I knew those were the two biggest things I would need to rely on to get my business back up and running after the disruption. I got my website in order and researched and did a ton of work from an SEO standpoint while also reaching out to creatives in the area and asking in FB groups for connections. I was really lucky that the Rising Tide society started literally right when I moved so I was able to utilize that as a resource as well in order to meet and network with other creatives in the area.
For the 2nd move, we were moving back to a place where we had lived before so I already had some connections. I was also in the process of pivoting my business to private editing instead of photography clients so I wasn’t AS concerned with SEO this time around although I still made necessary changes to my site etc…Preparation for this move, I was more concerned with making sure all of the pieces of my business would continue to run even though I’d be essentially taking almost a month (and maybe actually a little more than that) of time off and away from really doing any work for my business. I did a lot of pre-scheduling and pre-planning as well as being very upfront and communicative with people about the situation so they would know what was going on and what to expect.
Top Tools that made your move easier
Most of the tools I use normally to run my business helped a lot during our move. My Google calendar of course was helpful, as well as out of office replies for my email accounts. I use Todoist for my projects so I had a moving project list where I could keep track of things that needed to get done (change of address, canceling things etc…) Paul used the inRoute Route Planner app to plan our cross country drive which worked out great and other than that I really relied on any form of communication that I could to make sure that as many people as possible would know that we were in the middle of a big move and I might not be as responsive. Its a difficult task because it feels like you are talking about it a lot but in reality people miss a lot of what you share and so it’s a constant game of making sure you are communicating in a way that people will understand what is actually happening.
Things you wish you would have done for your move
I don’t typically tend to look back at things to think about things I wish I would have done because I feel like I’m always busy looking forward, but I guess if there were one thing I wish about this last move was maybe that I worked a little harder before we left NJ to find more connections in the Seattle area. I know a lot of people here but none of them are creative small business owners and I am missing that community that I had in NJ. I have plans to get more plugged in now that I’m here but I probably could have done a better job to connect with more locals before we even arrived.
Cinnamon Wolfe is a former corporate gal turned photographer, private photo editor and educator. She is an Army wife, stepmom, petmom and the friendliest introvert you’ll ever meet. She is obsessed with helping others realize they are capable of so much more than they think they are. She is a self-proclaimed #podcastjunkie and hosts her own show with her husband where they chat with business owners about all things photography, business and blogging. Her life goals are as big as her Netflix obsession and she can be always bribed with skinny vanilla lattes and deep conversations.