Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone!!!

Okay, here goes nothin'! No, here goes something, my first endeavor into pattern making! As the picture shows, I have the tools needed to get me started: project board, cutting mat, ruler, good scissors, pencil, pencil sharpener, graph paper, roll of butcher paper, pins, measuring tape, and muslin! No partridge in a pear tree?! Maybe later. Anyway, just keep in mind that I am pretty much a self-taught seamstress (and I use that term loosely, a seamstress I am NOT). My mom taught me the basics of sewing, which she learned from her mom (Grandma Mac was a wonderful seamstress and crafter). So, with that said, this untrained seamstress wannabe is charting new territory. I can follow a store-bought pattern and have stumbled my way through written directions to projects, and I now have copied a few ideas by sight alone, but making my own pattern never crossed my mind. Until now, that is! I have found an idea that requires me to create a pattern so that I can mass produce the items that I would like to create within this new line of products once my final pattern draft is finished. Nope! I still am not ready to reveal what this new line of products will be! Stay tuned!!! Or should I say "stay following"?

February is Here!

Moving on along through this new year, aren't we? Well, this is the second month in a row that I am posting on my blog, baby steps! While I mentioned that I am committing to participating in craft shows this year, April is way too soon to have enough stock prepared for sale. So, I, my parents, and our friend Maggie have decided to share booth rental and we will be signing up as vendors for the "Great Texas Mosquito Festival" at the end of July. I cannot tell you how excited I am! We have had two "meeting of the minds" sessions. The first was to sit down and decide what each of us plans on making and what shows we want to participate in. The second, was so much fun, involved us roping off our 10'x10' booth and doing a mock set-up with what fixtures we have on hand. Maggie hit the mother load of deals a few years back, when an ACE hardware store near her went out of business. She has us pretty much taken care of with professional display fixtures. This made me say to myself "Hey, we look like we are professionals that have done this before". This has only spurred on my creative juices, I am constantly crafting when I get home from working my day job. Recently, a dear friend of mine from High School sent me a link with a fantastic idea. However, this idea is top-secret for now. I will tell you that it involves me stepping into foreign territory...pattern making! All for now!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A New Beginning!

Are you serious?! It's 2011 already? I have never been one to keep New Year's resolutions, even though I have made my share every year. This year will be a bit different, I will be the parent of a teenager in April, Lord please give me strength, and I am sick of working outside the house full time with little pay to show for all of those hours spent away from my family. I have done some soul-searching and have set some goals for myself, not resolutions, goals. These goals include personal, family, and business. I really don't want to go into detail about the personal and family goals, after all that is ultimately between me, my family, and my Heavenly Father. But, my business goals are fair game, and I would like you all to hold me accountable! So, here goes!

I am an ABOC certified Optician and I love this line of work, I love the Dr. I work for and the girls I work with, it is approx. 6 miles from my house, who could ask for better, right?! Well, it barely pays the bills and I would much rather be home for my 3 young children and participate more in their activities. So, how do I continue to pay the bills AND be available for my children? Good question!!! I have been trying to figure out the answer to that question myself. I know working from home is the solution, but how can I do that and still keep getting a paycheck. In 2008, I opened an Etsy shop account and never posted anything for sale until Jan. 2010! I had a handful of sales and lots of inquiries here locally when I have been out and about town. But, that doesn't pay the mortgage! Okay, I'll settle for a few sales and some nice compliments when I provide a unique gift at a shower or birthday party. What was I thinking? I'll settle! No Way!!!!!!! The girls I work with are fabulously supportive and caring friends, they keep telling(harassing)me to get off my backside and get going. I kept telling myself that too, believe me! So, why the change in urgency, you ask? I have found my breaking point, the kick in the pants that I needed, my rock bottom moment! While on my lunch break at work, I was surfing the etsy site and came across a little shop called "Pillowsewcute". This shop has the niftiest little pouches, nothing really fancy about them, but you don't tend to see them everywhere in stores. They make perfect gift ideas, I like the "Ouch Pouch", it holds minor first aid supplies that you can tuck away in your purse, diaper bag, glove compartment, etc. Why advertise for this shop? I'm not meaning to advertise, but this shop has inspired me to get off my duff and get concentrating on my shop more. How? This shop opened in March of '09 and has nearly 5,000 sales under it's belt. Yes, nearly 5,000! Now, big deal right? I did some math, and I'm NOT a math person by any means, but the numbers overwhelmed me. If we say all of those sales were for the cheapest item in the shop, at $6/each x 5000= $30,000 in sales/ 2 yrs in business= $15,000/year. What really got me about these numbers? $15,000 is a bit more than 1/2 of what I make a year as an optician. If I could bring numbers in like that crafting part-time, I would be able to quit my full-time job as an optician and craft full-time as a stay-at-home mom and still pay the mortgage! Ok, if you haven't guessed what my biggest business goal is by now, let me spell it out for you. Q-U-I-T M-Y D-A-Y J-O-B! There it is, quit my day job! Now, before you all tell me to make sure I have thought things through, I am by no means ready for such a life-changing action just yet. I have been doing my planning to see exactly what actions need to be done and when to do them. I will be working full-time until then. I just wanted to get the wheels in motion, and share with you, my support system, what I had planned for my New Year. One of these actions I have already taken, commit to participating in local craft shows/fairs. I am proud to say that I will have my first booth in a local craft show in April! I have also vowed to blog about my progress regularly. No more posting every few months with pictures of my creations alone. I still plan on posting my wares, but I want to use this blog as a means of documenting my journey, for the lucrative book deal, haha. Anyway, I think that is a bit enough for now, I'm sure I've ranted on long enough. But, by all means, check out pillowsewcute.etsy.com really cute gift ideas! I would like to thank Karen for inspiring me to get off my butt and get crafting, even if she has no idea that she has done so. All for now!