Etsy-versary

So, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my first sale on Etsy, my Etsy-versary, if you will. My first sale was one of my “Born at Home” shirts and it continues to be one of my most popular designs today, one year later.

Today, as I printed another one of these sweet little shirts to send out to a newly born babe in Madison, Wisconsin, it occurred to me that I never really shared why I decided to open up shop.

Well, you see, that sweet little design was created with my babe in mind. We had a home birth planned.

I had my 40-week midwife appointment on Thursday, March 2nd. I biked there and back (about 3 miles each way). All looked good and well. We were just waiting. Waiting for our little one.

Around 2am the next morning, my water broke. Knowing how long my labor was with Ewan, I knew rest was best and went back to bed.

I woke up to contractions, mild ones. A reminder that we would have a baby soon. It was March 3rd. My eldest son’s birthday.

We celebrated. We cleaned. We were excited. Giddy even. We danced. The contractions came and went, bearable.

The day passed and the midwives came for supper. We all sat around the table and ate homemade macaroni and cheese and choo-choo cake.

The contractions kept coming, though never really getting stronger or more predictable.

I knew. We all did. That with my water already broken, the clock was ticking. At about 3am the following day, March 4th, my due date, we transferred to the hospital.

It took about another 12 hours for Xander to be born. With pitocin and an epidural. It was nothing like we had planned, which makes it very much like our first birth.

It was painful mourning the loss of the birth we were hoping for, more painful when we returned home and the birth tub was still in our dining room, unused. The birth kit was the same. But most painful of all was the sweet little “Born at Home” shirt that my little guy would never wear.

I sent that shirt home with my midwife to be given to the next babe that would be born at home. And I was happy to know that it was.

But then I got thinking, even though I didn’t have the home birth I had hoped for, many others would. Many other mamas would welcome their babes into the world in the comfort of their own home. Many other families would want to celebrate that. And I wanted to help them.

So I listed my little shirt and someone bought it. And I was so glad they did because that meant another family had another babe at home and they were proud. And they should be.

And then more people bought more shirts and I got to thinking that it’d be fun to make other designs. It was, and it is.

It’s been quite a year. A fun year. An unexpected year. And I’m so excited to be starting year two, wondering where it will take me and this little business of mine.

Good places, I hope.

Share

Keeping things Fun!

So, it was just about a year ago now that I listed my first item over on Etsy.

From there the whole operation sort of snowballed.

I came up with more designs.

Then I decided I wanted colored shirts. Dye them myself, oh yes!

And more designs.

And in-person shows.

And, now, I’ve got a pretty good set. I’ve got designs I’m happy with (though always brainstorming new ones), I’ve got colors I’m happy with (both dye and ink). I’ve got a pretty cohesive look.

But, well, I’m a little bored. (crazy, right?!)

It’s all become a little more production-y than I would like.

I dye the same orange. And I print the same brick red on that same rust orange. Because it works. And, I do the same with my other colors. And, well, it works.

But in the interest of keeping things interesting and fresh, a few things are going to change. Mostly, I’m going to start playing (again) with colors.

I’m really happy with the colors and tones that I have. Earthy shades, rich colors, good contrasts. I’m happy that the colors I’ve done can really work on boys and girls. Those things will stay the same, but I’m going to start doing some more color-mixing and limited dye runs. You’ll see more color. Different color. New combinations.

And the shop will be filled with more truly one-of-a-kind shirts. And it’ll be fun.

Oh, and have I mentioned that there will be more designs, new designs.

Bugs? Can’t decide if this is really a direction I want to go. Thoughts?

Share

People Make Amazing Things

The more and more I get into this craft community (and, believe me, I am just getting started), the more and more I am witnessing what amazing things people are capable of creating.

With two hands.

Some time.

And a handful of supplies.

At last weekend’s Urban Folk Circuit I was totally blown away by a few of my neighbors.

Seriously amazing terrariums by Alapash Terrariums. The only reason one didn’t follow me home is because of the two little people that currently live with me. Beautiful, breakable terrarium and babies just don’t seem to mix.

And then there was this extraordinary alphabet book by Amelia Kieras.

This one will be ours at some point because I can’t.stop.thinking.about.it. I can’t.

And then this jewelry by Muggy Tuesday. Crocheted. Seriously.

And if it wasn’t enough to be so inspired (er, tempted) while at shows, I am tempted everyday in my virtual space as well.

How cool is that Chicago print by albiedesigns?!

And this apron, by Spool + Sparrow,

In love.

And the thing is, I could go on and on (and on and on and on). People make amazing things. It’s awesome.

Share

A New Year and More Shows

It is 2012 and one of the goals I have for my little business venture is to do more live-in-person shows.

Two weeks into the year seems as good a time as any to start.

I’m so looking forward to it. In part because I want the chance to connect and chat with customers, but I’d also like to network and connect with the handmade/DIY community as well. It’d be nice to “talk shop” with some fellow crafters.

So, this weekend you’ll find me at the Handmade Market. I’ll be out next weekend, too.

I’ll be there with my usual stuff. Plus one new design, and you all get a sneak peek.

It’s about time this car-free lady had a bike design.

So yeah. If you’re in the area and looking for something to do on Saturday, stop by. It’d be fun to see you.

Share

The Shop in the New Year

So, it’s a new year.

How’d that happen?!

I mean, really, wasn’t it just days ago that I was here, in this space singing the praises of egg nog.

Oh, that was two weeks ago. Wow. Sorry about that.

Anyways, the New Year.

Fresh.

Shiny.

Full of hope.

Promise.

Dreams.

And, boy oh boy, do I have dreams. Big ones. Giant huge ones. For the shop. For this blog. For me. So, let’s start with the shop (we’ll talk about the blog and me tomorrow).

What began last year as a whim, a single listing on esty. Dipping my toes into the water.

Has, in just a matter of months, become so much more.

More designs.

Napkins.

Towels.

Shows.

And, I’m hoping that this year, will be more of the same.

More designs.

More sizes (adult shirts coming soon!!!).

More art prints.

More shows. (three already on the calendar!!!).

More doing what I love.

More doing what I can to help my little family continue to live the life we’ve chosen.

I hope you’ll be here. I hope you’ll be with me in this New Year watching, commenting, and sharing.

It’s going to be an amazing year. I can feel it.

Share