Monday, August 15, 2011

New Thread

It seems like everyone has their own quirky item that they like to collect. For some people, it's owls. They’ll have owl artwork, owl clothing, owl stationary (return labels, anyone?), owl figurines, owl potholders, owl Christmas ornaments, etc.I’m not trying to pick on owl lovers. It could just as easily be roosters, cats, sealife, or Coca-cola. 

The point is that somehow, people seem to amass themed collections. I don’t know how it happens or starts. Like tree of heaven, I suspect it starts small and then grows on its own unless weeded out at an early stage until it takes over way more space than you ever imagined.

So. What do I collect?

Does thread count? 

I'm not sure if it's quirky, but it is unusual. And oh, have I mentioned that this is only a portion of my collection? You see, I arrange my thread by type. These are just my polyester embroidery spools. I have a still more racks devoted to rayon embroidery thread, serger cones, and general sewing thread. 

To make matters worse, I just got some more. 

I needed a bright chartreuse for a job. While I was at it, I decided to expand my selection of yellow and to restock a few colors.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Polkadot Orchid Embroidery?

I started my business so I could have the flexibility to spend
time with my little ones while they were still little. 
I am a fairly typical American girl. I grew up outside of a major city in suburbia.  I went to college,  got married, and had a baby. I wanted to stay home with my children, but I also wanted to contribute to the family's financial health.

Oh, the troubles of how to balance family and work. Do you work full time? Do you work part-time? Do you decide to step back from a career to be a stay at home mom? In my case, I felt very strongly that I ought to be in the home with my children while they were young. So, with my eldest son at the ripe old age of thirteen months old, I decided to take the plunge and start a business from home.

For my new embroidery business, I took everything that I learned from embroidering as a hobby. Then I did lots of research. I found suppliers, upgraded equipment, invested in myself through even more training. As it turns out, my biggest problem was one simple question: What do I call this crazy adventure of mine? 

I wanted something that related to what I was doing. I also wanted something memorable that related to me and my interests. (Something generic like PickLocation Custom Embroidery was out.) Considering that my original training was in ornamental horticultural design and business, I wanted something that combined fabric and plants.

There's one big problem with having me pick a plant-based name: I like weird, obscure plants. Things like Alchemilla, Cypripedium, Sarracenia, and Gunnera. These aren't exactly memorable names, and I wanted people to have a chance of being able to spell my business's name the first time around.

Then I remembered a little experience I had in college...

The school's botany department decided to let the horticulture department take care of their wing of the university's greenhouse. I was given the job of cataloging everything in it, including an obscene number of orchids. Many of the less well-known orchids have spots, splashes, and stripes - patterns that are also used on fabric.

Viola! Polkadot Orchid Embroidery!