Thursday, January 12, 2012

Since Christmas

The holiday season is always crazy for me. There are craft fairs to go to. Gifts to make for my family (such as the sweatshirt my son is wearing). Gifts that various people ask me to make. And last-minute requests of all kinds in addition to all the usual stuff. Once the crazyness ended, I was able to enjoy a little bit more time with the kids and even remembered to grab the camera for a few shots.

Wearing one of my sweatshirts, of course.
You'll notice my yard consists mainly of dirt, weeds, and kid's tempera-splattered fence. You can probably blame Gavin for much of the current status of the yard. Gavin ...and the local shade trees, gravelly soil, the winter weather, and the fact that I found and removed an entire bolt's worth of buried weed block fabric when I moved in.

Once New Year hit, it was back to business. I feel like I've put in a ton of orders in the past two weeks:

* An order for more thread and stabilizer.
* A dedicated bobbin winder that can wind off of king cone spools for free standing lace.
* At least 4 separate shipments for blank shirts and totes.
* Customized catalogs that I can hand out to business clients.

Normally I don't have quite so many boxes arriving within such a short time frame. (Particularly since I thought that the beginning of January would be on the slow side.) In the past week, I've noticed that the UPS truck has at least 3 different employees that work my route, depending on the day. Is it normal to notice just how many UPS employees are working your street in a given week? 

It may sound odd, but I still get excited when I get boxes - even if those boxes are full of things that are ultimately going to go to someone else.  So every other day or so, it's been a bit like Christmas all over again. My most recent bit of excitement is a box I received with the following canvas totes:

The totes are really sturdy, have an inside pocket with a heavy duty metal zipper, and came in several different colors. Some are natural canvas while others are black, pink, or butter yellow; the trim/handles are generally navy, black, or charcoal grey. I'm trying to decide what to do with them. They strike me as a bit nautical somehow, but it might be best to reserve them for monogramming at fairs. The totes also come in two different sizes. The one at right is about the size of a typical purse, but I also got a couple that are a larger beach tote size.

Every now and again I'll get something to test it out and see what a given product is like so I'll know whether it would be worthwhile to recommend them. The totes above are a bit of a test. I also decided to test out a backpack, such as at left.

When I conduct tests, I do test small runs to verify quality. If the item proves to be popular, then I'll invest in more inventory. We'll see how much I create this next year. 

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