Read what i read
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
    Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
    by Tony Hsieh
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
    Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
    by Jim Collins
  • Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
    Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
    by Joy Deangdeelert Cho, Meg Mateo Ilasco
Thursday
Aug022012

Howdy Stranger!

Super busy. This summer has been filled with family, friends and tons of work. I have been paddling through an internal marketing strategy and looking for creative ways to attract more of YOU! I like you and I want to know more about you. I want to help you get from concept to clothing and help you take your business to your happily ever after. Lets chat! I now offer first time clients a FREE mentoring session where we will analyze your designs/ concepts/ needs, discuss your market and I will advise you on your biz growth potential. No strings attached - we are approachable, upfront about costs and clear about expectations. High five!

Thursday
Jun212012

Tank Project - the Inspiration

Summer is here and I am getting that creative bug…. During my spring cleaning I had found many tired old tanks too dull to wear and begging to be upcycled. What is upcycle you ask? This is when you convert useless materials /products into new materials /products of better quality and value.

Do you like the ideas I found for upcycleing! Get direct links and even more ideas on my pintrest page here. This week, I am investigating ideas and next week I will be dusting off my sewing machine to create.

Aren’t these lovely too?One of my favorite inspirations for upcycling came from Nicole Blum from http://www.improvdiary.com. I first learned of Nicole from her awesome DIY articles in family fun magazine (print and online) – when I dug deeper into her genius I found her website and was hooked.  I actually wrote her a quick note to tell her HIGH FIVE! And she wrote me back and turned me on to http://www.creativebug.com/ where she is currently hosting a 5 new workshops along with her co-author Debra Immergut. I suggest you check her out too – really fabulous and extremely inspirational.

Do you have any ideas for my upcyle project? Or do you have a DIY’er you admire?  Pass them along - Deadline next Friday!

Friday
Jun152012

A Onsie for my Twinsies

I had this project on my sewing table for too long. Simon was gifted 2 of the same adorable tees for his last birthday (April). I really wanted to find a way to shrink one down for his brother (they love to look twinsies) in a simple way and I decided on a onsie with snaps at the crotch. Check out this simple transformation in a few easy steps.

1. Lay an existing shape over your onsie. I chose one that fit now so we can wear while the weather is hot.

2. Cut out shape and be sure to leave about ¼” seam allowance. Watch that your shoulder is centered and mimic curve in armhole.

3. Match the hems on shape to tee hem and tee sleeve - this way all are clean finished for you!

4. Add simple facing to crotch for stability (I didn’t even clean finish this) and attach sleeves.

5. Sew sides – add snaps and you are done!

Do you want to see more projects like these? Do you have a project you want to share?

Tuesday
Jun122012

Hard Love, do your math!

When embarking on your business, first things first - think about your profitability. It drives me crazy when I talk to entrepreneurs who are stubbornly attached to products, services, blogs—without a clear path to meaningful results or revenue. Yes, commitment is required to be successful. But hard work does NOT always pay.  I'm just concerned that some of you are misdirecting your energy into activities that won't produce result$ for a sustaining business.

Small businesses fails at a rate of 50% in the first 5 years. I personally would hate to wake up after 5 years of hard work penniless. Do not become a statistic! Know what you are getting into and do the math! And I am not talking business plan. Consider that AFTER this equation.

Retail

total items * (retail  * .75) = profit  if  when  handshake = total items * 4 / (12 *5*8) per hour is possible.

Wholesale

total items * (retail  * .25) = profit  if  when  handshake = total items/7 * 4 / (12 *5*8) per hour is possible.

Making money will always depend on how quick and how many hands you can shake, how effective your reach is online, and your ability to take risk. No offense, but I can just about guarantee your very original product/concept has been done before. The only thing original about your product will be you (pls read this post if concerned). How many hands can you shake in an hour? How much money do you want to make?

For example, you plan to mass produce 500 tee-shirts per season; each cost $5 to make and retail for $20.

1) If you are a retailer (selling online, at your own store and/or at fairs) your possible fortune will at most be $7500.  This is without considering time and cost of website, sample fees, fair fees, marketing, tax, etc.  And to make that profit you must shake at least 500 hands. A more reasonable but still low number would be 2000 hands (consider 1 out of every 4 people purchase). Are you sitting?  If you are working for yourself for 12 weeks (one season) 5 days a week, 8 hours a day - your rate of handshake must be at least 4 people per hour… nonstop for 12 weeks and then repeat should you want to continue your business.

2) If you are a wholesaler (selling to stores) your possible fortune will be $2500. When wholesaling you have a different pricing strategy and on average profit ¼ the retail price. Again, this estimate is pretax and without considering time and cost of website, sample fees, tradeshows, marketing, tax, etc.  Generally expect stores first purchase to be 7 units (S,M,L - 2,3,2). So, at least 72 stores purchasing but shaking 288 hands (again, 1 out of every 4 people purchase). If you are working for yourself for 12 weeks (one season) 5 days a week, 8 hours a day - your rate of handshake must be at about .6 person per hour… nonstop for 12 weeks and then repeat.

This is not rocket science – it is taking general expectations and providing a good gauge to know what you are up against. Season after season, shaking those hands becomes easier because your customers will start to find you. But for starters - use this formula and calculate your business idea! Can you live with your profitability? Can you shake all those hands in a given season? Overall, I think the challenge for most is to bring your product from hobby to money maker. Time really is money, and if all the time you have to afford can’t yield your business a sustainable result - it is time to reconsider your tactics and business.

Friday
Jun082012

DYI Bookmark – Father’s Day Craft

Bookmarks are the perfect father’s day gift for dads and grandpas. I give full credit for this bookmark craft idea to Heather Humrichouses’ article for Family Fun magazine (May ‘12 issue page 36) also posted on her blog. I found this craft a bit heavy on the ‘mommy labor’ but it really was fun and easy. I have 2 models in my life – one 7+ months old and the other 3+ years. Simon (my oldest) LOVED looking at the inspiration photos of the Humrichouse family and worked very hard on his silly poses just like them. Our crafting method differs slightly from Heathers (we skip the glue) – if you like hers no worries or you can follow ours.

What you need to make bookmarks:

camera
printer
heavyweight photo paper
self-laminating paper  –  I brought my cut outs to UPS store and for 1 letter size page it was around $2
store bought tassel or embroidery floss to DIY (check out Heather Humrichouses’ method)
scissors
hole punch
calm children

Instructions:

Against a clean white wall tell your kiddos to act like they are holding a balloon, a kite, climbing a wall or flying. Kids love this. Next print out your pictures (ours were approx. 7” for Simon and 4.5” for Kyle). Cut out your pictures – I left 1/16” white edge all around. Put directly on self-laminating paper or bring to UPS or craft store to have them laminate. Cut out again – I left another 1/16” laminate edge all around. Hole punch where you want tassel (fingers or hand). Thread your tassel through hole. DONE!

You might offer the bookmark with a new novel, wrapping the book with colored tissue paper and tucking the bookmark between the pages. Simon is very excited for his dad’s present and loved being part of the process from picture to present. This gift will be treasured for years to come by both parents ;-)