Sunday, November 15, 2009

Torn...

So, I debated over and over about whether or not I wanted to blog about this. And finally I decided that I might as well. There have been other issues that I have dealt with that I blogged about and suddenly either felt better or got some good feedback from others to help me with the issue at hand. So, here goes… (warning: this is a long one, sit back & grab a glass of wine or a bevo)

For those who may not know, I started a custom children’s clothing line this time last year in preparation for quitting my “real”job. Idle time is not something that I have ever really been good at, and I also knew that I might still want some spending money of my own since the hospital feels the need to pay my husband less than minimum wage for the hours that he works. So, brownie-goose was born. I absolutely LOVE to sew, and I love to find fabrics that are so vibrant, loud and colorful and put them together in combinations that sometimes don’t make sense…but they make me happy. For a humongo ego boost, apparently I am not the only one that likes it since people continue to order from me. The things I make are a bit on the different side, definitely NOT traditional and just downright fun. You just can’t find stuff like that in Target and such, and sometimes you can find them in boutiques, but you will pay out the wazoo for it. Anyways, a star was born with brownie-goose and suddenly grew so much bigger than I ever, ever imagined. In other words, basically I have been tied to my sewing machine in any sort of spare moment I get since about June. I cannot complain really because I still enjoy it and it absolutely MAKES my day when someone tells me how much they love my stuff. I mean, it is like crack (well, I have never used crack so I really wouldn’t know, I’m just saying…) and it just motivates me to do more and more.

So, here I am…at a crossroads with brownie-goose. My husband said to me the other day “Amy, life is what is happening as you are looking forward to the future.” This came in context of when I was telling him that I wont be as nutty (haha) and the house will get cleaned and I will go back to cooking, etc. once I get through the Christmas orders. I mean, I cannot stand for people to tell me my business, especially when they are right. Life is happening, and I am slowly missing out on it while I am in my beautiful new sewing room. So, something needs to give. It has been in the back of my head for a while but I have been so stubborn and just keep letting it go thinking things won’t be this busy forever, right? Torn is about the only word for what I am feeling right now. I’m just absolutely, positively torn. What do I do? For those of my readers who are my biggest brownie-goose fans don’t panic…I am not going to stop. But I am at a point that reminds me of one of my favorite poems from high school literature (for those English buffs out there…forgive me for I know I wont get this completely correct but I am a math nerd, I like number and calculators) that talks about two roads diverge into a wood. Or something to that effect. So I have two roads diverging in front of me. One that I could take would have me scaling back BG to an extent. I will continue to do all my sewing (this is especially helpful for my control-freak manor) but only take specific amounts at a time. I haven’t worked out all the details, but scaling back is the main theme of that road. The other road is sparkly and shiny and has blinking lights when I think of it. Contracting out my sewing and going “big.” This allows me to do the trunk shows that I would love to do, it allows me to actually advertise my business instead of not carrying cards with me for fear of having more orders. It allows me to actually think about wholesale and getting my stuff in stores for the people that have asked. I mean, wow….wow…wow when I think of it. But, I also know that the grass is not always greener. I don’t know all the details of “going big” and am having the most awful time trying to find out information on it. I don’t know any seamstresses (other than friends, and I just don’t want to go there and risk the loss of a friendship) to ask about, the thought of a manufacturer sewing my stuff almost gives me a panic attack…and then, to think would my control-freak self actually be okay with things going out with my name on it without my seal of approval? Would I actually spend time fixing things that I didn’t feel were good enough? Can you kinda get an idea of what all is going on in my head? I just want a good, easy answer.

And then yesterday I went to talk to a lady at a local sewing shop that I just think the world of. She opened my eyes to what I knew my heart was telling me to do. Scale back Amy, keep it in your own hands in your own control. There is always tomorrow to “go big” but for now, keep it real. Keep it “small.” Keep it what I know and ignore all the flashy lights and billboards. So, I knew it. After talking with Ms. Bette, I knew what had to be done, but for some strange reason…I couldn’t accept it. I wasn’t ready for it to be final. I thought I’ve got plenty of time to mull this one over, just let it be and the right answer will make itself known. I am a huge believer of faith and letting the right things work themselves out, but I don’t always have the patience or ability to let go of the reins to let it happen. Then today I added 6 more people to the mailing list and had more emails of people asking when I would be taking orders again, these are people that aren’t already customers. So, I began to doubt my decision. How can I scale back when my customer base is growing? How do I only take orders from a fraction of my customer base? Oh my goodness, I just don’t know.

The funny thing is…I think it was this time last year that I posted a long blog about my uncertainties of quitting my job as a nurse and becoming a stay-at-home mom. I stuck with my gut on that decision, although I was scared to death to not work and be at home, and now I know it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although I do miss the pediatrician that I worked for something awful on a daily basis. It all worked out okay then, and I know it will all work itself out now, I just don’t know what to do. I’m just torn.

Any takers??

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Punkins, Chock-or Tweating & a Desginer's Dream

Okay, okay, I know...it's been a while. And to be honest, and in my defense, updating the blog has been on my to-do list for the last week or two, and it is one of those items that just keeps getting bumped over from day to day. When I started this blog, I never wanted it to be a chore, and it still isn't. I LOVE to blog, I really do. But honestly, WHERE in the world has the time gone in the last few months? I went to write a check yesterday at Cotton Patch and almost fell on the floor when I asked the ladies for the date and they told me November 7. Wait....wasn't yesterday my birthday? I mean, I honestly feel like I have been in a fog for the last few months with the world happening around me and not noticing. Does that make sense? I mean, I remember my birthday weekend, getting ready for Halloween, Halloween occurring and such...but REALLY, is it November? My, oh my.

As for the blog, my high-strung personality cannot STAND for me to wait forever between blogs. Many reasons, but mostly I end up with so much to say and wind up writing a novel that most ppl probably don't want to read! But, here you go anyways, I can sometimes be fun...so sit back and keep reading and you might just enjoy yourself. :) Also, as I was laying in bed the other night trying to remember if I emailed a customer back for real or just in my head I came up with an amazing idea. I need a USB cable that connects my brain to my brownie-goose email inbox and also my blogs and website. I would be so stinking efficient that I would blow even my mind. There are so many times when I sit down at my email and think, "wait, I KNOW I emailed her back...right?" Of course I did, I emailed her back in my brain while sitting in traffic or running or sewing, or better yet...while laying in bed trying to fall asleep but slowly stressing myself out. I update the blogs this way too. I mean, I can write an entire blog post while I am in the shower. But finding the time to sit down and actually type it all out...well, that poses an issue. Oh well, I need to stop with the rambling and get on with my business, right?

First up, Halloween. Louisa wanted to be a "pink pincess." Which was fine with me since I was so worried we may end up being Dora or Max & Ruby or something that I just cannot handle more of. I made her one of those fun "no-sew" tutus that are super easy and way fun and put it with a birthday hat that I covered with fabric while fighting with the glue gun and all of those dumb strings that come from everywhere and don't go away. She of course, LOVED it and said that she "is da mos bootiful pincess der eber was." She of course, is very modest. NOT. We had a Halloween party that the UMC Alliance threw and that was way fun, and then we all went chock-or-tweating at a friend's house since the average age on our street is about 73. Not really, but there aren't as many kiddos in our neighborhood, plus it was so much fun to go as a group with similar-aged kids. They just melted me as they all looked so cute and would get so excited over a sucker or some sweet tarts and such.




Louisa CRACKED me up, as usual. She would RUN up to the house with her bright pink ("no Mommy, is fusha" thanks Fancy Nancy) pumpkin and get to the door and holler "chock or tweat." Meltable, absolutely. Then, thankfully she said thank you each time and would then RUN back down the driveway and say "otay, wets go to anober houws and get more cany." Precious, just precious. Although I took pictures, it is just one of those things that I just never want to forget. I hope that those images have embedded themselves in a part of my brain that refuses to be over-taken by work, grocery lists and such. If you want to see all the pics, click here to look at my FB album.

Oh, and the pumpkin patch. I guess I could've cut & pasted this one so that it was chronological, but well....let's just get creative and out of order instead. Thanks to a Dora book about picking the "perfect" pumpkin for a pie, the entire time Lou was insistent on just one thing. "I get to pick owt a mall punkin, Daddy you hab to pick out a big punkin and Mommy, you get a medum punkin. And dat will be perfeck." Of course, she enjoyed the hay ride and seeing the animals too(not NEARLY as much as her momma did...I am still thinking of maybe opening an exotic animal business so that I can have all those fun animals and maybe take them to kids bday parties and such, just gotta get Byron on board). Here is a link for ALL the pics.





Now for my FAVORITE part. My sewing room. It is DONE, I repeat DONE. I moved in last weekend and let me just tell you how in LOVE I am. Good thing, since I spend so much time in there. I still have some peg-boards to hang over my big cutting table so that I can hang things up for the first time, and then from there on out have them clutter up my cutting table even though they have their own spot. That is just how it will go. Also, I guess I should have taken pics before I moved in since that was probably the ONLY time it will EVER be clean, but what fun is that? Also note that there will ALWAYS be dog food bags in my sewing room pics. My horses, ahem labs, eat so much that I just recycle their food bags for my trash bags. How green of me? Right! I have a french door that opens to the bag yard and I have been loving it lately as I have been able to keep the door open and enjoy the beautiful days while I sew. I also now have a tv in there, which works out great since I LOVE Food Network. Maybe one day I will be a chef, hmmm.... Here are just a few picks. Mind the mess, but remember my motto, A CLEAN SEWING ROOM IS AN INEFFICIENT SEWING ROOM. Love it, and cannot thank my AMAZING husband enough for all of his hard work. I know I brag about him all the time on here, but I mean, he really is just about as wonderful as they come. I remember when we first met, I decided that he was wonderful and awesome (and I mean this as awe-some) and then a few months later when he got accepted to med school I remember giving him a card that said something to the effect of you NEVER cease to amaze me. It is still true to this day. Just amazing. Even if you have already done this before, you have to go back to this link to watch the progress from extra room to wonderful sewing room. Here are just a few of the finished/worked-in progress. Get jealous...right? :)








Until next time....hopefully it wont be as long. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Talented Friend

Okay, so you all know how I like to get on my soap-box about buying local and supporting our local working moms. Well, here I go again. :)

A fellow resident's wife that is here in Jackson just started a business with a friend of hers. Not only does she have a resident for a husband (never home), 2 kids under 3, work a full-time job...BUT she also is talented and has met a great match with her friend and their creations. Phew, she makes me tired. :)

Check it out here at www.bimkreations.com. I like her story, and also like her stuff...she tends to be on the "fun & funky" side...and we all know how much I appreciate that! :)