September 30, 2018

Having an Ah-ha moment

Have you ever thought something about yourself so deeply that it defined who you were to your core? I think that can absolutely be applied to a business as well.

When I first started my sewing business last year I was all about baby blankets and things to make life easier for mommies. Baby items are a huge market and I was trying to put myself in that group.  It was like hammering a square block into a round hole. That's not who I am.

For a whole year I really felt like nothing really was clicking - I did make a lot of custom orders (most you can find here on my blog) and so I was able to make a little money.  I didn't make money on the things that I thought I should really be selling, though.

Mommies will buy anything for their kids. But that's not what I'm about. I don't want to force someone into buying something that they could get from a friend or family member. I did a few craft fairs in person this year and again didn't feel like I was living to my full potential. I love the products that I make and they are useful, but not just to new moms.

I started thinking about what I really want to make and who I am. I came up with an interesting idea. I had that ah-ha moment that I didn't know I needed. I am not someone who makes things for moms - I make things that are reusable.

I CARE about the environment. I may not be the best person at reusing things or not using plastic. In the last few months things have slowly been changing in our home. I say slowly because real change takes time. I have been cooking from scratch a lot more. It isn't easy and I don't like the dishes, but we are making it work.

Speaking of dishes - we use less paper products than we used to. The kids know to get their special plates for dinner (invest once and reuse) instead of ones we can just throw away. It helps that they are getting older and are helping with the dishes more.

I started looking into what products were available and how they are used. Then I tried my hand at them - and tweaked them for our own use. I then had family and friends use those items and give me feedback on them. I am so thankful that I was able to get that feedback.

I know I should have been more open about all of this - but a lot of behind the scenes work has happened in order for me to make my reusable collection. The new things that are in my shop. I realized while looking at my shop that everything I make is reusable.

The blankets get washed and reused, the pillow cases are used the same way.  There are towels that take the place of paper and look so adorable. I've also got a few things to help organize like zip pouches and lip balm key chains - put things in, change them out. They are being reused. The newer items are a bit more obvious when it comes to reusable.

 These fun makeup wipes are great - I made them big so that all the makeup can come off with a single wipe. They come with a zip bag for the washer so the wipes aren't lost. The bag has gone through an evolution along with the wipes.

Reusable Swiffer cloths are a new idea that I wanted to make. I made two versions for quick cleaning and scrubbing. I have used them and they work great.  I thought it would be nice to sell them in a set and I'm pleased with the results.  This is something that I've bought over the years (the disposable kind) and thought I could change this habit.

Quick cloths (or unpaper towels) have become my kid's go to when there is a spill. They love these easy to use - just like a paper towel. These do go into the washer instead which is a bit different.  The other thing we use a lot are the food safe bags. I know that I did an entire post on just these items. I did research into what "food safe" really means and I'm glad I did. My daughter took snacks to the rodeo and we didn't need to throw anything out.  They are great for our before kindergarten picnics on our little side table, too.

One of my new favorite projects are these tote bags. I can make them bigger, but small is nice too. I sent some things home with my mom and instead of a plastic bag I used one of these. She will return it back to me when she finishes what I asked (she's helping with a zipper on a doll dress... I was overwhelmed).  These are also great to take the the shop because they aren't too large. I can also put in the food safe liner if needed for produce. So many uses for these bags and here I thought they were just pretty.

The last one I came up with was this cute drawstring bag. I did buy the bag and then customized it. I would have loved a bag dedicated to my activity (mine was piano and I wasn't good at it). I thought that as a mom it would be great for my kids to have a place for their things. They could learn a little responsibility as well.

So yes, this is a big sales pitch. At the same time - I hope you learned a little about why I make the things I do. I want to help the environment and by selling things that are reusable I feel I do just that. They are a bit more expensive and they last longer. I hope that by offering something that is good I can afford to buy more fabric and sew more good things. That's really what I want to do - keep sewing.


Megan Rowsey said...

That's awesome! I'm slowly trying to make my house more eco friendly, as well. Love your products.

Anonymous said...

YES! Same here, going green in our home as well. We all need to be more conscious of the amount of waste we create and the resources we use! Good Job!

Misty H said...

I’m so glad I found this post. We’re always looking for ways to be more eco-friendly. I’m so glad you found your niche!