Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Far By the Seat Of My Pants!

I'm about to update my shop profile, and I thought it would be appropriate to comment on my first Etsy profile.

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. After college, I found myself living in Wooster, Ohio, where my college sweetheart and I were married in 2003. I taught English and writing in area schools for 3.5 years before our sweet curly-haired son was born. When he was a year old, I returned to teach one more class in the high school setting.

I love being at home with my little guy now. I can't imagine it being any other way, and I know we are fortunate to be able to raise him this way.

* His hair has turned out to be more wavy than curly--I'm sure that won't drive him crazy when he gets older. And he has a sister, who is 9.5 months old. They get along swimmingly! Recently I've taken on a couple at-home jobs: freelance writing for www.handmadenews.org and serving on a volunteer basis as an associate editor of The Artful Dodge.

Since I don't give homework anymore, I have some time to fill (you know, naptime, bedtime...), and I fill it with SeatOfMyPants.etsy.com and grad school courses. In 2 years, I plan to graduate with my MFA in creative writing. Who knows where SeatOfMyPants will be then?

* Ha! I think the big guy must have stopped napping altogether about 5 minutes after I wrote that! He hangs out with me in the workshop while the babe naps, though, which works out well most of the time.

And the end of those 2 years is upon us! My thesis is Bloomington Avenue, a book of poems, and as I've mentioned here before, my reading and defense is July 31. I am SO glad to have been a part of the MFA program--I thought I knew a lot about poetry when I started, and I have learned so much more. I hope to get on board at a college to teach some creative writing.

As far as where SeatOfMyPants is now--if my estimation is worth anything, I have made over 200 bags of various sizes in the last 2 years. Here's another area where I have gained mountains of knowledge! It's amazing what a vintage resale shop sewing machine can do once you get to know its intricacies.

My hobbies besides mommying and sewing include reading, writing, swimming feebly, hanging out with my husband, taking and enjoying photos, and playing the piano. I also love home improvement projects and paint your own pottery places.

* ::sigh:: I haven't been to a paint your own pottery place in ages... sadly... in place of swimming I now have bike riding, and in place of playing the piano, I have being climbed on when I attempt to play the piano. Reading and writing remain solidly.

My favorite food is one I can't buy in Wooster: pierogis! Yes, pierogis, the things I miss most about Cleveland, besides my buds from high school and public transportation.

* Oh fine, you CAN buy them here after all, but frozen does not begin to compare. Can you even CALL those pierogis? We had some mind-bendingly beautiful pierogi in Chicago this spring. They began to compare.

I always dreamed of having my own business--I never thought it would start out as easily as sending an email to all my friends and posting pictures on Etsy.com. I'm so glad to have found Etsy. I hope you enjoy my shop!

* I've given this a lot of thought. This spring I applied for and was not offered a high school teaching job. I had prayed all along that if it wasn't the job for me--that if I was to be doing something else (like making bags for people), the job wouldn't even be offered. When it wasn't, I prayed again, something like, "OK, God, I hear you--but if this is going to work, I'm going to need some customers." And you know what? They have been steady since then. Since I started saving for the big guy's preschool costs no more than a month ago, I have saved over $500--that is 6 months of tuition--profits only!--and it's only June.

And I HAVE always wanted to have my own business! In the 1st grade, I tried to sell tent-making instructions. Throughout elementary school, I opened my own beauty salon (complete with a gigantic sign on our front porch that announced "SALOON" to the neighborhood), my greeting card business--J & J Cards, run with my buddy from day care--oh, and my bracelet making business (I even typed up order forms--on a TYPEWRITER--and brought a box to my 8th grade classroom)--and a handful of others, too. So it's fitting that I'm where I am now.

Starting out was easy. Anybody can open an Etsy shop. Now I know that it takes awesome pictures, a good network--real-life and online--of friends and fans, CONSTANT sewing--and for me, a tremendously supportive family and a prayer--literally!--to make it work.

So here's SeatOfMyPants--

--then















--and now!


1 comment:

John said...

Like you, I became an entrepreneur early in life. I started with cooking for our neighbors and making packed lunch for my schoolmates. I did that for a few years, so I was able to learn some lessons about handling money. When I got into college, I became a serious entrepreneur.

I discovered how unsecured financing works, so I didn't have a problem with capital. I used my unsecured loans wisely to keep my food business alive even after graduation. Until now, my small company is still running, so I guess both experience and money management play big roles.