My very 1st…..

Well. The time has come to cut the check.  I am beyond terrified!  I get really nervous around lots of people I don’t know.  & no matter how hard a try to fight off the “what ifs” they are invading my dreams and ruining my sleep!  Creating in my home, and selling from behind a computer screen keeps me from “those” kind of other situations. How do I overcome this?? What could have me so scared??  I will tell you.

CRAFT FAIRS. VENDOR FAIRS.

Yes.

Well.  I am about to “get over it” in a VERY major way.  When I cut this check, there is no way out (with out forfeiting my $$).  It is my VERY 1st time doing ANYTHING like this.  The thought has caused so much anxiety that I’ve never gotten closer than nodding my head when someone mentions a “craft fair opportunity”.  I don’t even GO to these type of things because of these fears.

And THIS one. This one will be over **600** women, during a weekend women’s retreat.  I have started some small prep. I am working on 600+ 3″x4″ goody bags that will go into the BIG gift bags given out by the retreat itself.  I’ve been working really hard NOT to think about the actual retreat, and even up until now told myself “well, if I chicken out, at least my goody bags will be there…”

BUT now the money is due. NOW.  I have the “supplies” such as retail racks, table, etc.

BUT

I need to PACKAGE all my stuff.

I need to MAKE MORE stuff.

I need to FINISH 600+ goody bags.

I need to CREATE a presentation board, including information about my business, and my background story…

I need to DESIGN a 10′ x10′ “booth”.  (That is REALLY big! my entire studio is only 13×14! lol)

I need to BUY decorations etc for said “booth.”

I NEED to pick out clothes, pack, etc etc.  The list is long. The time is short.

THE POSITIVE: My ex husband has agreed to take the boys from after school through afternoon the next day- as I get his weekend/normal visit day during spring break.

& it LOOKS like I will be taking my assistant with me. Age cut off is 18, and she turns 18 the DAY before!  She has experience with crafts fairs & has been very successful with it. (One of the many qualities that SOLD me when hiring her.)

I have 5 1/2 weeks to get this all accomplished.  This evening I have a meeting from 3pm-5pm. And around that, I will start mapping out a game plan…

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Sunday 2/24/13

Went to see “Warm Body” last night- it was cute. 🙂

Spent my entire profits from January and February on PUL Fabric- praying the investment pays off. (literally, EXACT TOTAL-weird that it came out exactly even lol)

Plan for tomorrow: drop kids off, SEWING FRENZY, case manager appt, choir meeting.

*10* appointments this week. Yes. 10.  That’s an average of 2/day.  Ugh. & it’s gotta be my biggest sewing week ever. & I need to update photos. & shoot- still take photos of all the stuff I need to list still.  & of course I still have a TON of homework!

Needless to say, I will be working my butt off after church today!

Michael is set to help out on Monday & Tuesday evening.  & my new assistant is set to help Wednesday evening.

AND

I am about 1/2 way finished with the goody bags for a women’s retreat (600 total).  Each 3″x4″ bag contains 4 different jolly ranchers (1 for each of my boys) so far AND will contain information about me/my business, along with a coupon. (I don’t have that put part done yet.)  I didn’t realize how much something so simple would cost. It is over $100! BUT it’s also 600 baggies and 600 potential customers I wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

( I am hoping to GO to the retreat and have a booth etc, but I have the boys here and need to figure that all out. Money for the retreat to due VERY soon.)

OK! Time to get moving! Thank you for taking the time to stop by! Your support is GREATLY appreciated!

Sincerely,

Christinewith4

More Often…

It feels soooo strange to run into someone in person-just out and about in the world- who KNOWS my business… Generally it goes something like this:
STRANGER: “So, what kind of business do you have?” 
ME: “An online Children’s Boutique called BumbleBeeBottomsBoutique.”
STRANGER: “OH! WOW! REALLY?! I KNOW your store! Your stuff is great!”
My 1st reaction is (do they really mean, ME??) lol, like maybe they mistook me for someone else? I’m not that big right? BUT no, they start mentioning specifics, and yep. Its really me. Wow.
It is happening more and more often…. 🙂

I’ve had my shop now for over 7 years…BUT only been an “official, full-time Sole Proprietor business” for- well, it really hasn’t even been 2 months yet.  I’m pulling a profit, but most of it is going directly back into the business still so far;  Especially if I put in this big wholesale fabric order before the end of the month.

It is definitely helping me drive forward….

So far, So good

The new “Mother’s Helper”/Assistant (can we just call her “all of the above”? 😉  )  was great.  It was like having 2 of me.  I had a moment to breathe with out feeling like I was “neglecting” the boys.  Although, I just had her basically hang out with the kids yesterday- nothing too over-the- top or extra long  for her 1st day… 😉  I watched as she helped them with homework while I worked on mine, then headed off to class and back home to hear everything went better than expected.  Thomas & Andrew seemed to behave for the most part.   (& I handled it better than I expected too.)

I got 3 trainers done today, to be shipped tomorrow, so that was great.  It is a good thing I don’t have little teeny ones anymore, or it’d be MUCH harder to sell all these adorable creations! 😉  The rest of today has been spent on the phone on business calls.  I want all my bases covered and to fully know what all my options are, and what direction to head in to expand.

One things is for sure: *I* will always be creating. & I will NOT out-source production.  Made in the USA, always.  🙂  Though, I’d much rather hide behind my sewing machine than go “market” any day. (though I’m told I’m good) Some day I’ll hire THAT part out… 😉

My business phone calls all ended with a lot of successful people praising my products, service, drive, determination, etc.  I was close to tears a couple times when these “successful” people were THANKING ME for calling and inspiring them/brightening their day.  (I called to “bug” them for advice/referrals to info sources.)  I am building my own support team, one person at a time…

WHEW!

This past weekend was a 4 day weekend AND Thomas’s 9th Birthday AND Thomas’s concert (Thomas did GREAT!!) AND my 1st time interviewing someone.  It has been SUPER busy!  I didn’t get much “work” in over the weekend, and only got about 6hrs of sewing in yesterday.

It’s Wednesday and we have only had 2 appointments so far this week, class tonight, seminar tomorrow night, then volunteering Saturday morning and then headed to drop off a cloth diaper set to a new mother Saturday afternoon, and church Sunday.  Of course, homework and as many “WORK” hours as possible all popped in as much as possible as well.

You know, the usual.

This morning was basically #1: get kids to school, #2: grocery store, #3: put 1/2 van load of groceries away & leave the other 1/2 of van load for the boys later (hehehe), & now I am headed in to update advertisements gather up publicity for my shop from others, so I can post all the links on my blog and FB pages.  THEN  I need to finish all my homework due TONIGHT… (EEEEEK!)

Well, UPDATE from interviews last week- I think I found the most PERFECT assistant ever!  Her interview took 3 hours and the boys fell in love with her.  I showed her around our home, and we went over schedules and over the boys’ special needs.  I was explaining to her how to do the “deep pressure” that calms Thomas down when he is worked up– Thomas, by the way, was REALLY hyped up with the change in routine–  I asked him how he felt about her and if they’d like her to come back and hang out with them on Wednesdays, and he started sharply nodding his head and nearly dove on her.  At this point we were sitting on the floor, and she started rubbing his back/shoulders, and Thomas immediately went from SUPER HYPER, to a puddle on the floor, as she asked “you mean, like THIS?”

BOOM. “YES, exactly!”  (HIRED!!!!)  She instantly had figured out his “off” switch and watched deep pressure work its magic.  She seemed pretty happy/excited to have witnessed the dramatic change.

She is young- just under 18- but is in post secondary (college during high school) majoring in Special Education.  She has “baby sat” for children and young adults with various special needs for years- one autistic young man who had violent fits like Thomas (maybe worse/ definitely older & stronger) and has a passion for those with special needs and well as the patience.   AND she sews!  AND does house cleaning!

I was VERY nervous about leaving the boys with ANYONE up until I met her.  She starts today and I’m hoping all goes with out any major catastrophes.  It sure seems like a God Send.  Typical hours will be 4:00pm until 10:00pm, with me only being gone for just over 3 hours for class in the middle.  Now. All I have to do is make more income to PAY for it…  LOTS OF PRAYERS NEEDED!!!

big steps ahead today…

Ok, ok.  I admit, over these past 3 years I have kinda become a control freak.  I’m responsible for EVERYTHING myself.  (& before that I was a stay at home mom/always had my kids at all times etc)  So, the idea of giving up some control/allowing HELP, is really SCARY.  I mean, I have my life back!  And, up til now, I haven’t had too much to worry about  in that department because- although looking- I haven’t been able to find any help anyway.

TODAY I have my 1st interview for my 1st potential employee/mother’s helper/sitter/ all of the above.  1st one who understands I can’t afford much at this time.  1st one who has special needs experience, has sewing experience, house cleaning experience, etc etc, and young & active enough to actually chase these guys around… we shall see how this goes.

I need to let go of some stuff in order to move higher/faster.  It’s weird though, how you have to HIRE help before you have enough to pay them, in order to MAKE more money for yourself AND to pay them…

Today, I have also been finishing up putting together a batch of one size diapers, pre-washing lots of new fabric, and updating some listings.  (NOW I’m thinking OH NO! I should C L E A N !!! Interview HERE THIS afternoon!!??!!  EEEEEEEEK!)

So… back to work I go!