Still Looking…

Just an update:

No luck finding a store front yet.

Still accepting donations of anything baby/kid related etc.

Still working on large wholesale orders for retail locations- 1 headed to Dodgeville, Wisconsin this week. The other orders are more complex-matching sets etc, so those are taking a lot longer.

My kids are gone for spring break, which changes the type of work load, but not really the amount of work. Not only do I miss my kids, but also the help they provide-like caring for all their pets. If it weren’t for the kids, there’d be no pets. Dogs must be walked multiple times per day, all the animals need food, water, litter cleaning, play, etc every day– its like an additional 8 kids. πŸ˜‰

It will be a very busy week for sure. No resting here-time to get back to work!

Hanging Clothing

There are ALOT of ways to set up clothing on racks for a shop. None of them crossed my mind until I had to do it.
Ex: do I continue with a seperate boys area & girls area for all sizes? But then Gender neutral stuff must go in 1 or other.
Or maybe a “Infants” section where each rack is a SIZE, then just hung girl, gn, boy together on same rod?
BIG stores like Walmart have an ‘infant’ section, then boys, girls, mens, womens.
Other resale shops sort boys/girls & just put gender neutral in one or the other. That is how I started.
Now I’m leaning toward a new angle.
Then of course there are onesies, PJ seperates, a whole lot of brand new bras&panties, swim wear, etc. Swimwear is currently hung with clothing. Most onesies are folded.

Folded clothing means customers are constantly tearing through them, leaving them unfolded, knocked on the floor, mixing sizes, etc-which requires constant resorting& refolding, etc.

So, if you have followed me long, you know my motto *there has GOT to be a better way*… & that is what I will find. πŸ˜‰

Working & Waiting

We had a great weekend in our Lindenwald shop & it was again very apparent I need more room.

Today, I’m catching up on laundry, scheduling Dr appts for the boys, & working in the studio. I’m waiting to hear back on a lead in Monroe, OH…. trying to be patient&calm, but I’m anxious to go see it. I want to go RIGHT NOW. It doesn’t help knowing TODAY would be the best/easiest day for me this week- & I believe Jason too. Without seeing it, I can’t start working out details ib my head to figure out if it is what Im looking for. That’s hard!

But. For now, just trying to keep busy and not go stir crazy and keep moving on everything currently required of me.

Hunting & Gathering

Well, I looked at several more store fronts since my last post… none of which were *right*… I have this vision in my head of what my shop will look like, & so far there is nothing close. When I find it, I envision angels and rainbows floating down around us… πŸ˜‰

I don’t want to move somewhere SMALL, that I will just outgrow as quickly as my other places. I need at least 1200sq ft as of now. Also, I am leaning toward consigning for other small business/cottage industry families like my own, which will take more space. It also HAS to have room for a play area for young children while their parents shop- that alone will be a hunk of space. I already have a large train table & trains for it.
I can SEE my location- like a vision from God. And when I find the space, I’ll know I’m ready.

But, so far nothing in Hamilton or Fairfield…

As for today, I have been cutting & sewing like crazy- only stopped to go pick up a van load of donations & dinner for the kids. Actually, to the point I’m REALLY dehydrated- shriveled eyes and skin, chest pains and all- so now I have ‘grounded’ myself a bit and am forcing myself to drink water (YUCK), a few ounces at a time, every so often.

It’s 10:30pm here, the boys are asleep, & I’m still sewing. Time to get back to work!

POA

Well my Lindenwald shop is open today. (10a-6p, 4020 Pleasant Ave, Hamilton, OH 45011) And I have a whole lot of work to do.

Pending custom orders.
Pending wholesale orders.
I need to make stock for my locations.
Store seasonal clothing change.
Photoshoot items & planning.
I also need to clear a place for my cutting tables & move them into my studio so I have more room.
And of course a whole lot of work for my own family.
We only have 1 appt today, taking up 2-3hrs after school today.

So the current POA is to work like crazy from 9a-3p, while the boys are in school today & staff is running my shop. And basically the same plan next week around appts…

Good News

#1: Christopher is finally starting to feel better & adjust to the HEARING WORLD!! He says he’s amazed at how LOUD everything is-the biggest change being chior. He has almost had to leave the room during practices each day ‘because of how loud everyone is.’ He says when everyone was singing loudly before, he could hear them, but it was like what a whisper is now. I have had to give him pain medicine every day since his surgery, because of throat pain from the breathing tube and headaches. But he is a trooper, and doing great.

#2: My studio is looking great- Less like a back stock room and more like a store again.

#3: I got another WHOLESALE offer!! I just need to get enough stock made. It is a good hour away from here, so I’ll need to have enough stock to last a month at a time to keep deliveries down.
**If you know a potential retailer for our products, please shΓ re my info.** πŸ™‚

#4: I need to finally get this PHOTO SHOOT done!! (Also requires a whole lot of product to be made & ready!) As soon as I can get enough product in stock, I gota get models, etc together ASAP. I am hoping I can get the photographer to come here to my studio vs get everyone out to theirs. I also have 2 more patterns I’m working on that I prefer to have done by then: an XXL diaper (50-??lbs) & a bigger trainer.

#5: More thought on my own store front. Seems to be the right direction. Absolutely no clue how I will afford it & no locations have jumped out yet. Everything seems so small.  I am eligible for a very low rate business loan through our city, but I do NOT like owing money… mainly the risk involved.
NOW ACCEPTING DONATIONS. Anything donated that we can’t use will be passed on to where I volunteer.

#6: Jason has taken 2 1/2days off from his own company, & been rocking & rolling here. I have new clothing racks in my studio (clothing sizes Preemie-4t on them already for now) & new cabinets for storage up around the house, new outlets, & a lot more.
He is a firearms safety instructor & his next class is Saturday, so I think he has been trying to fly through as much help as possible before he will be MIA for a full day. He has had some really good ideas- like moving my sewing/cutting/processing to the 1,000sq ft of unused house in the back once it is remodeled-giving me more shop space up here in the front. Each one I flat out say NO WAY to at 1st, but then it all starts making sense. πŸ˜‰ (There is 1,000- 2,000sq ft of house we don’t use back there- 2 full size apts.) And he and the contractor are also planning to finish at least 1/3 of my 1,000sq ft basement that I also barely use. That is 3,000sq ft of unused space NOT counting my current studio space up here on the 1st floor, or our living space on the 2nd & 3rd floors. Honestly, we are not really using the 3rd floor much yet either. Jason’s daughters are helping my younger boys collect & move all their toys, books, etc up there to their playroom & he wants to put in fire escapes etc, so they can be up there more often. (& I’ll be less nervous about it.)

Most of the above means moving my sewing room! I have already outgrown the space here. At least the cutting area. It is slowing down my production because I just don’t have the room to lay out large rolls of fabric in there & I need bigger cutting tables. My studio/shop space here is 420sq ft, & my fabric room & sewing room are another 120 or so sq ft each. So, somehow I need to move my cutting tables into the studio area. (& how I know I need absolutely no less than 600sq ft of retail store front space.)

Well. I’m off to do morning prep, get kids off to school, & head over to the warehouse. We only have about *8* hours of Dr/therapy appts this week, which almost feels like a vacation. Gota use the extra time wisely.  πŸ˜‰

Can’t Sleep.

Ugh. There is so much going on.

I mean, that’s my life, but a different “so much.”  We still have our Dr & therapy appts, & I still have my regular business stuff including custom orders & some exciting wholesale requests from retailers in other cities, but then I have the boys’ extra stuff- surgeries, additional testing, etc.

& I have met someone…. he is a single father of all girls, a business owner, and quite possibly the most intriguing person I have ever met. He has a servant heart like I do– but I’m not as experienced with ACCEPTING help as I am with giving it.  For example, he has taken off work & he (& his family) have spent the past 2 days HERE, working on my house.

[[To those just joining our venture- I bought a 4,000+sq ft historic home off the foreclosure list last April to house my family & my business. We are talking A LOT of work.]]

Anyway- I have felt SEVERAL emotions during this time, & as well as those to be expected over the past 40 something days since we started talking… FEAR being a big issue for me- all the negative ‘what ifs’ that keep me grounded.

Recently, I’ve also been urged toward another GIANT leap of faith- like buying a giant old house that had sat vacant for several years wasn’t big enough.

A store front.

Right now, God has placed HELP in my path… but I’m struggling with ‘what ifs’ like:
“Is it the right choice OR just coincidence????”
“How the #$//^@ can I afford it???”
“Am I ready to jump (what feels like) blindly into something this big???”  (Accepting help is UNKNOWN/painful/terrifying territory!!)
“How will I run a store front & still handle the boys’ appt schedules & my ‘always on call w/ school’ situation???  …& what about summer???”

[[I can not use childcare for various reasons. & can’t afford it anyway.]]

“What if my current supports bottom out once I’ve dove into this???”

“There is a long 33yr old list of people who have tossed me aside & said I will never amount to anything- just waiting for me to screw up- ready to lean over me, pointing, laughing, & rubbing in how ‘right’ they were if it doesn’t all work out magically… Can I survive what would happen if I FAIL???”

“Am I ready to SUCCEED??”

Ok ok. I’m sure you get the point. So here I sit, 5hrs past my bedtime, nervous about my children’s health, daydreaming about the possibility of our own version of the Brady bunch yet terrified of the potential of another nightmare, & contemplating my next HUGE steps in every area in my life…

THIS is my life…. welcome.