Small Business Saturday

As a small business owner I understand the importance of supporting other entrepreneurs.  Small Business Saturday nestles itself in the midst of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to drive sales to the small(er) guys and gals.

The 2nd annual Small Business Saturday® is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

On November 26, we’re asking millions of people to Shop Smallsm at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge.

Many shops are running great specials through the weekend.  Stop in and see your favorite local shop owners, take the time to check a local business you’ve never frequented or head over to some of my online favorites!

Personalized Key Chains, Custom Sewing & Embroidery

Key Chains, aprons, handwarmers and custom jewelry

Easy to use PDF sewing patterns for girls, boys, pets

Handpainted Signs

Needle Felted Animals, Jewelry, and more

Custom Handmade Crochet Hats and Photography Props

Accessories for Happy People

Trendy Handmade Bags

Car Seat Covers, Rag Quilts, Patterns, Baby Diaper Bag

Luxurious Vegan Castile Soaps and Pure Bath Products

Bridal Invitations

Custom Vinyl Lettering, Wall Art, and more!

Crochet Girls Clothing

Handcrafted functional pottery

YoYo Hair Clips and Headbands

Earrings, Necklaces and Bracelets for Everyday

 

Happy shopping!

 

Special Occasion Dress PROMO

About a month ago, I had a potential customer contact me about having 5 flowergirl dresses made.  Unfortunately the eyelet fabric I use for them has been discontinued by the supplier so I was down to less than 6 yards on hand — just enough to make 2, maybe 3 dresses.  Certainly not the 5 dresses she wanted.  As much as I hated to lose the sale it was out of my control.  I’d contacted a handful of sellers on Etsy that use the se fabric for the dresses in an attempt to buy it directly from them, to no avail.  Everyone is in the same position as I am.  They’re running out of their fabric and are disappointed about it not being available to purchase anymore.

So I went on a fabric-finding mission.  Armed with an item number, a product description and the main customer service number, my task began.  After almost an hour on the phone I had tracked down 2 stores in Minnesota showing more than 15 yards in stock.  Due to weirdness in inter-state tax laws I couldn’t order directly from that store and have it shipped to me (which I’m still not 100% sure why, especially since I’m tax exempt anyway) so I had to contact a local store and have them set up a special order to bring the fabric into their location.

After 4 days of many frustrating hours on the phone and more curse words than I care to elaborate on, I had almost 30 yards of fabric paid for and on its way to me from somewhere in Minnesota.  Well, on its way to the Idaho Falls where I could pick it up after it arrived.

I now have enough of the eyelet fabric on hand to make 15-17 dresses, depending on the dress size.  Just in time to get ready for spring/summer wedding season! 

To celebrate I’m offering 15% off my normal dress price on all pre-orders placed before January 31st, 2012.  Contact me through my Etsy shop or email me to take advantage of this promotion.

In the Press

I mentioned that Baby Girl was born shortly after midnight on New Year’s (January 1st).  What I didn’t mention was that it made her the official New Year’s Baby for the area and a little more than 12 hours after an emergency c-section I was talking to a hospital room full of media people.  Yeah, that was LOTS of fun.

The news reporter from the local paper was talking to my husband and I about our professions as he gathered information for the article on Baby Girl.  It was brought up that I had made the transition –after being laid off– from working as a research scientist for the local University to running Stitch To Stitch and sewing children’s clothing.  He told us that the paper was interested in doing a story on local businesses that were started in response to economic downturn and asked if I’d be interested in being interviewed as part of the story.  I agreed and whole heartedly thought nothing would come of it.

Fast forward 2 weeks — my phone rings with a local number I didn’t recognize.  It was another reporter from the paper asking if I was still interested in talking to him about STS.  I agreed yet again (this time to being interviewed in the privacy of my home, after showering and dressing in something nicer than a hospital gown) and spent the next two nights frantically organizing the remaining chaos in my sewing room.  I had been in the midst of organizing when my water broke on New Year’s Eve and much of the newly painted room was still stacked in precarious piles.

After the interview, I was told the story *should* run in Sunday’s paper.  Little did I know what I had in store!  I stopped dead in my tracks that Sunday morning (January 23) when I saw this sitting on top of the stacks of papers…

 

 

It’s hard to see your face taking up that much space on the front page.  Even if you do *like* the picture.  😉

Modern Handmade Child Winter Issue

As October draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead to the winter and holiday months.  With the temperatures getting colder outside, we know how important it is to have lots of indoor activities to keep those little hands busy throughout the season.  Our new Winter 2010 issue of Modern Handmade Child is full of fun crafts you can do with your children during this colder time of year.  But that’s not all!  This issue also contains the latest handmade fashions for keeping warm indoors and out, delicious recipes, and inspiring ways to celebrate this festive season the handmade way.  All this and more, right from the comfort of your own home.

So come by and view the winter issue at modernhandmadechild.com, out now!

Check out this new issue for some great craft ideas, links to awesome stores and the new Stitch To Stitch advertising image!  :)

Unplugged and Recharged

My creativity (at least in terms of Stitch To Stitch stuff) has been waning lately.  If I was a betting person, I’d put my money on the impending arrival of this new baby, tending to the bounty of this summer’s somewhat pitiful garden harvest or preparing for the onslaught of upcoming birthdays and holidays.  There have been some really cute new listings that have gone up lately (check out the adorable new corduroy twirl skirts — http://www.etsy.com/shop/StitchToStitch) but I haven’t worked much on constructing new garment ideas.

While busy with these other activities I’ve been focusing on some of the behind the scenes aspects of the store.  Marketing and advertising primarily.  I’m trying to drive more internet traffic to my store.  The more traffic through, the greater the likelihood of sales.  Or even just having them pass along the site URL to someone else that might be interested.  Last week I had an all time high traffic day, with views well over three times my normal.  My goal is to keep those numbers increasing.

For someone with a background in science and research, this marking/advertising aspect is tough.  It drains me trying to come up with new ideas even when I read all the helpful guides that are available for people like me.  I find that it does encroach on my sewing creativity.  I need to find a good balance between the two as there’s no point in increasing traffic to the Etsy shop if there aren’t new/cute items for buyers to look through.

So last weekend we spent the weekend in the mountains.  In a beautiful, out of the way canyon with no cell phones, no internet, no sewing machine and no TV.   Surrounded by nature, pelted by a few raindrops and immersed in the sights and sounds of a Western mountain fall.

The weekend away helped to reset my creativity; my hope is that this momentum continues on and doesn’t dwindle quickly.

Officially Official

A highly anticipated letter came in the mail yesterday from the Secretary of State.

STITCH TO STITCH is officially recognized as a business entity in the state of Idaho!

Woohoo!  Yeah, it’s only a silly piece of paper with a stamp and signature on it but it means that I’m official.  No one else in the state can take my shop name and my tax identification number should follow shortly.

My business cards, thank you tags and some miscellaneous marketing “stuff” (i.e. magnets, a pen — both free from Vist@print) were delivered the other day too.  When I was talking shop in the fabric store yesterday it was really fun to be able to pull one out and offer to someone.  Thankfully too, she asked for a couple more after I gave her the first.

I’m sure it sounds silly to some people but these little details mean a great deal to me.  It’s so cool to see the pieces of it all start to come together.