Friday, September 30, 2011

All Pink ~ All Month!

Squeeeee!!  Etsy Peeps!!  Thank you so much!!

As many Etsy sellers and followers do, I receive an email with featured themes on Etsy every day.  They are always so cleverly put together and feature incredible products ~ I am usually tempted to buy at least a couple of things!  So today when I received the October Shopping Guide and scrolled down thru the delicious temptations, I was thrilled to see my knit hat featured!

Breast Cancer Awareness has long been a cause near and dear to me.  Two maternal aunts suffered for years with the disease and the miserable, painful side effects from treatment (they have both since passed).  A few years ago my Mom (who luckily has remained disease-free) volunteered to be part of a clinical study for some experimental drugs ~ hoping to help her sisters.  I've had my own scares (and scars) over the years and I'm one of the lucky ones ~ so far I've dodged the bullet.

So when I started my Etsy shop 2.5 years ago, I knew I wanted to do something to support the cause.  The main focus of my shop are my Wee Ones and Liten Venns - little stuffed animals.  So every September and October a lot of pink pops up in my shop with my BC Buddies.  I also do consignment with seven stores across the country and am so happy that five of them partner with me in this effort every year.

Last year I discovered knitting looms and got slightly addicted.  So, although I have yet to figure out how to fashion a stuffed animal on one, I do enjoy making knit hats.  It's a perfect pastime for those long winter nights by the fire.  I decided to add a few BC Beanies to my shop, with a focus on breast cancer patients who often need something warm for their sweet heads.  (I plan to add more in just a few days.)

10% of the sale of each BC Beanie and BC Buddy goes to Susan G Komen for the Cure.  I look forward to the day when that organization will no longer be needed... because we've found a cure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lucky #7

I am so excited to share that my Wee Ones can now be found at the fabulous I Heart Denver store in the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver!  I made my first delivery yesterday and met store owner, Samuel (he's awesome) and his crew (equally awesome).

The store contains products that are entirely produced by local Denver artists.  Everything from glassware to tee shirts to bags to jewelry and more  (and, of course, stuffed animals.) :)  If you're in the area, stop by and check it out (2nd floor of the Pavilions).  You are sure to walk away with something crafted by a Denver artist.

I call I Heart Denver my lucky #7 ~ the 7th store I am partnering with on consignment.  I guess my Etsy shop would bring that number to 8, but as far as brick 'n mortar shops ~ this is lucky #7.  So you know what that means.  Those Wee Ones are going to fly off the shelf.  :)

Thanks, Samuel and crew ~ I am so happy to be part of your one-of-a-kind 100% Denver store!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friend

I have a mug that reads “Behind every successful woman is herself.”  I love that sentiment.  I believe strongly in home-grown, women-owned businesses ~ or women being successful doing anything they love.  It does take drive, ambition and good old-fashioned hard work to be successful.  

But today it occurred to me that as a one-woman show I really don’t do all that I do without a little help and support.  (Scratch that - a lot of help and support.) I often forget that in essence I’m not totally a one woman show.  This handsome guy does a lot to help me.

We met thru mutual friends in 1991.  Yup, we’ve been together 20 years – married 18.  I knew the first night I met him that I wanted to know him.  He made me laugh. 

He engaged in conversation.  He was clever and smart.  He was so damn cute.   He had an MBA in finance from the University of Denver (which came in handy later when I started my business). 

Fast forward to 2011.  He is a partner in his own IT Consulting business.  He is a Type A workaholic.  (He is quite often up with me on those 3 am work mornings - doing his own work.)  

And yet before he leaves every morning he asks me, “Do you have anything for the Post Office?” -  and at the end of the work day he texts me with “Do you need anything from the grocery store?  Need wine?”  

He does 98% of the grocery shopping and cooks 98% of our meals.  If not for him I would live on chocolate, chardonnay, hummus, carrots, chai lattes, English muffins and peanut butter.  Seriously.   He's not opposed to washing a dish or two. And once in awhile even a wood floor.  He happily walks the dog in the early morning hours when I'm slammed with orders.  He puts gas in my Jeep.  He takes care of all the household finances.  He passes out my business cards like candy to his business associates and clients.

So that "one woman show" thing?  It's a myth.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hi Kim!

Cookie the Wee Puppy is on her way to our friend Kim @ 9News - the Denver NBC Affiliate.  Breast Cancer Awareness is near and dear to her heart, as it is to mine.  For the past two years Kim has been so generous to share my BC Buddies on her 4 O'clock news broadcast.

We're hoping Cookie makes the cut, too.  :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Made in America!

A couple of months ago I made a sales call to the fabulous Show of Hands Gallery in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood of Denver.  I love this gallery and really wanted to partner with them.  So I was a little nervous when I opened the door and made my way to the check out counter to begin my pitch.  I brought along Coco the Wee Dog for support.

Coco was a hit ~ particularly when the gallery operators learned that yes, I really do make Coco and his fellow Wee Ones in my little home studio, right here in Colorado.  They explained how hard it was to find quality toys that are actually made in America.  The rest is history ~ many of my Wee Ones are now residing at Show of Hands and sales are thru the roof.  (I say with enormous gratitude!)

But since that day when I learned how unique it was to have a product "Made in America" the thought has stuck with me.  I've become much more aware of how special it is to find something to purchase that is actually "Made in America."

I decided to emphasize that in my marketing ~ in the labels (above) I sew into each little Wee One (and everything I create).  I added it on my business card as well as any print marketing I do (brochures, invoicing, flyers).

So you can imagine the feeling of validation I felt last night when listening to our President address the Nation about jobs and how important it is to see those three words around the world ~ "Made in America."  An excerpt from his speech:

Today you [Congress] passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible.  That's the kind of action we need.  Now it's time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia and South Korea -- while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition.  If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers.  I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words:
"Made in America."
** President Barack Obama, September 8, 2011

I couldn't agree more.

(Labels printed by the wonderful Priya Creations)

Monday, September 5, 2011

For Your Little Pumpkin ~

Cooler weather this weekend found me back at my favorite fall/winter spot ~ in the family room, feet up, watching movies and pulling out skein after skein of yarn and my knitting looms. It is my favorite cold weather pastime.  And it's fun to step out of the studio once in awhile for a change of scenery!

This little beanie was a spontaneous creation and it made me smile to imagine some cute little pumpkin walking around ~ or even topping off their Halloween costume ~ with this soft and warm pumpkin head!  It is available in my Etsy shop now.