Saturday, January 10, 2009

The plan!

I've been looking at all the great vintage aprons that I used to sell at the 17th Street Farmers Market. I tell ya, I wish I still had this one to make a pattern off of! At least I was smart enough to make a pattern off the one below.

I love using my "old" skill set of pattern making. Last year I was so busy I had to have my new (good stuff coming soon) and old patterns redone by some of my costume friends. It felt so great paying the same people that paid my rent when I was in my 20's. I became a grown up that day, at least a grown up business woman.

As I am rethinking Modern June in light of CPSIA I can't help but go back to Modern June's beginnings. What did I love so much? What was I so passionate about that I just had to start a business? What product was I missing so badly that I just had to make it? Aprons and Oilcloth Totes is the answer. But now that is covered by myself and by many others. So, what's next?

I have spent the last week coming up with some of the best ideas I have can muster. A new business plan to help me have a real life, in which I can be an active member of my family and have time to continue homeschooling my two neglected kids. But better yet, thanks to Erin's blog post, I now have a Design Plan. A Design Plan, hmmm, I don't think I EVER had one of those. I've always just made what I liked, what I needed, and what people have asked me to make.

Now don't get me wrong I-have-no-regrets. Not one. By being an ADHD type of crafter (Dawn's favorite saying) for the last few years, I can now have a clear vision for the future. A clear and concise plan. And OMG! it is just so exciting. In fact, I have already gotten a wholesale order (more on that later) before I even bought the fabric.

It will be hard not to share every little bit of the progress with you all. I've recently been burned by a competitor copying my every move, so I'm going to guard my new wares close to my heart until the grand unveiling in late February or early March.

For now, I have the job of fine tuning our children's school time and daily routine. While my kids show no outwards signs of difficulty, they have a good deal of special needs. Learning disabilities, sensory issues and daily headaches challenge us. So, in the winter months I am going to concentrate on them. I won't be closing the shop, but I will be eliminating a lot of the custom items for a while. I will sell what I have, which is a lot trust me!

For 2009, my goal is to pull up my big girl britches and get my life straight. It's time to have a plan and to live by it. Routine will be my new motto! Last year Modern June grew so far beyond my wildest dreams, it took us all by storm. By the fall I had eight contractors working away. This year, I doubled my retail sales as well as my wholesale clients. But, this great success came with 12+ hour work days while having my kids at home all day. That is not what they signed up for, and it's not why I had babies. So I'm off to be a better Momma AND a better, more efficient business owner.

Man, I am excited!

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