Almost 3 years ago (in late August) I began taking karate classes. I can't recall exactly when I had this strong desire to begin such a daunting sport in my early 30's, but I had wanted to learn some form of martial arts for as long as I can remember and the desire was only getting stronger! When I started I thought it would just be enough to have a Black Belt and then move on. As I have traveled this road however, I have quickly found (and been repeatedly reminded in class), that "karate is not a destination it is a journey". And so a black belt in the end, won't be enough. I'll keep going. I'll get as many stripes on my future black belt as I can.
I had this grand idea that I could single handedly, get my Tuck 'n' Go into some major retail stores with 'some' effort. As I progressed along the manufacturing path, it became increasingly difficult and dollar signs were lingering in my eyes, even when closed. The fear of losing money like I did trying to sell Mary Kay makeup years before, paralyzed me. I also knew i didn't want to manufacture in China or anywhere overseas! Looking back is always 20/20! I certainly had not yet learned of all that I "didn't know then, but I know now". I'm glad I didn't go that route. It may work for some, including you, but luckily I was guided as I prayed and saved thousands of dollars!
After letting go of the idea to sell to all the 'major retail stores' dream...I decided to find a way to get my goods online and sell them on a more personal level. That's when I discovered Etsy. I felt like I had missed the boat on Etsy (everyone was already selling) - but it was only getting bigger - so I figured I'd play the catch up game. Luckily it worked. It would've been great to say I've sold out of my Tuck 'n' Go's, but that is not the case. Surprisingly instead, I've sold over 200 of my thumb guards, and hope more of my other goods will become just as popular. But self manufacturing is hard. You have to commit to the time it takes to make each item. You will have inventory when some things don't sell and you have to stay fresh and current. I think for now it is something I will continue to do, so long as it doesn't interfere with new opportunities and my family.
I love this part the most - maybe because it's the most current adventure - who knows?! About this time last year, I was looking online for pattern drafting books that taught something other than apparel - they were hard to come by. I was so afraid I was going to write up my patterns the wrong way or miss something because I am self taught and lack the education of a seamstress. I quickly threw the fear aside, feeling this was a challenge I was willing to overcome. After all, I am in this for the journey. In a sense - that means I am here to learn and grow and keep going. And so I will.
I know what I'm working on next...(but can't say)...and I do know that I want to write a book and share many many more of my sewing patterns, and even children's books that are brewing in my head, but that is all in the future (the very near future)! Regardless, that journey will be written another day. For now I will enjoy this journey. I will find joy in each day. Otherwise - what is the point of it all? I have come this far and will keep going.
|(it's still me - I cut my hair again to donate!) & both of my girls are Green w/ Brown Stripe too!|