The Importance of Time Off!

Some doodles I have wanted to turn into real works for a WHILE now! Giving myself a break brought these projects back into my mind.

Hello Friends!  I have had myself a very nice break from Etsy.  I have a few takeaways from this much-needed breather that I would like to share here…If for nothing else, my own reference.  If this encourages any of you out there who may also be Entrepreneurs or work from home Moms or even if you are in the workforce and have ever felt guilty for taking a break, then this might be for you too.  Sometimes it is easy to convince myself that I haven’t quite worked hard enough to take that break yet.  My problem was that I was forever moving the carrot a little further and further out from myself in an effort to trick myself into getting more and more done, but never could seem to actually take the break that I was striving so hard to “earn”…I am here to tell you TAKE THE BREAK!  In the last 3-4 weeks that my Etsy shop has been on vacation, nothing has fallen apart.  None of my Etsy followers contacted me to yell at me for my ill-timed vacation or to vow never to shop with me again because I failed to be there when they needed me.  No one called me out for being lazy, no one blamed me for needing a break.  My Etsy shop did not disappear  into a nameless void and I didn’t lose all of my momentum and enthusiasm for work.  QUITE THE OPPOSITE.  If anything, I am actually enjoying this surge of creativity and passion for my work so much that I don’t really want to go back to my online business just yet.  I have taken a step back in order to ask myself some hard questions, such as where am I now compared to where I want to be with my business?  Do I enjoy making the things I offer to my customers? Is my aesthetic still current and modern in the face of all the copy cats out there in the retail world?  How hard to I want to work and what do I hope to gain in the end with all of those late nights and swallowed tears?  Let’s face it…Momming is hard!  Working from home is hard!  Entrepreneuring is HARD!  Balancing it all while still staying connected and in love with what you do is not just hard, but like the Cat in the Hat juggling all of those things whilst atop a circus ball.  If any one part gets out of balance, you can bet you are going down.  There is even a Ted Talk called The Power of Time Off that I really love.  It comes back to me out of the blue every now and then when I am really needing that break to center myself and my work.  You can see that Ted Talk by clicking the link above.  I have actually opened my Etsy shop Kari Goodwin Quilts with all of my quilts, pillows, and a few other random things, but am trying out the shop without the baby items in it at this time…Maybe I will write a short blog post about that decision soon as well.  Folks Linen, The Tree House Kid, and Joshua Treeworks are also live and open for business.  Together the four of us make up Goodwin’s Custom Crafts.  We all thank you for reading and for all of your support!!  Until Next Time!

I Don’t Know How to Name A Blog Post…

Hello everyone!  Kari here.  Its been one heck of a week, to say the least.  I was out-of-town for the testimony of Comey, and only heard bits and pieces of it on NPR while I was driving, so those are my hot Friday night plans…To watch the hearing on YouTube tonight and babysit my fermenting pickles…(Oooh, pickles would make a really cute fabric!…Saving that idea for later!)  We have just wrapped up our first round of summer camp for the little ones and it was awesome and exhausting and the kids are currently dug in under covers in their jammies doing what they do when they chill, aka Netflix and Minecraft.

Anyway, back to my first point here.  I would like to begin by giving a quick shout out to my sister, who is doing a great job of running The Tree House Kid and to my Mom who is running Folks Linen!  If it weren’t for those talented and loyal ladies, I would not be able to do what I do.  That is to say, that I wouldn’t be able to focus so much time and attention to what I truly love to do, which is to design, quilt, and be an entrepreneur.  With them running those shops, it gives me the time and mental space to really focus all of my attention (what is left of it anyway), to my quilts.  Please take a moment and visit their shops on Etsy, bookmark the site, and go back and share some love!!  We offer really unique gifts for kids and adults alike,      depending on who or what occasion you are shopping for.  The links can be seen above in the text, on the opening page of my blog, or by following the link at the top of our blog that says “Find Us Elsewhere”.  As I am not making those items myself anymore, it is rare that I have my hands on them to take pictures, share them on Facebook, Instagram, or blog about them, but they are still an important part of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!!

Now, on to what I wanted to share with you!  Today, I had a change of heart about my quilts.  I know they are lovely and pretty and took a lot of time and money to make.  I know they are worth more to me than I can reasonably sell them for.  I know Etsy is not a fine art Gallery, although you can definitely find fine art there.  I know that most of my quilts are small and will be used with messy kids, on the floor, or out in the yard for picnics…As such, I can NOT charge what I might like to for my quilts because folks who are buying them know that they will end up getting spilled on, pooped on, or curled up on by the family four leggeds.  This is something that I just have to accept!  I have tried to follow the advice of folks from the “charge what you think it’s worth, then double it because your time is valuable” school of thought, I have tried to charge what I would like for my quilts to sell for in a perfect world, where everyone has more than enough money to invest in the arts and pretty stuff, and I have tried at times to charge what they might be worth if they were on the level of fine art hanging in a gallery.  The truth is that when I started this, I liked that my work was affordable and attainable to normal folks with normal cash flow.  I have always offered payment plans for items that were a little more of an investment, and that won’t change, but I want to revisit a time in my life when the art of making quilts was not so much about how much money they could bring in, but in the simple act of making the thing itself.  The process, the journey, the end result.  It is a little harder for me to keep my prices low and competitive because I ONLY use organic cotton in everything I make, so I know my quilts will always be more than the next quilter who uses regular cottons.  I mean, I wish it wasn’t true, but the simple fact is that organic cotton is more expensive than non organic choices…but the old saying of “You get what you pay for ” comes to mind here. Ok, why am I saying all of this?….  

Oh yeah!  I remember.  The good news is that I went through my shop and marked ALL of the quilts down 15%.  That is a starting point.  I only want to make enough money to support my quilting and have a little extra spending money for stuff the family and I like to do.  Nothing too extravagant, just the simple joys of an adventurous life.  So I have marked them down, permanently.  I hope to sell a few this month and clear out some space for some new up and coming projects that I have in the works.  I love to sell my work…it is so exciting each time something sells!  The Etsy app on my phone literally makes a “CA- CHING!” sound like an old cash register every time I make a sale and everyone in my house cheers and takes guesses as to what has just sold!  (Kinda nerdy, I know, but that’s us!)  I want to make it easier for you to own quilts yourself and to keep us playing our favorite guessing game!  Please stop by my store on Etsy, Kari Goodwin Quilts, bookmark the site, check in with the shop at least once a week to see newly listed items, and mostly, check out those quilts!  If you have had your eye on one lately, it might be a good time to snag it!  My quilts usually don’t last for more than a year in my shop, which is a pretty good turnover in my opinion.  If you missed the first announcement, you may also want to know that I am working on a new, stand alone website, called (surprise!) Kari Goodwin Quilts that you can check out as well.  I am still tweaking the listings and making adjustments to the website, as it is only a few days old, but I will keep you posted.  Until then, happy shopping friends!!  Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, and bookmark our site to make it easy to find us again!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Memorial Day ~

To all of those who gave their lives in service to this country, its values, its grand vision of liberty and justice for all, we thank you for your ultimate sacrifdownload (5)ice.  Today through Wednesday, I would like to extend a special Thank you to the servicemen and women of our country with a special 20% off at Kari Goodwin Quilts, today through Wednesday with the coupon code REMEMBER17.  Enjoy the holiday in remembrance of the Fallen, and I hope peace is with you all today.  <3

Also, just to keep my loyal followers “in the know”, I am working on a new website where you can shop directly from Me without having to go through Etsy.  I would love it if you would go take a look at www.karigoodwinquilts.com and bookmark the site so you can keep up with my progress!  I hope to soon link this site with that one, but I am still trying to work out the particulars.  More details to come!

Black Friday Sale, Going on Now at Kari Goodwin Quilts

It is a little funny for me to promote a Black Friday Sale at my shop because I do not EVER get out and shop on Black Friday.  I am an avid avoider of crowds if at all possible, but guess what!?  You do not have to go through any crowds to get to my Black Friday Sale unless your kids are playing Minecraft (like mine have been this morning) on your computer, then you might have to wait in line a little, but HEY!  It’s a pretty day outside, so kick them off the games and do some early shopping with a Small Business before the madness starts to hit after Thanksgiving.  I am offering Free Shipping on all domestic orders, (including APO addresses too!) now through Sunday, November 27th.  The coupon will end Sunday at midnight, and a new Cyber Monday Sale will activate, so check back with me here, or on Instagram to see what special offers will be coming your way next week!  Until then, my friends, have fun and rock on.   **Hint, Hint, Quilts are heavy, pillows are bulky, and buying lots of things at once costs SO much to ship!!  You could save $20, $30, $40 in shipping!  Just saying…**  Head over to my Etsy shop, Kari Goodwin Quilts by clicking the picture below!  Happy Shopping!  Oh, I guess you might want the coupon code?  I got so excited, I almost forgot.  It is BLACKFRIDAY2016 .

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Click Me and I will take you directly to Kari Goodwin Quilts on Etsy!

 

 

Featured Item of the Day (And this week’s special deal too!)

DSC_0644 (1)You get two for the price of one this week!  Today’s message will share the Featured Item of the Day as well as the special deal of the week.  As predicted, I slipped from my goal to do two posts a week.  Anyone who knows me even a little bit would not be surprised at all by this, especially since I always bring up what a challenge it is for me to be consistent in almost every post.  Just consider it a growing pain of a very awkward blogger and we will all get along just fine!  Back to the Featured Item of the Day!  DSC_0563 (2)This quilt.  Just take a long look at this quilt.   This is the organic cotton equivalent of cloud gazing.  You could look at this and see all sorts of fun illusions.  For instance, I see the reflection of a dragon flying over a lake, insects, and a bony pelvis…Ok, you get the idea.  There is a lot to see!  These are hand dyed from organic cotton, including the coordinating backing material.  I have a goal to do more of these soon, in larger sizes up to a twin sized quilt, so keep an eye out for those.  The rusty-red color was made from spontaneously combining two different dyes, so it is unique and one of a kind.

NOW, for the coupon code you’ve ALL been waiting for!  This week’s deal is extended through NEXT Friday, September 9th.  It is a free organic cotton bunting (also known as the triangle flag banners…) with any $100 purchase.  Pretty sweet, right?!  They make any room feel like the occupants might just break out into dance, or singing, or other party-related behaviors.  All you have to do to take full advantage of this offer is choose the triangle bunting you want from the Clearance Section (<— Live link) of my shop and add it to your cart with the rest of your purchase.  As long as your total before shipping is $100 or more, you can get a $19 discount during checkout absolutely free.  This is the cost of the bunting, so it will discount your entire order for that amount.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  The coupon code to enter during checkout is FREEBUNTING19 .   See you next time!

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Featured Item of the Day – Organic Cotton Knit Blankets

It’s Monday, so that means it’s time for sharing a new product for the week!  This makes two weeks in a row that I have actually nailed this little goal of mine, which actually makes this THE most “pulled together” time of my entire life.  No kidding.  I thrive off order and chaos in equal measure, and see the balancing of entropies as the ultimate “LEVELING UP” of life.  DSC_0388To have a little chaos, a little order, and a constant flowing dance between the two.  Anyway, I distract myself.  The featured item of the day is a simple product, but a brand new one for Kari Goodwin Quilts.  These organic cotton knit blankets are great for a lot of reasons.  Here are a few:

  1. Four different sizes available!  From newborn baby to kid off to college with their first dorm room, there is a size for everyone.  The material is fairly stretchy and lightweight, and would make a good swaddling blanket.  In the larger sizes, the material is heavyweight enough to make a good throw style blanket.
  2. Made from the only material I use, GOTS certified organic cotton.
  3. These are printed in the USA with my own exclusive designs, made by me and my kids, which my favorite activity with my kids, so the purchase of this item actually encourages and supports art in my household! (not kidding.)
  4. With this product I strived to bring the best materials for the LEAST about of cost to you.  As such, these blankets are simply serged around the edges, which is great for the stretchy material, and they go together very quickly.  DSC_0163 (1)This allows me to pass on the savings to you, while still offering a great product, full of creativity and uniqueness.

That is all, back to work for me!   Happy Monday Ya’ll!  Here are links to my Etsy shop karigoodwinquilts.etsy.com and my website karigoodwinquilts.com .   Be on the lookout for these new items to hit the shops soon! DSC_0324 (3)

Deal of the Week at Kari Goodwin Quilts!

Short, sweet, and to the point!  This week’s special is an extra 25% off all Ready to Ship Clearance Items at Kari Goodwin Quilts, either on Etsy or the new stand alone website!  Cut and paste this coupon code during checkout for 25% off!  >>>>>>HPATSS25 <<<<<<  If you’d like me to make it super easy for you, here is a link to the Clearance Section of the website!   The Clearance Section has all of the banners, bunting, burpies, bandana bibs, and some minky quilts as well that are already marked down really super low!  This deal will be available for the whole week, today through next Saturday.  Now, I am off to sip my coffee and just wait for the sales to flow in!  No, just kidding.  I will be sipping coffee, but the rest is yet to be determined. IMG_8721

Only Two More Days of Free Shipping!

We made it to Thursday!  Celebrate with some free shipping from Kari Goodwin Quilts, either on Etsy or the new Pattern stand alone website.  This platform is something new I am trying, which is offered from Etsy as a solution to folks like me who are testing the waters of having an independent website from which to sell.  I like the website, but I would love to know what you think!  Connect with me and let me know how you like to look, the listings, and don’t forget to enter FREESHIPPING for free shipping on any and all orders!   Here is the link to the new website karigoodwinquilts.com or on Etsy karigoodwinquilts.etsy.com

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Everything Must Change…

I was a big fan of Judy Collins when I was a kid.  I liked to sing along to her music because I could mimic her voice.  My favorite of her songs (or was it really hers, I don’t know) was Everything Must Change…Nothing stays the same…everyone will change, nothing, no-one goes unchanged, or something like that.  You get the idea.  True words for sure.  We’ve had some changes here as well, as Josh has moved on from the woodworking business and is now gainfully employed again.  I have restructured by business to bring my Sister and Momma into the fold, and my Sister now runs The Tree House Kid, and my Mom runs Folks Linen, leaving me with one shop…Goodwin’s CuIMG_3565stom Crafts.
I have changed the name of my shop to Kari Goodwin Quilts after MONTHS of mentally seeking the shelter of a new shop name.  Goodwin’s Custom Crafts was, after all, Josh’s name that he picked for his business forever ago and I just wanted to evolved from that and start fresh.  I wanted a name that was cool and funky and defined my shop, but nothing came, so I just chose the simple, straightforward approach, as that pretty much defines me as a person anyway.  I am at least straightforward if not simple. So Kari Goodwin Quilts it is.  I already like how seeing that name IMG_3062on the top of my Etsy shop makes me think about my work, if it is living up to the name, if I am in fact actually quilting.  I just renewed my membership for the Modern Quilt Guild and have signed up as a Super Volunteer for the show in Savannah, so I am super excited to IMG_3349be attending my first ever QuiltCon in 2017.  My point is, I’m changing.  I am trying to shed old skin and wriggle out the kinks in this new skin.  It’s a skin I’ve wanted to wear for a while now, focusing more on my true passion of quilting.  I can say right now, at this moment,I have six quilts in some, WAIT, no SEVEN quilts in some stage of the process.  I am a little rusty and my work is still smaller than I would like for it to be, but I am moving in the right direction at least.  Here just a few pictures of my Works In Progress or #wip, just in case you are an old Judy Collins fan like I was and maybe didn’t know what #wip meant! 🙂

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Chattahoochee Reflections Quilt

 

This picture of my Chattahoochee Reflections quilt (sold in 2014) popped up in my “Facebook memories” today.  I really did enjoy making this quilt…it’s the kind of thing I get a little sentimental about because it was a break through project for me and the first time in years that I tried “freestyle” or improv quilting.  Funny how we circle back around…I started as an improv quilter a decade ago, and went through many phases in discovering my creative style, which is definitely still a work in progress, but hadn’t done anything freestyle like this for years at the time when I made it.  It is the sort of quilt that I would like to think defines me as a quilter, but is that true if you only do it once or twice and the majority of your work pales in comparison?  I have this plan for my future which includes a lot more time for quilting, as that is what I really love doing, and what has fallen to the wayside the most as I have helped to support our family financially as much as I possibly could.  This has involved several big rearrangements of my life, including passing the torch for The Tree House Kid to my sister, Kaysen!  She now runs the shop from Las Vegas and has inherited all my patterns and has done a great job running the shop since February.  Also passing the torch for my other shop Folks Linen to my Mom who now helps make all the napkins and aprons, leaving me with just the one shop, Goodwin’s Custom Crafts.  Some small changes have been made as well, including attaching my design wall TO the wall in my house and give it a permanent home, instead of pushing it from one empty space to another, and to rearrange my work space to help put the focus on my own fabric designs to be used for quilts, in a way that sort of “showcases” what I have available to use at any give time, and setting up my cutting mats and sewing machines in a very user-friendly and inviting sort of way.  I have Folks Linen and Goodwin’s Custom Crafts (both on Etsy) on “vacation” and closed to new online orders for a while so we can get through these last couple weeks of school and I can focus on some cool local stuff going on.  We will be at the Farm to Table dinner at Jenny Jack Farms next Saturday, May 14th, (excited!!!!) and after that, I plan on having a sort of Renaissance period for my business, which may include a name change and a refocusing on my talents and what I would like most to spend my time doing.  I’m pretty excited about it, and my biggest goal is to make more time for quilting.

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