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!
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 sacrifice. 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!
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
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 Custom 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 on 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 be 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! 🙂
Many of you who know me know that I go through a “thing” this time of year. A lot of you who don’t know me probably know this as well, as I keep bringing it up, stumbling over it in an attempt to wrap my head around it and move forward! It is the post-Halloween funk that creeps in every year. BUT I just had an epiphany. The kind that as soon as you think it, realize that it is true because of the pure simplicity of it. Finally, I can navigate through the turmoil because I have identified it! I have been seeing things all wrong. I have always thought that my struggle this time of year is because I go from being SO SUPER BUSY to having nothing to do…I stumble over my ideas, my creativity, don’t know where to start or how to get anything done. I always thought this was because after a long period of hard work, I am free to chill but just can’t figure out how to relax, BUT THAT’S BACKWARDS!! I was talking to myself (of course), considering sending a message to a very dear friend who does a lot of energy healing and in my mind, I was trying to figure out what I would ask her if I could…If I was willing to call her up and say “Hey lady! Help me out here!” what exactly would I be asking for help for? Then I heard it clear as a bell in my mind. How to focus my energy… You see, it isn’t that I am suffering from a lack of this or that, but it is actually too much to handle all at once! I go from having my days laid out very simply, like a train on the tracks, one order after another, from start to finish every day. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, so I adapt and get used to not having to think about any of it. I make my to-do list, and just get to work shipping them out as soon as I am able. When it is over, I am left not with too much time on my hands, aimless and drifting with no direction, but am actually suffering from an overload of choices! It’s like being on a diet of greens and nuts, then going to a rich, succulent Indian buffet! It’s everything you’ve been missing and it hits you all at once that you could eat it all!! But wait, you can’t….You have to pick and choose, and in a way, it is almost like you have forgotten how to exercise that muscle of choice. How to go carefully and thoughtfully forward in a present state of mind, without a road map to guide you. I always stumble this time of year, so now that I know why, I have a plan. If my “choice” muscle is out of practice, I need to start small, with simple choices every day, and build up to the bigger ones. I have 20 minutes before the kids get home from school, how do I want to spend it? Do I want to photograph some new items for the shop, or start stitching this new quilt I’ve had on hold forever, or just meditate on my new discovery? I know one thing is for sure: I love having choices and I plan to take full advantage of it while I can so that when the path is laid out and simple again, I can appreciate a break this more complicated matrix of creating and building things from scratch! I love a good epiphany. <3
Today’s featured item came from a custom order request from a repeat customer who had already ordered a green crocodile mask and tail set. This time the little boy wanted an albino alligator! Apparently there is a famous one at the zoo near their home, and it had endeared itself to this little boy very much. I love getting custom order requests because so often folks can come up with awesome ideas or color combinations that I might not think of myself. It always provides fresh inspiration and leads to new creative outlets. So I set to work thinking of this costume and how it would turn out…At first I was a little discouraged from the project because, well, how fun could it be to make an ALBINO alligator. It’s all white, right? Most of my costumes are full of over-reaching color and this one had me a little stumped at first. But once I started pulling out my various shades of white, I started to see something very peaceful and unique emerging. She wanted it made out of pure wool felt. I LOVE working with wool felt and started offering it as an option in The Tree House Kid late last year after I had several customers request it. I can make it out of Ecofelt as well, but this one in particular was built from pure wool felt. I like for my animal costumes to carry some realistic features, so the first thing I do when I design an animal costume is look the animal up on Wikipedia or in my animal field guides. I use a compilation of pictures to draw a sketch of the face, then a more refined version that can be reduced down to simple mask features. I start with the eyes and build the mask around the eyes, which is ironic because it is the eyes that are empty in a mask, but also what MAKES it a mask. I was really happy with the way this set turned out. They liked it enough to get one for their son and a friend as well! So out there somewhere, there are two little albino alligator buddies probably visiting this rare and precious animal in its habitat, hopefully learning more about the animal through the experience and of course, through their play. Peace to each and every one of you on this evening.