Thursday, January 30, 2014

Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop has been keeping me busy!

I have more custom projects lined up and other projects that I'm hoping to finish before the Spring rush starts. I've been keeping Jenny pretty busy with the long arm quilting. It seems like we have a constant pick up and drop off routine. Some of these projects I have made and re-made but can't keep up with the demand, especially with my Lilly fabrics that arrive from Hong Kong.

What I really like about the Etsy shop is the fact that I can create beautiful pieces and expand my learning of techniques- and all at the same time- keep up with the newest fabric collections. It has been profitable and some of my quilts have went all over the world. I love reading the thank you notes, photos, and more... they are fun.

Here is one of my favorites that I listed recently. I sold one before it was finished and this one will probably go quick.


A close up of the fabrics in this line...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do What You Love, Love What You Do... A Very Candid Post

It is with half of a heavy heart that I write today. Yes, just half.

On Friday I learned that I no longer have a job along with other sales representatives in our company. It definitely was an off guard moment, as I took the call while driving (and almost to) a corporate sales meeting with some of my favorite customers. I was told that times are hard and cuts needed to be made because of cash flow. What hurt the most was calling up my favorite customers and crying, explaining the situation. I wear my heart on my sleeve (both of which can be good and bad) and have been so distracted and unfocused for quite some time. I blamed it on the long winter but in all honestly, I wanted Spring only to come for the farm. I realized that I was trying to shield my customers from Spring inventory problems, shipping headaches, my lack of a contract or commissions, and more. I was burning myself out at both ends and it was becoming obvious. On the way home and after some thinking, I didn't feel sad about what could have been. Instead felt like a giant weight has been lifted; I will overcome and think that this may be a blessing in disguise.

I keep a quote taped to my computer monitor, on the back of an old business card from way back when.  "If you want something in life that you've never had, you'll have to do something you've never done". I have no idea where it came from but I have had it there for years. I have dreams but everyday the priority needed to be fighting the good fight. I would somehow make it through the day, sleep at night (hopefully) and only wake up to do it all over again with some help of anti- anxiety medications. What I should have and wanted to be doing, was being excited about my career and having that same confidence and enthusiasm as when I started. One of my favorite aspects about what I did in my career was working with beginning to advanced gardeners and customers, showing them new products, helping solve problems, and in general just keeping up with the industry.  I never ever wanted to stop learning and sharing. I've lost this focus awhile ago and I'm excited because I can feel it coming back.

Part of me frankly has been just tired but the other part, was me being a scaredy cat and being afraid to venture out into the "never done" category. I've been wanting to write a book for some time about gardening, recipes, and our farm with the goal of sharing what I am so passionate about. This weekend (only after a year or more of being a work in progress on my desktop), this proposal will be sent into editorial directors at a major publishing house. I'm excited but nervous. I had this weekend date circled as a goal in my planner last year, and coincidence or not- I'm going for it.

We will see where these crazy adventures take me. It may mean setting up my own brokerage and working with growers who share the same enthusiasm and ambition for success. I have customers and contacts that are pushing for this. It will also likely mean the farm expansion as we have more and more retail outlets waiting for our products. I also plan on keeping the Etsy shop well stocked. All things that I love to do and can have a clear conscience about.

Sorry if this was a little blunt and maybe a little too honest, but Spring can't come soon enough for this girl! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I hope you had a wonderful couple of Holidays. 

We had a wonderful Holiday season, with most of the Holiday being in snowy Chicago. The usual, staying downtown and then the suburbs, eating delicious food, and relaxing. Adam's sister, Erica, got engaged and they are planning a wedding in ITALY. I'm so excited to get back to Europe- possibly spend a few extra days traveling.. France!

Here are a few pics:

The Farm in the City, Adam's Aunt's

Our friend, Duncan the Clydesdale who lives at the Farm in the City

With a New Year, it is also a time for new beginnings.

The avoiding of food allergies is tough because soy (my main allergen) happens to be in nearly everything. I might be exaggerating a bit, but it is going to be a very rough, long year. I hope Adam enjoys some extra time at the farm because my other milder allergies are to most of the early season crops (carrots, peas, cucumbers, broccoli etc). I will be fine, I'm just using that excuse to get out of some things!

Other than that, we are busy planning for this upcoming year at Heritage Hill Farm (working out our CSA details for the upcoming year, ordering seeds and supplies) and in general just getting ancy to start growing and selling! 

We're also focused and working hard, so we can get going on the house building! Time will fly...