Monday, March 14, 2011

Seeing the light

This is the longest I've ever gone without posting to this blog. There's good reason of course - trunk shows, fulfilling orders and getting ready for Cottontails Village again with very little notice. Tonight I finally just had to sit down and do a little writing after doing a lot of thinking.

In the 5 years that I've been in this business, I've changed directions a few times. My end goal was the same each time, but my method of sales has changed quite a bit. I've gone from online, to trunk shows, to wholesale, back to trunk shows to craft shows, back to trunk shows, then to buying a store and selling there while doing trunk shows and craft shows. Whoa.

After taking a break for fall 2010, I was ready to go with a fabulous spring line in January 2011. This was going to be the biggest yet! I was going to really blow it out of the water by hiring sales reps and pushing the line more than ever. Well, here we are three months in and I honestly can't sugar coat this anymore....I'm miserable.

I'm up to my eyeballs in orders which is fabulous! I'm so thankful for my wonderful customers - especially the loyal ones that have continued to order from me season after season. The part that makes me miserable is this:
"Pre-Charlie" I would have been as happy as a lark, sewing all night every night until my little heart was content. But now, when I come home from the store at the end of the day, I can't (and don't want to) go upstairs and sew all night long. I've already missed so much of the first 7 months of his life sewing up orders, preparing for shows and working my fingers to the bone. Simply put - I can't do it anymore. So, now I have an end goal in sight to finish all of my current orders and put this Spring 2011 season to rest as my final season.

There. I said it.

I hope this doesn't come across as ungrateful, because that is not the case at all. This has been a very successful season and for that I am very thankful. But, my priorities at this point in my life are my marriage and my child and I can't put them first with so many other things on my plate. (Please don't forget I have a brick and mortar store to run also.)

So, here are my plans for Sweet Dreams Designs.

We had a FABULOUS turnout at Cottontails Village this year. You may remember from my 2009 post, I had really decided that doing that type of thing was what I really loved and wanted to do. However, I didn't get back in for 2010 for their Christmas show or Easter. Well, this year they accepted me again only 5 weeks before the show. And while it was very stressful getting ready for it, we had a very successful show and were invited back for their Christmas Show (Christmas Village as well as Cottontails Village for 2012! I'm absolutely thrilled!

So, while I won't be doing trunk shows anymore, I will continue to design and make clothing for the store which I will occasionally put online and I will definitely be back with a TON of fabulous BOY clothing for Christmas Village (November 2-6) and Cottontails Village (March 2012). I also plan to continue making custom items as well as pageant clothing for my dear pageant girls! (You know who you are! (-:)

It feels good to get all of this out in the open. I sincerely do thank all of you who have attended and hosted trunk shows each season. I appreciate you more than you know and I hope you understand my decision to take things a little slower and focus on my family - the most important thing in my life.