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.


Leigh Ann Tennant said...

Good for you for figuring out what is right for you and your family, and having the courage to do it! Change isn't easy, but you'll find peace when you listen to yourself. You'll never regret taking more time for family!

Amanda said...

This is a random comment, but I got on your site because I bought one of your designs second-hand at a Bham kids consignment sale, then when I saw your name on your blog site I recognized it! I am pretty sure I bought my Singer Futura from you second-hand about 4 years ago. Anyway, I love your designs! I sew & embroider (obviously) for my two kids and am impressed that you've held up a thriving business for so long! I only sew during naps! Good luck to you in the future!