Posted in Alzheimer's, Growth, Inventory, Sales, Sourcing

Ready, Set, Execute!

Today, my sister and I went to a couple of stores to pick up patterns for the Alzheimer’s Fidget Apron and Cuff.

I have graph paper and I could make my own pattern, but I would rather adjust a pattern and save some time.  I was really determined this time to make a final choice.  I’ve looked at so many types on Pinterest (1,629 to be exact.)  The most important criteria will not only be ease of use, but also something that is totally different from what I see on Etsy.

There I sat, at JoAnn Fabrics, looking at 5 different brands of pattern books and something caught my eye in the Vintage Section!   Simplicity (8232) has a 1940’s-1960’s vintage pattern selection.  I found the perfect pattern that will need some minor adjustments.  It does not have a defined waist, but does have tie-backs that I will omit.  You place it over the head, with the neck being all one piece.

There is also another apron on the same pattern that is basically 2 different size hearts sewn together in a vertical pattern.  I might be able to use that around Valentine’s Day.  Again, just omit the tie-back.

I have quite a “collection,” (hoard) of material.  However, I did want to get an idea of what type material would be best for both the apron and cuff.  Washability will be primary.  Durability will be as well.

I found some solid blue, Cotton/Polyester Duck material.  It’s a primary color that will be easy to match with materials I already have.  It was on sale,  However, I needed a cheaper outlet; in order to max out my profit and compete with others on Etsy.

The second place is a recycle store where you can find just about anything that people might throw away.  That includes patterns and material.  The best part is that it is so cheap; and, they price it all per pound.  For $10, I was able to find more solid duck material in red, green and brown as well as the thread I would need.

While at JoAnns, I picked up a pattern for adult bibs.  Again, they slip easily over the head.  They are very basic.  Simplicity (2687).  I began brainstorming that I could make the Fidget Apron and the Adult Bib as a color coordinated set.  It wouldn’t take that much time and might escalate the profit margin even more.

Let me know what you think.  Should I just stick with the Fidget Aprons or should I make a color coordinated set with a bib?

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Alzheimer's, Growth, Inventory, Seasons, Time Management

Believe

It is another beautiful, fall day in the Midwest.  Our Eastern neighbors are evacuating because of Hurricane Florence.  Our Western neighbors are doing the same for Hurricane Olivia.  I’ve put chili in the crock pot and ready to dig through the “collections” which are scattered throughout my office.  I am trying to avoid using the word “hoard,” but I’m only fooling myself.

I honestly wanted to run out of there and do anything but this daunting task.  I keep remembering that I have a schedule I want to stick with to have my first prototype completed by the end of October.  While that seems like a long ways off, it really isn’t.  I’m seeing Christmas trees to remind me of this.

First, I went back upstairs to the attic thinking I had a few more boxes to go through.  Thankfully I don’t, because today is warmer than yesterday and it is an uncomfortable temperature up there.  I was also trying to ignore the pain in my back and arms from yesterday’s purge.

Back to the office where I sort through the “collection” of material I’ve amassed in the past decade.  I was happy to find more than just holiday material and believe I have enough to make at least 3 prototypes. Remember, it is only a hoard if I have no plans to use it.

My sister brought over some apron patterns to choose from and I’m close to deciding which one and how much material it will take for each.  I want one without ties that will simply go over the top of someone’s head and flatten at the neckline.  It’s important that it be easily removed by the caretaker.

On to the sewing notions I didn’t know I had.  I have enough beads, bias tape, elastic cording, Velcro, D-rings, lace and such that I was able to come up with several ideas on how to piece this together.  My sister and I agreed that I will definitely need lining to stiffen up the material in front, I’ll need to investigate just which product that will prop up all that I plan to attach to the apron.

What does all of this have to do with today’s blog title?  Well, as I sat in the center of my office, I was surrounded with all of these pieces to a puzzle that will be a Fidget Apron.  That feeling of being totally overwhelmed and thoughts of failing started to enter my mind.  Truly I’ve made it so that if I do fail, I’ve lost nothing but my time and a bit of pride.

Then I looked up and had forgotten I had leaned a picture against the wall a few days back.  It simply says “Believe”

 

 

 

 

Posted in Dresses, Growth, Inventory, Seasons, Sourcing, Thrift Shops, Uncategorized

Confessions of a Hoarder

Google defines hoarding as an act of amassing valuable items for future use.  Right under that definition was the definition for hoarding disorder.  I promise that my home will not be portrayed this year on an episode of “The Hoarders.” Nor will it be in “Better Homes and Gardens.” What I have is more like a collections of items.

Is there a difference?  Do the number of items matter; or, do the type of items?  I don’t believe it is a case of “this woman’s collection can be another woman’s garbage.”  Could it be clutter?  It absolutely could be if the items aren’t out for display.  Worse yet, if the items are stored neatly in a box or cupboard and not in use.

A perfect example is my collection of Tupperware.  My cupboards were filled with vintage pieces.   I was constantly adding to the collection as well as using the pieces.  Everything seemed perfect until I found many were not stackable, odd sized and not for use in the microwave.  They were literally falling out of my cupboards!

This collection turned into clutter.  Fast forward, I sold the items on Ebay or donated it.  I did keep a few pieces that were my mother’s.  Today, I have stackable containers that don’t fall out of cupboards.

I own a collection of depression era jade glassware which was given to me by a close friend. I have it prominently displayed along with my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s doilies.  They are really lovely to look at.

This, to me, is a collection.  However, I fear that my children will find it clutter and toss it.  What does one do with this type of collection that I believe is not clutter?

Last, I have a collection of mid-century dress patterns.  I know I will never use them.  I haven’t figured out a way to display them and they are neatly stored in a box.  This is hoarding.

I’ve decided to sell this collection on Etsy.  I really hate to as they are a piece of history that can never be replaced and I have enjoyed the time it took to collect them. A hoard is a hoard and hoarding can be looked at as selfish.

What type of collections do you have?  One that is displayed?  One whose use has expired and is now clutter?  One that has turned into a hoard?  Whatever the collection is, it meant something to us at one time.

What you do with your collection defines what it truly is and what it’s future will be.

 

Posted in Inventory, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Honor, Courage and Commitment

One of the things I love the most when helping a family declutter and combine homes.  Mom moves in with Son-in-Law and Daughter, the items that are gone through produce not only memories but snippets of stories from long ago.

We’ve all heard stories of young men going off to fight in WWII.  It was one of the few times that our country was totally behind our boys and willing to ration what they had to keep the war effort alive.  This war story is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.

It began with my friend bringing down a WWII Navy Uniform.  It is in PERFECT shape.  In fact, it appeared it had never been worn.  As far as we know, it was never worn in active service.  Curious?  I sure was.

Wayne and Marion were a young couple in the summer of 1944.  He was a butcher for a local grocery chain.  Marion stayed at home with their 3 children and that fall to have their 4th child.

One day in the summer of 1944, The draft board informed Wayne that his name and number had come up and to report to the local armory.   He must have passed his physical with flying colors because he was given his military required clothing (including the dress blues) and given a date to report.

I cannot imagine how Marion must have felt.  We hadn’t reached the 2 year anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  They had 3 young children at home.  The 4th might very well be born with her husband overseas.

In a strange turn of events, the War Department realized after a review of his Draft Card that they had made a mistake.  Wayne should have been given a III-B deferment.  Deferred because of dependents and engaged in work necessary to the national defense.

Needless to say, the formal blues were never worn by him.  His wife carefully stored the uniform and passed it on to her daughter who did the same.  Today it remains in perfect condition without any flaws – as if it were a piece waiting for a museum.

At this point, the family does not want to part with this proud piece of history.  I have not been able to find an actual comp for this uniform.  They’ve been worn, have names and awards attached, and have not been stored with the level of care this has.

This uniform really is the definition of “priceless.”

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inventory, Seasons, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

When Mom Moves In…

Our lives are full of seasons.  We begin with infancy, childhood, adulthood and end as a senior.  Families come together, in differing seasons for various reasons.  One that most women go through is sorting through their mother’s, father’s, grandparents and extended families items.

It is so much worse when it’s done after a sudden and emotional death.  In this case, I am helping my best friend go through the items her mother has accumulated over the years.  Items that were her mother’s parent’s, some from her childhood, throughout her marriage, after the death of her spouse as well as retirement.  This is one of the jobs I enjoy so much.

As we go through linens, china, glass and metal ware not only do I hear their deliberations on whether to keep/sell/trash the items, but the rich history this family has.  I mainly sell current men’s and women’s fashion, but my true love is lifetime treasures.

At times, it seem overwhelming because of the amount of memories we have to go through.  Roomfuls that are not sorted in any certain way, though I suspect if I asked either one of the ladies they would know exactly where the piece is.  For someone who has never done this before, it is good to have an experienced friend to help.  I am detached from all of the items and worry sometimes that I sound “cold.”

There are times though, when the decisions are heart-wrenching.  Do memories trump cash?  Does the extra space mean more than the memories that the space takes up?  Will they regret the decision years later.  I cannot see into the future and don’t own a crystal ball.  All I can do is give them is an estimate if the item was sold today.    I encourage them not to try to second guess themselves; that the first thought is usually the best one.

This particular family has a good repore with one another and the mother-daughter relationship is especially close.  The only real discourse has been to keep an item which is full of memories and try to find a place for it or to sell it for a large amount of money.  If kept, to pass it down to future generations with an explanation on the history of said item.

The greatest amount of stress seems to be the timeline that has been attached to the project.  We always have good intentions but we do not realize how long it takes to go through each item.  I assure we will get it done and I never suggest blindly throwing boxes into a dumpster without a thorough going through.  While it might move things along quicker, it is not getting the job done.  It is giving into stress and essentially giving up on the project.

Once this is all over, the family be satisfied and relieved.  They’ve kept the best items, sold/donated/threw away the others and have much more organization and room.  The time was well spent, sharing memories and stories that can be passed down.  Best of all, the knowledge that while there is a great amount of change the family can truly settle in again, when mom moves in.

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL