Let's chat about my shifting mindset for the season, and what new projects I'm bringing to life for my handmade clothing business! ✨
Every season I have a lil meeting with myself to check in on my mentality and upcoming projects... it helps me realign my work with my values and with the word that I chose for the year (it's "Depth" for 2023).
I've wrapped this up into a video, audio file, and blog post, so choose your own adventure below !⬇️⬇️
As we transition into a new season, it's essential for me to set the right mindset and know my intentions for my handmade clothing business. I believe that each season is an opportunity to evaluate, grow, and refocus. So, what's my outlook for this fall?
Embracing the Flow 🌊
I'm envisioning this season as a river flowing swiftly. It's been gathering momentum throughout the year, and I want to ride that current without adding too much chaos. While I have countless ideas swirling in my head, I'm determined to avoid scattering my energy and focus!!
A mantra that resonates with this intention is one of simplicity: "I am enough." I'm learning to embrace sufficiency in various aspects of my life...
Firstly, I'm trying to sit with the concept that I have enough financially. I am a graduate student running a small handmade business, often with income at or below the poverty level, but I am also a great saver and I have a lot of support systems around me, and I have enough financial education to propel me forward. Is it okay to say that I have enough money? It certainly feels weird to say...
I have enough money...
I have... enough money... And that's okay to say out loud. But it is also REALLY hard to say out loud for some reason, especially when you don't make tons of money. But I'm trying to get comfortable saying it anyway.
I also have enough things. Going into the fall and the holiday season, and into the new year when there's like all this self-improvement mindset, I'm just trying to remember that I have enough things. And I don't need more things to become a better person, a more likable person or anything like that.
I'm trying to get on board telling myself that I know enough. I'm 29 and I feel like most of my twenties I've spent feeling like I don't know enough about anything. I don't know enough about the world, I don't know enough about how people in the world treat each other or other animals. I don't know enough about how to run a small business. I don't know enough about how to sew or be an expert in something.
Maybe it's just because I'm almost 30, or maybe I'm just starting to feel overeducated from academia, or I'm overwhelmed by the mass volume of information slapping me in the face from all angles of the internet...
But I am starting to feel like now after having a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and partially through a PhD program, having a lot of work experience, and running a business for about 3 years, I just want to proudly and confidently scream "ENOUGH!!" I've learned so much. There's always going to be so much more to learn. I'm so excited to keep learning, but also acknowledging... I know enough information. I don't need to keep eating information like I'm starving for it. Instead, this era is about being confident with how much I already know about the world and things.
I invite you to consider your own intentions and mindset for this season, too! Remember, you are enough, and this season is an opportunity to focus on what truly matters to you.
Project 1: Plant-Dyed Linen Fabric
One of the most exciting projects I have in motion is related to my plant-dyed linen fabric. For the past year and a half, I've been selling bundles of plant-dyed linen scraps that are perfect for various creative projects, from quilting to art journaling. These bundles have been a hit, and I'm thrilled to announce that I'm expanding my offerings...
Now, you can purchase plant-dyed linen fabric by the yard, which opens up endless possibilities for larger projects like clothing and pillows. This project is made possible by the investments I've made in the necessary equipment for plant dyeing, I've got a whole wetlab situation happening in my studio!
I'm starting with three beautiful colors: Cutch PINK, a delicate, dusty pink from a special plant; a medium indigo BLUE; and a calming, soft GRAY dyed with black tea and iron sulfate. It's a rare find on the internet, and I can't wait to see what you create with it!
Project 2: PDF Sewing Patterns
The next big project that has been in the works for a while is the introduction of PDF sewing patterns for my clothing designs. The first pattern I'm offering is for the "CANARY" shirt which has been a bestseller on my made-to-measure section of my website. Creating sewing patterns has been a challenging endeavor, as there are many more technical aspects than I anticipated! I'm so glad to have had the pattern tested by many other home-sewists to ensure it's user-friendly and accurate!
The launch is planned for late October 24th, 2023, and I'm currently working on an effective marketing strategy to get everyone as pumped for it as I am! I'm SOOO excited to see people create their own versions of my designs.
Project 3: Handmade Arcade Market
On December 1st and 2nd, I'll be selling in-person at the Handmade Arcade market in Pittsburgh, one of the largest holiday handmade markets in the area! I participated in this event last year and had a fantastic experience. I'll be focusing on creating scarves, which were a big hit at the market last year. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to interact with customers in person, as it's always a rewarding experience to receive real-time feedback and connect with people who appreciate handmade, eco-conscious products.
Project 4: YouTube Channel
Last but not least, my YouTube channel is a project I'll continue to focus on this fall. I'm reeeeally trying to be committed to posting one video per week and improving my skills with each one. Although speaking to the camera can feel a REAL strange, it's feeling like a valuable skill for being better at clear and concise communication.
I appreciate the real-time feedback and compliments I receive from my YouTube community! It's motivating and energizing, and I'm excited to grow my channel in the coming months.
What I'm Not Focusing On🚫:
While I have plenty on my plate, there are a couple of things I'm intentionally not prioritizing this fall.
Clothing sales, particularly made-to-measure clothing, can be slower during the fall, so I won't invest much energy in marketing them. I think it's a little bit slower because made-to-measure clothing isn't super gift-able and people don't tend to think of linen as a winter fabric (although I highly disagree!! Its amazing for temp regulation and wearing in layers- I wear mine year round). I WILL still be totally open for new sales up until early December (when I take a holiday break until the new year) but I WONT be putting energy into marketing much.
Additionally, I'm not prioritizing Instagram growth, as I've found other ways to reach my audience. While Instagram has been a valuable platform for my brand in the past, several factors have led me to rethink its role in my marketing strategy for the upcoming season, primarily the sheer chaos of short-form content. Instagram's algorithm presents content in a fast-paced, random sequence, making it challenging to maintain a meaningful and coherent conversation with my audience. The constant shift from serious world news to personal updates and entertainment can be jarring and I hate thinking about my much loved creations being smashed between news about war and a photo of someone else's baby with food smeared on it's face. No spot on the internet seems to escape this completely, but I'm at least aiming for more long-form meaningful interactions!
For you... 🖤
I want to remind you that you are exactly where you're meant to be. You are enough, you have enough, and you know enough for exactly where you are at on your journey. And I'm grateful to have you here with me.
I wish you a calm, lovely, FUN, and inspirational fall season!