I pretty much stopped doing my Cute Threads business when I had Ella. I still made the odd thing here or there, but my rack was sparse and I was telling people I'd start again one day, but not sure when.
A few months ago, several of my friends convinced me to start again.
My friend Lori got me to do two local shows (one at a fundraiser for a co-op nursery school and one at a local synagogue for members), neither of which were very successful. At the first fundraiser, there were about ten vendors, and they placed me two tables away from the other tie dye kids' clothing table. And her stuff was really trendy, so she made $750 (I heard her checking out with the organizer) and I made $150. My stuff is WAY nicer, totally unique, but people don't want unique. They want what they see in stores and what they see all over the place.
The second fundraiser was better, even though I made less money. It wasn't because people were buying trendy stuff, it was because nobody was really buying and there was a shitty turnout...
Tonight I did my first house party. I was hesitant, but agreed because Lori arranged it and said the house was perfect, etc. Lori sells Melissa and Doug stuff discounted and she also sells jewelry that she makes AND picture frames. I thought it was going to be me and Lori. I walked in and there was a woman setting up layette stuff; onesies, blankets, hats, socks...really cute. But it was fucking kid clothes. I have newborn stuff. I don't understand why if there is any other vendor, my stuff doesn't sell. My prices are very reasonable, my stuff is awesome (not being biased, people always tell me how great it is) but it just doesn't sell.
I agreed to do one more fundraiser and I made the organizer guarantee me that there wouldn't be any other tie dye OR kid clothing vendors. She was happy to guarantee me and said she heard my stuff was great and she was glad I agreed to do it. She actually tried getting me last year, but she called the night we put Alabama to sleep and I couldn't focus. Anyway...
I came home with sixty bucks tonight, and that's from the hostess of the party tonight. I would have charged her less, but she booked the other woman, which totally pissed me off. That's all I sold. THE WHOLE TIME.
My website is horribly outdated, I need to photograph all the super cool things I've made recently and get that back up and running. At least I'll have someplace to display my stuff to people who are interested.
It took so much for me to start working again. I was fearful of the rejection I felt in the past. It took me a while to build up my business and it was doing great when I stopped.
It's not the economy, because people were buying tons of Lori's shit. And people bought from that other woman tonight too, albeit very few things.
I'm aggravated and insulted. I feel like a loser. I feel like maybe I'm delusional, but I know I'm not because people are seriously always saying how much they love my stuff and how they want to order stuff, blah blah blah.
On the way home just now I was thinking about throwing myself a house party, with all my friends and their friends. I know the turnout would be huge. I could get rid of my kids for the night or I could have them stay in the basement or upstairs for most of the time. I am really thinking about doing this...also this way if someone wants something that I don't have on the rack, I can show them the size in a blank or I can show them a fabric, etc. in the basement. I just think maybe that would get my confidence back up and put things back the way they were. But if I did all that and still didn't sell anything, I think I'd just fucking totally give up.
Oh, the first fundraiser I did, the one with the other tie dye table? The girls who own that business approached me to do their dyeing for them! They wanted peace symbols and guitars and stars, because they outsource all their dyeing (which is fucking ugly) and they were totally impressed with my mad dye skillz.
I wanted to come home and talk to Robert about it, for him to tell me how beautiful my stuff is (because that's one thing he actually does), but for the first time EVER, I got home early AND everyone is sound asleep. I'm in shock. I never got home this early from a home party and the kids have never all been sleeping.
And I've got a splitting headache.
And I ate like a total animal at the party, like two dozen pigs in blankets, half a pound of cheese and four brownies.
And I only went to the gym once this week.
I totally hate myself right now.