Monday, January 31, 2011

The "Studio" Gets Organized

This weekend I was finally able to get my sewing space organized. I use the term "studio" lightly, as its really just the second bedroom in our tiny, rented townhouse. It also serves as my dressing room (as it holds my closet with all of my shoes and clothes), the laundry room (as it has the washer & dryer), our guest bedroom (as it has a single bed pull out couch), and general storage catch-all (as it currently has the box for a our new 47" TV that is waiting to be brought to the real storage unit!).

A few months ago, I put up shelves with bins (from Home Depot - the bins are Martha Stewart Living and in Love Elaine branding colors) for all of my fabric, and I bought a rod with hanging containers from Ikea (love it there!) to put on the wall to hold my scissors, rotary cutters, pens, zippers, etc. to get them off of my sewing table to leave more room for fabric as I'm mid-project. I finally put the rod up this weekend and I couldn't be happier. I also put up 2 clip-boards ($2 each from Target) - one to hold the notes about the current project I'm working on and my pattern, and the other for my current orders. I also can't forget the wall-mounted, magnetic "pin cushion" (also from Ikea). The one I was using on my sewing table previously always used to get lost under fabric scraps and projects in process, so I love that this one never gets lost and its really easy to access with only one hand as I'm holding pieces of a project together with the other.

So, there's a glimpse into my "studio." I'd love to know how you've organized your sewing or crafting space.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2010 Holiday Recap

I know, its January 26th, and I'm a bit late in providing a Holiday Recap. But, in a word, the 2010 Holiday season would be described as "ABSOLUTELY INSANE BUT I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!!" Ok, so maybe I needed more than a single word to describe the roller coaster that was my handmade life from October through December 24. Yes, you read that right, things were absolutely crazy right until the day before Christmas. Why were things so crazy, you ask? Here is a quick recap of the holiday cheer that Love Elaine helped spread for Christmas 2010.

35 Christmas Trees stood proudly with new Christmas Tree Skirts
10 Very lucky women opened presents from loved ones that contained a unique, handmade bag
7 Equally lucky women now have a new apron to bake lots of homemade treats for next Christmas
6 Doors were decked with fabric wreaths that sold as quickly as I was able to make them
25 Bottles of Wine and good cheer were given inside a Love Elaine wine bag
20 Jewelry bags made their way to new homes

I know, you are thinking, well that doesn't sound like so much to keep you so busy. And, you would be right. Because, I was soo busy taking orders, calling Mom, ordering new fabric, and shipping the...

175 Christmas Stockings that were hung by the chimney with care this year. 175, its not a typo. Each stocking was custom made to order for the 100+ new customers in my Etsy shop.

Did I mention that I started a new job in October at an Advertising Agency, and that I worked full time hours + during all of this? Yeah, I don't know how I survived it either.

The good news? Sales of the popular tree skirts and the addition of customized stockings grew sales by 350% from 2009 to 2010. I'd say that is VERY good news :)

And last, but not least...

Thank you!

Thank you first to my Mom, without whom Love Elaine would not be possible :) And thank you to all of my friends, family and new customers that have supported Love Elaine and have given me the confidence to keep the momentum going.

Please stay tuned - there is lots in store (at least in my mind right now) for 2011, which is sure to be Love Elaine's best year yet!