Tuesday, June 9, 2009

one flew the nest!

Oh goodness, where do I even start?! I have gotten a little behind on updates, because there has been so much I haven't had time to sit down! Things are finally up and running on Etsy. I got everything posted to the site two nights ago, so it hasn't been long enough to judge how it's going yet. However, there have been some other users who've added me as their favorite and one who has included me in their treasury. (If you use Etsy, you'll know what I'm talking about.) It's so nice to have everything on there - all the photos uploaded, all the clothing descriptions written, all the items priced, all the text typed in. It was definitely an accomplishment! The only thing that remains is my custom banner, which should be coming this week.

The biggest, most measurable achievement, though (and the one that still has a cloud of excitement around it) has been selling two pieces of clothing to Boris and Natasha, an upscale, reputable clothing boutique in Charlotte's Plaza-Midwood. Last week, Heather and I packed up a suitcase (green vintage, grabbed last minute from the thrift store) with all of the finished pieces and toted everything to the owner, Hope. Heather had already stopped by wearing the tangerine Odetta the Owl sweater to see what we needed to do to get Inhabit in the shop. Hope loved the top and said to bring everything in right away!

When we left Boris and Natasha, two tops were tagged, marked with a price, and hanging to be sold. It felt like I was leaving two of my children behind at summer camp, and I thought about them alone there all night. "Sophie's Weekend Blouse" is still hanging in the store (at least it was Saturday when I went back to visit), but "Sophie's Button Collection Tank" found a new home less than 24 hours after I left her!

Hope, owner of Boris & Natasha, wearing "Sophie's Button Collection Tank," my first sold piece! 
It went great with the flash of pink in her hair!

Other than me still reeling from my first sale, a lot of other good things came from this visit to Boris and Natasha. Hope gave me lots of tips for what sells best in her store, so I'll know what to bring next time. (She wants to keep featuring pieces from Verabelle!) We also learned that our pricing was on target, which was a relief. And we discussed some publicity ideas, as well (don't want to spoil any surprises yet, but I'll keep you updated!).

Today, Heather and I had a meeting with the Small Business Association for a representative to review our business plan draft for a small business loan. We're not quite ready to approach the banks yet, but now we know what we have left to work on. That felt like another big thing taken care of. It was also really great to see someone very outside our realm (and target market) respond well to my business idea and all its phases. In fact, I could sense his excitement gaining the more he learned!

So instead of being at the brink as I was before, now things are running, maintaining... as in... we're in business! We've hit a small lull as these big tasks have been completed and, for now, I'm back to designing, sewing, and finally... sleeping! But plateaus are also a good place to regain speed, and that is also what we're doing - preparing for the next big step.... T-shirts!

Shop girl, Amy, modeling "Sophie's Weekend Blouse." I didn't have time to get photos of models in either of these pieces before they were sold, so this is the only chance you'll have to see them!

A shot of the acorn on the shoulder. I really do love my choice of stitching for this one!

There's little Sophie, hanging out with her new friends! Stop by and say "hello," and tell her that her mommy misses her!

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