Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inspiration Spreads Like Wildfire ~ "There's Always Room" for Michelle Ward


Welcome to the second portion of "Inspiration Spreads Like Wildfire" !! This article is going to focus on someone who inspires me, rocks the house, and is full of wonderful information for newbie business starters like myself (and maybe you too)!

When I decided to open up my own Etsy store, I signed up for their helpful newsletter. In one of these newsletters they did an interview with one of my newest favorite people and bloggers Michelle Ward. She's a certified life coach with a pretty cool background. She originally started her carreer with a major in musical theater from NYU. She even made an appearance on "Saturday Night Live"! After realizing that's not what she wanted anymore, re-invented herself to become what her heart desired - to be a life coach. Read more of her story HERE!

 Not only is she a life coach, she coaches people through figuring out what they want to do when they "grow up". Now I'm 23 and consider myself pretty "grown up", but that's the point! I'm 23 and totally not doing what I wanted to do when I grow up(or wasn't until now at least).

Watching that interview and reading her blog has set a fire of "I THINK I CAN" under my hiney and has gotten me more organized and confident in my business. In fact her post There's Always Room (seriously for real read this if you are considering doing your own thing. It's my FAVORITE) inspired me to write the first edition of Inspiration Spreads Like Wildfire. Not only did I start that, but found it so wonderful I have turned it into a series! It will come out periodically to share what or who inspires me. This girl is where is starts my friends.

If you are interested in truly finding or doing what you want to do when you grow up, Michelle should be your second hand lady! Her words are fresh (like who says "Amazeballs"), and seasoned (she has experience and is licensed in coaching people like us). Also, every post that I have read since I've began to follow her has been interesting and/or informative. There are no dud posts with this one.

It's so incredible how a total stranger can change your outlook, attitude, or life just by a few posts. She certainly has done that for me and I highly encourage you to check her out; Let her Inspiration Spread Like Wildfire to your neck of the woods. You may be surprised what you find out about yourself, what you want, and unleash what you are totally capable of!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up ~ The endless scarf and Successful Donations

The never ending scarf!

This weekend has been slam packed full of adventure! SouthBARK's fundraiser was a success. I got my donation to them just in the nick of time for the silent auction. I am very excited to be able to support the cause.

 Also, I added several inches to the Celtic Cable Scarf. This thing is so beautiful but seems to go on forever and ever.. and ever… and ever! :) It's a very detailed pattern that has been quite time consuming but I am super pleased with the way it is turning out. I think my customer will be very happy with the final outcome.

AND I got another big order over the weekend. I can't wait to get it started for them. It's so flattering every single time someone decides to support my business and place and order! I'm so thrilled to have a new customer. They have requested:

This is not my work but a photo from the pattern. Link to pattern above.

One blue set.

This is not my work but the photo off of the pattern. Link to pattern above.

My schedule is really starting to fill up for projects. I've gotten several inquiries about the bearded beanie as well. (this is one pattern I'm considering using but not sure yet) With working full time, it's near impossible to take the orders and build a stock for Etsy at the same time but I'm so greatful for the interest. If things continue to be so successful I will be able to jump to part time job and more time Innov8ive Knits before I thought possible.

On the personal side of life, I had 2 of my favorite people by my side at a bridal event: Weddings to Bragg About. We had a great time even though it was packed. I got a lot of good information and vendor contacts while were there as well. It's a great event but thank goodness I don't have to go again. It was so full of people I could hardly hear myself think!

That's it for this weekend's wrap-up. Look out for posts in the near future on the second segment of Inspiration spreds like wildfire on one my favorite bloggers, and another on projects I have in my crosshairs!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Inspiration spreads like wildfire.

Not once as a kid growing up or in college when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life did I ever say, "I want to be in sales! I want to work under someone else and be told what to do." I always said something along the lines of: live on the moon! be a movie star! start my own business! But I found myself doing the desk jockey dance. Now don't get me wrong, I'm so blessed to have a job but it's not life on the moon.

I eventually came to a point where I realized HEY this is MY LIFE! Why spend what little time I have on this world slaving over the motions and doing what I feel like I have to do?!?! I don't HAVE to do anything (well except eat and sleep of course). I get up every morning and DECIDE what to do, DECIDE how to feel, DECIDE where my life goes today. That's the moment I made a conscious decision to truly DECIDE where I take my life. That's how Innov8ive Knits was born.

At first I was hesitant to tell anyone about it. I was so scared to put myself out there for criticism; to hear that my ideas might not be as great as I think; that it may never amount to anything. But I did gain the courage and was blown away by the responses. There are so many people out there dying to float away from the mundane and live the life they imagined as a child. The life they wanted before the world poisoned them into thinking it should be something else; that dreams and creativity are unacceptable. I never knew that so many people (several very close to me) were secretly dreaming of so much more beyond their patients or computer screens when they go home at night.

I am proud to say that in my efforts to chase my dream (however this may turn out), Innov8ive Knits has inspired others around me (whom shall remain nameless until they are ready to shout it to the world themselves) to follow after their own hearts.

Can you imagine how wonderful the world would be if inspiration like this spread like wildfire? Like dominoes; one person after another until the entire universe was full of people who were pursuing their dreams? What a wonderful place this would be if every soul were fulfilling their true purpose!

I encourage you to evaluate-I mean right NOW. If you aren't doing what you want, DECIDE to do it. Whether it be full time, on the weekends, or your lunch break if that's the only time you can. Let the wildfire take you over and show the world you aren't a robot. Show the world what you really want to do, you may be surprised with the outcome. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up ~ Wine Tasting

I've decided to start a new weekly series in my blog to keep you all in the know for specifically what is going on with the business: future projects, current projects, accomplishments, art shows I will be participating in, etc. This way you will ALWAYS be on the Inside of Innov8ive Knits.

This week for the Weekend Wrap-Up I want to talk about an organization near and dear to my heart that Innov8ive Knits will be helping out on the 28th (that's this coming Sunday)!  This organization is called SouthBARK. This is a great group of local people helping shelter dogs from becoming euthanized. I have 2 shelter dogs of my own and would have 100 more if I could handle it. They are so wonderful and I am very excited to be able to contribute to lengthening an innocent dog's life.

SouthBARK is doing a Wine Tasting next weekend to raise money to bennifit these dogs and help them survive until they are able to have a safe, permanent home. At this wine tasting there will be hors d'ouvres, silent auctions, raffles, an art show featuring local artists, and of course wine! To help contribute Innov8ive Knits will be donating a pair of precious baby booties for the silent auction.
Currently sells for $30.00

If you are in the area you should really check this out! It's a great cause and it will be full of fun things to look at, bid on, or purchase from vendors. There's a $25 fee for wine tasting and goodies for your belly. If you have a love for animals, come show your support and have a good time. Plus, if you haven't had the chance to yet hopefully you can get to meet the artist- ME!

Tunic Time - A gift for my inner "Diva"

This weekend I finally wrapped up a project I have had on the sidelines for some time now. In all the hustle of life and starting my business it has been hibernating on the side. When you work on a project for so long (close to 6 months) it starts to lose it's shine and I had basically gotten tired of looking at it until it got finished and I got to (finally) see it in all its glory the way it was meant to be seen- instead of in a project bag on needles. I must admit it was one of the most simple of projects as far as a garment goes that I've ever done. Which may have contributed to why it took so long because it is massive and… well kind of a boring knit. It would be a great first clothing project for a new knitter.

The finished product is quite pleasing, and although I'm usually not a big fan of purple I really like it here. Not to mention since I generally don't like purple it's a unique and different addition to my wardrobe. Being a knitted garment, it likes to cling to all the great curvy spots you don't want anyone to know exists but a nice accent belt cleans that up nicely and gives it a better shape (there is no waist/hip shaping in this pattern so it's pretty blocky here).

Pattern: Diva Tunic

Guest apperance by Romeo


Me and my photographer/fiance :)

I would have gone outside and taken much better pictures but if you aren't from the area it's 100 degrees outside and 80% humidity here. By the time I walked from my door and down 3 flights of stairs to somewhere good to do a shoot, I would be so sweaty I'd look like I just jumped out of the pool. Needless to say, that's so not happening. Maybe when the fall comes around we will do another.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Do It Yourself Photo Studio

Since I've started promoting my work and have purchased a nice camera to help out, I have even more realized the importance of having excellent pictures. I've been reading through "How to make money using Etsy" by Timothy Adam on my free time (yeah right... what free time???) and it touched on making your own inexpensive photo box for small items. Since most of my items are small in nature I thought, well this would be a good investment. After Googling and researching for a while I found this blog DIY $10 Photo Studio. My fiance has been out of town for some time and as soon as he came home this was on his Honey Do list. I brought a big gently used box from my shipping warehouse from the day job and told him to get to work... This is what I get for asking a man to do a cheap quick project-- before I knew it we were in Home Depot buying wood and nails and cutting and hammering!! What started out as a flimsy, thrifty project turned into an all in project. lol

Although this is a little on the grander scale of what I was thinking, I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I do believe though that because of the size (to accommodate my hat display we made) of the box, I will end up needing 2 spotlights instead of just one. The pictures are turning up a little dark, which I have fixed in editing. Here's a small run through of the modifications we used:

  • particle board cut to 2 different dimensions for the back and base of the box
  • 1x2 board cut to frame the front/sides/top of the box
  • 2 yards of cheap cotton from a craft store (much like white t-shirt fabric) to line the top and sides of the box to control and disperse light accordingly attached with thumb tacks
  • 1 yard of heavy duty white lining fabric. I am not a seamstress, so my verbiage of fabric is not excellent but its a super stiff/thick fabric used for the back of drapes. We had an incredibly hard time finding a piece of thick paper big enough to line the inside that was under $25.00 and this feels like the stuff in a real photo studio. we taped it to the top from the inside with scotch tape so I could remove it and wash or iron it as necessary.
  • also, we extended the boards on top so you can attach a clamp light onto the back for easy lighting arrangement
End result (photos from the box):

Oh and did I mention that I got my custom clothing labels in?!?!  I am so thrilled with how they came out and think they will play a great role in advertisement and branding. Make it easier for people to remember where their "favorite" scarf or hat came from for repeat business. :) If you want some for yourself they came from here: Custom Clothing Labels . They did an excellent job and are the best price from anywhere else I could find! The only downside is that they take a terribly long time to come in... and by terribly long time is like 3-5 weeks which isn't really terrible especially because they tell you that on the website so you know to expect it.

All in all, I'm overly satisfied with it. It will take me some time to get used to it.

On an unrelated note, I got my first official payment from my first happy customer!!!  Hopefully several more are close behind!

-Chasing the dream- Tiffany

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Order Up! (And photoshoot too!)

When I actually have time (between the day job, dogs, cooking dinner, planning a wedding, and sleeping when necessary) to work on projects and promote my new business, things are really starting to pick up! I have taken my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th custom orders as well as getting a couple of interested prospects. (just because 2 of the orders are from the same person doesn't mean it's not it's own order :-D ).  If things keep up the way they have I will have to start actually writing these down just to stay on track. I can't explain the pride and sheer flattery that come along with someone other than myself saying that they think my work is valuable. I would have never imagined that Innov8ive Knits would have done as well as it has, even on the small scale that it is on.

In addition to the mild success I have had lately, I invested in a good photographing camera. A new camera has been placed into our wedding budget by my fiance and I for our honeymoon and other important things that come after a wedding. We didn't plan on getting a camera until much closer to the date (March 12th) until I really decided to follow my heart and open Innov8ive Knits. With so much of the business being web based via Etsy and Facebook it has occurred to me that my work is no better than the pictures I can take of them to share with the world. So we went ahead and splurged and man am I pleased! We invested in a Nikon D3100 and it has so many buttons I hardly know what to do with myself but man this thing is great! I am really starting to get the chance to give my art the justice it deserves. Here are some photographs from my first shoot on the dino-hawk hat!

This on is my favorite

I also finished another newborn cable hat today in green, that will go up as a Facebook exclusive sale before it hits Etsy in the grand opening. This weekend I am starting on one of the custom orders to hopefully have it done just in time for baby! It was a special customer request per a pattern found on Etsy. I will post pictures of that soon.

It is so exciting to watch things bloom. I can't wait to see  what happens next.

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