Friday, October 5, 2018

DIY M.A.

As it turns out, one has to have all kinds of information and knowledge about businessy stuff, when thinking of growing from a microscopical business to a small business. So, I've looked into my options and figured out that the best thing for me is not to do an official degree on anything, but rather custom build my education from different sources available around me. So far, it's been a wonderful learning curve and I'm crazy grateful for all the opportunities that just seem to fall in my lap. And, I'm realizing that the unfinished Masters degree waiting for me in Helsinki has totally helped me in what I'm doing now. It's all about the same things, just in a different package. Here's a little list of my DIY business schooling from the past year, maybe it'll inspire you, or at least make me feel like I've accomplished something ;)

-Attending online marketing/ SEO/ social media/ bookkeeping classes at the local Small Business Center
-Meeting regularly with an awesome (and free!) business coach at the local Small Business Center
-Looking into hiring a social media marketing strategist
-Building a new, better website with my sweet brother
-Building a better e-commerce site with professionals
-Taking a workshop at the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, NC, about the world of Cut&Sew (may I say, that was freakishly super important and cool and perfect!)
-Attending the Makers Summit in Greenville, SC
-Moving to a new studio space with people who are waaaay ahead of the game in being business owners
-Attending the meetings of a local, self made, Makers Collective in Brasstown every couple of months
-Taking the step to become an LLC
-Designing and prototyping new products to have a wider variety of clothing and price points
-Listening to audiobooks, youtubers and podcasts about being a business owner, creator, maker, grower and a fierce brave bad ass
-Taking care of myself by doing healthy things like not eating sugar, going to bed & waking up early and doing pilates twice a week
-Making sure my kids have a nice day care / school situation so that my time is also divided clearly between work time and family time

The list does look longer than I thought, and it feels great! Also, maybe you noticed that most of the things on this list are things that involve other people. It's one of the huge revelations of the past year - to grow, I need professional help and cooperation with other people! Most of my peers and fellow crafts people do make everything by them selves, and that's a whole other way of seeing all this. I need to step away from that, and bravely go where not so many of my friends or family members have gone before! It's so exciting and so scary and so satisfying!

Now, I'm off to the wonderful Fall Festival at the John C. Campbell Folkschool! I'll have a shared booth there, and I cant wait to see what people thing about the new products!



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Planning the future!

As the babies get older and my ambition grows bigger, I start being more aware of my options and goals in this next chapter in my life. I am crazy exited to learn about the different sides of business, and feel so lucky to have people around me who I can ask help from. It's like everybody's my teacher! There's the Small Business Center with free coaching and classes, there's YouTube full of tutorials and lectures, there's the friend who went to business schools and opened his own successful business, there's the jewelry designer who works across the hall from my studio, there's all the other crafter friends who are on their own paths, there's my brother who's starting his business, there's all the nice audio books about doing ones thing... I could just go on and on! So there's a trend happening in my life, and among my friends, and it either wasn't there before, or I just didn't see it. Anyway, I'm so very happy that there's help out there, because it's not easy or simple to grow a tiny company!

Right now it's time to start planning for the fall, and even though sometimes it feels like it's far away, I know it's coming up so fast. We'll again spend the whole summer in Finland, and this time I'm taking work with me in a different way. Not only observing and supporting other small businesses by shopping their clothes, but by going to Fashion Weeks and meeting with people from the scene. I'm starting to take myself and the business more seriously, and it feels super good.

The goals are way high, (and I still feel shy about talking about them) but then again, what's the point of aiming low, right? ;) My ambition comes from a place of abundance and love, and gratitude for being the lucky duck that I am. I'm turning my privileged life into something meaningful, beautiful and good, and will make most out of the chances that have been given to me. Cheers to that!



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Unity Shirts Photo Shoot!!

What a day with some amazing ladies! A pro photographer (Cory Marie Podielski), a pro make up artist (Misty Kelischek) and two crazy gorgeous friends who agreed to model for the photo shoot! I'm a lucky lady with such a dream team around to help with my business!

After naming the print "Unity", I got inspired to ask my beautiful friends Hannah and Molly to be the models. They are identical twins, and love each other like no other. I know Hannah (the one with the big hair) from living close to her here in Brasstown and dancing with in the same group of ladies (with our wooden cloggs on!). She's a yoga teacher, ayurvedic counselor, a potter and a singer/songwriter. Molly works as a postpartum doula. It was so cool to see the sisters hang out and be silly together. They come from an artsy/craftsy family, where they have gotten used to being photographed all through their lives. It was so nice and so easy to make them look good and happy in the pics! Sisters Unite!

For these pictures I wanted to have a bit of a tropical and magical feeling. So we added colorful fruits and flowers, and again kept on going with the white/light background. The jewelry is made by the wonderful Julie Mills, who happens to be our neighbor at the studio! 

The final pics will be out soon, I just can't wait to see them and show them to the world!

Have a good week!!







Monday, October 2, 2017

SHIRTS AND PILLOWS WITH THE NEW DESIGN!!!

More pictures to follow, just wanted to put these out here to show what's happening right now! Exiting!!

A little love affair with Photoshop ;)


Print design is something I've been thinking and planning for years already. Our last visit to Finland this summer really helped me in getting inspired and knowing there's a big show ahead actually got the ball rolling. I really want to have something nice and new to offer at the Fall Festival at the John C Campbell Folk School in the beginning of October. It's great to have some deadlines that make me do things fast and efficient!

This print started out with looking up images of things I find beautiful or somehow meaningful. I printed a pile of pictures that I found online - big ocean waves, pearl necklaces, hands, a map, lotus flowers and birch leaves. Then I traced the pictures through the paper with a pencil to have simple drawn images of the pictures. Then I photographed those drawings and downloaded them to the photoshop. The image had a hundred million layers when I worked on choosing, combining, scaling and cropping all the parts. For the first time ever, I also wanted to try out making a continuing pattern. And it was so much fun! And so slow! And a bit stressful! But I'm really happy with the result. These cotton fabrics will make shirts, maybe skirts or dresses. The canvas will make parts of meditation pillows.

At this point it's also essential to mention that Spoonflower is the company that printed the image on the fabrics! They are based in Durham (NC!), and have a wide selection of fabrics, also some organic ones, that I chose for my designs. Their website and service is easy to use and they have a whole big community of crafters and designers that are into pattern design. Check it out!








Thursday, September 7, 2017

CUTENESS ALERT!!! BABY PANTS!







Pretty sweet, right?! This photo shoot was so much fun. We had the lovely Cory Marie Podielski taking the pics and she was so good. Making sure the kids were in a nice pile and the parents were feeling happy. Catching these moments that just run by as quick as a lighting! For the people who don't know Corie Marie, she's one of those amazing renaissance ladies who are pros in so many areas - in her case at least photography, graphic design, pottery and dance! And, she is so witty and fun to be with. I had the chance to take her belly dance classes last spring and it was soooo fun!

In these pics I specifically asked for a white background, so that it would fit the general visual look of what we do, but also to make it possible for me to play with the pictures later in Photoshop. I started out experimenting some already, but I'm feeling a bit rusty and a bit shy, so those images will be published here a little later ;)


Monday, August 28, 2017

GETTING INSPIRED IN FINLAND!


The fall is knocking on the door and we said "Good by" again to the sweet, precious Helsinki. We got to spend almost 2 months there this summer, which means we had time to hang out with family and friends, welcome a new baby-friend to the world, build a kitchen to our summer cabin, and oh yes, see some super inspiring indie fashion!!!

The jacket is by St.Malandra, a Finnish indie business, combining colorful clothing and yoga :) Sounds familiar, right?! It's so nice to come across some like-minded, friendly and interesting companies, and people behind them. And I have to say the name is just genius! Anybody familiar with capoeira or brazilian culture would know that malandragem is a thing - in a lack of a better translation, the name of the company would be in english maybe something like Saint Mischievous. Isn't that great! St.Malandra sews everything in Helsinki and gets their material by traveling in different places in the world. They just seem like they want to make the world a happier place, by sewing and selling cool clothes and teaching yoga. Makes so much sense!

The theme of my summer, spying on european people (haha, I'm becoming a foreigner!) was definitely prints. Colorful patterns in kids and adults clothing, crazy leggins with asymmetrical prints and different colorful prints combined together. The amazing flower pattern below is by Uhana Design, another Finnish company manufacturing their clothes in Europe (in Finland and Portugal). This is the pattern that has gotten so much inspiration in me that I can barely wait until I have time to draw and draw and draw, and then do some sweet photoshopping!

The fish pattern is from a baby shirt made by Vimma Clothing, a Finnish company making mainly baby and kids clothing, with some extremely nice pattens. It so happens, that while having brunch with some friends in Helsinki, I learned that a friend works as one of their designers. And according to her, the lady behind Vimma is a super sweet person - always smiles and sends really happy and motivating emails. And she has 6 (!) kids. Cheers to that!!!