Perks and Pitfalls of Running a Side Business

First off, I’d like to inform you why I’ve been gone so long. It’s because I’ve clearly been slacking! I’m not so great at juggling my time, so I usually go in stints. But I continue to seek out inspiration to grow and I continue to get better…which is where you guys come in. I need you for motivation. I need you for inspiration. I need you for accountability. I also need to motivate, inspire, and to help others grow. So thank you for reading. Thanks for being interested in my journey and I’m so proud of you all for participating in your own personal growth!

Without further ado, let’s jump right in:

Whether you are thinking about starting up a side hustle or you’re already there, you can consider  these pros and cons. If you haven’t started up yet, I’d love to give you an accurate view of what it’ll be like, but the truth is each person’s journey is so unique that I can’t say anything that will tell you for sure whether a side business is right for you. You’ll, of course, have to agonize over that yourself, but my hope is that this post will leave you a little more informed and balanced in your decision-making process. If you’re already doing it, CONGRATS! You’ll probably identify with some of these areas and are already benefiting from the Perks and commiserating with me over the Pitfalls. May this help you sharpen the strengths and minimize the  innate weaknesses of a part-time endeavor.

Perks:

You can jump in at any time. You don’t have to wait to save up $25,000 for the initial start up. Most side businesses are grown out of a hobby or something you already do for people.

You still have your steady income so you know you can pay your bills.

You can fulfill different areas of yourself. Example: creative/analytical sides

You can use your first job to fund the expenses of your side hustle.

You can do the stuff that’s necessary, but not immediately income-producing: like building recognition, meeting clientele, etc. without being flat broke.

You’ll have more time to develop your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

You’ll have time to find your niche…what precisely you want to do in that field.

Your passion keeps you going (Like I said-side jobs are usually hobbies first.)

You can build a wide foundation for your business- because you don’t have to worry about making a  whole income right away.

You can see if it’s a viable option for taking it full time… which leads me to my next point.

You can find out what your bread and butter is. This is important, because it may not be the thing you would focus on if you dove into it all at once. Say you quit your job to be a landscape artist and try to market yourself primarily as building zen gardens because it’s your passion. You could bankrupt yourself if that’s not what the market is asking for. If you’d gotten your feet wet first, you might have found that lawn mowing is the service most people are willing to pay for. You could then choose to either do mostly that and then work on your passion of zen gardens whenever you find the right clientele, or you may choose to get out because you’d rather stay at your current job full time than do the bread and butter work. Of course, there would also be the option to only do zen gardens here and there and keep your full time job. If you had already gone broke trying to do that because you quit your job first, your likelihood of going back to it on the side goes down dramatically.

Pitfalls: 

It takes time to build up a business. A lot of time. You have to market yourself, hone your skills, build up a client base, possibly learn how to keep your books or new computer applications. It’s a lot. And you’ll be doing that after your other work hours all while you may not be at your best.

It’s easy to gravitate toward one or the other of your jobs and get out of balance. You may lean toward your “real” job because it brings home the bacon and more time there means more success and potentially more money. You could also spend all your effort on your business because you love it. It’s your baby and you’re trying to grow it so it gets all of your energy and your performance at work may suffer for it.

There are so many starts and stops. Seriously. SO MANY! You’re constantly getting into a different mindset for a different type of work. There may be seasons where you need to concentrate on one job over the other and bouncing back from that can be hard.

It’s hard to get into the flow when you’re bouncing from one thing to another. Just when you hit your stride, it’s time to go to your other job.

Bookkeeping. I could stop there and that would stand as it’s own “con” I’m sure. Most people hate doing it. But it’s necessary. But it’s terrible. But you’ll lose your shirt if you don’t. But, uggghhh!!!(Sorry, that’s my own internal dialogue)  The trouble with bookkeeping for a side business is that almost nobody actually does it. Who has time, right? You work and then you work some more then you have to deal with all the other functions of growing a business and you never get around to seeing if you’re profitable or just how much you’re really investing. This is super duper tricky for a hobby-born business because people love it so much, they just keep going because it’s their dream and have no idea how much money they are pouring into the thing. Be careful about this one. Keep simple records if nothing else and add up your expenses and earnings once a month!

What’s the moral of this story? Well, a side-business may or may not be right for you. I think a lot of it depends on your motivations. Not that some are wrong, but they are different. If you only want to earn extra money, bookkeeping will be your metric. If all you want is to live your dream, then money matters less. You just have to determine a balance between your two worlds and make sure your finances and time are organized enough that you aren’t simply spinning your wheels getting nowhere. You want to get somewhere. Be specific about where that is. And remember, I want you to get there, too!

LaLove Designs

11139850_790414081043640_1519081390_n 10602945_790413951043653_1984979599_nLaLove is introducing it’s very first Spring Line!

Any of the items from my line can be reproduced for clients and made to their measurements or in different fabrics or colors. That’s the way it’s done in the world of Haute Couture, and I’m sure hoping I’ll be able to make a splash that way myself. I’ve decided to start there instead of mass-producing my lines. The reasoning is three-fold. One: Economics. Two: Customization is King. Three: I’m my only employee.

My vision is to innovate new and creative ways for independent designers to go from sewing out of their homes to building a legitimate, lucrative business. To all you designers and entrepreneurs who follow me—You’re in for a ride! Together we’re going to learn to BOOTSTRAP our way to success and fulfillment carving out a way to make a living doing the thing we love, that we were blessed by our Creator to do well. Join me as we build skills: Pattern making, sewing, altering, navigating the retail world, working with clients, budgeting our cash flow, managing time, organizing our space and stuff, and juggling our family, commitments, and outside jobs. You get to see my wacky brainstorms, my successes and failures, and tell about yours so we can all learn together.

Slow Fashion is making a comeback. I’m excited and blessed to be a part of building a community of conscientious makers and consumers!
11093191_790414054376976_1311706552_nThis outfit is a blush pink and gold jacquard crop top and pencil skirt set. The top has a flyaway open back and a comfortable gold elastic band to keep it in place. Both the top and the skirt are fully lined. The skirt zips in the back, but could be customized to zip on the side. My inspiration was the fabric! Every time I passed this in the store, the bolt called to me. I could only ignore it for so long until I purchased it. I had originally planned to make a structured sheath dress with fun, geometric cap sleeves, before I realized it would be perfect to make a crop and skirt set like I had been determined to do this year. I hope to make a dress out of this, as well. 11131789_790413934376988_614356141_n These pictures were taken by my friend Duke of 2K1 Photography here in my hometown. He always does such an amazing job, even though I’m no natural in front of the camera! He probably spends more time trying to get me out of my shyness than snapping pics, but he puts up with me.

You know, readers, that’s one of the amazing things I’m seeing about small business. (And by small business, I mean teeny, tiny, really, really small businesses like mine, where you’re trying to grow from absolutely nothing into a working, functional business.) We get to help each other out. Part of bootstrapping is teaming with other people with similar goals, or people for whom you can supply something they need through your business or talents. This is where your creativity will pay dividends! Look for ins. Look for ways you could help someone whose help you need. Are you a great bookkeeper? Maybe someone is looking for those skills, but can’t yet afford one. So trade for labor. Maybe you’re an organizing freak and addict like I am. Again, use that to help people whose help you need! You would never get free labor just because. But bootstrapping means you’re willing to do work for someone else who in turn can do some work that you need done. And don’t discount a person or a business because they look so much bigger than you are. You never know what needs a company has until you talk to them.

The bottom line is: this is your business, whether it’s a working business already or just a dream you want to pursue. Approach it like a business, but creatively. Never give up. Keep working-with your goal continually in mind. Pray. Dream. This is your business. Work for it!11134188_790413954376986_358253271_n

LaLove Designs One-Shoulder Maxi Dress

IMG_2960How do you make Grecian modern? Sheer with stretch gold lame underneath was my method, and I’m really pleased with the result. My original intention was to make a bustier jumpsuit out of the silver fabric I used for the wrap, but I ran out of time, so I tried the gold knit I had for making my daughters’ gymnastics leotards and loved the effect! I even used it to make visible straps for the bustier underneath and a belt.

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IMG_2958This fabric would lend itself well to so many styles, and I have 2 or 3 yards left over, so I’m excited to play with it and come up with something different. I would love to see this draped asymmetrically, or in a shorter, funkier cocktail style dress.

Crop Top and Skirt Set

There’s not a whole lot I love more right now than matching skirts and crop top sets. (Fashion-wise that is- I mean, I’m still pretty fond of my family, friends, and pets.) And believe you me, I would never, ever, ever have thought that would ever be the case. Let me just re-emphasize that fact…NEVER. 5 years ago if someone told me I would soon be in love with loud 70s prints and colors in MATCHING SETS, I just would have fallen over laughing- probably literally, as I tend to lose muscle tone when I laugh way too hard, but that’s really neither here nor there.

I know I’m not alone here when I say I would have shuddered at the thought of prints  like these:

and suits like these:

. . .ever making it back into play in fashion. But it was inevitable, right?   Each decade makes at least one revival in each subsequent decade in fashion, so I knew it would happen sooner or later. I just didn’t know I’d like it so much. Although, it is one of those trends I wonder if people who don’t study what’s going on in fashion and live their lives on Pinterest, like I do, will appreciate.  I live in Indiana, so we don’t go for the most outlandish of new fashions, but those of us who appreciate fashion generally stay pretty well in the loop, so I don’t care frankly. I can’t wait to finish this set and wear it out. I know people who love fashion for what it is will recognize when I’m on trend and hopefully what I design is still more tasteful than trendy, so at least people who don’t know or care what’s IN or OUT will think it’s pretty.

A Label Garden

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I kind of need a drying rack, but hey, this is prettier.

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To see how to make these cheap and easy homemade labels for your designs and sewing projects, click HERE.

Aw, Crap!


IMG_2323That moment in sewing when you’re almost at the end of your project only to realize you’ve done something wrong. . .sewn the wrong seams together, cut 2 rights instead of a right and a left, or if you’re a patternmaker like me, mislabeled the original pattern. Yay.
Remember the waistband I was so excited about and proud of in This Post? I sewed it just fine. I did everything right, according to the pattern. Problem is, I labeled the left waistband piece as Right and vice versa, so the whole thing is all wrong.  Stay Calm and Grab Your Seam Ripper and all that, right? I bet that’s a really good philosophy with patient people. For me, I’m satisfied to be able to calm back down after my initial freak out and use it for an inspirational post, hopefully. (Probably less inspiration than sharing a common rant, but I think that helps, too.)

The funny thing is I made a sample pair to test the fit of this new pattern I made. (You can see a pic of that pair at the bottom of This Post on My Easy Button Sewing Tip.) And when I encountered this problem with the waistband on that pair, I assumed I just screwed up during the cutting-I had kids running around and dogs barking while I cut out. I didn’t even think to check my pattern. At least I caught it the second time around! (This has been a real blow to the old perfectionist ego, folks!) Well, let’s all live and learn together, fellow seamstresses, designers, and DIYers!IMG_2336

The Inside of the Finished Pants.

Everything worked out all right, after all. I did not hyperventilate, I did not die of boredom seam ripping (although I thought I would do both when I first realized my mistake when pinning on the waistband.) IMG_2328 IMG_2329 IMG_2330 IMG_2323 IMG_2327 IMG_2326 IMG_2324 IMG_2325
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The Mythical Saturday

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can finish today, right? And don’t mentally put off everything in your life until that Mythical Saturday-you know, the one you schedule house cleaning, family time, grocery shopping, date night, home repair, DIY, 8 loads of laundry, sewing, sketching, and ten or twelve other things that you swear you’ll get around to, because you have that day “free.” Procrastination can be a problem for creatives, and so can overbooking our time. We tend to overestimate what we can do in a certain amount of time. And when we come across a task that we really don’t have time for today, in our mind Saturday’s an inviting blank slate- distractionless, and filled with unoccupied time. Until Saturday comes, that is, and we remember just how little time we actually have to juggle.

I have found my Saturdays completely filled up on paper when I’m planning, but none of it ever gets done! I used to attribute it to having too much time, which makes me tend to think I’m ok as the time ticks away until suddenly it’s 8 in the evening and nothing on that long list is checked off. I know that’s some of it, but I’m starting to realize that just as my expectations for myself can be unrealistic, my expectations for how productive I’ll be on Saturdays often are, too.

If you, too, suffer from The Mythical Saturday Syndrome, there’s hope! I’m not sure exactly what it is yet, (I’m still trying to figure out just how to plan attainable goals for my Saturdays and as I come across tips that help me, I’ll share them with you guys) but I know it involves battling that old monster of perfectionism. And I know one day I’ll not only defeat that monster, I’ll harness it’s energy for success in life, art, and design. It’s my quest. (And just so you know, in this fantasy quest, I’m both the Princess and the Knight in shining armor. Oh, And Bruce Willis in Die Hard.)

Developing a System of Time Management

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I just found out it’s important when planning your time to schedule time for…wait for it- planning your time! Mind blowing, isn’t it? Now that I’ve had someone explain that to me and I’ve incorporated it into my life, it’s something that I simply can’t believe I’ve missed for all these years! How did that get by me?

I’m an uber-nerd and at just the thought of creating effective systems, well. . .  I hear angels sing. Or maybe it’s just the crazy person in my head singing. But it excites me! I love the idea of my life being a well-oiled machine of prioritized tasks and time investments. I love starting out, pen in hand, making– joyous gasp– a list! (If you’re reading this, I know you love lists, too! Only deranged wackos hate lists. And maybe people who are just naturally organized, but we hate those people. We could never hate them as much as we love lists, though!)

I’ve tried all my life to develop systems for creating order in my life. With my internal organization lagging behind thanks to my creative/ADD brain, I’ve had to find external ways to overcome that. Whether you have ADHD or time management just eludes you, or you just love those darn lists so much, I’ve put together some common themes for a successful time management system.

1. Make it work. . .for you, that is.

What is your life actually like? Who are you, what are your habits? Take mental note of your needs, expectations, what things come easily to you and what things are like pulling teeth to get yourself to do. Consider how your energy swings throughout the day and the week and your normal habits. (If you watch tv in the evenings, is it realistic to plan a schedule where you do all of your chores in the evenings?) Don’t mark your calendar and make your schedule based on how you would like your life to be in an ideal world and as if you had amazing energy all day long every day, while only having to sleep for 5 hours a night. THAT’S NOT REALISTIC! If you tend to be more tired as the week wears on, schedule more of your evening activities on Mondays than Thursdays, for example.

     For me: A time management mistake was that I would always make my plan on paper very ideal. I always planned as if I’d get up an hour and an half earlier than I had to and as though I’d stay up late at night and maintain a consistent, high level of energy throughout the day. And since I have narcolepsy as well as ADD (the one actually accounts for the other) It’s not realistic to think my life will just change and I’ll get some magic stream of energy that never wavers. It didn’t seem totally stupid while I was doing it, but now that I’ve gotten smarter, I can see how ridiculous that notion is. (To see a post of mine about unrealistic expectations, click here.)

 

2. Plan time to plan your time. 

Such a refreshing notion! This has been a key for me..and it will be for you, too, if you haven’t done it already. The reason that it’s so important is that we take all this time to set up a schedule or an organizational system for our lives, but no time to maintain it and keep it going. (I’ve tried flylady’s control journal and the Sidetracked Home Executives card file system. I started…and gave up on, both of them, although I still have my card file system in case I ever get disciplined enough to use it and I recently went back to a modified-and easier-version of my control journal.) The problem comes after we inevitably mess it up and stop keeping up with the system or schedule. We just never go back to the drawing board to iron out the kinks in our plan and to re-motivate ourselves to keep it up. If you put the planning time in your plan, you can use that time to review your goals and maybe change your strategy if it needs to be tweaked.

For me: Sundays are now my planning time. I get out my control journal and the front section is schedule/planning. In it I have a list of the two or three main tasks for each day of the week, my work goals for the year, my work goals for the month, and the list of characteristics and habits that are important to me.  Those include things I want to remember to keep up because they’re important to me (like Bible study and family time) and also things I’m not good at yet, but want to be (like mailing out Christmas and Thank You cards.) I learned the importance of scheduling time to plan time and doing your planning based on who you want to be instead of what you have to get done from a study we did on Bill Hybels’ Simplify book.)

 

3. Forget the to-do list.

Like I said above- plan based on who you want to be, not what needs to be done. Thanks, Bill Hybels. (Although I feel like the s on the end of his name makes me sound uneducated if I say it out loud. Like I’m one of those people who just add unnecessary esses to the end of words for no reason at alls. Get it?

If you get a good, WORKABLE schedule, you will have built in the time to tackle all those to-dos throughout your week or month.

For me: I would make my  weekly plan based on everything I thought I should be doing. I’d look at all the things I needed to get done: House, work, family, projects. I’d squeeze all of those goals into my schedule as if I’d be able to get them done in the first week or month. 

 

4. Pick a lane. Or in this case, a day. 

Designate certain days for certain tasks. Especially if you’re one of those people who gets stuck doing something once you get into it and have a hard time pulling yourself away. Just allow for that in your schedule.

For me: I used to try to get like 20 minutes of every single thing I aspired to do in on any given day. I actually thought it was necessary to do all the important things each day. I figured I should be able to exercise for 20 minutes then study Spanish, then read for 20 minutes, then sew for an hour then do some pattern making…and so on…for, like, 50 items each day. Instead of assuming I’ll wake up tomorrow with a triathlete’s self discipline, I changed my schedule to match my personality. Now it looks like this:

I blog daily Plus:

Mondays: Sewing, List Items to Sell

Tuesdays: Pattern Making and Sewing

Wednesdays: Sketching, Watch fashion shows, Sewing

Thursdays: Photography practice and take pics for my blog, Learning-continuing education on blogging, sewing, Youtubing, etc.

Fridays: Craftsy Sewing Class, Look at other blogs, Social Networking

Note the lack of details. This keeps the schedule flexible and keeps me from pressuring myself into squeezing an unreasonable amount if items into my day.

 

5. Keep it regular.

That way if you skip it, it’ll come back up soon. Haaaa!!! This is like the way we get to stick it to the system…that we made, of course, but it’s still satisfying! If you do your bathrooms on wednesdays and you skip this week, don’t (metaphorically or otherwise) kill yourself over it. Don’t screw up your Thursday trying to make up for it. Just wait until next Wednesday! That sounds like freedom from guilt for me, people!

For me: I don’t really have a cute story of how I used to mess this up, because I’ve pretty much always known how helpful this could be if I could get a weekly schedule in place. I’m only now getting to where I’m using-and sticking to a system. I still don’t do it very well for chores, but I absolutely HAD to make a schedule for work since I’m working at home now and it’s going off like a charm. And by “like a charm” I mean I hardly ever do what I have listed for each day of the week, but it sure feels nice not to have to beat myself up over it, knowing that I’ll get to it next week!

 

Happy Scheduling, y’all. (Hmmm, I can’t get away with saying that, but it looks just fine when I write it. Go figure.)

Becoming an Expert Seamstress

IMG_2156   I may not be big on New Year’s resolutions done the wrong way. I know how infantile it is make a long list of previously unattainable goals and go at them all at once full force…for, like, 2 weeks.But realistic goals I agree with. And what’s a better time to state a goal than the beginning of the year? -Ish.

Which leads me to my biggest work-related goal for 2015, becoming an expert seamstress. As you may know if you’ve read many of my posts, or my ABOUT page, I have a degree in fashion design. We learned everything we’d need to know to get a decent entry level job in the design industry, but sewing wasn’t up there in priorities. It wasn’t a focus in school because the idea is to graduate, get an assistant design job for a company and have your sewing work outsourced. We had a sewing class each semester and had to sew our final collection, but we didn’t get tons of practice, which is so key in mastering such a technical skill.
Now that I’m a custom designer and doing freelance stuff, I have to be able to produce it. And, because I’m me, I have to be able to produce it well. I talk a lot of crap on here about the perfectionist in me, but, God love her, she gets stuff done the right way! (Click here on one of my posts about overcoming perfectionism in your new year’s resolutions.)

If you have perfectionistic tendencies, (Here’s a little litmus test for that…if you’re not sure whether you do or not, so you made a little mental list up just now with signs you may be a perfectionist on one side and reasons you may not be one on the other, you definitely do have those tendencies!) here’s the key to conquering them. Find out how perfect is too perfect. You’re a perfectionist. Great. You’ll produce a high quality of work. Reversely, you may lose money doing it if you spend too much time on every single detail.

I’m in that stage right now, trying to figure out just how good I want and need to be and what I’ll have to do about it. This is how I make my living now, but I’m going to be candid with you guys on my sewing weaknesses. Hopefully, if you’re in the same perfectionisty boat with me, you’ll get something out of my process here. But if this is just too personal of a post, feel free to skip it and read tomorrow’s blog!

Here’s what I can do:

Basically put together any garment from a pattern, or make my own pattern and sew it together. It will look nice, but I’m not confident with my work, because I’m pretty rusty on most things. (I’ve had my sewing machine put away for most of the time since I graduated college.)

Here’s what I need work on:

Different Zipper applications

Hems

My serger- basically everything other than threading it and running it on the regular settings.

Fly front zippers (Even though my final collection was separates and I had like 5 pairs of pants and I had the sewing DOWN, I totally forgot how to do it. I had to watch a youtube tutorial on it as I was sewing some trousers last night. Oh the shame.)

Jeans- I’m sure I could make them, but I haven’t tried yet

Lining methods

Finishing techniques

Fit and alterations

Ok, I’m gonna stop there, but the stupid list goes on and on in my mind!

 

   Now, here’s where a decision has to be made. Where are you at on level of quality with your work-realistically? Where do you want to be? Now, should you back off your expectations a bit? That may sound simply horrifying to you. If it does, congratulations, it’s confirmed. You are a true perfectionist.

After I was diagnosed with ADD, (which I later found out was really just a symptom of narcolepsy in my case) I remember trying to explain to my dad just how overwhelmed I was by little tasks and life in general. I was expecting him to validate me, I guess, and tell me something like, “Yeah, you’re right, you are really messed up.” So when his response was, “Don’t you think you’re expectations are a little high,” my stomache dropped to my knees. This was my father, who gave me life and raised me and told me I could do anything and do it well. This was the guy who visited my prospect college and asked the guide if there could be a real living in fashion design for me assuming I would be in the top ten percent of my field, because I would be. He’s the one who’s assured I can go so far, even when I don’t have that confidence.  For me, him asking about my expectations meant he just didn’t get it. Of course I didn’t have expectations that were too high. They were just the necessary level of expectation-near perfection. Chuckle break.

If I had just listened to him then, I could have avoided a really rough 2 or 3 year period of trying so hard to be unattainably perfect. Stupid, huh? However, I did come out of that learning that there are some areas in life I have to settle on. So my house doesn’t stay clean each and every day. So I forget people’s names immediately after meeting them. So my schedule may always be a little sporadic. I can live with those things…because not being able to live with them doesn’t mean that I can actually perfect them. It just means I can’t meet those unrealistic expectations and then I have tons and tons of anxiety and guilt built up inside for letting myself down. (It’s just me expecting those things of myself, but somehow, I always feel like I’m letting the world down.)

Enough of the backstory, let’s get back to sewing!

Bottom line: I’m not where I want to be with quality. (Or speed, for that matter.) My options are to either go ahead and run with design and not try to improve my sewing before I jump into starting a line, (or what have you) or to go overboard and get so into the details that I abandon everything else to become really spectacular at sewing. Choice A’s just not really an option for me. I want to be genuinely good at sewing because I have to be the person actually making my own designs now. Choice B is stupid, (even though I may gravitate toward it if I don’t keep the perfectionism at bay) because I know there’s a quality to price ratio in business. I could spend years to become like someone who works in the Dior atelier. I could get to a point where my sewing is so beautiful it looks like it was done by a thousand Tibetan monks while they bathed in the rivers of enlightenment. But people will still only pay so much for an item. So what if I can make a dress that rivals the quality of a $12,000 haute couture dress! I don’t know anyone who would pay that for a dress, and I know I could never sell it. So I have to get better, but not focus on becoming the best seamstress in the world or anything. I’m a designer. Sewing is a means to an end to me. I love doing it, but not at the expense of designing.

So here’s the plan: 

This year my focus is on becoming an expert seamstress. That means I’d like to be able to confidently take on any sort of garment anyone asked me to and make it very well.

Is a whole year a waste of time? Not to me, because it’s an investment in my career. If I can’t make a good product, I don’t want to be in the game! Also, it works out because the more I sew, the more I have to show people. The more I get to practice design and perfect (is that the wrong word in light of the tone of this post?) my patternmaking skills. And, maybe most importantly for me, I’ll come out of this year with confidence in my work. If someone asks for something or I go to make my own line of clothing, I’ll be able to go into it without being afraid that I’ll mess it up or that it won’t look professionally constructed. I’ll know I can sell something that will hold up well and fits well. One other cool thing is…I can and will be selling stuff I make in this year. I can sew pretty darn well as it is. I may be disappointed with my quality still, but I probably always will be. I’ll never come to a point in my life when I think I’m as good as I ever want to be at something. Never. That’s the other side of the perfectionist coin…THE DRIVE TO IMPROVE! And come 2016, the focus changes. I can’t let myself stay stuck in trying to improve my skills too much before I really dive in full force.

For me, I’ve found the right balance. My style is classic and tailored, and the construction for those pieces has to be professional or I don’t want to do it. But there’s no point focusing so much on improving my sewing skills that I never move on into designing and producing lines. So this year is practice. And only a year. After that, the focus is narrowed down to doing the type of clothing I’ve always wanted to design for women.

Come 2016, Holla at your Girl!