Friday, October 4, 2013

the history behind handiwork

As most of you know by now, I started a new business this past spring. I've mentioned it a few times on this blog [and my 365: A Photo a Day blog], but haven't ever given any details as to how it all started. It just feels like I went from not having a business to having one overnight. Oh wait...that's exactly what happened!

When I was actively pinning things on Pinterest [and doing my weekly "From Pinned to Practice" posts - which I don't do anymore since I spend next-to-no time on Pinterest anymore], I came across two crochet patterns last winter that I wanted to try for myself [an infinity scarf] and the girls [fingerless gloves]. Now, I had learned to crochet years and years ago when I was living with 3 roommates after Bible School - but up until this point, all I had ever made were blankets. I figured these patterns looked simple enough, so I gave them a try and I was so pleased as to how they turned out!

I ended up making oodles and oodles of both of them as the weeks went on, using 3 infinity scarves for a blog give-away and making both scarves and fingerless gloves for countless Christmas gifts. I even made a cute hat with ears for a friend's wee babe. I was definitely hooked on crocheting and loved seeing what I could make with my very own hands.

My sister suggested that I sell my fingerless gloves, but I figured nah, I didn't really want to get into that. I wanted to just make them as gifts for friends and family...and besides, I didn't think anyone would actually buy them.

Then I had a friend ask me if I would make her some gloves and a hat for her baby in exchange for some of her jewelry goods - how could I refuse?!

Okay, this was maybe not such a bad idea afterall...

But I still didn't really do anything with it, other than make a few more pairs of gloves for birthday gifts for the girls' friends.

And then in February I was wanting to make a bit of extra money as my big cleaning client (a $100 job) canceled on me for one week because of a last-minute trip they were taking. I tried to think how I could try to make up at least some of that money. So I posted a picture of my fingerless gloves on Facebook - both on my personal page and on our local buy & sell page. I ended up getting a few orders right off the bat and that very day "handiwork" was born.

It took me probably all of 2 minutes to come up with the name [using "andi" in there very purposefully] and within that same week I created my own Facebook page.

I started scouring the internet for free patterns that would also allow me to sell the creations from the patterns - and I was also given suggestions from friends/clients who wanted something specific made for them. My repertoire was very quickly expanding from fingerless gloves and infinity scarves to a much wider range. Booties, hats, stuffed toys, tiaras, bow ties, dish cloths, ear warmers, headbands, purses....and nevermind the list of things still on my need-to-try list! The possibilities are endless and I wish there was more time in the day!

Since starting this new venture in February, I have had approximately $1500.00 in sales and the orders keep coming in. I love each and every new thing that I create and get excited about the fact that it actually came from my own two hands! It's so incredible to do something that you love and makes you happy - AND it makes you money! It's been great to have some side money to use for things like date nights, or to do a bit of extra shopping that's not in the budget, etc. Of course a lot of the money has to be used to buy new yarn and supplies, but it's still been quite profitable in what is my "take home" amount.

This whole handiwork business took me by surprise [to say the least] but I'm excited to keep learning and trying new things.

And that, my friends, is the history behind handiwork!


TammyIsBlessed said...

I'm so glad it's going so well for you. What a great way to make some extra $ - much more enjoyable than cleaning :)

Jackie Klassen said...

you are so talented, Andrea! I think I need to put in some orders's just deciding what I want!!!