Tag: Sewist

Keep an open mind quote

New Opportunities Await : Refreshing business model, Gypsy Spoonful is a pioneer in the handmade world

New opportunities await</font color> “To the untrained eye, a geode looks pretty much like an ordinary rock. But a trained geologist knows that inside the geode there is a beautiful crystal lining. The story is the same for those who refuse to examine new possibilities because their minds are closed. Life’s greatest opportunities, like the … read more

New opportunities await</font color>

“To the untrained eye, a geode looks pretty much like an ordinary rock. But a trained geologist knows that inside the geode there is a beautiful crystal lining. The story is the same for those who refuse to examine new possibilities because their minds are closed. Life’s greatest opportunities, like the geode, often come in ordinary packaging. Do not allow yourself to become such a creature of habit that you simply go through the motions and let life happen to you. Just taking a new route to work, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, reading a newspaper instead of watching television, or visiting a museum at lunchtime will stimulate your thought processes and may help you open your mind to new possibilities.”

-Napoleon Hill

Keep an open mind quote

The past 10 days I’ve been busy, busy, busy recruiting makers for Gypsy Spoonful. We have had 25 new shops join in that time. I am so thankful for these new members for keeping an open mind, and listening to what Gypsy Spoonful can offer them. I’ve probably contacted hundreds of people telling them about the opportunity GS holds, many didn’t reply … some did reply and weren’t interested, but I tried to remember, that’s most likely not even about what I’m “pitching” to them.. it could be that they are in a difficult season of their life, or it could be that they’re undergoing some business or personal challenges right now. I truly believe that those who are meant to be here, will be here, at exactly the right time. We’re not for everyone, but we are for the RIGHT people.

 

It’s a very exciting time for Gypsy Spoonful.. we’re kicking it into high gear and taking this bus to the next level.

Are you a maker/designer/artist/crafter/sewist/quilter/painter or other type of creative entrepreneur? Check out what we believe about handmade and what we believe about small business in America.. if you vibe with what we’re all about and our business model, then please, fill out the application and we’ll be in touch

Check it out here

Just like Napoleon Hill said in his quote as outlined above, just keep an open mind, this could be the best thing that has ever happened to you personally or professionally, but you’ll never know if you shut down the very thought of it. Just be open to being open is all we ask. We know that new opportunities await, if you’ll just open the door, and apply.

 

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

~Seneca or SemiSonic , Closing Time

Truth be told..We are NOT Etsy, we don’t claim to be… and in all honesty, we don’t want to be Etsy.. they’ve lost their way which is definitely disappointing~but I digress… GypsySpoonful can most definitely offer you things that Etsy can not.

We can give you a FOCUSED market that is ONLY looking for handmade items~ not vintage, not supplies… they appreciate handmade and all the good things that encompass it.

We can give you a supportive, community of makers where we help each other, cheer each other on, support each other and encourage each other.

We believe in community before competition. Yes, there may be makers that make similar items in our ranks but we HELP each other, rather than COMPETE with each other. You will find no other selling platform with a hands-on admin team that mentors and teaches shop owners. I guarantee it.

We are SERIOUS about selling and making money with our shops and handmade products, the positivity is not pollyanna or apple pie in the sky, it’s genuine, authentic entrepreneurs who are hustlers but are not cut-throat and back stabbing. It’s a very refreshing business model that you will NOT find anywhere else.

We will welcome you with open arms and meet you where you’re at, no matter what your business goals, dreams and strategies may be.

Give us a shot.. have an open mind… and check us out. You’ll be happy you did, I think!

xo

Goose

Goose, Owner/Founder GypsySpoonful

 

 

 

 

 

Owner/Founder GypsySpoonful.com

5 Reasons To Shop Small : A List By Gypsy Spoonful

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks. To shop the marketplace, go HERE  See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group Open a shop of your own, apply today!

5 reasons to shop small

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks.

To shop the marketplace, go HERE 

See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group

Open a shop of your own, apply today!

Handmade Products

The Spring Auction is in it’s final hours!

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months! Spring is such a promising time … read more

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months!

Spring is such a promising time of the year, re-birth and re-growth is at the forefront, and when you shop with any of our 100 small shops, or bid on an item in our auction.. you’re making a decision to start a new~ shopping with us is an opportunity to live the handmade life, unapologetically!

Handmade items are the BEST quality you can get because they’re made individually, one at a time, by the maker’s own two hands. They’re not mass produced in a factory under bad working conditions, and rushed timeframes and deadlines. Each item is lovingly created with all positive vibes.

Join our Facebook Group HERE

Take a look at our auction album here and place a bid today!

(To bid, just comment with your highest bid amount and you might win!-it’s so easy peasy!!)

 

 

 

Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made YOUR Clothes? Fast Fashion Facts

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?! That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes. The sad fact is that fashion can … read more

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?!

That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes.

The sad fact is that fashion can come with a very high personal cost to the people that create it, and also to the planet.

What can we do about this alarming trend?

Don’t buy it! Mass-produced clothing is not the best quality, nor is it the way to reflect the values YOU hold dear. Society is consuming fashion at a rate like never before. We call this monster: fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the phenomenon we use to describe garments that go from design to store in a quick flash; sometimes within the space of a week! As the price of fashion dives lower, and the accessibility of new trends increases, fast fashion is being put in the spotlight.

Sad Facts about Fast Fashion:

  • Eighty billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally every year.
  • The US spends an estimated $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes every year: worn for one night only.
  • 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years due to the stress of debt they accumulated through buying genetically modified cotton seeds to keep up with demand.
  • The wages of workers in garment factories overseas can be as low as $1-$3  a day.
  • Some overeas clothing factories use forced prison labor to make the clothing
  • Some clothing factories use child labor (sequins and beading can be an indication of this)
  • Fast fashion giants actually make clothing to fall apart: they are obsessed with the bottom line, so will do anything to make you buy more clothes.
  • Using the restroom during a 10-hour shift in a garment factory can cause a major uproar from managers.
  • Fast fashion brands put out new collections every week or month to make it seem like your wardrobe is all off trend. This is the reason you sit and stare at your full wardrobe thinking you have nothing to wear

The fast fashion industry is shocking. When you look at the facts and figures, it’s hard to swallow.Change isn’t going to happen from walling Just like building a house, avoiding fast fashion is easy when you have the right tools in front of you. Head to the Gypsy Spoonful site, we are completely transparent, and when you buy clothing from one of our small shops you will know EXACTLY who made your clothing and don’t have to worry about the circumstances it was created under.

The 100 Handmade Shops of GypsySpoonful

See our handmade community in action in our Facebook group

Shop GypsySpoonful.com
Join The Conversation and let us know how you feel about Fast Fashion. Was this the first you’ve heard about this?
http://facebook.com/groups/gypsyspoonful
Theordore Roosevelt The Man In The Arena quote

Motivation Monday Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated: You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the … read more

Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship: A Lesson From Theodore Roosevelt

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated:

You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your road work shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you’re getting found out now under the bright lights.

Boxing is a good analogy for developing bossbabes because it’s all about daily preparation. Even if a person has natural talent, they have to prepare and train to become successful.

One of this country’s greatest leaders was a fan of boxing: President Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, one of his most famous quotes uses  a boxing analogy

Theodore Roosevelt

THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
download PDF of complete speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

*TR (Teddy Roosevelt’s nickname) was known for regular boxing and judo sessions, challenging horseback rides, and long, strenuous hikes. A French ambassador who visited Roosevelt used to tell about the time that he accompanied the president on a walk through the woods. When the two men came to the banks of a stream that was too deep to cross by foot. TR stripped off his clothes and expected the dignitary to do the same so taht they could swim to the other side. Nothing was an obstacle to Roosevelt.

Of all the leaders this nation has ever had, Roosevelt was one of the toughest-both physically and mentally. But he didn’t start that way. America’s cowboy president was born in Manhattan to a prominent wealthy family. As a child he was puny and very sickly. He had debilitating asthma, possessed very poor eyesight, and was painfully thin. His parents weren’t sure he would survive. When he was twelve, young Roosevelt’s father told him, “You have the mind but you have not the body, and without the help of the body, the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must MAKE the body.” and make it , he most certainly did. TR began training every single day physically, building his body as well as his mind, and he did that for the rest of his life.

Roosevelt didn’t become a great leader overnight either. His road to the presidency was one of slow, continual growth. He improved himself and in time, he became a strong leader. Roosevelt’s list of accomplishments is remarkable. Under his leadership, the United States emerged as a world power. He helped the country develop a first-class navy. He was that the Panama Canal was built. He negotiated peace between Russia and China, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process.  On January 6, 1919 he died in his sleep. Then vice president Marshall said,

“Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a fight”

When they removed him from his bed, they found a book under his pillow. Up to the very last, TR was still striving to learn and improve himself.

*Source: Leadership 101 by John C. Maxwell

Slow and Steady Wins the Race Quote

What are the takeaways we can learn from Roosevelt that may apply to our lives as Entrepreneurs?

1. Be FIERCE : obstacles will come, it’s how you approach those obstacles. Are you going to say , “It’s too hard, we can’t cross this stream, it’s too deep” and turn back? Or will you strip naked and lead the way? Nothing in life is easy. Entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies. You have to get in there, roll up your sleeves and be FIERCE. Are you stronger than the obstacles in your path?

2. Even a great leader like TR started off small. He wasn’t expected to survive from his own parents! If that’s not a kick in the teeth, then I don’t know what is! Of all people in the world, you want those who love you and you share your life with to believe in you and your dreams, it’s hard when you don’t get the support you’d like. But what did TR do? He set out to prove them wrong. He was CONSISTENT, he worked towards his goal of strengthening his body every.single.day. Consistency wins the prize in owning and operating a small business. Many times it can be isolating, people in our family would rather share a celebrity’s status or meme on social media. Your loved ones may shop at a big box store rather than supporting your small shop.. you can’t control other people, you can only change how you react to them. Seek out OTHER support from friends, or like-minded individuals and other small business owners. The community at Gypsy Spoonful is a great source of strentgh, knowledge and inspiration for me everyday. I am so thankful to have people that cheer me on and totally GET what I am trying to do with my life. Everyone starts off small, it’s up to YOU to seek out ways to grow and learn new things to embolden your entrepreneurial spirit.

” slow, continual growth.”

3. The mind and body combination is important, It was once said by Henry Ford, “Whether you believe you can or can not, you’re right” . Your mental attitude determines your outcome most of all. TR blazed a trail where no one dared to go before. He traveled all over the world pursuing adventures. Each trip, each adventure prepared him for the next one. He built knowledge upon his experiences. We all fail and fall short, just like the man in the arena~ but do we get up again after we get knocked down? or do we stay down? A product might not sell, a promotion may flop… KEEP LEARNING, learn from your mistakes and build on that. Go forward with the ideas of what went wrong and how to overcome that in your future small shop “adventures”.

If you are looking for a creative community where you can find limitless support from like minded creative folks, and you feel you’ve got a great product to offer the world, Gypsy Spoonful is seeking new shop owners, please go to this page and read what we believe about handmade and how we do things. If you vibe with what we’re doing, please fill out an application. We will be screening and vetting applicants for 2019.  Go HERE

 

 

Katy Texas Homecoming Traditions : Featuring one of our very own members. Custom Homecoming Overalls

We’re so proud to announce that one of our very own Gypsies has been featured in the Katy Texas Magazine! For decades, Homecoming has been a fun-filled, festive Katy Texas tradition that teens, parents, and football fans always look forward to.   Our very own, Trevor of KraftyMommas and  CustomHomecomingOveralls   has been a huge part of … read more

We’re so proud to announce that one of our very own Gypsies has been featured in the Katy Texas Magazine! For decades, Homecoming has been a fun-filled, festive Katy Texas tradition that teens, parents, and football fans always look forward to.

 

Our very own, Trevor of KraftyMommas and  CustomHomecomingOveralls   has been a huge part of this tradition. She creates amazing , customized overalls all sewn by herself with the utmost attention to details in her home studio. Way to go for being featured Trevor, we love your overalls and are so honored you’re a part of the Gypsy Spoonful Community. The details on her homecoming overalls are well worth every penny, not a single stitch out of place:

To see the article, go HERE. 

Have You Heard The News?

  Have you heard the news??? The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is in it’s FINAL DAY!! Some items don’t have bids yet! Snap up a deal , and snipe those auction items! We have over 110 MUST HAVE handmade items, Get on over to our Facebook Group and see what you can win!  Sew Sweet … read more

 

Have you heard the news??? The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is in it’s FINAL DAY!!

Some items don’t have bids yet! Snap up a deal , and snipe those auction items! We have over 110 MUST HAVE handmade items, Get on over to our Facebook Group and see what you can win! 

Sew Sweet Pea's Handmade BoutiqueSewSweetPeas.comSize 2THere is an elegant, yet comfortable dress is perfect for…

Posted by Paula Marie Miguele on Friday, August 3, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216501056661599&set=oa.1824886650922942&type=3&hc_location=ufi

MYSTARA HAND SCULPTED POLYMER CLAY DRAGON Starting bid: $55.00Bid Increments: $1.00US Priority Mail Shipping:…

Posted by Eli Mattingly on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Starting bid $30Bid increase $1Shipping: $3.50 1st classAqua & coral Sparrow apron knot dress by That's So Addie….

Posted by Raenita Bennett Deal on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Big, cuddly, gorgeous handmade crocheted snowflake afghan throw blanket is 52" x 52" by…

Posted by Jacquie Kaegebein on Friday, August 3, 2018

Made by SALT WORKSFall braceletSB: $18 with $1 bid incrementsBIN: $24 (void after first bid)Shipping is…

Posted by Cindy Perkins on Monday, July 30, 2018

Debra Engelbrecht's Paintings Auction Item #3“Waiting Boxer” PrintHand drawn with pencilsFramed artwork…

Posted by Patricia VanSant on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Jack Skellington and Sally size 5 dress is proudly made by Lace And Sneakers. This is a OOAK in this fabric. Jack and…

Posted by Virginia Hooper on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handmade Crocheted Little Birdie baby hat and cocoon size 0-3 months by…

Posted by Jacquie Kaegebein on Friday, August 3, 2018

She blinded me with science apron 25 opening1 dollar increments 3 dollar shippingJoin my group to see more…

Posted by Michelle Sherod on Thursday, August 2, 2018

*** Buy It Now ***Magical Memories By Jessica BoutiqueGoofy T Shirt $23 each shipped — this includes free…

Posted by Jessica Sines Lee on Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sew Sweet Pea's Handmade BoutiqueSewSweetPeas.comSIZE 6Y Dress.Here is an elegant, yet comfortable dress is made…

Posted by Paula Marie Miguele on Friday, August 3, 2018

Fall Musical Infinity Wreath By My Spinning Mind Home Decor Special sale price for the Fall auction…

Posted by Rachelle Ihrig on Sunday, July 29, 2018

See Even more auction items in the photo album HERE

Models Vs Mannequins, the great debate rages on

Guest Blog Post: Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best … read more

Guest Blog Post:
Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years

While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best alternative options are amateur models and mannequins.

When deciding between amateur models and mannequins, you’re largely factoring a risk/reward scenario, ongoing costs, and how much you’re willing to manage people.

Models, even amateurs, are more desirable because a live body helps a customer relate to your product and adds a higher degree of professionalism, but it can also make for an unpredictable process. Mannequins are great because they’re affordable, consistent, and easy to work with.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can create quality DIY product photography with amateur models and then we’ll go over the advantages provided by mannequins.

DIY Product Photography with Amateur Models

If you want to take a professional-looking product photos with amateur models, follow these seven steps:

1. Cast a Model

If you’re going to use an amateur, there are three primary factors to consider: Your comfort level with the model, their long-term availability, and your apparel’s fit. It doesn’t matter how attractive your model is if your dress is dragging on the floor because the model is six inches too short to properly fit it.

models vs mannequins

Image credit: Pixelz

Comfort level: Communication is important and the easier time you have communicating your vision, the more efficient you will be when shooting. Also, the mood in the studio comes through in images: If you and the model are frustrated and unhappy, you’re not going to get good photographs.

Availability: Plan long-term. If you want a consistent look, especially since amateurs introduce more body type variation than professional models, it’s beneficial to use just one or two models throughout your photography. You will also find that later shoots become more efficient as you and the model increase your comfort level and understanding of each other.

Fit: How does your product look when worn by your model? Focus on the product’s appearance and make sure it’s flattering and requires as little adjustment as possible—you don’t want to create wrinkles because you’re pinning excessively to compensate for a poor fit. Sizing is key. Pick one size and use that same size throughout your photography for a consistent appearance and a more intuitive understanding of sizing by customers shopping your site later.

2. Setup Your Studio Space

Select a space that allows your model to move freely when following your instructions, but don’t choose an area so large that your model might wander out of frame. Designate specific backdrop boundaries to help herd the model and aim your camera.

Your exact equipment will vary depending on your needs and budget, but as a starting point a white backdrop like a roll of seamless white paper or a sheet is always a good idea. White backdrops are required by many ecommerce marketplaces, simplify post-production, and are easy to light in session. If you’ve never set up a studio before, here’s a guide to how to build your own photo studio on a bootstrapped budget.

Be sure to use a tripod. Camera stabilization allows for longer exposure times, improves consistency, and saves you time between shots because you don’t have to readjust your camera’s aim. The result is usually a sharper image and more of them.

3. Shape Your Light

Renting or buying lighting equipment is a big decision and a critical step when capturing product images. Lighting equipment is expensive, so take your time and invest wisely. It may not be necessary to buy equipment: If you’re not going to use a piece regularly, consider renting.

The most common product photography setups use 1-3 continuous softbox lights or 1-3 external speedlights and umbrellas. If you’re in the market, here’s a shopping guide for product photography lighting equipment.

When positioning your lights, try to mimic the softness of natural window light. Continuous softboxes do so automatically, but speedlights may be too harsh and direct even with umbrellas. If that’s a problem, angle your speedlights to either side of the model and bounce the light off nearby walls, like in the image above.

Test out your lighting setup and experiment with different options—but do it before the model arrives so you don’t waste valuable photoshoot time.

4. Position Your Model

When your model arrives on set, it’s time to communicate your vision and position them in frame. The simplest way to position them is with a classic “X marks the spot” approach. Tape an X on the floor either directly beneath their feet, or closer to the camera but in line with where they should stand (so they’re not constantly looking down). The X creates a target for the model so you don’t have to constantly ask them to move.

5. Shoot with Wide Framing

Leave space on all sides of your model when capturing the image. If you’re going to be selling your product in multiple marketplaces and channels, they may have different requirements for cropping and sizing. It’s much easier to crop down to someone’s standards than it is to try and scale up.

Even if you intend to crop out faces, arms, and legs, always keep them in frame. Again, it’s much easier to edit something out then to add it back in—if that’s even possible. You don’t want to have to reshoot.

6. Give Direction

Stay positive and build up your model’s confidence. Remember that they’re an amateur and that you want to shoot with them long-term, so help them realize their potential.

Give the model the instruction they need to help you fulfill your vision. Be clear and precise: For example, if you want the model to look in a particular direction, tell them to look at a specific object instead of pointing. Keep poses simple, so that you don’t distract from the product or lead your amateur out of their comfort zone.

7. Post-Production

After you’ve captured your images, it’s time to optimize them for the web. You can edit the images yourself with this post-production guide, or you can outsource the labor to free yourself to focus on the creative aspects of your business. At Pixelz, for example, we offer a feature-rich and easy to use interface for creating specifications, uploading images, comparing before-and-after images, and rejecting images that don’t meet your standards.

The goal of image editing is to help you create high quality and consistent imagery. Steps like removing the background will create a professional impression by cutting away your DIY studio and also minimizing file size, speeding up your page loading time. Consider using post-production to make lighting adjustments, touch up skin, remove wrinkles, straighten your product, and perform cropping and resizing.

So that’s how to stage a photoshoot with an amateur model. Now, let’s take a look at mannequins.

The Case for Mannequins

stylecampaign burberry mannequins

Image credit: StyleCampaign

Even for high end fashion brands, mannequins are a budget conscious product photographer’s best friend. You can buy them for anywhere from $60-$600, depending on your needs, and that’s it. There’s no overtime, no rate hikes, and they’re always available for reshoots.

Those are the most obvious differences, but there’s more.

Mannequins Make Product Fit Easy

Whether you’re dealing with a professional or an amateur, you need to spend time when casting a model, have them try on your clothes and see if you like the way it looks. You can improve fit with styling, using pins and clips and other techniques, but you need a good foundation to build on.

Alternatively, with a mannequin, you may only need a few moments of browsing online to find the perfect one. Finding the right fit is simplified when you can click around and see exact measurements. This is especially true if all your samples are the same size and you only need one mannequin.

You’ll have less flexibility with posing, but your mannequin won’t complain about being poked or prodded while you’re styling it.

There are many types of materials mannequins are made from, but none is necessarily superior to another. It’s about a different kind of “fit” here; make sure your mannequin style matches your brand.

Branding Possibilities

Mannequins don’t communicate branding as completely as a fully styled model, but they’re not a blank slate either. We can use Anthropologie as an example; until about two years ago, they used mannequins for most of their ecommerce images. Here’s how they used to look:

anthropologie mannequin

Image credit: Anthropologie

It’s clean, vintage, and subtly decorated by a knob at the top. You don’t want your mannequin to be distracting, but anything that’s being seen by a customer should reinforce your brand positioning. If you’re bohemian, use vintage mannequins. If you’re modern, get something more sleek.

There’s also a 3D technique that’s growing in popularity: the invisible mannequin.

If you want to remove all distractions while still demonstrating fit, you can use the invisible mannequin effect. With a little planning and Photoshop know-how, you can create the effect in post-production yourself. If you don’t have the time or the desire to do it yourself, you can offload post-production to a company like Pixelz.

invisible ghost mannequin

Image credit: Pixelz

An “invisible” or “ghost” mannequin image is basically a combination of two or more images. Your product should be photographed as normal, and then repositioned in such a way that any portion that was originally covered by the mannequin can be photographed. Later, the photos are combined into a single image. For more detail, read this invisible mannequin guide that will walk you from basic principles all the way through post-production.

Which Should You Choose?

Models are essential for projecting a professional standard, while mannequins are cost-effective and consistent.

Many boutiques and brands with limited budgets combine the two with great success. You may want to consider shooting a lookbook with professional models, and using those images throughout your store for branding. You can then use amateur models or mannequins for product images.

A mixed approach will give you the best of both worlds without forcing you to choose between branding and your budget.

What have your experiences been like with models and mannequins? Do you have any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments below!


shopify-author Thomas Kragelund

About The Author

Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years.

Some New Shops To Check Out This Weekend

Red Rose Bag / by PiecefulDesign / small cosmetics pouch / purse organizer / Travel bag / credit card case / electronics pouch Summer Cacti Swag, Summer Wreath, Cactus, Welcome to Our Home Sign, Coral Hot Pink Orange Green, Peonies, Home Patio Porch Front Door Decor, Housewarming Gifts Sun and Moon Charm Real Flower Resin … read more

Red Rose Bag / by PiecefulDesign / small cosmetics pouch / purse organizer / Travel bag / credit card case / electronics pouch

Summer Cacti Swag, Summer Wreath, Cactus, Welcome to Our Home Sign, Coral Hot Pink Orange Green, Peonies, Home Patio Porch Front Door Decor, Housewarming Gifts

Sun and Moon Charm Real Flower Resin Necklace Nature Pendant Bohemian Jewelry Boho Accessories by Prism Gypsy

Family Where Life Begins and Love Never Ends Wood Sign – Family Sign – Family Decor – Housewarming Gift – Farmhouse Decor – Wedding Gift – Hand painted by ItsAllGraceShop

Star Wars Galaxy Slouch Beanie size M by Bear Kitten Clothing

Crazy Lace Agate and Crystal Necklace with Heart Shaped Pendant by Forest of Jewels

 

 

 

Do you know who made the items you bought this week?

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)   As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. … read more

GoosieGirl.com

Heather AKA Goose, Owner/CEO at GypsySpoonful.com

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol

What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)
 
As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. and the main reason for that at the onset was because so many imports were flooding Etsy and other marketplaces, and people were reselling imported copies of handmade products. Then it also came down to the shipping issue, if we were giving site wide, shipping for free (aka included in the price), it may not be feasible for us to ship internationally, or if someone overseas made a sale and had to ship it, it might be very hard to figure the cost when including shipping. (That has evolved a little bit over the last year but I’ll revisit that later) .
I am aware that today is International Fair Trade Day (5/12 every year) , and this brings me to something I am very passionate about, When someone purchases an imported item (especially from China) they have no way of knowing WHO actually created that item, OR how it was produced, or under WHAT conditions. I love the fact that the fair trade organization and guarantee exists, because of those reasons. (it’s time for a fashion revolution, people!) 
 
I think it is VERY important to understand, that imported items may have been created in sweat shops, where people are treated inhumanely and very poorly, or there may be human rights violations such as using child labor or forced prison labor. China has the WORST record in the entire world of human rights violations, they are a communist country afterall. Some day, if it’s possible to add international sellers , it is extremely important to me that we know their creative process (to be sure each item is individually handmade and not mass produced) as well as under what conditions they create the items, and that the people are being paid a fair wage as well. For more evidence and information about imports from China, go HERE
 
Just a message from the girl with the Gypsy Spoonful vision she’s trying to impart to everyone. Thanks for reading! Thoughts? drop a comment below and please share using the social media share buttons! 

Hustle: Do you have it? What does Hustling Mean To You?

The definition of hustle varies with different individuals. To some, its the art of working extra hard to meet your goals while to others, it’s a lifestyle you live by every day. As they say, the end results justify the means. We asked CEOs what hustle means to them and here are the responses. #1- … read more

The definition of hustle varies with different individuals. To some, its the art of working extra hard to meet your goals while to others, it’s a lifestyle you live by every day. As they say, the end results justify the means.

We asked CEOs what hustle means to them and here are the responses.

#1- Powering through the hard parts

Thanks to Jake Jorgovan, Lead Cookie!It’s not about working nights and weekends forever, that just leads to burnout. Instead hustle is about working those nights and weekends when it’s necessary to get over that next hump. Too many people confuse hustle with being a workaholic. You simply can’t stay in hustle mode for your entire life. There are seasons for hustle, and there are seasons to focus on your personal life. It’s important to understand that balance.

 #2- GSD’ing

Thanks to Spencer Chambers Hustle to me is summed up in what I like to call GSD’ing. What is GSD’ing you may ask? In appropriate language, this means Get “Stuff” Done. Work hard, never take no for an answer, make things happen, etc. It’s a really simple concept, but it takes hustle to truly execute and get stuff done on a daily basis.

#3- Simple

Thanks to Taran Ghatrora, Ellebox!Hustle to me is having a clear vision and an unbeatable work ethic to get there. You can’t get stuck in the planning phase or in overthinking.

#4- Executing things

Hustle is the ability to execute steps forward on ideas using discipline to motivate you, instead of inspiration or whim. Your idea is pretty much shit, unless you actually execute on it and do the thing.

Thanks to Ben Woods, Weathered Coalition!

#5- A number of things

Hustling is pursuing your passion when others aren’t. Hustling is saying no to happy hour to work on your business. Hustling is waking up every day at 5 a.m. to write a new company blog post, answer emails or listen to motivational videos. Hustling is spending most of your days alone because you are fervently working to grow your business.

Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!

#6-Having grit

Hustle means having grit. Sticking to it and getting things done while thinking strategically and being engaged. Hustling is about being effective and following through. It’s about the process — start to finish. Be strategic, savvy, and execute. It’s a go-go-go, get it done mentality.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!

#7- Performance and productivity

For most entrepreneurs and small business owners, hustle in its most literal sense means that you have to perform and be productive at a high level each and every day. If not, your competitors are likely to get a leg up on you. In a more subjective sense, hustle is a term used regarding a side hustle, which is how many of us get started. If you can find something to do in your spare time which generates income for you, there’s nothing to say that it can’t eventually turn into a full-time position and career for you.

Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!

#8- Motivation and persistence

Thanks to Tom Szaky, TerraCycle!To me, hustle is motivation and persistence. It is being motivated by the word “no,” or the desire to do something others think is not possible. It is thinking big and not settling for anything less than great. Mediocre will not suffice. When TerraCycle first started about 15 years ago, we sold organic worm poop fertilizer. Selling to mom n’ pop stores would’ve been easy, but I wanted more. I wanted to see it on shelves in big box stores so I called relentlessly, no matter how many times they didn’t respond. Finally, we got a meeting and a short time later our fertilizer was on store shelves. Today, we no longer make the fertilizer and TerraCycle is known for recycling difficult to recycle materials. We operate in 21 countries and were just qualified by the SEC for a Regulation A offering which enables any level investor to purchase shares of the company. The capital raise will be used to acquire businesses, allowing us to continue to innovate ways to solve some of the world’s biggest waste problems. Thinking big and persevering despite the no’s in life is my definition of hustle.

#9- Making things happen

It takes drive, creativity, energy, passion, chutzpah, and resilience. As the founder and CEO I know there are going to be times when doors close or I have to pivot to turn my vision into reality. If it were easy someone would have thought of it and done it before. If you are committed to making your dream come true you have to hustle. No one else wakes up every day thinking about your business. It is on you to hustle. If you want it more then you just have to work harder and hustle to make it happen.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!

 #10- Solving problems

Hustle is a term that gets thrown around a lot by entrepreneurs, we say with pride that we worked 14 hours a day for the last week. I’m working on being more conscious of framing my relationship to the word hustle, I now relate it to resourcefulness. When you’re running your own business, a lot of different things come down the pipe, and you’ve got to be able to dig deep and have a high capacity for problem-solving.

Thanks to Justin Shaw, One & Zero!

#11- Hard work

Hustle is working day in and day out even when the results aren’t showing. It’s doing all of the work when you don’t feel like it or you’re stressed. Hustle means not complaining and putting in the hours no matter what because you’re dedicated. In business, it takes a long time for the fruits of your labor to show their effects. I believe you have to be willing to work very hard now for rewards later. That’s what hustle means to me.

Thanks to Carmine M, Pierro Shoes!

#12- It’s everything

Thanks to Rune Sovndahl, Fantastic Services!Business and hustle go hand in hand when being an entrepreneur and it can be fantastic, but also really challenging at the same time. What is “hustle”, you may ask? It’s everything. To me it is breathing, living and feeling the pulse of the business. It’s about making constant growth sustainable. Hustle is about a constant state of peak performance and ability to find the positive in every situation. It is also used to remind one that good things don’t come to those who wait – it comes to those who work hard, sleep and breathe work, and deliver. No matter what type of problem is thrown at you, you have to keep hustling!

#13- To keep moving

Hustle to me means rolling with the punches and never giving up. When your business or your professional career there are going to be low times, failures and even lull’s. You need to make sure to keep working through these times. This is where most people give up and try something new. Have faith and believe in yourself. Hustle your way through these hard times.

Thanks to Garrett Smith, Pitch + Pivot!

#14- Several things

Being the Executive Director of a very small nonprofit, hustle means something very different to me than how the average CEO probably sees it. For me, making as many connections as possible and going to as many networking events as possible are critical. I also need to be fearless when it comes to asking people, companies, and organizations for support and resources for our organization whenever we need it. Hustle also means having my elevator pitch down to a science, so I can easily and efficiently sell our organization to potential new supporters and partners on the spot. For me, hustling also means keeping in touch with connections even if you can’t work with them right away, because you never know if they might be able to help you later on, or who else they might know who might be able to help you, too. Additionally, being ready with a list of things you need assistance with – and being ready to vocalize that list of needs when opportunities arise – is definitely critical to hustling, as is working all channels available to you (like using social media for instance) to crowd-source resources and connections that can benefit us as well.

Thanks to Melissa Norden, Bottomless Closet!

#15- When you say, enough talking – it’s time to do something

Your business began with a dream, that dream morphed into a vision which then becomes a goal. The world is full of dreamers. You have to do more than dream and believe; you have to have a shared goal and hustle to reach it! We teach our team in our EntreLeadership classes to clearly define dreams, visions and goals, share them and share them with their teams. Hustle happens when the team fights and claws together to get there.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey, Ramsey Solutions!

#16- Making it work

“Detroit Hustle” is a known state of mind in the Motor City, where my outdoor advertising agency is headquartered. To me, hustle means always making it work and never giving up. I’ve worked essentially 24/7 since starting Brooklyn Outdoor 5 years ago and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My days are jam-packed with meetings, conference calls, and tight deadlines. I think the most important part of the hustle is being invigorated by hard work instead of feeling drained.

Thanks to Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor!

What does hustle mean to you? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join

(courtesty of CEO Blog Nation)

Zuckerberg Announces BIG Changes for Business Pages on Facebook. Coming Soon in 2018. Small Business Apocalypse.

Did you hear about the BIG changes coming to Facebook for businesses??!! straight from the horse’s mouth: Last Thursday, Zuckerberg stated the company intends to bring personal interaction back to Facebook, ensuring that users see more of their friends’ posts and less content from brands, media and other groups that utilize Facebook pages. While this … read more

Did you hear about the BIG changes coming to Facebook for businesses??!!

straight from the horse’s mouth:

Last Thursday, Zuckerberg stated the company intends to bring personal interaction back to Facebook, ensuring that users see more of their friends’ posts and less content from brands, media and other groups that utilize Facebook pages. While this will make for a more enjoyable social experience on Facebook, one of the drawbacks of this change is that many of the businesses, brands or media that users want to follow will not be visible as often. For instance, if you follow a business page and enjoy seeing their posts, this new change will hide most of their updates.

Zuckerberg Announces Big Changes for Facebook Pages in 2018

As if the algorithms and the pay to play post “boosting” didn’t do enough damage to our small businesses, now he’s coming right out and saying that businesses and brands will be buried and hidden even more!!

Those of us who managed to dodge paying to boost posts just to reach a 1/10 of the people who actually follow our pages, will suffer even more. Small businesses who don’t have an advertising budget will all but be obliterated in the new Zuckerberg Facebook 2018 plan…

For those of you that have trusted my advice and suggestions in the past as far as social media go, I want you to know I am working on an ebook to explain these changes and I’m brainstorming workarounds for this “new era” for businesses coming SOON on facebook. I”ve been quoted in several publications (blogs, newspapers, magazines etc) as well as being quoted in two books as a small business and social media expert. If there’s a will there’s a way, and Goosie is on the case…

Please comment and let me know if you’d be interested in my ebook, and what you think of these new changes Zuckerberg thinks will be so awesome


Starting your small business: Top six tips for new businesses

So to get started, create your own simple, one-page business plan that is a high-level overview of the small business you’re about to start. Preliminary Steps: Define your vision. What will be the end result of your business? Define your mission. Different to a vision, your mission should explain the reason your company exists. Define your objectives. What … read more

So to get started, create your own simple, one-page business plan that is a high-level overview of the small business you’re about to start.

Preliminary Steps:

  1. Define your vision. What will be the end result of your business?
  2. Define your mission. Different to a vision, your mission should explain the reason your company exists.
  3. Define your objectives. What are you going to do — what are your goals — that will lead to the accomplishment of your mission and your vision?
  4. Outline your basic strategies. How are you going to achieve the objectives you just bulleted?
  5. Write a simple action plan. Bullet out the smaller task-oriented actions required to achieve the stated objectives

That’s it. It might be longer than one page, but it will surely be more organized and shorter than a full business plan, which could take weeks to write. If you need more information on the one-page business plan, or want to write out a full-blown finance-centered business plan

Decide on a budget

While I highly recommend you keep your costs as low as possible, you’ll still need to determine a budget to get started and how much you’ll be able to spend. If you’re self funding, be realistic about numbers and whatever you anticipate your budget to be. I’ve found that an additional 20 percent tacked on for incidentals is a realistic overage amount that helps you plan your burn rate.

Your burn rate is how much cash you’re spending month over month. It’s an important number for you to figure out to determine how long you can stay in business before you need to turn a profit.

You should set up your business with profitability in mind the first 30 to 90 days. It’s possible. But have a budget reserve so you can survive if things go leaner than expected.

Decide on a legal entity

Filing paperwork to start a business costs money. Often, depending on your state, it can be a lot of money. You’ll need to account for city or municipality licensing, state incorporation or business entity fees and more. Do a thorough search ahead of time to determine what the filing fees are for your city, county and state before starting any business.

Often in the initial “test” phase for your small business, it can be wise to start as a sole proprietor, as it means less paperwork and up-front expenses. That can save you some big-time cash while you determine the viability of your business. Do be aware though that acting as a sole proprietor can put you at personal risk, so you’ll want to weigh the benefits vs. risks and then speak with a local attorney or tax professional to decide which is smarter for your short-term vs. long-term goals.

You can always file for a business entity once you’ve proven in the first three to six months of business that you’ve got a viable, sustainable model.

Take Care of the Finances

Whatever business entity you decide on, keep the funds separate from your personal accounts. This is a big mistake that makes tax time and financials so utterly and horribly confusing. It’s really easy to set up a free business checking account with your local credit union or bank. All you’ll need is your filing paperwork, sole proprietor licensing information and an initial deposit to get set up from most financial institutions.

Don’t pay for an account or get any kind of credit lines yet, just get a holding place you can keep your money separated from your personal accounts. This should take you no more than hour at the financial institution of your choice.

Get your online presence/Website:

Regardless of whether your business will be brick or mortar or online, you’ll need a website and that means securing a URL. Popular domain sites such as idotzdomains and Go Daddy will allow you to search for the website domain address of your choice and purchase it for as little as $.99 (be careful with GoDaddy though, they will jack the price up in subsequent years so be sure

If you’re starting an online business, you can tie your domain to an online shopping cart and store front such as Gypsy Spoonful  or you can build a basic website yourself on top of your URL with do-it-yourself drag-and-drop site builders such as Weebly for a low fee.

Test Sales

You have enough of a foundation now that you can start testing some sales. Try to spread the word in inexpensive and creative ways.

If you have a service-based business, get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter immediately and ask what resources are available for you to speak, present or share information about your business. If you have a product-based business, test the viability of your product at local flea markets, farmers markets or other community events to test what the public really thinks (and if they’ll purchase) from you. Start social media accounts and post photos of your products to see if the public is looking for the items you create.

Drive traffic to your shop/website through simple Facebook Ads with capped budgets, or set up a simple Google AdWords account with a budget cap to test if traffic is going to your site.

The admin team of Gypsy Spoonful is happy to help you learn how to drive traffic to your shop~ where else can you get hands on help from the owners of the company?

 

 

goals

Why Join The Gypsy Spoonful Creative Community?

On Gypsy Spoonful… ?we are 100% handmade ?nothing is imported ?Everything is hand crafted from real people who operate their own independently owned American small businesses. ?We allow you to run your business the way YOU want, we TRUST you to make great decisions on what products to sell, we TRUST you to be able … read more

what if I fall? oh my darling, what if you fly?

On Gypsy Spoonful…
?we are 100% handmade
?nothing is imported
?Everything is hand crafted from real people who operate their own independently owned American small businesses.
?We allow you to run your business the way YOU want, we TRUST you to make great decisions on what products to sell, we TRUST you to be able to get inquiries and be able to EMAIL the sender directly, we don’t keep communication trapped within the site (because we TRUST you to be responsible)
?We allow you to put outside links in your listings (to your facebook, or instagram for example) , because we TRUST you not to circumvent customers to another platform.

Empowering Women

?We won’t shut your shop down based on a random complaint, we have our maker’s backs and will investigate FAIRLY and give you the opportunity to respond as well.
?. There is no monthly shop fee, there are no listing fees, and no renewal fees. You can relist when and how often you want, listings run forever. The final value fees are modest , even on digital/pdf products (some sites take 50% of pattern sales! Gypsy Spoonful only takes 2.9% + Paypal fees and a 2% masspay fee) . If it doesn’t sell, you don’t pay a thing!
?You have the support of a creative/entrepreneurial community, cheering you on the whole way. Our admin team has over 30 years of online selling experience (in the handmade/boutique worlds) . We know what works and what doesn’t work. The founder (me, Heather Gray) has been in business for 14 years selling boutique/handmade items, she’s a published author, has designed for a-list celebrities, been on television, been blogged about, used as a small business expert in articles and books. We have experience in the trenches, we have tried different things, let our leg work be on your side. We’ll save you time and effort by giving suggestions of what we’ve learned over the years. We’re always experimenting, trying new things in the way of marketing and promotion for our makers. In just 8 short months we’re getting amazing traffic, inquiries, sales and we’re up to about 125 shops right now.

 

empowering women
?We may be new, but that means it a ground floor opportunity to get involved in a VERY EXCITING movement ~ we’re not just about selling, we’re about making handmade a LIFESTYLE. A viable choice in the marketplace, where disposable products have sullied the quality of goods that consumers have as a choice. We believe in handmade, and all that it represents. We believe in small business. We believe in supporting local small businesses before big box stores and fortune 500 companies. We believe in America, and that as Americans, we can bring superior products to the marketplace as exceptional choices for consumers.
? Where else can you get training, tips and help from the people that run the site? When was the last time the CEO of any selling platform sat down with you and gave you tips on taking photos, asked for your input on an idea for an important new feature for the site? YOU count, and MATTER at Gypsy Spoonful. We aren’t out to profit on your hard work, we’re also here to help you GROW because we believe in empowering other small business owners.


?If you’re interested in getting involved in what we’re doing, we’re looking for new makers, we are a curated site, meaning we don’t allow everyone to just join, there’s a vetting and interview process (and we do have a wait list). If you’re a hard worker who is not afraid to put in the time/effort/work and be involved in a community setting, with helping make decisions and give input about the direction we are going, we want you to be a part of Gypsy Spoonful.

https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/join/

?We’re also looking for bloggers who want to contribute as guest bloggers with small business topics, marketing & PR, & branding tips, handmade DIY tutorials, etc (email goosiegirlboutique@gmail.com)

If you made it through this LONG post, you deserve a HUG!!

Image may contain: one or more people and text
Dad Sews

Sew, Fail, Repeat. The Dad Sews Journey (Part 1)

Let’s Get To Know Dad Sews Blogged by our resident Blogger, Donna of Charms Couture Boutique     Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of … read more

Dad Sews

Well, I’ve always wanted to learn to sew. This year I turn 40, and I’m starting to get embarrassed asking my mother to hem my jeans. This is a skill I should have in my tool belt.  Especially now that I have four kids. There are socks to darn, holes to fix, etc. Knowing how to sew is a money saver, and I NEED to save money.

Let’s Get To Know Dad Sews

Blogged by our resident Blogger, Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Dad Sews Blog

Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m a lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice? “I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”, or “I don’t have the time to devote to it”, “or “it’s a conflict of interest.” Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m  lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice?

I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”,

or

“I don’t have the time to devote to it”, or “it’s a conflict of interest.”

Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Part 2 …coming soon…

Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker- Feature Showcase , and free shipping coupon code.

Cricut Maker ! Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker. It handles fabrics, leather, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine. (Now during the month of September, get free shipping using this link,  … read more

Cricut Maker ! Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker.
It handles fabrics, leather, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine.

(Now during the month of September, get free shipping using this link,  http://bit.ly/2gDo9uF 

and coupon code: FALLSHIP)

A whole new material world

Cricut Maker quickly and accurately cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to the tough stuff like matboard, leather, and balsa wood. Now your creative potential is exponential.

Sewing crafts, simplified.

Pick a pattern, and Cricut Maker cuts and marks all the pieces in just a few clicks. Saving you plenty of time for all the fun parts.

Select from hundreds of digital patterns.

Let the machine do the cutting and marking.

Sew it together and you’re done!

Cricut Maker

 

Expandable Suite of Tools . The tools you need. Today and tomorrow.

Cricut Maker

With its revolutionary toolset, Cricut Maker cuts, writes, and scores more materials – with greater precision and control – than ever before. Plus, with more tools coming, Cricut Maker grows with you as you master each new craft.

Rotary Blade -Cuts fabrics quickly. Safely. Flawlessly.
The Rotary Blade brings infinitely customizable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the very first time. Use it to cut cotton, fleece, denim, and more. With its gliding, rolling action, it cuts virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material.

Knife Blade-Add a new dimension to any project.
The extra-deep Knife Blade cuts through dense materials up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick with unprecedented ease and safety, almost like an automated X-ACTO® blade. It’s ideal for thicker materials like balsa wood, matboard, and heavy leather.
Knife Blade expected to be available by the end of the year. Maximum cut depth and cut radius varies depending on the material.

Adaptive Tool System™- Commercial-grade cutting power.
The heart of our most advanced cutting machine, the Adaptive Tool System intelligently controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your material, so every cut comes out perfect. And with 10X more cutting power, you can take on more materials than ever.  (Watch a demonstration HERE on youtube)

Detail- Little things that add up to something big.

Cricut Maker is full of thoughtful touches to make your DIY experience easier. Extra built-in storage keeps your tools organized and within reach. A helpful docking slot holds your tablet or smartphone. And the convenient USB port lets you charge your device in a flash.

Cricut Maker

Feature summary The power of a professional machine.
The simplicity of Cricut. Cuts the most materials. Cricut Maker cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather.

 

Why we do it : Who Am I and Why Am I Part of Gypsy Spoonful?

First you may ask; What is Gypsy Spoonful? (or GS for short) By now I am sure you have taken a look at the website and realized just how awesome it is! It has several makers and over 3k listings! That’s right…3 THOUSAND strictly handmade items from small businesses! GS is a website that has … read more

My Why by CharmsCoutureBoutique

First you may ask; What is Gypsy Spoonful? (or GS for short) By now I am sure you have taken a look at the website and realized just how awesome it is! It has several makers and over 3k listings! That’s right…3 THOUSAND strictly handmade items from small businesses!

GS is a website that has an Etsy-like setup. Meaning? Well it means that the website is home to more than just 1 individual maker. It is home to over 112 individually owned shops on one platform that offers everything from pdf sewing patterns to one of a kind products and props. However, unlike Etsy; Gypsy Spoonful does not accept any mass produced items such as knock-offs or China Cheapies. Everything…EVERYTHING is made by hand!

So how do I fit in?

Why am I writing a blog post about this? Why is this important to me?

To understand my blog post you need to know a few things about me first.

For starters; I am one of the makers on GS. I sell custom handmade clothing & accessories as well as handmade soaps that hold no harsh chemicals. I come from a background of giving unto others. When I was a child at Christmas time we got to open our presents and play with our toys for 1 week. After the week was up my mother would tell us to pick our #1 favorite toy that we received, the rest of them we packed up and donated to the local children’s shelter. As I got older and went into HS, I volunteered several hours a week at various places such as Nursing Homes and Bingo Nights. When I became an adult, I began working with children and teens who were labeled with [severe] behavioral issues; i.e. opposition to authority. Many years later many of “my kids” have become mothers and fathers and I keep in contact with them to this day! As an adult not only do I have my shop on GS, I also make dresses and other items and donate them online to Pay It Forward Groups.

This community is incredibly important to me. It allows me to use my creativity to help others! It allows me to be ME and in the process allows me to help support my family. I am a military spouse with an ever growing 11 yr old stepson who resides with us! Every single time someone purchases from my shop, not only does it help MY family, it allows me to continue helping other families! For every bar of soap that is bought, we donate 1 to either nursing homes, battered womens shelters and childrens shelters.

My entire life has been about helping others.

When I began thinking about expanding my business to reach more clients, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to accomplish. I have goals and business morals that I am not willing to compromise and GS has helped me keep to that integrity. I have always been about my clients and ensuring their vision comes true with my work rather than “making a quick buck”. I firmly believe in helping out other makers if I am able and do not see other shops as competition. I see the other makers as collaborators; business associates, even friends if you will.  Without their help and support, GS would not be what it is- just a few short months after its birth!

I wanted to write about my experiences, my beliefs to help those who are either thinking about shopping on GS or even becoming part of the GS family! When you open a shop on GS, you do not do it alone. Other makers are there to lend a helping hand, answer questions and help you get your shop setup correctly so you receive sales! Makers give advice on getting better photos for listings, how to appeal to your target market and how to best answer potential customer’s questions! GS is not just a website that sells handmade products, it is a community of individuals with a common purpose, a common ideal that have banded together to offer quality products! Products that can become heirlooms and keepsakes for generations to come!

This community blog post was created by Donna of Charms Couture Boutique, you can view her Gypsy Spoonful Shop and all the items she offers here.