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Archive for December, 2012

2012 has been an amazing year for Storied Threads.  Last Christmas season, I saw a sudden spike in my Etsy sales, and was amazed by it.  But I thought, “There’s no way this will keep up through the new year. Don’t be surprised when it goes back to normal in January.”  It turned out, though, that January didn’t really slow down at all. And as I kept adding new items and new designs to the shop, I kept getting new customers — and throughout 2012, business has consistently grown for me.  And as you know, at the end of October, I finally quit my day job and became fully self-employed at Storied Threads. Which is a thing I sometimes thought would never happen. More than once, people like Mike and Kate had to push me to keep going through the rough times — and I am so glad they did. And this Christmas season has only re-affirmed my choice as a good one, because even working a minimum of 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, I’m having trouble keeping up.

Loki's scarf from Stuttgart, as seen in The Avengers.

Loki’s scarf from Stuttgart, as seen in The Avengers.

As we go into 2013, my goal is to not only keep up on the things I already do, but to keep adding new kinds of things to the shop.  I recently unveiled a sneak peek of our replica Loki Stuttgart scarf, which will be for sale at Arisia (and for which I’m now taking pre-orders for those who won’t make it to the con!).

I have plans for adding geekery to some of my regular garb items, as well — an Iron Man Jasmine Jacket, and a Thor surcoat, for instance.

I also have plans to change my website a bit, moving all sales over to Etsy. Managing the Etsy shop as well as the “In Stock” page on the website has simply proved a bit unwieldy, and I think that having everything in one place will be much easier and smoother — both for me, and for my customers.

I’m also adding cons to my list of vending opportunities next year, with both Arisia and ConnectiCon being added to my roster.  I’ve never vended a con before, so I suspect there will be a bit of a learning curve involved, but it’s something I’m really excited to add to my calendar.

Thumbnail of my Coulson Lives fabric print.

Thumbnail of my Coulson Lives fabric print.

I’m even looking into creating my own fabric prints over at Spoonflower. I created my first yesterday, using my Agent Coulson Lives design, and as soon as I’m able to offer it for sale, I’ll announce it to all of you.

So, yeah. We’ve had an awesome year here, full of growth and change. And I’m looking forward to more of the same next year!

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Our new TARDIS stocking -- perfect for Whovian Christmases!

Our new TARDIS stocking — perfect for Whovian Christmases!

Back when we started talking seriously about my quitting my day job to take on Storied Threads full time, Mike suggested that I look into seasonal retail work as a transitional step.  It would be part time, so would still give me a lot more hours in the studio, and would be a temporary gig — but would also give me a small guaranteed paycheck for a few more months.

As it happens, I never applied anywhere. I’m not even sure now whether this was a conscious decision, or simply something that I never got around to a month ago.  But in the end, it was the best decision — or non-decision — I could have made.  Between orders placed at CTRF and the beginning of the Christmas season — I have been swamped!  I am flabbergasted by the amount of orders I have coming in every day, and am simply unable to keep up.  I even got a mention on The Mary Sue the other day, driving even more business to my Etsy shop. Can you imagine if I was spending 20 hours a week working for chump change at Target, how much more stressed I would feel right now?

Instead, I’m working 7 days a week, sometimes 10 hours a day, and barely keeping up. Oftentimes I feel like I’m not keeping up. And aside from the fear that I’ll be unable to get everybody’s Christmas orders out on time — it makes me uncontrollably excited for how well this bodes for my business.  I’m drawing a paycheck, I’m paying all my bills.  So far, my Escape Fund remains untouched. And it is amazing to me that this is all real.

Okay. I’m off to the post office to ship the 40 packages I put together since Saturday afternoon….Let’s see how many more I can have ready for tomorrow!

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