Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where will we go from here....

I started Hip-Threads.com back in 2003-2004 with the help of my good (saintly) friend Heather who created my website for me.  And before Hip-Threads.com came into light, I sold my handmade patchwork clothing at concerts, festivals and shows across the Midwest, and Colorado.  Once my website was up and running; I continued making patchwork clothing and accessories; eventually I started making jewelry, then soap, hats, knits, and more.   These new items kept getting added to Hip-Threads.com and with each new craft came new products until I started to feel like my website had a lot of stuff with no theme behind it.  My sales had dropped and I wasn't seeing quite as many hits to my site or inquiries.
Then last year, when Josh was offered a job that afforded me to quit my job and focus on my business and I was thrilled!  I had visions of sewing all day, cutting all night, cooking, gardening, blogging, and all the 'free' time I'd have.  But somehow, it didn't work out that way;  and even though I kept creating, my sales were slow and I wasn't succeeding as I had hoped, and it's really made me re-think this business and what I need to do to make it successful to me.

What is successful to me?  Maybe you want to know, so I will tell you:

1.  I'd like to have consistent weekly sales and inquiries
2.  I'd like to make about 700-1,000 per month in revenue
3.  I'd like my blogs to generate over 100 hits per day
4.  To enjoy every day working from home

None of this is really telling you where I'd like to go, but rather where I have been and where I am now.  A crossroad.  I wasn't, and still am not achieving any of my above goals, unfortunately, and haven't this entire year 'off' of work, so something needs to change.  For years, my father has suggested that I buy items wholesale and sell them on my site, thus eliminating the need to be in a sewing room 8+ hours a day to make one item which only sell part of the time.  And I wasn't seeing the value in this change because I'd have to invest a lot of money; but what I didn't see was that I was already investing money with my time, supplies, machine upkeep, etc and I still wasn't reaching any of my goals   Also, I wasn't sure what products to buy at all. 
Recently however, I have really decided to pin down what I enjoy and create a theme for a business around doing what I love; hiking, camping, being outside with nature, and all things Colorado.   Did you know that I have a hiking blog that I update with hikes, directions and photos each week?
Plus, I love all things handmade.  Why not make handmade items geared toward the hiker, camper, and nature lover?  This allows me to still be creative and make things that I love; like crocheting hats, hand warmers and mittens to keep you cozy, as well as hiking pouches, bottle holders, and other accessories for your next adventure.    Besides my handmade goods, I'm looking forward to offering other gear handmade with an outdoor lifestyle in mind.

My first product will be survival para-cord belts; these belts are fashionable and resourceful!  Made with 60-80 feet of para-cord, they are great for a survivalist, a gift and more.   Look for them and other para-cord accessories on my website very soon.   I will continue to look for more handmade products by other artists and I am excited to see what I will find.

Aside from handmade products, I am now offering my photography prints and hand painted and refurbished frames to go with the framing.  My love of photography spans decades, and after receiving a really good camera a few years ago, I am excited to continue taking nature photos and adding them to my site and etsy shop.

I have had a lot of questions about making clothing again, and I'd really like to keep making clothes with eco-friendly fabrics geared toward the nature lover.  And I will continue to take custom orders for patchwork clothing when I have time, so you can message me if you are interested. I would love for you to support me in this new adventure in my business and I welcome any comments and suggestions, whether good or bad regarding this decision.

[caption id="attachment_187" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Tree Frog Hand Warmers "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Fireworks at Sunrise Hat"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_189" align="alignleft" width="192" caption="Apple Blossom Hiking Pack"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_190" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Vintage Sunflower Hiking Girl Hip Pack"][/caption]

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