Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Little Biz {a guest blogging series}

Hi all!  My name is Kim and I'm the {mama / woman / creative designer / seamstress} behind Eggo in the Oven - my "little biz" that sells mainly custom items for babies, kiddos, moms, homes, and anyone else who could be looking for high-quality handmade items!  I'm excited to be writing a few guest blog articles for Marcia - all about the puzzle pieces that fit together to make my little biz!
Custom Apron Knot Dress and Ruffled Pants - made by Eggo in the Oven
Matching headband made by RubyKinz Hair Accessories
Photo courtesy of Kimberly V Photography
I recently read a blog article that centered around this manifesto -  so my articles will be MY experiences with all of this.... as I couldn't have designed a more perfect visual representation if I tried!
{Part 1 - one woman...}
Owning / running your own handmade small biz {or any small biz for that matter!} is tough.  YOU are everything.  Not in a self-obsessed, "I'm the queen of the world" way - but more the "I'm wearing so many hats I can't walk through that door without hitting them on the frame" way.  You are the design department.  Research & Development.  Marketing.  Pricing.  Manufacturing.  Email / Admin.  Invoicing.  Shipping.  CEO & CFO.  It's like that Staples commercial featuring "Dave" -

There are pros and cons to wearing all these hats.  YOU make all the decisions, and ultimately can take your little biz in the direction YOU want.  But it is also VERY easy for YOU - the person, mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister - to get lost in all of this!
My family - March 2013 - Clam Digging on the Washington Coast
{Kim (Mama Eggo), Jimmy (my biggest supporter!), Colby ("Baby Eggo" - 2.5 years old), and Brendan (6 months)}
When I started my business in January 2011, I had NO idea what it would become.  I took the plunge because others {my friends, family, people I had never met} had been begging me to - and in the back of my mind I thought: "Here, I'll show them I tried, and in a few months I'll move on to something else and they'll all stop BUGGING ME!". 
"Born to Fish" custom onesie by Eggo in the Oven
photo courtesy of Tanya Mally Photography
Hmmm.... joke's on me.  Within weeks, I was working more hours than my husband {a full-time Engineer}, while also adjusting to being a Mommy for the first time {Colby, "Baby Eggo", was 4 months old when Eggo in the Oven opened}.  I was getting up at 4am to sew / answer emails / design custom items - sewing most of the day - and answering emails {and yes, you guessed it - sewing!} in the evenings.
I LOVE putting together coordinating gift sets - perfect for baby showers!
My husband and I kept saying "... when it slows down..." - we stopped saying this 3 months in, after I had invested in a much nicer Sewing & Embroidery machine, and continued to send out invoices as quickly as I was shipping out completed orders.  Within my first year of business, I did over 750 individual orders.  Me.  The ONE woman behind this "little biz".  Sewing in what used to be our home office / craft room - a room that quickly got a face-lift to become Eggo in the Oven headquarters.
Eggo in the Oven headquarters - August 2012
we have since moved.... and I haven't yet taken any good pictures of my current work space!
Thanks to some forced changes {multiple moves with VERY short notice}, as well as some very tough, deliberate changes by me, and a commitment to me / my family, I am now at a place where I have much more balance. {2+ years into this journey!}

Project QUILTING - week 1
See other patchwork blankets I have made
Most recently, I participated in Project QUILTING - at Marcia's suggestion!  I was able to complete 5 of the 6 challenges (missing one due to moving!).  I created because I WANTED to.  I drew inspiration from the challenge, my life, the world outside of my little biz!  It was refreshing - and a good reminder that I LOVE what I do.
Project QUILTING - week 2
One-of-a-kind patchwork / quilted bib
Project QUILTING - week 3
An example of some of my {E}Home decor
I learned so much about quilting / designing / the creative process - through my experience and reading about others' / seeing their finished products.  It also helped me see that I am a better person / mom / wife / little biz owner when I have a better balance.  With the completion of this season of Project QUILTING, I am sad that I will not have that bi-weekly "outside nudge" to help me continue in my commitment to ME.... but I'm hoping it has truly inspired me to keep up the creative process - outside of my little biz.

Project QUILTING - week 5
More {E}Home Decor

Project QUILTING - week 6
A one-of-a-kind quilted bag - my first of this design!
Guess what?!  I am still the one woman behind it all.  I haven't taken off any of those hats.  But somehow, lately, we actually fit through the doorway! :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Stay tuned for more about my journey / my little biz - including building BIG relationships... creating a BIG community... and taking pride in being a little biz!
Eggo in the Oven original owl applique onesie - blue and grey

Thank you for all of your comments on the blog!  Marcia will be forwarding them to me so that I can reply to each one!

The links provided above take you to my Facebook Business Page - where I conduct all of my business.  As I continue to streamline my business processes, I may try to introduce a blog or re-institute my online presence outside of Facebook, but for now this is what I can do as {one woman}.  
I actually made the decision to abandon both Etsy (to avoid the double fees!) and the website I developed / launched because I am kept FAR too busy with JUST my Facebook page / shop.  BUT.... I just figured out how to share my albums / photos {in my Facebook shop} to those without Facebook - so with a little patience, I will update the links above and provide a few more here (and with future blog posts). 
If you see something you LOVE please don't hesitate to contact me via email for pricing / more information: eggointheoven{at}hotmail{dot}com

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!

A recap of my {One little biz} guest blog series:


Maria dolores Lopez godoy said...

Wow, you a very creative, is a great work, congratulations. Kisses from Spain.

Jeleoz said...

Great Blog Kim!!! Your an amazing woman and I'm so proud to call you one of my best friends although we are miles away.

Margaret said...

Hi, I tried to find your business on-line but the links in the post all take me to facebook sign-in. Do you have a web site or a blog that I can check out?

Kim Wells said...

Thanks all!

Margaret - I actually do all my business on Facebook at this time. I have designed / used a website in the past, and started (very briefly) on Etsy when I first opened - but I am kept FAR too busy with just sales through Facebook that I have abandoned both of the other online locations at this time!

I know it's not ideal for all, as not all have Facebook, but I have had to remind myself I am only one person and maintaining a "storefront" in multiple places is more than I can handle!!!

Thanks for trying to look!!

kcro62 said...

love your blog and your creativity! :)

PersimonDreams said...

Loved reading your story! I'm glad you've enjoyed PQ :)