Friday, July 13, 2012

Ten More Bags, and a Big Decision

You might remember this post last April, when I did a "show and tell" of the bags I made for Dale of Dale's Floral Designs in the small town of Warsaw, Virginia.  She likes my bags, and so do her customers, so she ordered 10 more bags!  As she did with the previous order, Dale went fabric shopping and sent me a quarter-yard of ten different prints.  I made these bags, using fabrics from my "stash" to augment the fabrics she sent.

From left to right, they are Oriental floral, roses, Gerbera daisies, and cardinals:

Here we have hummingbirds, palm trees, and autumn leaves:

These are red berries, Christmas snowflakes, and leopard print:

Again, I think Dale did a great job of choosing fabrics, and I love all these bags.  (My favorite is the red berries!)

Now for the big decision.  I have been thinking about this for many months, and...

 I've finally decided to close my sewing business! 

What that means for me is that I will no longer spend long hours making large numbers of the same thing.  This will free me to be more creative with my sewing (for myself, family, friends, and swaps), and it will give me time to explore the areas of art that I'm interested in.  For example, I just joined a facebook group called Art Abandonment, with members from all over the world who make pieces of artwork to leave in public places for strangers to find and take and enjoy.  I desperately want to abandon some art, but first I have to make something! 

So, I've told Dale that I will do one more bag order for her before I close; I will close my Etsy store as soon as I get around to it; and I've told Pat at Country Treasures that I will clear out my booth at the end of July.  (I got a phone call from her, asking me to bring in one more batch of my Scrappy Fabric Bracelets.  Apparently there is an older woman who comes in frequently, and she buys these bracelets for gifts...they want to be sure she has all she wants before I close!)

For those of you who are interested in the financial aspect of it...I will say that selling my handmade items has never been very profitable, mainly because I have a hard time charging what my goods are worth.  I have always geared my prices toward what the "average" person could easily spend.  When you add in things like paying for a business license, business property tax, self-employment tax, insurance, and the paperwork hassle of collecting and remitting sales tax, it just isn't worth it any more.  It's time to free myself from this!

I'm looking forward to making new things, and blogging all about them here! 


Kay said...

Enjoy your extra new sewing time, Leslie. I do think there will be some sad people among your regular customers though. Of the 10 bags, I love the bright gerberas best of all.

wendiek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendiek said...

(deleted my first comment, I noticed several spelling mistakes)

That is a BIG decision! And a brave one too!

Of course it is too bad for your regular customers that you won't be selling your beautiful items any more, but on the other hand now it costs you too much: money, time and creativity!

So, good for you Leslie! Hope that inspiration and creativity hits you big time ;D !
We (your readers) will enjoy that process from beginning to end, by reading your blog!

Congratulations Leslie!


Leslie Andersen said...

Thanks, Kay and Wendie. Yes, leaving my regular customers is what makes this decision difficult.

Unknown said...

the retail world is going to be less wonderful for you leaving it, but you gave it years of total treats and now is the time for you to stretch those creative wings and FLY!!! my sister was wearing the fabric bracelet that i commissioned from you for Christmas, Leslie. It's obvious that she wears it every day because it was falling off of her wrist. Still she told me that she gets compliments all the time!

cristmae said...

Right decision you made. Nice one Leslie. You have a very wonderful and unique design of bags indeed.
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