It's been 15 years since I last drew a paycheck.
Coincidentally, (or not) my eldest daughter is 15.
I began sewing for pay as way to earn extra cash,
and as a way to differentiate my days. Sewing and
doing custom work allowed me to define my days with
an external measure. It was as much a mental health
aid as a financial boon. I spent a lot of my early funds
on art supplies and holiday gifts.
I opened my Etsy shop in 2007,
after selling for two years at local craft and holiday
markets. Things change. Children grow. Interests
expand. What started as crowns and tote bags,
morphed into dice bags and gaming accessories. I'd
been making dice bags for friends for longer than I'd
made anything else, but it took a while to find my
market. My work has always sold through word of mouth,
and I love my Geek customer base. This has been an
organically evolving career.
My girls (my sweet monkeys of old) are now teens.
(Yes, that happens.) And, I have started to look beyond
the career of being Mom, with a side of sewing for pay.
Five years ago, I started tutoring a friend's daughter in
math. Today, I have 9 students I see weekly, and three
additional occasional ones. Again, this is a naturally
evolving endeavor. As my student base has grown,
my passion for math and tutoring math has expanded.
Where I used to look forward to sewing time, now I read
books on math and learning during my down time.
And this is what brings me to today.
I'm changing primary careers. I shifting gears and moving
from Sew for Pay to Math. Normally my life is about
expanding and growth. I'm not a "cutting back" sort
of person. But, it's time to let go and move forward.
It's an interesting thing to contemplate, moving from
one self employed career to another self employed field.
For a while, there is a myth of time that you can do both.
I'll just cut back a bit on sewing… but it doesn't work like that.
Sewing time becomes a chore, and honestly, making dice
bags doesn't earn enough to be something that is done
for a bank balance.
Once my mind was set on closing my Etsy shop,
I made a Business Bucket List. What are the things I've
always wanted to do with my little business, but haven't?
So, my family and I rented an Artist Alley table at Rose City
Comic Con, and I set about sewing all of my fabric.
I sewed All The Things. We're talking Empty Bins here.
(Any sewer will tell you that sewing an entire stash is a
mythical event, fit for a Bucket List.)
Rose City Comic Con was a blast.
Sweet G rocked her inner Winter Soldier.
And my younger daughter, Little e, ruled the Land of the
Remembered as La Muerte.
I made this Le Muerte cosplay with my mother. That
hat? It is 3 feet across, and has light up candles on top,
and glowing skulls around the brim. This is what I want
more time for, sewing for love, and not money.
What now? Well, I've listed over one hundred bags in
my shop. (Another Bucket List item.) My fabric stash
is gone. Once those bags are gone, there won't be
anymore of them. This is it. I'll stop selling dice
bags on-line after Christmas, or when the bags run out.
There is one more thing, we had such fun at Rose City
Comic Con, that we've already bought a table for next
year, but most of that table will be dedicated to my
family's art. I may sew some things, but I don't think
there will be dice bags.
So buy now, buy often.
Think holidays and birthdays and games you haven't
found yet. Think legos and yarn and charging cord
holders. This has been a great run of finding
fabric and creating custom bags, and I thank you
for your business.