With a lot of help from my friends, clients and business associates, my work is evolving and many doors are opening...
8 months ago I thought I would give it a try. I started with just a few knitting kits from my handspun and hand-dyed yarn alongside purses made of the same at a local Christmas Craft fair in Duvall, WA.
My husband tied tags on purses in the wee hours of the morning and my 2 young daughters weighed fiber for the felting kits all while I was busy in my studio creating.
After that inauguration I had customers that quickly became "regulars", even placing custom orders that weekend for delivery by Christmas! A local shop owner, Vicki Neal of Tuxedos in Duvall, WA, opened her store to me. This was the boost of confidence I needed to continue.
I retreated to my studio and began creating...then in June I officially started by business...Foothills Farm Fiber by Catherine. I chose to debut at the Snoqualmie Farmers Market. The months of June and July were educational, fun and encouraging. I met people from all over the world, who had either ideas, connections or those most-needed words of encouragement when one has begun a business.
I chose to finish my market season early, at the end of July for I wasinvited to Salmon Days to participate in their Artist in Action Showcase in Issaquah, WA on October 5th and 6th. Olson-Mills in Bellevue, WA concurrently afforded me the opportunity to produce custom work for their clients and store as well as participate in their fall kick off sale on September 22nd as one of 6 on-site artists. In concert, I have begun scheduling private trunk-shows of my work for during the holiday season.
Because everything is hand-made, I have been sharing the art of dying/blending/spinning/felting/sewing and the marketing aspects of packaging to my daughters. My 10 year old daughter is beginning to design her own clothes, and my 7 year old daughter presented me with a beautiful purse she made on her own...sewing machine and all!
When they get discouraged, I remind them that the pilgrim children, starting at 5 years of age, did all the fiber preparation and spinning...
My work has evolved from those first knitting kits and felted handbags to highly detailed purses, purse hangers made from hand-picked dried flowers from my yard, hand-poured goat milk soap from my kindergoat line, hand-dyed exotic-fiber yarns, hand-felted fabrics which transform into custom home accessories and individually designed clothing.
As I stated in the beginning, from product suggestions, display and retail education (Debi Kennedy - http://www.womentakewing.com/), transportation of my "trunks" (my husband), sharing of "private recipes" to the opening of doors... I get a lot of help from my friends!