Monday, June 30, 2008

It's been a while. Things get so busy for me in the summer, and unfortunately it's not with swimming and gardening dates. I don't have my production flow down. After almost 2 years I still feel very new at this. I spend a lot of time throughout the year doing research, getting marketing opportunities and materials together, etc., etc... And now my outdoor vending season is about to begin on July 6th (at the Norwich Farmer's Market) and I need new inventory!

I've been really inspired and recently started making clothespin bags in a new design. The construction is simpler but I'm very happy with how they look. Also on the docket are "Laundry Day Aprons" based on a traditional design I saw in The Apron Book by Ellen Anne Geisel: the whole front is one large pocket for holding clothespins. I've been using one I bought from a competitor (for research purposes, but actually I'm a total fan of hers: and it's a great aid at the clothesline. I'm hoping the societal change in attitudes about energy/fuel conservation will have more folks inspired to hang out their laundry this summer. Nothing makes a task more pleasant than using beautiful tools. That's where I come in - aiming to increase your domestic bliss. My signature hostess aprons trimmed with shirt collars will have a few new twists later in the season, too. Stay Tuned!

Other products new this year are billfolds (see illustration A, above) and small quilts. "Virtuous Baby Quilts" made from all post-consumer pre-loved fabrics and 100% organic cotton batting. Eco-parenting at it's most cozy and gorgeous! I have so enjoyed composing these quilts. Well, the layout is quite simple, it's choosing the fabric combination that I love, love, love. It's been sort of like putting a family together, or a band(!). Each fabric was formerly a piece of clothing or had similar significant history and definite personality and connotations for me. I'd love to do some of these as custom quilts for new babies out of special cast off clothing provided by loved ones. One of the great things is that these fabrics have been pre-washed several times so the baby's skin won't come in contact with any of the harsh sizing and dyes and other chemicals new fabrics have on them.

Prices have come down on a few items as I've decided not to offer them wholesale. In fact, I'm thinking about price structure in a whole new way after getting to know
I've been hanging out on Etsy a lot lately; looking around to see what else is offered, reading the success stories, figuring out how my products can fit into it all,and of course, constantly readjusting my own shop ( I'm very optimistic about the possibilities for Mountain Ash Design, especially when I read about folks who sell on Etsy full time. I've been finding myself less and less willing to drive around to vending opportunities. Putting more of my efforts into selling on Etsy is right in line with my low-impact-on-the-Earth mission for my business. I'll have to do a whole post on Etsy soon. I've become a real cheerleader.

This morning I'm waiting for a delivery of firewood and soon after that I'm off for a day of errands that might include buying a new dress - oh boy! It's been a while since I had a new dress, but Revolution in WRJ is offering a deal if you bring in a wedding invitation. I think today's the last day.
Have a great week and 4th of July and come stop by the Sunday Craft Fair at the Norwich Farmer's Market on July 6th!

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