Day-to-day, I keep my head down and dye wool, correspond with customers, shop for wool and supplies, put together orders and all the rest. But once in a while, I feel the urge to simply stand back and look at what I have done so far. In 16 months, I have gone from having absolutely nothing relating to a wool business (except a dream), to having 160 named and organized formulas, all grouped into families, over 1,100 resulting colors photographed and uploaded to the site, and an inventory of perhaps 800 of those colors, with more added weekly as orders come in. I advertise, have links all around the web, and my site appears on page one of a search, for all the major search engines. It doesn't sound like much, but with few exceptions I have worked nearly every day at the task, with no end in sight. The good thing is that I love what I do so much, that I look forward to each project that I have before me.
This business puts into action all of my previous work and hobby experience, which makes it very gratifying. It feels like a culmination of many experiences over my life, as if I were destined to arrive here! Back in my teens and 20s, I found a Vogue sewing pattern for felt Christmas ornaments, stitched together with blanket stitch and stuffed. I used synthetic craft felt, and they were very cute. I pulled out the pattern several times over the years, made some, and sold many of them for extra money. The last time I did that was in my early 30s, and then I had put a box of them away and forgot about it as we started raising kids and got into the thick of family life. Recently they turned up during a foray to the basement. I realized when I saw them that I have come full circle -- not only do I do wool applique using blanket stitch, but I sell the product that is used. I had to smile. The irony of how I had turned a fun craft of my youth into a viable business was not lost on me!
In addition, over the years I have done office work, which gives me the skills for organizing and streamlining. Working on a computer for years has made me savvy enough to figure most things out, online and off, and I have used the computer to do graphics projects for others, even professionally. This came in handy for logo work, including putting together business cards and other stationery items. I have drawn for years, and the logo is a result of this, as will be the many patterns that appear on the site in the future. And catering, ironically, gave me lots of experience in handling big pots, and helped me to design a kitchen that is perfect for dyeing wool -- a commercial stove, a huge 2' X 3' butler's sink with a wall-mounted gooseneck faucet. Being a mom has given me patience, and an eye for working towards long-term goals, while wading through the problems of today (which are many). And, most importantly, my hairdressing experience gave me a true appreciation for making my customers happy. And did I mention that my very first job, at 16, was in a fabric shop? Boy, do I know how to measure, cut and fold yardage!
So it is exciting to see how all my past experience has prepared me from this Grand Adventure!