Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finally, a Nibble!!

You, my friends, may have noticed that my last few posts have been short, and to the point.  Lots of pictures too.  Or no posts at all.  I have been SUPER busy!!  Let me start from the beginning.

Last Christmas, as most of you know, Ben lost his job.  We were devastated and didn't know how we were going to pay rent and all our other bills, especially since we all ready spent a huge chunk of our savings on Christmas.  It was a blow that hit us hard.

Being a stay-at-home mom, I started to think that maybe I should think about getting some kind of job.... but here I was with two kids and 7 months pregnant and I knew that people really aren't too likely to hire someone so far along in pregnancy.  I thought about my few talents and wondered if any of them could help us pay the rent... then quickly came to the conclusion that none of them could, at least on a short term basis.


One day, Ben was home with the kids I and went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we needed.  Mostly, I just needed some alone time without screaming kids to really think about things.  As I was walking around, I passed this college girl that had on a crocheted headband with a flower on it.  It was really cute and I wondered where she got it.... not that it mattered, it wasn't like I could afford to indulge in anything like a headband.

But the more I thought about it, the thought came to me that if I could learn how to crochet, I bet I could make one.  So I headed over to the craft section and bought a little "Teach Yourself" book that came with a needle, and picked out some cheap yarn.  My husband wasn't sure what to think when he saw my purchase, but I told him that I was going to learn to crochet and make our family Christmas gifts that way.  He was down with that...  So I practiced, found a free pattern on-line and worked it out.

Now, my brain works mathematically.  It always has.  If things can be made into patterns, shapes, or anything else and work out in a logical way, I can work things pretty well.  I still remember when I discovered that music was very mathematical and I wrote a whole musical composition without even hearing it (mostly because I don't play any instruments to try it out! lol)  and actually aced the final in that class.  If it has order and pattern, I can figure it out!

And I "figured out" the art of crocheting with a couple weeks practice.  When it made sense to me, I started making my own designs and that's when I decided to open my Etsy shop.  Within that first month I was thrilled when I made enough money to pay our rent!  I really felt like I was helping out!

One of the designs I came up with, was the Utah State Aggie mascot hat, "Blue Blue"... or "Baby Blue" as I like to call it:
I thought, that MAYBE, just maybe, the school would be interested in having a few in the bookstore to see if they would sell.  Ben and I scoped it out, and they had NOTHING like my "Baby Blue" hat... nothing even remotely close!  I even looked on line to make sure there wasn't someone else with the same idea.  Nope.  I was in the clear.  I made a true original work!

Ben went to the bookstore and asked about it.  They had a few headbands and hats from someone else they were selling there.  The lady he talked to said they ONLY sold that person's stuff, no one else's.  We were a little bummed, but decided that we could sell to friends and on-line.  Then a couple months ago, we asked them again and they told us the same thing.  I was getting frustrated because they wouldn't even LOOK at my "Baby Blue" hats and even though I am totally biased because I made them, I thought they were pretty darn fun!  So, last week, I did some research and found the email of the one in charge there at the bookstore and emailed them.  I explained the situation, attached a couple pictures, and asked if they were interested.  I figured if I didn't hear from them, at least I tried, and now I would know for sure.  But...

I heard back from them the next day.  And they were interested!!  They wanted to meet with me yesterday and discus prices.  They weren't interested in doing consignment, they wanted to buy the hats upfront.  So all weekend, since I had none made up I could sell, I worked my chubby little fingers off making hats.  It took me 3 days but I made up 6 hats of different sizes.  Each hat takes me 4 hours to make, and I am pretty fast these days!

I was nervous when I went in yesterday, afraid they would see them, recognize my amateur ability and tell me to take my hats and stuff them!  I was floored when the woman in charge handled them carefully and asked me what I wanted for them.  I didn't want to charge too much, but not to little.  I told her this and said that I didn't want to rip them off if they didn't sell.  She told me that she was SURE they would!  So we talked prices and she said she would send me a check.  We also talked about my other hats and she was interested in some of them too.

Then she said something that made me beam with pure pleasure!  She said as she held one of my hats, "I have been crocheting most of my life, and I have never been able to make something like this."  Talk about compliment of year!  I was walking on clouds when we left the bookstore... I even got to give out some of my business cards to some of the customers that saw my hats when we came rolling in.  Happy, happy day!!

So that's why I have been so busy!  But at least I am happy!

Moral of the story:  We all have hidden talents, we just need to find them, work hard, and the success is SWEET!



Samantha @ everything in between said...

Wow! Congratulations!

Heidi said...

Congrats!! That's so awesome!! You are an amazing, talented woman. Way to go!! Luvs!

Annie said...

That is so neat!!!! That is the CUTEST hat ever and you have the cutest model for it! :) You are so talented!

Our Family said...

That is awesome news! Congratulations! Your hard work is paying off. Your hats are so cute! My favorite is the baby Aggie hat.

John Smith said...

I have a friend who is a veteran. She was telling me about a new military website she heard about. The name is She told me that it lists local businesses that offer discounts to the military. I decided to go and look at it myself and found a great site. Not only are there discounts, but there is military related news, jokes and benefit information. In this economy, who couldn't stand to save a little money?

Chelsea said...

So, I found your blog through the Kjar family. And I love it. I have also recently picked up crocheting as a hobby and my husband is in the I just couldn't NOT comment.

I absolutely LOVE the Baby Blue hat! Such a great/clever idea! And it is darling.

Mama Nut said...

Yay, Chelsea! I love meeting new military wife friends... especially if they crochet! :) If you ever have any questions, feel free to email me :)