Saturday, July 9, 2016

Shutting Down

     August 2, 2011 I started my Etsy shop.  June 19, 2012 was my last day teaching.  Since that day, I have been working on making Fun Little Things a real business.  A business that I loved working on.  A business I learned so much from over the last almost 5 years.  A business that I hoped would bring in some helpful income for our family (more successful on that one at some times than at others).  A business that brought me a lot of joy to see first my bibs and later my tiny clothes on babies and toddlers nearby and far away (and of course on my own girls very often).  A business that I have felt very proud of.

    This last year has been harder.  I have had lots of hopes and plans for Fun Little Things and less and less time to work on it.  I have had so much support from everyone around me, especially Kyle and my mom, to help me find time to work, help me sell at craft fairs, help me take one million pictures, listen to me talk (endlessly?) about all of the business stuff I was learning online and all of my plans.  Many of my plans did not work out the way I had hoped.  That is business and it is all part of the learning, but it is still disappointing.

    Fun Little Things started bringing me less joy.

And then in February of this year, I started a new business.  One I had been secretly dreaming about for a long time.  I did some online research.  I started talking about it bit by bit with the people I trust most.  And then, without really telling anyone anything, I did it one day.  I started a new Etsy shop and a new Instagram and Maker Mountain Fabrics was born.

And friends!

Friends!  I have been having so much fun!  I am using everything I have learned about business and social media marketing and sewing throughout the life of Fun Little Things.  I am buying bolts of beautiful fabric that inspires me and that lights me up when I discover it online and makes me giddy when it shows up on my doorstep.  I am buying patterns for gorgeous garments from talented independent designers.  I am sewing what I want for myself, the girls, the house...

Maker Mountain Fabrics is growing and growing.  Sales are coming faster than I have ever experienced with Fun Little Things and my social media following is growing and engaged and feels real and right and it is great.  Like, so great!

And now, Maker Mountain Fabrics has a new website (still very much in progress) and a new blog (with the first post up and waiting for you to read it).  

So now I have two businesses, one I love and one that feels disappointing.  And more important than either of those, I have these two awesome little girls.

And I love them a lot.

And they don't sleep all that much anymore; not like they used to.  So my time to work is ever decreasing.

Shutting down Fun Little Things is something I have been thinking about for awhile now.  I kept telling myself "try this one more thing, first".  And I have been feeling a bit sad about letting it go, thinking about all the time and the hope and the work and that first joy and excitement.

But suddenly, I am ready.  I would rather spend the time I have on Maker Mountain.  Or playing with the girls.  Or going to the beach or on a hike with my family on the weekend.  Or going to yoga.  Or reading a book.  Oh, reading... I miss you.  or sleeping a little bit more.  And I guess maybe I should spend some of that time cleaning my house a little more regularly.

 I guess.

There are so many great things in my life.  I am not letting disappointment or my stubborn desire not to fail, keep me doing something that is not bringing enough reward for the amount of work.

And right when I made the final decision, and spent the early morning hours writing this post to share the news with all of you, I discovered this book when I took the girls to a craft and story time at a beautiful new toy store in town.  

And I had to buy it because it is beautiful and powerful and is a message about strong women and perfectionism and self confidence and I want to share all of that with Annie.

And because these two pages (spoiler alert!) made me feel so confident that I was making the right decision.

So there it is. 

I am ready to move on.

But first, there is the small matter of the inventory I have on had.  I would really love to see these things out in the world, being worn, spreading love, having adventures and being a part of special family occasions.

So I am selling everything I have made on Instagram, at 50% off, starting on Monday at 5pm PST.

     I am making a new account, @FLTsale for the occasion so that all of my followers do not have to be bombarded.  I just took new pictures and I have 85 wonderful items I would love for you to buy, some in multiple sizes.   Please come follow this new account, see everything I have on hand, stock up for baby showers, future babies, bigger sizes for the babies you have now.  When the sale is over I will shut it down so I don't clog up anyone's feed. 

     I will post a picture, with a short description and a price that includes shipping.  The first person to leave me their paypal email address gets the item and I will ship it within 24 hours of the invoice being paid.

     Anything that isn't claimed on Instagram after 48 hours I will post to my Fun Little Things Facebook page.

    There is a lot on the website that is made to order.  I have the supplies to make everything listed there, but it isn't necessarily all done.  If there is something you know you have been meaning to order, that is not part of the instagram sale,  you can still order there and I will make it up for you and get it out.  I will keep that open and as it is for one week after my Instagram sale.

And then, that is it.

I will still be using @gracefunlittlethings on Instagram as a personal account.  I would love for anyone who wants to see pictures of our adventures to stick around.  But all of my sewing pictures: fabric, works in progress, finished items on the wall or in use, will be on @makermountainfabrics.  Please, come follow me there if that is at all of interest to you.

Thank you all for your love and support and excitement over the last 4 years.  Thank you for reading my thoughts, following along on my journey, buying my Fun Little Things for the people you love.  Thank you for sharing parts of your life with me and for inspiring me to create new things and keep learning.

Time for new adventures!