Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What do you do all day?!

Just one of the questions you should never ask a stay at home(or work at home)mom or small craft business owner.

There is so much work that goes into being a stay at home parent, and a small business owner, that some people just don't get.

For example, I spent four hours yesterday cleaning and "picking"(pulling threads and pieces of cloth from the button holes) vintage buttons. I spent two hours today sorting them into color families. It was not fun, was monotonous and made me want to punch my head with the seam ripper.

One bowl to wash and scrub, one for clean buttons, and a plate to put all the "pickings" on. So exciting.

I use warm water and mild Seventh Generation dish soap to clean the buttons, an old toothbrush to scrub them and a seam ripper to pick stubborn thread from button holes.

Believe it or not, I save the "pickings" to use in other craft projects. Waste not, want not, ya dig?

And here's what I end up with. hundreds(possibly a thousand) of buttons that still need to be dried and then sorted into their color families. It is such a mundane task, but so necessary if I want to continue using vintage and thrifted buttons in an effort to make my work more eco friendly. It would be so much easier to just buy new buttons, but that's not what my items, my business, is about.

And still, some people seem to think that being a small craft business owner is all quick fun and games.

It isn't. It's work. Time consuming work that I would rather do than "sit in an office" type work, but still work. There is so much more to my job than just playing with fabric and yarn and buttons. There is design, trial and error, revision, material sourcing and purchasing, construction, packaging, shipping, advertising, marketing, taxes and bookwork, all being done by this one little person(with some help from her husband). In fact, the actual making of each of my items takes less time than all the other things I have to do with and for the product. Most of my customers get this, and are super wonderful. I have some ladies that I dearly love and care for(I'm talking about you, S Sisters, Florists and family members!).

So why do I tell you this? Because I think that modern society sometimes overlooks the origins of their "stuff", and takes its existence for granted. There are still so many people who don't understand why paying a little more for handmade items is a good thing. Because it is easy to run to a Wal-Mart and pick an item up for a cheap price, some people seem to think that handmade items should be priced equally cheap, but it just doesn't work that way. I don't work in an Asian factory, and I won't pay myself pennies an hour for the work I do. I can't live on that kind of money.

I won't even go into the stay at home parenting aspect of the question. I know many of the people who read this blog are SAH moms themselves, so they totally get it. If you have no children and often find yourself thinking that SAH moms "have it easy", please, borrow a friend's child or children for a week and you'll change your mind, I guarantee it. It has to be a week though, so that dirty clothes and dishes start piling up, a kid gets sick or hurt or poops his pants, groceries for meals need to be purchased and the cat litter needs changed, or you won't get the full effect.

I guess I had better bring this post to a close, as I need to go dig through inventory in my office and prepare for a massive product photo shoot tomorrow. New items are coming to the shop!!!! Hooray!!!

Oh yeah, I just remembered, first quarter taxes are due at the end of this month so I have book work to do tonight, too. Woo hoo! What a blast!

I'd better go get a glass of vodka so I can get this party started.


Sort of.


  1. I'm still jealous of your job! Grass is always greener, right?

  2. What?! Which one? I am definitely open to a trade-my kid for Ike! :P I do love my job, I just get tired of people thinking it isn't an actual job, so I should give my work away for free. I'm lucky if I make minimum wage as it is. I'd make a lot more money and have much nicer things, if I had a "regular" Job still, but then I wouldn't get to be at home with my kid. Someday, when I have my own full studio and make a real living wage on my work, then I will feel as though I have "arrived". Until then, I am just a college dropout, semi-hippie with an old house that would probably make Martha Stewart faint, right after she pukes. Good thing the husband and kid love me, lol

  3. What do you use the pickins for? If you were a spinner, you could make some really neat yarn if you mixed them with wool! wink wink nudge nudge