This time of year, I often have people ask me how business is going and my current answer is “slow but busy”. Meaning: slow sales but busy behind the scenes. Like most people in retail sales, the majority of my sales happen in November and December which leaves a whole lot of year left to cash flow.
What to make?
For several reasons, deciding on plans for 2014 has put me in a bit of a conundrum. Because my products don’t sell year round (mostly due to being cashmere and wool), I am often asked why don’t I come up with a product that sells in the warmer season? It seems like the perfect solution, but putting it into practice is more difficult than it sounds. I’ve expanded my business beyond a hobby type business and the demands on my home, time, and physical stamina are already quite high. I’m already going through 1000+ sweaters a year so carving out more space, time and stamina for another raw material is near impossible. Thus, I have concluded that a summer product line isn’t going to happen this year.
I’m really not going anywhere with this except to give you a bit of the behind-the-scenes of a mother-run home based business. :)
Another factor that plays into designing for 2014 is that we may decide to move in the coming months. It is sad to say that “outloud” as we have enjoyed our 6 years here and moving would be bittersweet, but our current location in the very rural mountains of NC is near impossible for my husband’s line of work. We are scouting out possibilities in cities near us (and a few far from us). Moving 300+ bulky pillows would be silly so like I mentioned recently I’m phasing out the pre-made pillows and working toward custom order pillows. Check out the sale section for drastically reduced pillow prices!
Placing my typical order of 1000 wool/cashmere sweaters would also be silly if we have a move coming up. Thus, I’m focusing on smaller products in 2014. Thankfully, this plays well with my current raw materials. I have mountains of scraps piled up from last year’s products. By producing small products this year, I can use up those materials and not have large products to deal with if we move. Win-win.
And finally, because we are a little up in the air regarding our location, I decided not to employ help this year. I will be doing the sewing. All. By. Myself. Eeks. It didn’t seem right to employ someone knowing that I might not supply work for much of the year. With pregnancy and newborn days behind me I think it is doable to sew myself. One nice thing about doing the work myself is that I will have the opportunity to do small runs of specialty products rather than the large amounts of main products we produced the last couple years. I’m excited about the new products shown in the photos of this post. They are among some of the small run products I’ll be making. Watch for variations of them soon appearing on the website!
So to sum it up, at Old Made New this year you will find:
1) specialty products done in small numbers (unique afghans, capelets, purses, etc)
2) small products which will include some past products (scarves, coin purses, hair accessories, hat, mittens etc) and new products to be announced
3) all items made by me!
4) all items will continue to be made of recycled wool and cashmere sweaters
Spring abounds with optimism doesn’t it? I’m really looking forward to the year, no matter what it brings. Making old new is never an easy process is it?