Saturday, February 6, 2016

Vintage lace

Once upon a time, I didn't like lace, couldn't stand it, didn't want it touching my skin, no how, no way. Times have changed! I'm always in search of vintage lace and even have a few friends on the look out for me as well. I fear running out of the good stuff and you never know when you will find more, so it's like a treasure hunt. 

Last week, I was out garage saling and happened to meet up with Angea at one of our favorite second hand shops. We knew of a big craft supply estate sale happening the next day, but got word that we could go early and shop that day! O.M.G. I just thought I had a lot of craft supplies! This was a full house of fabric, patterns, canvases, paintings, you name it. I didn't know the lady, but she must have been a very creative person. As we looked around, I found a big box of tangled lace and fell in love! 
They were so shocked that I wanted to buy the whole box  They were going to price it by the yard although, we finally settled on a price for all of it. As I mentioned earlier, it was a tangled mess of lace and it took me almost 2 hours to organize and sort through it when I got home. I'm so glad we didn't have to measure it all at the estate sale and calculate per yard price! 

Tip to families dealing with estate sales: price items by the box or be prepared with a box price and we will be more likely to take it off your hands and you get rid of the items quicker! There was hundreds, maybe thousands of patterns there, but I didn't want to look through each pattern individually, but if there would have been a box discount, well I might have grabbed up a few boxes. The same went for buttons - they were 10¢ a card, when a box lot would have been way more convenient. 

Since I have a new supply of vintage lace, I'm busy creating new items for my shop and the Backwoods Marketplace coming up in March. Here's a peak at a couple new purses / bags that I've been working on this week. 

They are fun bags that are just the right size to carry the essentials - wallet, phone, keys and lip gloss. Whatcha think? 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Years

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 
My etsy shop turned five years old this week! Five, y'all! How has that happened?

Seriously though, it's had for me to think that this little side venture has turned into a full time business.
Several people told me "you need your own shop," but I didn't see myself leaving my job at the flower shop. Jeff read about etsy and encouraged me to check it out and low and behold, I opened a shop, this blog, and started a Twitter account, without ever using my full name, location, or even telling my friends. I had occasionally sold on eBay, to make some extra funds and figured this would make a little extra "Christmas money" and that would be about it. I certainly didn't want to tell everyone what I was doing and everybody keep asking and then say I failed, which is what I feared would happen. Read, I didn't have confidence in myself.

The first year, Christmas funds was about all I earned and I don't do elaborate Christmas gifts, but I continued on. It was the second year when I made a burlap bouquet and things started to change. My shop started with caps, wreaths and a few random craft items.  Needless to say, I still have a stack of caps and visors that I'm embarrassed to be associated with and my shop progressed into a wedding shop. When I started making the burlap bouquets in year 2, there was less than a dozen fabric bridal bouquets on etsy that had any burlap and lace in them. That has changed a lot too! 

When I first got a request for turquoise burlap, I didn't even know colored burlap existed! I found it and it became a popular item and still one of my most requested bouquets! Later that year, I had a customer order for bubblegum pink burlap and then bouquets with purple. I still thought it was a fluke and would brides continue to order from me? Now, I have 40 shades of burlap fabric in stock! 

Year 3 and 4 found me staying super busy! Full time job, farm chores, and working on custom orders till late at night and all weekend. Jeff shipping for me and helping cut fabric, and other prep work so I could get more done at night. Finally in year 3, I told a few more people about my shop, but never advertised it locally or even mentioned it on my personal Facebook account. I was loyal to my job in town and didn't want my wedding business to ever compete with the shop. By the end of year 4, things change there and I felt like I was living the definition of insanity. No personal time and not a spare minute to do anything outside of work and a weekly trip to the grocery store. I ordered supplies online, because I didn't have time to go to the store. From January through November, I was never caught up on wedding orders and had no time to create all the other items that were dancing in my head.  It was time to make this full time! About two months before my shop turned 4, I turned in my resignation. That was the gutsiest thing I think I ever did!

Year 5 - I have NO IDEA how I did it all before! So I've caught up on a little sleep this year and I have time to occasionally go eat lunch with a friend or go shop at estate sales, in pursuit of vintage lace and goods to repurpose. I have flexibility and can enjoy the things I do and have expanded to offer more home decor and some gift items. Year five was also the year I finally got my camper fixed up and got to set up at 2 craft fairs / vintage markets and I've started taking on a few freelance fresh floral jobs for local weddings and events. Turnaround time for bouquets is not near what it used to be (2-3 weeks average now, opposed to sometimes 6-8 weeks when it was my night job) and I can take on rush orders if needed. 

That brings us up to now, with year 6 starting this week. Thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE  who has ordered from me, encouraged, commented, shared, and believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. Y'all are the best and I appreciate each and everyone of you! Thank you for allowing me to be creative and getting to be a part of all your special events and most memorable days of your life! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

GypsyFarmGirl January 2016 Video

How is it the last day of January 2016 already? For the last year I've been creating an end of month video and sharing on Instagram and Facebook, but since I finally have my YouTube channel set up, I can finally share my videos here on my blog! So, press play for a little glimpse of my month. 

I participated in a photo a day prompt on Instagram, so several of those random pictures are included and of course this month has been all about rustic wedding bouquets, life on the farm, fresh flowers for the open house event, and working on the new rustic romance themed items for my shop and preparing for the Backwoods Marketplace in March. 

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