Of course, I had to make money the artist/mom way all these years, not the business way.
I made one-off goods to sell. Many customers became my friends and owned multiple garments, then COVID hit.
This year may have been my biggest year yet. I finally had my own studio again after ten years of intermittently working from home.
I have the product, a few employees, person to person sales, wonderful Farmer’s Market venues and Artisan venues, fashion show recognition, although not any editorials simply for the lack of trying.
I was going to make some press kits this year. Some line plans, and showroom sales.
All of that was on a need-to basis, and quite frankly a waste of time, when I was designing, cutting, patterning, and sewing all my work. Everything was going along smoothly until I had the time to grow.
In addition, I had some decor making ideas, besides a small sideline of organizing one’s house/closet which came naturally since I was collecting unwanted clothing.
Having lived in NYC for twenty years I became good at home spatial planning and studied the art of organizing while trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff in cramped spaces.
For fifteen of those years, living with an artist husband and then three kids all making artwork, in a loft in Red Hook Brooklyn. But now I am in the middle of a global pandemic realizing all the skills I’ve learned my whole life and all the interests had are all coming together in this moment of blogging and sharing on social media.
Thinking this was also my time to make content videos on YouTube since I was a Communications(emphasis on radio, television, and film) graduate years ago, it still loomed in the background, thinking this was also my time to make content videos for YouTube always being interested in documentary film.
Then covid hit, and in a way, I thought I could do all the things I wanted since I already had the design studio and the money I was planning to use to grow the fashion business was just going to have to help me pivot in an all-encompassing way to being a content creator. One that makes stuff for all media.
Stuff being loosely defined, in my case as already having real stuff which is called Evergreen content ready for explanation or storytelling. How did I create these stuff / original designs and why, what inspired the one-offs I have been making for years.
Then why did I make all the fun funky things for my house I saw in a now-defunct magazine called Ready Made and from a website called Ikea Hacks not to mention the Instructables site. This was all stuff I had made and would now be considered Evergreen content.
Although at the beginning of this pandemic I was completely occupied by a serious turn of events of having to stage our family home, sell said home, and place my mother in a new home and rid her of all her belongings just as things were closing down. Something of a similar phenomenon was going on with my inlaws. At just this time their age had been catching up with them and it was time they all had to move to an independent living environment.
Things really worked out with them as they all moved out of their respective homes and into full-time care facilities. The home I staged had closed by March 31 thankfully as people were in full lockdown. As a fashion business not only was I not allowed in my studio building there was time for helping my parents which were fortunate. Then after the first wave of wondering what to do, knowing making masks were what was expected I finally got started on making them deemed an essential worker, but I had to sew everything myself because my one employee was needed at her home.
It was after sewing hundreds of masks, and selling and donating about half, I took a class that kind of changed my life.
An online course of all things. You have heard it all before and in my case, it was the right thing at the right time. It validated that essentially I was a content creator but did not know how to go about making money doing everything that I loved. The class was from Melissa Griffen who I had met at a conference in Las Vegas. So she kind of knew me.
The validation propelled me to where I am today six months later with a new blog and validation that all the work I have done all these years trying to get the big sales or wondering why I kept going other than that I loved making it all, became a vast bank of useable Evergreen content, for my posts, pins, and videos.
Yeah, I am a content creator who has consistently posted a blog weekly for almost three months now. Not counting the years of Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Pinterest posts sharing my work over the years.
Furthermore, having the most followers on my Linkedin account for really not doing anything but someone everyone always wants to have in their arsenal of skilled workers, a patternmaker/technical designer.
This new job is in high demand and helps work out any problems with where I am going in my career as someone in high demand.
But why didn’t I do this sooner? I started and stopped blogging many times. Consistency is key with blogging and as a side hustle, there is only so much time one has as a mother and a Worker is what I called my title sometimes.