Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Designs!

I now have new designs out! I have added three boy designs: puppy dogs, baseballs, and blue and white plaid! I also have another girl print out: black with pink dots! So cute! If you haven't already, visit my studio, and take a look around!

I am going to be busy today preparing for Zoey's first birthday party on Saturday, so I will post more after this weekend!

And while I have you here, follow my other blog, The Secret In My Life! You can find the link on the top left side of this site!

Let's be positive today!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Join Me!

I have begun a second blog, entitled The Secret In My Life! It is focused on how I am learning and applying The Secret to my life! To get it started, I have begun a 30 Day Visualization Challenge! Follow me on The Secret In My Life blog, and join me with your own 30 Day Challenge!

As for Heart N Sew Designs, I am finishing up about two dozen more toddler bibs this week, with a goal set to finish 10 today! I am very grateful for every one of my followers and look forward to expanding and reaching even more!

Have an INCREDIBLE day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy Summer!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I am still around! We have just been very busy with helping Dominic prepare for second grade and we have Zoey's first birthday to plan as well! I will be back on to post more if not later this evening, then tomorrow! I hope everyone's summer is going great!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1000Markets....Not Impressed So Far...

I just received an email from a women at 1000Markets. She apparently wants to me to re-do photos that I have on my account that are currently just of the fabric print option for my baby-to-toddler bibs! I am supposed to only post photos of the finished products and until I do so my shop won't be published! A few of my photos are just to show the fabric because I am still painstakingly cutting and pinning together dozens of bibs, but wanted customers to know that those prints are currently available for them as I make them to order! I replied to her email by telling her just that, and then lastly asked her why she is so concerned with my photos being of the fabric options available, especially when I do take custom requests--and other photos showing my bibs finished can be seen in that shop!! She didn't say who she was, or anything--no "so and so, Senior Editor" or whatever--no title, nothing. So as of right now, I am not too impressed. If they do have a photo policy then it should be very clearly stated when you are loading your photos. And if they are going to send a message like that, it needs to be more professional in my opinion. At least if she told me who SHE is in regards to writing to me, I may be a bit more calm. But get serious--handmade items are frequently made to order and are custom!! I will post back when I get another reply. As for my fabric shots? They stay. I have about 3 dozen bibs awaiting stitching and I'm sorry if I wanted my customers to have the option of selecting a fabric that I do have on hand, but not in finished product (it takes me about 2 hours to make one bib, so even if someone ordered one right now I'd be able to mail it first thing in the morning!).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Etsy Shop Will Be Closing Today!

I have decided to bite the bullet and close my Etsy shop. I don't like that I have to keep re-listing the same items in order to keep them in the search pages, and although I've had sales from that shop, it just isn't really "doin' it" for me, ya know? I'm not too impressed with the way my store front looks on there (with or without banners). The items just look so blah on that site. Not to mention that there is just too much negative chatter on the web these days about Etsy. Just last night I found out a magazine did an article on it--and it was not good! Not something I want my business associated with! Don't get me wrong, Etsy was great when I was just starting out. And if you happen to have success with that site, then of course continue with what is working for you! For me, and Heart N Sew Designs, Etsy isn't really "comfortable" for me. I suppose I should say that after a couple of months on there, I still don't feel like it fits me. I have begun to open a shop on, so we will see how that works out! As for promoting myself off line, I am sticking with my Art Fire studio as my customers don't need to be registered on the site.

I have debated this in my head back and forth, and in the end what mattered to me was 1. having to pay each time I listed or renewed items, 2. the bad "chatter" online about the website, and finally, 3. the actual appearance of my items in the shop. I want my stores to reflect me, and how I feel about what I do. Art Fire is top of my list, even though I am listing in other places, too. However you can be sure that if I find a site isn't working for me, I will be walking away! No sense in wasting my time on things that don't work or I just plain don't like!

I plan on putting up links to any shops I have on this blog so feel free to check them all out and let me know which sites you like best (from a customer perspective)! Good luck to all in your endeavours and I hope you all find what works for you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

How Much Is Too Much?

Getting exposure for your business is great, right? But when you are doing it all online, how much is too much? How much time can you really devote to your networking sites? I've tried several, and quickly found that I don't have time EVERY day to devote to all sites! But exposure is good, so what's a girl to do?? My first thought was to cut back, and only stick to a few sites....but then who knows how many people I'm no longer reaching! I don't want to be spread so thin that I can only spend 5 minutes a day working on every site I'm linked what is my solution?

Well, they say that with a home based business you need to work it like a business in order to succeed. How does this translate? Time management. I am currently on about 11 different networking sites. Now, keep in mind I am a stay at home mother of three, thus making spare time a rare and desirable thing to have! So how do I go about maintaining my exposure online, with two boys (7 years old, 2.5 years old) and a girl (11 months old)?

Since John works four days on and then four days off, I arrange my "work week" to match his. Although he works rotating shifts of 7am-7pm and then 7pm-7am, I work rotating shifts of nap times and bedtimes! For example, if he is working the 7am shift, I will do my work before the kids wake up in the morning (they are up around 8 or 9am) and then again during their nap time (my 7 year old usually just reads on his bed, although he sometimes falls asleep, too!). On that schedule I can usually get about 5 hours in a day. Now on the night rotation, I can again work before the wake up (John gets home around 7:30am, kids wake up 8 or 9am), and then after they've gone to bed for the night (bedtime is 8:30pm). So night rotations give me about 6 hours of working time. Keep in mind, I do my actual sewing during John's days off while he's with the kids, as it's a time for me to relax a little with no interruptions! Back to my hours, though! What I have is 5 hours on day rotations, and 6 hours on night rotations. With 11 websites to stay on top of I have to divide up my days. To help with this I have to figure out which websites take more time. For instance, my blog that you are reading takes about 45 minutes to an hour to work on (comments, posts, followers, etc.). Then there's sites like Twitter that really only take about 10 minutes if that. So to keep me from being glued to the monitor all day, I have my routine as follows:

Morning rotations 4 days with 5 working hours each:
Day 1 and Day 3- Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Etsy, Living in Style
Day 2 and Day 4- MixxMade, LinkReferral, ArtFire, Blogspot, Squiddo

Night rotations 4 days with 6 working hours each:
Day 1 and Day 3- Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Etsy, Living in Style, Wee Sprout and Grow
Day 2 and Day 4- MixxMade, LinkReferral, ArtFire, Blogspot, Squiddo, misc. sites

That's just a rough idea of my schedule! Some sites are quicker to work than others. I check my email account twice a day, and am always looking for new ways to get more exposure. The thing to watch out for is to make sure that you would be reaching your target customers. Why join a networking site for jewelry makers if your business is in no way related to that?? Now if you are interested in jewelry, then by all means, join and have fun! But don't join just to advertise yourself if it isn't relevant! See what I mean? You don't want to become 'spam' on other sites! No one likes spam, even if it is for the greatest product ever made! ;)

I guess in answer to "how much is too much?", you could say that it's too much if you can't devote adequate time! Some sites only require a 2 minute update, but others are truly 'networking sites', in other words you need to reach out and 'talk' to other members! Build relationships! If a website allows you to upload photos, then do so. Take advantage of the different areas of exposure available within each site (blog, photos, status, 'walls', friends, forums, chat...).

I'd love to hear how the rest of you out there get exposure for your businesses, too! Feel free to comment and add on!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anyone Have Suggestions?

I was thinking that when I started my business, I would have to have an initial set of patterns and prints for customers to choose from. Well, now that those are up and running, I want to know if you all have any suggestions as to prints that you would be looking for! Whether or not you have children of your own, I am interested in what styles catch your eye. As you can see from my banners, I specialize in baby-to-toddler bibs! However, I am also looking for ideas for my special needs/adult sized bibs, which are targeted to be for elderly persons, or bed bound patients....or I suppose just for fun, too! Another thought I've pondered over is whether or not to use the same prints as the toddler bibs in my newborn-to-infant bibs? What are your thoughts on this? Should I incorporate both "baby" prints as well as the older prints?? What about the adults--would wild animal prints be too much?? I'd love to hear back from all of you readers out there! You can take a look at my studio and get a feel for what I've got so far! Thank you all in advance for your suggestions!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Early Testers Beware

It sounds so wonderful, right? Being able to take a pregnancy test before you even miss your period! What's the downside you may ask? Well, I will tell you. Almost every woman will experience an early miscarriage at some point in her life...the thing is most of the time it may happen before she misses her period! If you wait until you are a full two weeks "late", and then get a positive pregnancy test, you would be considered six weeks pregnant. Now imagine the excitement you feel seeing a positive pregnancy test--so much emotions, right?! Now imagine getting that positive test before you missed your period--even better, right? Because now you can start taking prenatal vitamins, etc thus giving the baby that much more of a healthy start. So now you know you are pregnant and the next three days pass, everything still good! Four more days past, and now you can say you are four days "late". Pretty exciting, huh? Now at this point you have known you were pregnant for one full week--a lot of ideas and feelings and just joy, right!? Then it get your "period"....only it's four days later than expected...and not to mention, you ALREADY KNEW it was late due to PREGNANCY. So rather than wondering where the heck your period was, and then getting it a few days late thereby going on with your life none the wiser or sadder for that are now crushed. Devastated. Confused. Hurt, to say the least. Now you can't say you were 'just late' 'miscarried'.

So you can see the downside to testing early. Even if you 'think' you are pregnant because you're "late", you would be spared that heartache of miscarriage because you didn't actually see that test turn positive and then have the flurry of emotions along with it. My best advice is to wait until you are two full weeks "late", thus bettering your chances of it being a viable pregnancy. Keep in mind you can miscarry at any time during the pregnancy technically speaking, but your odds of it go down the farther along you get. Waiting two weeks won't mean you are "all clear", but at least you are spared the heartache of those very common early miscarriages that most women don't even notice!

What about me personally? I've gone through it. It is awful. If I suspect I may be pregnant, I will of course continue taking my vitamins and staying healthy, but I will not so much as buy a home pregnancy test until I am a full four weeks "late". If I get a positive at that time I would be 8 weeks pregnant, and the doctor would be able to see on ultrasound and/or hear on the Doppler if the baby's heart is beating. To me that is the best sign of a viable pregnancy. However, having gone through this mess more than I care to think about, I have resolved that the next time I am in the position of thinking I may be pregnant, I absolutely will not take a home pregnancy test until I am 8 weeks "late". Why 8 weeks? Because at 8 weeks over due, you are 12 weeks pregnant, thus marking the end of the first trimester. I won't let my heart get broken again over a pregnancy! I just can't take it!

So, if you must, go ahead and test early, but: "Tester Beware"! I wish you all the best of luck if you are in this situation, and I feel for any of you who have lost as I have.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tightening the Money Belt

In effort to help save money and be able to buy our first home, I have begun to tighten the money belt! As it stands right now the hardest thing for me to give up is my Melaleuca membership. I love their products, especially Pre-Spot...Zoey's yet to have a stain it couldn't get out! The membership is only $12 a year and that's not the issue. My issue is the total cost of my product point commitment of 35 points per month! It comes to about $55 before tax and shipping...which will put it near $70! That is just too much for me to be comfortable with! Now, there products last longer and they are cheaper in price, however I don't need to buy them every month because they do last so long! In addition to that cut back, I have reduced our grocery bill by planning to have three whole chickens a week, which will give us three more nights using leftover chicken. If I am very careful, I should be able to pull off groceries right around $125 per week, which is great for a family of five! As for household items, I am already buying the 24 pack of Angel Soft tissue paper, which at our Wal*Mart costs about $6.00 (so it balances out to around $0.25 per roll), our shampoo and conditioners are usually the Suave brand so they are very inexpensive too! I wish I could say that the dollar stores are still the cheapest, but I have so far only found our local dollar stores to be the lowest price for milk and flour! But that is great because we need a lot of those items! I make homemade biscuits, and just recently pasta! I also made a homemade spaghetti sauce and though it tasted amazing, it is still cheaper to buy the $1.25 can from the store! All of my recipes have few ingredients, and are always simplified as much as possible.

I will post back with other thoughts on the subject, but for now I need to continue searching for more ways to cut back! *By the way, be looking for a 'surprise' post in about a week!*

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Getting personal

So I know that I originally intended for this blog to be about my business, but to be honest, what fun is that for all my readers?? I feel that it is now time to start getting personal. I have a lot to say and need somewhere to say it! For starters you should know more about me, so here it is in a brief nutshell!

John and I have been married for over three years now. We got married exactly 8 months after meeting--we began dating the same day we officially met! He is the love of my life! We have three children, the oldest being from a prior relationship, not that it really matters! Dominic is now 7 years old, Drake is 2 and a half, and my little princess Zoey Anastasia will be turning 1 year old on August 8th! I stay at home with the kids and John works full time, although it doesn't feel like it's full time! His shifts are 12 hours long, 4 days on 4 days off and rotating between 7am-7pm and 7pm-7am.

Well, I have to get some more housework done, but don't worry! I'll be back tomorrow! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blog Award

I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Diane Miller of The Shutterbug Eye Photography! She takes incredible photos, my favorites being of sunsets! These photos make for beautiful art in homes and offices anywhere! I am still in the process of figuring out how to put photos in my posts, so my apologies!! I will update this as I figure it out! LOL

Here are the rules for this award:
  1. Accept the award, post in your blog together with the name of the person or people who gave it to you an a link to their blog.
  2. Pass the award to other 15 blogs that you have newly discovered.
  3. Contact the bloggers you award to let them know that they were chosen.
I gratefully accept such a wonderful award, and I will be passing it on to the following 15 people!
1. The Shopping Kiwi-
2. SimaG Jewelry-
3. Lamp Essentials-
4. Kikay Designs-
5. PeanutsCreations Handmade Crochet-
6. Sanourra Designs-
7. Jacqueline's Crafty Creations-
8. Miss Val's Creations-
9. The L. Bryan-
10. Heart Handmade-
11. Babygirl Boutique-
12. All Animal Prints-
13. Delightful Divas in Business-
14. Twice Babies Mom-
15. Gigi and Lulu-

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Future

I have so much to do! I have new prints for the baby to toddler bibs coming, like orange flames, zebra print, and 'glam tattoo' (so adorable!). Once I get a good inventory of those set up, I will be adding a lot more things to my studio! The special needs/adult bibs will be next out! I am going to have a variety of fun prints for those, with everything from Elvis and OU to scrolls and animal prints! After those are made, my pocketed burp cloths will be the next group! Those will be about 7 inches wide and 18 inches long, with a 3 inch pocket on one side to catch the mess. I am still in the works about exactly how I want those to look, but I promise they will be adorable! I have recently decided to create newborn bibs, too! These will also be with snaps, and adjustable to two sizes! The reason that these are going to be a while in the making is that I don't have a newborn in the house anymore! ;) My brother-in-law and his wife are expecting in October, so I will have a model then! LOL And of course, I am still wanting to get some new photos up, but with three kids in the house and it being summer time, it's hard to get them to cooperate!

The future of Heart N Sew Designs looks great! By Thanksgiving, I will have at least 50 Baby-to-Toddler Bibs in stock, as well as at least 50 Adult Bibs, 50 Newborn Bibs, and 50 Burp Cloths! So as you can see, I am going to be busy busy busy!

Well, my boys are awake, so I'm off to do breakfast and some school work with them! Can't let their little brains take a vacation! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Advertising on this blog!

I am in the ongoing process of improving my blog, and promoting as much as possible! I follow back all of my followers! After some consideration, I have decided to offer some advertising options! Beginning with the simplest, we can link swap for free! What is this? You will have a link under my "Be Sure To Visit" section! This will be permanent, and all I am asking for is a link to my studio on your blog/site! The next option is a banner ad, beginning at $1.00 for 30 days, and so on from there! You can have a permanent banner ad for $5.00 as well!

**GET A FREE BANNER AD PERMANENTLY** Interested?? Thought you would be! :) If you would like to have a FREE banner ad permanently on my blog, just put my banner up on your site! See how this works?? Cross promotion--what a wonderful thing! ;)

For purchasing information, see the "Advertise Here" section on the right!

Send me an email to to let me know what you'd like to do!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I went ahead and ordered 250 business cards from I only had to pay the shipping, so it was a good deal! I have been trying to iron out all the twists, turns, and wrinkles in my business! First order of business, establish an inventory! Ideally I am planning on keeping at least 50 items ready to ship. Now to find the time for that! :o) I hope that in the next 30 days my business becomes more settled and structured! I am also trying to come up with more creative ways to promote myself here locally! Well, sorry for this post being short and not so "*s*t*u*n*n*i*n*g*"! I will make up for it when I don't have a baby on my lap! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Attitude Attracts...

While still pondering over productive waiting, I remembered another aspect to a successful business! Attitude! Your attitude will attract people (note: I did not just say 'customers', I said 'people')! Why attract people instead of strictly customers? Well, first of all anyone can tell if they are viewed solely on their purchasing habits, or as a whole person! No one wants to be seen as only a number in the sales receipt books! Did your last customer mention how hectic her day was with her children? Reach out and talk! Ask what they have all been up to since the last time you were in touch! Keeping an upbeat and carefree type attitude with people makes you more attractive to them! (In the personality sense...we're aren't talking about getting a date! LOL). Return messages promptly, comment on their blogs/twitters. Always greet them in a cheerful manner! For example, you may have read my blog about the Shopping Kiwi. Why do I promote that blog? For starters, from the very first time I contacted Mesha she was pleasant to work with! Always a cheerful greeting in her replies, and never once came across as though I was bothering her or taking up too much of her time. When communicating via writing (emails, chat, blog, etc) you need to be careful that when it is being read the readers can feel your joy, passion, and humor! Re-read what you are writing--does it come across as cheerful? Are you portraying an interest in the reader? Imagine you as the recipient. Would you smile reading it, or would you wonder if the sender is irritated or harsh? Be personable--especially in writing! You want to come across as being a friend. You want to be an available outlet for people outside of just your business!

Let me give you a "real life" example! I live in a small town. On Main Street there is a Chinese buffet that we all go to. Sure the restaurant is a bit small, but we love it! A few years ago, a large Chinese buffet franchise came to town. They have a bigger selection, bigger seating area and more staff. The prices are basically the same. So why is it they are never full of customers come lunch hour?? I'll tell you. They have the worst service! They never smile when they see you come in, they don't refill your drinks, or come to the table to ask if there is anything they can get you, and overall the staff is just grumpy and unavailable! Back to the smaller restaurant...They know you. They know that if I go in alone, I'm going to ask for two buffets to go. They know how many kids we have, and that my oldest son lives out of state with his father (comes home at Christmas and, I know!). They've seen my pregnant with all of my children, and have seen them grow! They know that during my pregnancy I crave Chinese food and will make my food to order even if I get there close to closing time. All the servers come to check on you, you never are left with a half-filled drink, they are always excited to see you! Even the kitchen staff smiles and greets everyone when out refilling the buffets! They stop and talk to the kids, give the little ones suckers after their meal! When they thank you at the cash register, they mean it, and they really do look forward to your return. People in town will wait for a table at this restaurant, even though we all know the larger one is always open! In fact, the place on Main Street won an award for the Top 100 Restaurants of 2008! How do you think they got that award?? Their attitude attracts happy customers! My family came to visit this last Christmas for the time (they live out of state). When we took them all to the Chinese place on Main, they were so impressed! And not by the size, or decor, or infinite rows of was the employees and their quality of food!

So if you sell quality products, make sure you match it with a quality attitude! Happy selling! (No, really! "HAPPY" selling! LOL)

By the way, that restaurant is The New Young China Buffet on Main Street, in Weatherford, Oklahoma! If you are ever passing through Oklahoma on I-40, take exit 82 (if traveling west), and exit 82-A Main Street (if traveling east)! Open from 11am-9pm! You will love it! :0)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Productive Waiting

Once you've got your shops/studios/listings up online, and you've advertised your little heart out, then comes waiting. It has to be productive waiting though! Continue on the social networks, keep your name fresh in people's minds! As tempting as it is to sit by the computer and constantly check back for "number of views", don't. It will drain you faster than you know! Instead, keep your blog updated, and get out of the house to spread word of your business locally! Make a flier, hand out business cards--meet people! People are your buyers, not usernames online! ;o) Spend some time stretching your creative mind! Can you make your item with different features? Can you create something that you can sell with it, such as in a set?

Another, possibly even overlooked activity to do while waiting for the sales to come in, is to read other people's blogs and follow them! Establish a relationship outside of just pitching sales at them all day! Get to know their writing, the me, this will later come in handy! When "JaneDoBlogger" mentions she is planning an upcoming birthday party for her twins, you can wish her luck in planning, a "Happy Birthday" to the little ones, and subtly bring up the idea of one of your items making a perfect gift for the kids! And of course, since you've been following her blogs, you'll know to suggest the Spongebob print for Johnny and Tinkerbell for Jenny! See how this works? You aren't just blindly posting ads all over the web! You are genuinely seeking out PEOPLE, not just nameless/faceless internet users! In addition, they will appreciate your approach and therefor remember you....and your store, when they are in need of something that you sell! Want another bonus to following?? You can get ideas from these new relationships! For example you have only been selling your item in fall colors....after reading other blogs, you notice that summer colors seem to be the most popular see where I'm going here?? Sell what people like, not just you and your relatives!

Now back to that mention of flyers...what to say on them? Well, for starters, select one item to feature. Make that your headline...Follow that up with some bullet-style features/points about the item! Don't list too much--just enough to get their attention! Play with bold type, fonts, and sizes. Don't use a font that is difficult to read quickly! Keep some space at the bottom so you can make tear-away tags with your business name and phone/website on it! You might want to print them out on colored paper as well to make them more visible. Where do you post them?? Laundry mats, convenience stores, colleges...anywhere that will let you really! Be creative with where you post flyers--you want high traffic areas, ideally in places where your target market will be!

Business cards...if you can't afford to buy them professionally made, make them yourself! Time consuming, yes, but it has a nice effect! What to do with them? Hand them to every person you exchange money the store, at the movies, at the bank. Ask to leave a couple here and there (movie rental stores, gas stations...anywhere you see other business cards!). Send 2 or 3 with every order you ship. Include one in Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc! Hand them out at the park while your kids play with the other kids. Use them to introduce yourself!

As you can see, although waiting is seemingly endless and maybe unnerving to some, as long as you make it productive, it will pass! If you want your business to be your only source of income, you have to want it enough to work for it! Yes, work. I know you thought owning your own business would be fun and exciting and dare I suggest, easy? But what you come to see very quickly, is that rather than just being the cashier at the local dollar store, you have just signed up to be: owner, bookkeeper, design team, investor, manufacturer, marketing department, salesman, customer service department, and packaging/shipping....all in one--one, being...YOU! :o) Sounds harsh, I know...but it will get easier (note: I did not say simpler, just easier!). You will get the hang of your marketing techniques, finding what works and what doesn't. You will figure out how all this online information of owning your home business applies to you. You will find your groove, and make that money!

Keep all of your information up to date, and always be productively waiting for the sales!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Price changes...again!

After a lot of thought, I have decided it is more important to me to have more sales with smaller profit per item, than a few sales with high profits. So I have cut my prices drastically!! I have figured the precise cost per item, and priced it according to that! I believe it makes more sense to sell 100 bibs, making $50 profit than to only sell 10 bibs making $ in theory $60 for only 10 sounds great, but in reality it could take me months to sell 10 at higher prices! I want my creations out there, being useful, showing the love I have for what I do! Love is priceless, so I'm taking a profit cut per item, because I know what is most important to me is quantity of sales and loyal following of buyers! Besides, I want to stay busy with my sewing and if I'm not getting lots of sales regularly what am I doing with my "sewing" time??

So enjoy the new prices! I know you will enjoy both the pricing and the product! I love making them and am very fond of them! :o)


After thinking over what my time and items are worth, I bit the bullet and increased my prices a bit. Each item is time consuming, as I make sure that it is quality work! In addition to that, the bibs grow with the child, from about 5 months on through their toddler years! It's essentially two in one! I know that my customers will be pleased with their purchase! Starting this business has been more involved that I originally thought--and I had originally thought it was to be somewhat hard, so that's saying something! Networking alone takes up most of the time. Researching prices, promoting ideas, and the like probably come in second! And don't forget the cut in profits while getting my items out there! Ebay requires a minimum number of feedback before you can list as Buy it Now, but in auctions you can't get what you originally wanted for your listings, so that's an investment of itself. Keeping my work practical, and trendy is a must for my business! I want to produce something that is a necessity, but also desirable--in other words both the parent and the child have to like the product! I love what I do, and I will do what it takes to make it work as a business, even if that means making some changes every now and again!

Kiwi Blog

MeshaSuicide, from has one of the most inspiring blogs I've read! Always interesting and fun to read! So much realism comes from her writing! Definitely an inspiration for other bloggers to step it up! I myself have just recently started, and while still getting the hang of it all, am motivated greatly by Mesha's writing to keep working at it! If you haven't checked her blog out yet, you should! And I say this knowing full well it will put mine to shame! But I suppose part of having a good blog is linking up with other good reads, right?! The Shopping Kiwi is my absolute favorite read! I was thinking the other day that it would be totally cool if she took her posts and just printed them into a book! That would be great--people could give them as gifts! I'd totally buy her book!

Well, I'm off to do some more reading on her blog! The kids are behaving and it's my opportunity to catch up on the happens of Mesha! :0)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Making it a business

I want this business to really take off and become a substantial source of income for my family! I feel as though I have put myself out there on the internet as best as I 1. can afford, and 2. know how! Eventually, hopefully soon, I want to order business cards as well. I suppose in the mean time I could make them, hence it is a handmade business!

If I put myself on the social networking sites, and then add in handing out business cards I should stir up substantial business....I hope! I know that the items I am making are in fact more than just cute, but also useful and practical. People buy practical everyday. Snaps instead of velcro...that's practical because I have personally been annoyed with velcro on bibs--especially in my washer! I take pride in what I make, thereby making it of even greater quality than mass produced bibs.

I have a passion for what I am making. I think about it all the time. I am constantly thinking of how to get them to more people! I don't know it all, but I know enough to start, and I know I will continue to learn as I go! I will be a success story! It's going to take patience, but I have plenty of it, so I'm in good shape!

I love what I'm doing. And I'll make it!

Two shops...?

I just created my second online store at They do have a good point: No selling fees. If you remember my blog about etsy vs ebay...Etsy is cheaper to sell on than ebay, and ArtFire is still free all around...what's a girl to do?? I'm thinking that I may eventually switch over to selling on just one, but then again, I could get exposure on three different sites...hmm...

ArtFire is fee, so it makes total sense to stay on that site. Etsy has a great following and I've made good contacts there, and it costs $.34 to sell each item. Ebay is about $.70 for the most basic listing and then 8.75% of final sale price, which would be around $.40 for a total of about $1.10 for every listing! But ebay gets a lot of sales for the items I'm making!!! I suppose if I increase my price from $5 to $6 it could make up that cost! Maybe if I had an ebay store? That's worth looking into I suppose. Maybe there are benefits to having a store on their site!

This Weekend...

This weekend I will be making and listing Lightning McQueen baby-to-toddler bibs, along with a couple of others! I can't wait to get started! It's a beautiful print of the red race car amid racing flags! The back will be solid red! I received two sales yesterday, and one of them was an order of 2 bibs! I am so excited! This will allow me to start posting on ebay with the "Buy it now" option! They require some initial positive feedback, so this will help me get those numbers up!

I think I will make the most of my morning, and try to get some work done with the kids still sleeping!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm so excited!

I can not wait to finish my entire line of toddler bibs! I just know that there will be a huge response from them! Today the little ones will be tagging along on some errands, which always means the same thing: early and long nap times! Today is going to be busy busy busy! I am just everywhere! I've got two blogs going, Twitter, MySpace, Etsy of course! and other random places where I'll be popping up! Not exactly sure, but I am still considering what do about having two blogs! Most likely I will just link them up with each other so everyone can just hop around! Well, I'm off to get a start on this busy day! See on in my shop!

2nd blog can be found at Username Heart N Sew Designs

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Etsy VS Ebay

This is going to be a topic I'm going to probably come back to later...but for now here is my first impression between the two:

From the original posting fee to the transaction fee, is a total of $.34 on Etsy.

Ebay, with minimal additional features/upgrades, was $.70 to post, and then 8.75% of the final sale...

Need I say more? Well, yes, I should actually! I find it easier to promote my shop on etsy than to promote listings on Ebay! Will this change in the future? Who knows!? But for now it's about cost, and Etsy wins on that!

Etsy: 1 Ebay: 0

Friday, June 5, 2009

Too much and not enough

I have so many ideas of what I want to do, and at the same time none of them seem like a good enough idea to follow through on! So I have a I'm on Twitter...but does anyone really read what someone ELSE posts?? I am "teams", but is anyone REALLY following the ongoings of other people's business?? I have Google Base linked to my store, but really that is probably a long shot right now that someone will google an item I have! Sounds negative, I know. But these are the roadblocks of my ideas! I am supposed to go talk to a boutique store owner idea what to say or do or what to expect! I know that I strive for quality and really isn't that why anyone buys handmade? I think it is a matter of sorting through my ideas, plans, and thoughts and figuring out which ones are a priority and must be set into planning stages, and which ones are just simply good ideas.....

So in the meantime I will just keep on sewing and posting....and one day making money from it all! LOL It's good thing I love what I'm doing! :o)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tonight's Goal

Now that my shop is up and running, I have set a goal for tonight! I am going to sew 8 more bibs and post them to etsy! I will also upload all photos into photobucket! So, be looking for new items later tonight!

By the way, I am going to a boutique store on Saturday to speak with an owner about her possibly selling my toddler bibs in her store! Keeping fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sales on Etsy

I was able to post items on etsy this evening! The first one was a leopard print toddler bib and it sold for $4.00 within 5 minutes of listing! I now have three listed: Strawberry Shortcake, Pink and Brown Checkered print, and another leopard print (all toddler bibs)! I will be shipping my first order tomorrow morning! Check them out!


I ran out of time today to post my first set of bibs on ebay and etsy, as I got busy with the family and miscellaneous things! Tomorrow afternoon will be my official "Grand Opening"! I will have photos up on my photobucket site, and both my ebay and etsy stores up and running! As of right now I have 22 toddler bibs for my start up listings! I can't wait to see what happens! I'm on Twitter as well (HeartNSewDesign) so you can follow my posting there, too! I can't believe that after all the ideas, researching, planning, preparing (and not to mention, sewing!) that tomorrow is the big day! No turning back now! Everyone starts somewhere and I just can't wait to see where this takes me! I look forward to a huge response from the public!

I will post back when I am officially been "open for business"!

About Me...

My name is Nichole and I am a stay at home mother of three. My husband John and I have been married for over three years now. We have two sons, Dominic 7 years old, Drake 2.5 years old, and one daughter, Zoey 10 months old!

Although my business is just getting started, I have been sewing off and on for years. As for now, my focus is on toddler/baby bibs and special needs/adult bibs! They are all handmade by me, using my own pattern. They are made with cotton flannel backing, and two sets of snap closures for adjustable sizing! I accept custom order requests for patterns/prints, quantities and even special sizing needs! This site will be kept up to date with links to where my items are posted for sale! You can find them on and ebay! Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns or requests!

Ebay Seller ID: heart_n_sew_designs

Fun fact:
My business name, Heart N Sew Designs, is derived from my signature (the heart symbol signed at the end of my name). The symbol was designed by me in 1998, in remembrance of my grandfather, who told me: "Whatever you do, do it with your heart and soul." In 2006, I tattooed that symbol on the inside of my left leg along as part of an intricate tattoo design I had drawn on myself! When I got married, I made that part of my 'official/legal' signature!