Monday, January 13, 2014

Dream a Little Dream {or a big one}

I'm an ideas girl.  My brain is always swirling and spinning with thoughts of how I could make little tweaks to things around the house...or maybe brace the ceiling and knock down a wall.  I'm always dreaming and scheming about how to reconcile my loves for collecting vintage and designing spaces (homes, gardens, Airstream travel name it).  Most of the time my dreams and idea just swirl around in my mind.  My home, my garden, my Airstream travel trailer...they are my creative playground.  They are the place where I get to test my ideas and see if they sink or swim.

And then sometimes I have ideas that just can't really be tested here at home.

You know I love design and my heart sings for vintage.  You know I'm always reading 5 books and only finishing 3.  You know that I occasionally tackle sewing, knitting, and crocheting projects for my family.

Did you know that I have always been a stationery hoarder?  Always as in since age 5 at least.  Back then it was the excitement of a new box of crayons and a spiral notebook just for me.  Remember those toy catalogs that would come in the mail every Fall?  The ones with every toy possible?  There were play kitchens (which I adored) and blocks and baby dolls and remote control toys and cars you could actually drive.  There were unending possibilities in those catalogs...and I would sit and stare over and over at the pencils you could have your name on, and the little pink diary with colorful hearts and a lock and key on which your name could be engraved, and the little pads of paper....which, you guess it, could have your name.

I'm not sure if my love of stationery came because of the love of the thing itself, or because of the ability to have my name put on it.  You see, every gift shop on the planet stocks those pencils and mugs and play license plates that come pre-printed with names on them.  But you'll never see a Judith among them.  When I was little, the closest I could come would be Judy...but this option has always bothered me because there is no "Y" in Judith.  Even in high school when my name was shorted for awhile, I insisted it be spelled Judi.

So why did I love the stationery from the catalog so much?  Because my mom and dad could order it for me with my name printed on it, and because to me, that was rare and special.

I still love stationery.  My heart still takes a little leap of joy when I come across the perfect set of notecards.  And I have special pens that I bring out just for writing notes to friends.  But over the last few years I've moved away from using bought stationery and have started designing my own.

It started with a Valentine's Day card when the Kiddo was 2 months old, and since then, with only one notable exception (when I was massively pregnant and my husband was recovering from a major illness) I have created our own cards and invitations for every family event and had them sent out to print.

And so I'm dreaming again.  I love collecting vintage goods, but if I'm completely honest, I'm not in love with selling them.  I have such respect for all those who are able to collect, refresh, and resell vintage items.  There is so much work behind the scenes that I just don't have time for as a mom of two tiny ones.  Every item has to be cleaned, staged, photographed (lighting has to be right!), a description has to be written, it has to be priced, and then you have to figure out shipping to Timbucktoo.  If you do guess right on shipping and there is any small profit, it doesn't come close to paying you for your time.  In my case, my time is extra precious because it is my time away from my children.  So, my goal for this year is to slowly but sure get the rest of my inventory listed in my Etsy shop and sell out.

But there is another dream which has creeped into my mind these last few months.  And that is the dream of designing my own line of stationery.  How can I do this in a way that is sustainable for me as a full time mama of two?  I'm not entirely sure, but my early thoughts are it would be in the form of purchasable digital files which people would then be free to have printed as many times as they wish.

Is it crazy?  I don't think so.  Not as crazy as my dream of selling vintage.  :)  Will I fail?  Well if I do, it won't be the first time.  :)

What about you?  Any crazy dreams for 2014?  Knocking down any walls?  Starting new exciting projects?

1 comment:

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