March 16, 2012

HCD First Year in Review

Shop started with owl pillows and crochet hats,
then added pillowcase dresses
Lots of pillowcase dresses,
Next came the reversiable dress, and shortly after boy clothing
My two best sellers have been the
reversible Hallowen/Thanksgiving Dress and the FSU pillowcase
I then started custom orders
Next came reversible vests
And finally my spring line and interchangable flower headband system
On March 22nd, HootyCutie Designs will have been open on Etsy for one year. And what a year it has been! There have been some really big changes in my life. Some of them were not exactly pleasant, but I can honestly say that I am so happy with how things have turned out.
This time last year, I was teaching high school and preparing for Spring Break. I was so excited about having an entire week to spend at home with my daughter and had plans to start an Etsy shop as a side project. I have always been “crafty”, but it seemed the birth of my daughter unleashed some underlying crafting madwoman. I needed an outlet for all these new craft projects and an Etsy shop seemed like a great way to “unload” my end products as well as create some funds for future projects. Read more in my very first blog post Day 1.

I made a few sales, but did not really devote as much time as I had planned to HootyCutie. But then in June, I found out that I was not being asked back to teach the following year due to cut backs. That was a very unexpected and a real shock for us. We contemplated long and hard about our options and decided that I would stay home with my daughter. I still cannot believe that this is my life now. I was one of those people who would say, “How can women stay home? I would be so bored! I won’t ever do that.” But from the moment my little girl entered my life, there is nothing I wanted more. And losing my job just seemed like God telling me, “Do it!”.
So then HootyCutie became my job and I jumped in head first. I did tons of craft shows for the holiday seasons (check out my preparations for my first show in this post.) Things were going great. Then we find out we have to move (still in Tally, but moving none the less). Ugh… I really hate moving! HootyCutie did have to take a back seat for a little bit, but we are loving the new house and happy in the long run with how things have turned out.
Jaycelyn eat some of her very first foods
And the changes Jaycelyn has made in this year have been unbelievable. She was 7 months old when I started HootyCutie. She was able to sit up and we had recently started her on baby-led weaning (a way of introducing solid foods that allows the child to feed themselves from day 1). She had not one, but two first birthday parties (check them out here and here). And now she is 19 months old, and she is running and starting to talk. She is sleeping in her own bed and no longer breastfeeding (read all about that here). Wow, the first two years of a child’s life is a whirl wind!
And HootyCutie (which seems like my other child) has made lots of changes too! When I went back and read my first post, I couldn’t help but laugh at how different my ideas were in the beginning:

"What is HootyCutie about? My store will really be a mix of items. I have crafting ADD, so I like to try to make different things all the time. So trying to think of just one or two things to sell is kind of impossible for me. However, most of by products will be baby/kid directed or "going green" products. Examples of baby/kid products are crochet toys, hats/scarfs, blankets and sewn baby quilts, bibs, pillows/pillow covers, and shoping cart covers. Examples of "going green" products would be "un"-paper towels, cloth wipes, and reusable shopping bags. I will strive to use the most natural products possible. However, for cost purposes some of my initial products will not meet this crietira. My goal is to use only natural products once I am up and running"

My Very First Sale


The first pillowcase dress I made for Jaycelyn

When I started the shop I was in the middle of my “green” transition brought on by our switch to cloth diapers (read more about why we switched to cloth here). I had just made our un-paper towels for the kitchen and had just started crocheting thanks to the awesome lessons from my sister-in-law (check out here Etsy shop Sweet Simple Shannon). What I find really fun is that very few of these items have actually made it into the shop. I made an owl pillow as a mascot for my shop, and I got so many request for them, they were the first things I made for the shop. Then somewhere along the way I made a pillowcase dress for Jaycelyn and people loved it. I started getting tons of requests for dresses and the focus for the shop became children clothing. And I am so glad this is the path the shop has taken. I love, love, love creating these little outfits for little ones. But maybe I will start making some of those other things for the shop too? (if any of your know me or read this blog regularly, we can all laugh now at how likely that is to happen… hahaha).
So HootyCutie Designs year one has been quite an interesting year. In the end, I love how things have turned out and am very much looking forward to another great year. And as one last celebration, everything at HootyCutie Designs on Etsy is 20% for one week only (3/17-24/2012). (No coupon code requried. Monograming not included in sale - you may still purchase monograming at full price.)

So what changes have you faced this past year?

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your first year anniversary! We love all of our HootyCutie outfits and receive compliments on them everywhere we go! You are the best!

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    1. Little K was my firt customer too!

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  2. GAH! That polka dot owl dress is adorable!

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    1. Thank you! I so wish I had bought more of that fabric :(

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