Monday, January 2, 2012

It is very obvious that one of my New Year's resolutions should be


 Pretty embarrassing to say the least. I would like to spare you of one of those annual 3-page Christmas letters.  However, I may be guilty of that in order to put 2011 in retrospect -- just the highlights
(with my middle-aged short-term memory issues, I'm sure I'll forget some).  Let's see,
 1) Husband sold his business 
2) Husband started a new job
3) I moved my business to a new location
4) We moved to a different home
5) I opened a retail shop/showroom.
6) I closed the retail shop/showroom (details to follow)
7) I'm still looking for things that are buried in packed boxes
. . Let me insert here that 1-4 happened within one month. CRAZY.

Yes, this past summer marked a new venture for Home Sweet Homespuns! We moved! Yep, we are now located in a brand new space, a completely-renovated century building from the late 1800's. We are in 100% full production for our web business and daily production.

(Before move)

Moving a business was not an easy task.  We weren't sure if my 4x8 work station would even fit in the door. 

Will it fit? 

Muscle power from four men, . . . 

Sitting in place, minus the counter top

Yeah, they did it!!

Mom getting the first look at the new shop.  I think she's pleased.

We are told that our building was built in the late 1800's and was originally a parsonage. I would love to dig deeper into the history of the building! It holds much charm with the original pine floors in the two rooms that we planned to use as our showroom. Our workshop held some challenges with our huge cutting table strategically placed between what we have been told are two old hitching posts. The room faces the east, so the morning sun pours in through the windows and brightens the entire space.

Here's an excerpt of my journal on the first day: Today was the first full day of production. I was quite pleased with the arrangment of the sewing machines, cutting table, ironing board and fabric cupboard all in close proximity to one another. Track lighting above the machines added extra brightness for cloudy days. Ready, set, go! Ready, set, . . . oops, there goes the foot pedal sliding away on the new laminate floor! Re-position, . . . ready, set, . . . move back to adjust the foot pedal again, and there goes my chair slowly but surely rolling sideways towards the back wall! The old floors have a tad bit of a slant to them. . . needless to say, at the end of the day the machines were re-positioned so I would roll towards them instead of drifting slowly away every time I moved. The foot pedals are finding new spots securely wedged against a table leg or sitting on non-grip rubber. At the end of the day, we accomplished a decent amount of jobs and worked out a few kinks. All in a days' work. 

 Yes, downsizing one's home, which for years has housed a business in its lower ranks, was quite a challenge to our business operation.  Thankfully, the summer months are a little slower for our web-based business, so we were able to make the move, get set up, and start operations in a new location within a matter of days. Although it was a wonderful space, and one where we could actually have a curtain showroom and primitive mercantile, we soon discovered it was not practical to stretch our focus in two directions.

 With the busy holiday season fast approaching, we decided to concentrate on what we do best, and that is focusing on our curtain business via the web. A little disappointing, but it was the right thing to do. Although a store had always been a dream, our main operations center and office is functioning quite well.  Customers can still drop in or schedule an appointment to discuss their custom job.

 I would say 2011 was a CHALLENGING year. I'm not particularly fond of it, although it stretched me in ways that hopefully made me a better person. On a personal level, 2012 brings the anticipation of our 7th grandchild due on St. Patrick's Day. On the business side, we're always looking for ways to improve.  We have already made some changes in our product line, adding some new items that we hope you will like such as: Homespun throws and coverlets in our Bedding line, and more selections in our Kitchen line. More additions will be coming as we progress throughout the year. As always, look for our ads in Country Sampler Magazine. Each issue features one or more featured products. Our new Winter Product Brochure is now printed and available for mailing. You can also LIKE US on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest announcements. Here's to a great 2012! Bring it on.

1 comment:

Kaye said...

Donna, I wish you much great success in this New Year! Keep up the blog, it's great!