I have worked at RSVP for 12 years now, and I still love my job (not many people can say one of those things, let along both of them - I'm lucky!). Every day is a little different. Over the years I have been fortunate to wear many hats in the business: bookkeeper, salesperson, general manager, etc. One of my favorite hats was that of graphic designer. I wasn't awesome at it, but I wasn't terrible, either. I did pretty well for myself, and not only did I enjoy having a break from the dollars & cents I normally focus on, I also found it was a fun creative outlet. Our business has grown in the years since I wore the graphic designer hat, and we now have an amazing graphic design team that handles our increased artwork load, which means I have fewer & fewer opportunities to be Jodie Hook, RSVP Graphic Designer. That has allowed me to focus on what I am best at, but I felt I had lost my creative outlet.
That is, until recently.
This past November, I decided I didn’t like any of the pajama options out there for my 9 month old baby. She's big for her age, and the stores' offerings were just not cutting it. On a whim, I decided I could make some for her. I had taken sewing lessons one summer in middle school. It was something I excelled at but didn’t make much time for; I made a few Halloween costumes in college, but nothing since then. I moved forward with Operation: Baby Pajamas. I found a pattern with a zipper online, and I even modified it to add fold-over cuffs. I felt a real sense of pride after I finished this first project.
It felt so right, and I knew that I had found my true creative outlet & passion. I started waking up early & staying up late to work on sewing projects for my kids, challenging myself with more difficult or intricate work each time. My kids were amazed - granted, one of the great thing about kids is that they are easily impressed.
I continued sewing for my friends and family, and when I would proudly tell people that my sons & daughters were wearing something I made, I started hearing that I should sell my creations. I played with the idea for a little bit and decided, "Why not?" Why not take something I love doing, and that I am good at, and not only make a little money from it, but - more importantly - share my labor of love with others?
While I really wanted to jump head first in & get started, I also realized there was more to it than just making stuff & selling it. After some research, I discovered there were multiple law of compliance to make sure that children’s clothing is safe. After starting the process in January, I am finally ready to take the plunge!
As I start this adventure, I have a few tips for anyone else getting started:
- Do your research. If you are selling anything, you need to make sure it’s safe, especially if it’s for children. Be sure to check any federal, state, and local regulations that apply to what you want to do.
- As the saying goes, the only certainties in life are death & taxes, so be sure to track everything from the very beginning. This includes inventory, expenses, and the like. This will make your life much easier once tax season rolls around and you have to give Uncle Sam his dues.
- Most importantly, make sure it’s something you love, and will continue to love for years to come. Otherwise, you’ll burn out & what started out as a labor of love will become just another chore or task you have to do, but don't enjoy doing.
I'm looking forward to the road ahead, and am excited to share my love of sewing with others!'
Simon Sinek quote picture found on Pintrest.com here.