Thursday, 24 January 2013

MOMpreneur Award of Excellence--Last Week!

We're in the home-stretch for the voting period in the contest.  Clicking on the picture below will take you to our nomination page:

It has been an interesting journey so far, and we stand a really good chance of being in the top 10 at the end of the voting period.  Up until a few weeks ago it appeared that our location on the site was moving around based on how we were doing in the contest, then everyone stopped moving.  The response from the contest organizers was that to keep things fair, no one should know who was in which position until after the voting was done.  Seems fair enough, though slightly confusing based on what had been happening earlier.

Anyway, after the voting period is done at midnight EST on January 31, we sit back with fingers crossed that the phone rings with an invitation to the conference in March--which is part of the Grand Prize--or that somethign equally wonderful arrives in the mail, indicating a secondary prize for us!

Things I am learning from this contest:
  • I really need to learn more about how to use social media better,
  • Should have joined the "twitterverse" much earlier in the game, though I am having a riot following some of my favourite people and seeing the inspiring pictures that some have posted,
  • There are a lot more people who will come out of the woodwork as potential supporters (and hopefully future customers) when you're involved in something like this, if I haven't said Thank You to you directly:  THANK YOU!
Once everything is settled, I think I'm going to need to lock myself in the basement for a few days with my sewing machine and fabric stash.  New ideas keep popping into my head, and the random papers with them sketched need to be collected and organized.  Please send snacks...


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Creativity and the Life-Work Balance

I think I may have set a pretty lofty goal for myself with the title of this post.  Let me be clear, I don't proclaim to be an expert on life-work balance, or even to be the most creative person in the world.  However, I like to think I'm getting better at the balancing act and my sketch pad (read:  the random papers floating around my studio, my desk at work, and in my bookbag) would indicate that my creativity is still flowing.

The last few months have been a bit of a whirl-wind experience.  We moved into our beautiful new home, and it really did feel like home right from the beginning, and shortly after welcomed my brother and sister-in-law to live with us.  While I'm looking forward to reclaiming a larger studio space in a few short weeks, I know our "roomates" will be missed--especially by the mischievious toddler who smiles and calls after them every time they cross his path.  The lightbulb moment occured in the middle of the night a few days ago that I need to get producing more in my studio so that we can save up for a trip to visit the Land Down Under--preferably before Ian hits school age--to visit his favourite Uncle Derk and favourite Auntie Ksashar (see what I did there, still room for favourite Auntie Teaghan). 

I digress, and seem to be a bit off-topic...

New opportunities are always on the horizon, and we've been looking at how to market our products in the most effective way.  Looking at local shops and other vendors' markets.  Then I came across a few posts on Marketing Creativity that really got the gears turning on how to approach the new year, and how to Build a Better Creative Business:

I hope this can be helpful to anyone else looking for ways to improve on their business.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Welcome 2013

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope you were able to enjoy time with friends and family over the last few weeks, and if you celebrate in Ukranian then "Z Rizdvom Khrystovym !"

2013 is shaping up to be a great year full of exciting challenges.  The first challenge is getting Balanced Needles Knitting & Quilting back in the Top 10 of the MOMpreneur Award of Excellence.  At the end of the voting period, January 31, the judges will decide this year's winner from the Top 10 finalists.  Please share the contest with everyone you know, and thank you in advance for your continued support.

I've been pondering over designs for awhile, and am almost ready to go from paper sketch to EQ7 pattern for the charity quilt I'm working on in support of the Huntington Society of Canada.  The initial quilt will be done using a custom fabric featuring the Hunting Society's amaryllis logo, and both the pattern and fabric will be available for sale once everything is finalized.  Proceeds from the pattern sales will go to the Huntington Society of Canada.

I've also been working on finishing up two mystery quilts.  Both were designed and organized by Heather Spence, and were organized in support of two worthy causes:  1) a family going through cancer treatments with one of their young sons, and 2) Gospel for Asia's sewing machine projects to provide a source of income for women in Asia and their families.  My thoughts on getting involved with both "I may not be able to change the world, but I can help impact the lives of a few people."

I'm still sorting through the bag of tartan remnants that arrived just before Christmas.  It's proving very interesting to see what I will have available for customers to choose from, though it is a bit of a daunting task to determine which tartan each of them is.

Until next time,