Hello! I hope the sweltering heat of summer finds you all well rested and hydrated...at least that is about all I seem to be able to manage these days: resting and drinking water. Anything else feels like an olympian task, which is two fold because 1) Doing anything in this heat is HARD but 2) When you accomplish something, you feel Herculean! In this week's shop update, I wanted to keep you all in the loop on a decision I made recently when thinking about opening up my own stand alone website and what direction I wanted my work to move in. If you have followed my creative journey for any length of time, you know that about once a year I re-evaluate my business and either drop or add or both in regards to products I want to make and offer to my customers. Last summer one such decision came in the form of a total upheaval to my business when I decided I did not want to sell baby bedding anymore. The fact that my own children have long outgrown the baby stage added to the fact that the organic cotton Spoonflower fabric I use cost anywhere from $30-$25 PER YARD (including shipping) and even though that niche of crib sheets, changing pad covers, boppy covers, and baby blankets were bringing in nearly 80% of my total sales revenue, the COST of buying the fabric meant that I was making almost no profit from the selling of these items. Mind you, I was selling a crib sheet for $78, and spending over $50 just for the two yards of fabric required to make it. I love designing my own fabric and I do love Spoonflower, but I needed to set a boundary in regards to this branch of my work. I didn't love the cost and I didn't love how much time it took from my creative time spent designing and creating quilts. I decided to stop ALL sales of baby items over a two week break I took last summer, with no warning or foreshadowing of that decision to my customers. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was a breach of trust to my customers who had items saved in their carts, saved to baby registries, and had wishes of getting something after a period of saving money. Even though I had no open sales pending, there were things that I couldn't see happening in the background of my shop that I might have considered. I had customers reaching out to me on Instagram, Facebook, and Etsy wondering where their items were and when they would be made available again. The guilt set in hard because I had not even considered this possibility when making the decision to stop this cycle of my work, and once the door was shut, I was NOT in the mood to open it again. As it turns out, I did let the customers who contacted me make their purchases and I bought the fabric and created the orders for them, and then I didn't offer them anymore. I learned something in that time, which was that there is an unspoken trust between us. I have to be predictable to a degree, and if I am planning on making changes, it is up to me to be transparent about it and give everyone a chance to respond accordingly. I tried to take that lesson and use it recently, in regards to shutting down my Etsy shop, and I hope people did see the messages and didn't feel betrayed by me, like I had pulled the Etsy rug out from under their feet yet again. I say all of this to say that after months of focusing on my creative work, I felt like I could afford to offer a few select baby items again from my designer fabric collection and wanted that niche to be available to shoppers on my new website. I chose only my most popular and signature fabric designs, from the Constellation to the Rhino to the Botanical prints and only five different products with which to use them: Crib Sheets, Changing Pad Covers, Fleece Backed Baby Blankets, and Pillow Cases. I decided that I could be smarter about HOW I went about the business side of things and I am happy with what I have decided to do. In essence, whenever I sell a certain product, I will use that opportunity to buy that fabric in bulk, 10 yards at a time. I can save on shipping and get a small discount when doing it this way, so it saves me money, but it ALSO saves tremendously on the amount of time it takes to make the items because I will not have to wait 2-3 weeks for the fabric to get ordered, printed, and delivered after a sale has been made, which is how I was doing it before. It is more of an investment on my end, buying it in bulk like this, and there is always the risk of these prints not selling and the yardage will end up just sitting around, but I am going to try it. I am willing to do this because people seemed genuinely disappointed when I stopped carrying them. I guess I assumed that there were so many people out there selling the same items, so many designers with their cute prints, that mine wouldn't be missed and I was both surprised and honored when I got feedback to the contrary. This decision is in response to that and in respect of it, and to my customers, who even though they may not have been there when you needed them over the course of the last year, can trust that a better effort is being made to ensure that they are there for you the next time you need them!