Thursday, June 20, 2013

on life before Stitched, the Baby plans and a Favor

Brandon and I, 2003, assignment for Brooks Institute of Photography

Once upon a time I was a young newlywed working in a maternity shop while my husband finished college.  Why a maternity shop?  Because I wanted babies... but it wasn't practical yet.  Being around those happy, expectant women and dressing them in beautiful clothes was my idea of waiting patiently.

baby Aria, 2004
baby Aria, 2004

Fast forward to fall, 2004.  Aria is born.  Awww....  And at the same time (because I like to keep busy,) and with my parents' financial backing, we open a joint-family business, EuphoriaMaternity.com.

early Euphoria shoot, pregnant
first Euphoria photoshoot, still pregnant 2004.

This was a big deal.  Huge investment.  From the beginning it felt like the responsibility of success or failure fell mostly on me, because it was all my jolly idea. 

By 2008 our business was finally pulling in a profit.  Happy dance!  We'd worked and worked, tweaking every little thing, learning how to buy, how to price, and also adding a sister site, EuphoriaBaby.com, to represent (then) hard-to-find natural baby goods.

our growing family, Liam 2007-2008

And then, Crash!

Our sales tanked late 2008 right around the time of the U.S. presidential election when economy was all over the headlines.  We hoped that in time things would level out.  We could adjust?  We could wait it out? 

By January 2011, I couldn't take it any more.  Our business was operating at a constant loss, putting us in greater and greater debt to my parents.  My awesome parents!  I decided 2011 would be my last year at Euphoria.  This was accepting big, fat Defeat.  And so...what next?  That's when I shared here, the Just Peachy post, about my fork in the road: 

* So, my goal for this year is to see what can be done to make Stitched in Color my new job.
* Because, really, I want to stay home and homeschool my littles.
* And I think stitching can be that flexible.  I'm praying anyway.
* In spite of a bit of sadness, I find this fork rather exciting.
* At least in January.
* My husband does not.
* I've considered taking up the whole making stuff gig. You know, stocking an Etsy store, landing the craft shows, marketing, sell, make, make, make.
* It sounds exhausting.
* So, I think I'm going to try the publishing route. Like books? Magazines? Patterns?
* Starting with the magazines, apparently.
* Are you laughing yet?
* Yeah, me neither.


And, amazingly, it worked.  Still feels like a fairy tale.  Anything can happen in a year, and in 2011 anything did!   My work at Stitched in Color is a dream come true.  So much better than anything I could have asked or imagined.

2011 finished quilts
2011 quilts

Since I stopped working at Euphoria, my parents (who are retired) have continued packing and shipping the few orders that come in, with my occasional assistance on website upkeep, strategy, etc.  And, as I expected, sales continued to gradually taper off.  Now my parents have downsized and no longer have room for the Euphoria stock.  All hope is squashed, reality is kicking and it's time to eat that bitter pill.  We're liquidating.

Soooo... here's where you come in.  My parents are happy, gracious people.  Never once have they made me feel less for my (um huge?) part in their financial loss.  Nevertheless, you can imagine my desire to help minimize the pain.  Would you, could you, may you, might you help me with that?  I promise, I'll only ask once.

Idea #1  Buy Stitched in Color patterns = money for Euphoria.

Starting today and for one week, any purchase at my Pattern Shop (including Homeschool. handmade.) will go directly to helping my parents and stocking our future baby nursery.  Because, remember, the whole baby idea?  We hope to have another, and if it works out we'll need things like cloth diapers, baby bottles, crib mattresses, etc. which we can buy now at cost from EuphoriaBaby.com.  This is a double-whammy of help, since my parents get the cash back on that inventory and our family gets stuff for our next baby that I know is safe, healthy and of great quality.  So, yeah, you'd be spoiling me.  Kind of a like a virtual baby shower. 

***If despite the odds we are unable to get pregnant, I will donate items from this purchase to the local pregnancy center.




Idea #2  Get Maternity/Breastfeeding/Baby DEALS for yourself = money for Euphoria.

Ok, so this one is obvious, but in case you find yourself in the baby kind of way, I really do think you should check out the deals at our stores.  At the maternity site, everything is 70% off.  That's like practically free.  Our boutique's designer clothes usually cost a pretty penny, but fit and wash very well.  I still wear some of the clothes I bought when I was pregnant with Aria (true story).  Nursing moms, you need a new bra, right?  And if you've got a baby or toddler - classic toys, organic clothes, glass bottles, stainless steel sippy cups and soft leather baby shoes are all 50% off.

baby Liam, in a Euphoria swaddler


~To Say Thanks~

Phew.  If you've read this far, you're a trooper.  Thanks for your patience and grace towards me in bringing this up at all.  To show my gratitude, anyone who makes a Pattern Shop purchase or any purchase at Euphoria Maternity or Euphoria Baby now through June 27th will be entered to win a free Premium spot in my next sewing class, The Penny Sampler.  To enter the giveaway, add your comment here and let me know where to look for your purchase.  If you're commenting here for another reason, not entering the giveaway, that's fine.  I'll be able to tell the difference!

Winner will be announced Friday, June 28th!

49 comments:

  1. I have always appreciated your honesty and I've always admired your work. If we knew each other in real life and you had the cojones to ask for help I'd do whatever I could to help. So...here's to your future whatever it may be! I'm buying the Wheel Pattern! xo Becca

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  2. Hopefully the rather large purchase I just made at the maternity shop will help. Cute stuff over there - thanks for asking for help. I'd much rather buy your stuff than some big box store if given the chance (and the budget - which the 70% off helps!).

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  3. I'm sorry that things didn't work out the way you'd hoped. I just bought some nursing stuff over on euphoria maternity, thank you for letting us know and good luck!!

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  4. I swear I just told my husband that I was throwing out all my worn out nursing bras and buying new ones...so I hoped on over and bought 3 new ones! Great timing for the both of us! LOL Good luck on all your future endeavors!

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  5. I'll take a look and pass along the info. Hope things go smoothly and quickly.

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  6. Since I am a great fan of your blog I just placed an order at Euphoria.Baby. Please don't send the articles - I'm living in Germany, but take it as little contribution to your future .
    All the very best for all of you.. Marion

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    1. Oh, thank-you, Marion. What a fun surprise! I am completely blessed!!!

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  7. Wow, thanks to each of you! I'm totally glad to see that people actually need/want things at Euphoria Maternity and Baby. These things need to get off the shelves and racks and out into the world. Glad to be able to pass along the discount!

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  8. i feel like you are doing me the favor - i just got some new nursing friendly tops and bras on euphoria maternity! amazing prices! THANKS!

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  9. great timing for me, i just ordered a few much-needed pregnancy/nursing things at euphoria maternity. and such a great deal! and while i'm sad for you that this venture in your life didn't work out as you planned, i'm super happy that you've found something you love and are making a living at it and that, selfishly, it led me to meet you. thanks, rachel!

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  10. I admire you so much for following your dreams! I bought a nursing bra (which I DID need, actually!) and the make-up roll pattern (which I've been eyeing for a while!)

    Thanks for always being a source of inspiration!

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  11. I love and good deal and I'm happy to support! I don't know yet what baby things I'll need, but I bought some things over at the maternity store. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

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  12. ack! the cuteness in this post is just too much! you and brandon. ser.i.ous.ly. i love it! and you with Liam - you look like a teenager. you're just the cutest!
    so i totally stocked up on some stuff thankyouverymuch. i needed some stainless steal sippy cups and i like to have organic toys on hand for baby gifts. check and check. what a great deal. i'm sorry your business didn't work out, though. :( your next babe will be super pampered.

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  13. I'm so sorry about the business, I know how scary it is to start one! And since I am neither pregnant, nor expecting, I purchased a quilt pattern. But I'm forwarding this to all my (5) pregnant friends.

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  14. Oh, Rachel--yesterday I thought about how much I would like to make your Wheel pattern. Today I bought it! I will think of you and your family as I make it, sending warm wishes your way.

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  15. Thank you so much for passing that along as we were just trying to figure out where we would be getting our cloth diapers for our coming little one :) Got a nice 12 pack of diapers and the sippy cup we love AND a cute little toy for my daughters birthday...overall a win! Sad to see such a nice natural parenting store go! I wish I'd known about it sooner.

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  16. I completely applaud you for your courage and honesty! There are no babies in my life, but I am on my way to buy a pattern right now :)It seems very clear to me that no matter where your path leads, you and your family will be successful.

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  17. Rachel, I always loved reading your Euphoria blog. It was my first "mama" blog when Mitchell was born and I can not tell you how much great advice I received from it (you!).

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  18. I think your post is entirely appropriate, and I wish you luck in achieving your goals on all fronts!

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  19. We just had twins 3 weeks ago, so the timing is perfect! I ordered some Aden & Anais goodies (these are our favorite blankets by far) and some Haba toys which are hard for me to find locally. Best wishes in your future endeavors and thanks for sharing the bargains with us. I've spread the word to my mom friends too :)

    Nicole (babydoxie at gmail dot com)

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  20. Rachel, I imagine it took courage to write all that down. Thank you! I'd love to buy some patterns from you! (off to do that now!) I'd love to do the other shopping too, but I got my period again yesterday. :( All in His good timing.
    I'm so glad for you, that this blog has worked successfully. Well done. Your work and writing style is beautiful and you deserve it. xx

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  21. Rachel, I just shared info on Euphoria with my many friends who are pregnant and/or have babies (which seems to be everyone these days). Best of luck to your parents as they move forward!

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  22. Rachel, I hope you don't mind, but I put a post up on my Facebook page about your sale. I am not pregnant at the moment :-( but I have lots of friends who are. I am so grateful for your honesty and inspiration. I hope we help your parents in some way.

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    1. Thank-you, Angie. That means a lot! I really appreciate you spreading the word =)

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  23. on behalf of Angela T. in Guam: I'm happy to say I didn't have to twist my husband's arm too hard to convince him that I needed to buy the Sparklers quilt. ;) Just happy that I
    can do a little good. Triple win...I get an awesome quilt pattern, you get some cool stuff for baby, and your folks get a little help moving inventory!

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  24. on behalf of Lindsey Cleveland: Thanks for the pattern. I wish I had known about your shop a couple of years ago when my grandchildren were coming along. Oh well, onward and upward. I hope you can stay home with your kids. I was able to stay home with mine until the youngest started fifthe grade. The I only worked part time. We lived simply. There was no tv so the kids didn't know what they were missing as far as extras went. They are now oarents and look back and wonder how we did it. Good luck.
    Please enter me for the free class. I took your first one and enjoyed it. I'm sure this next one will be excellent too.

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  25. Thanks for the heads up on Euphoria! Just made a much needed purchase!

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  26. Well, I finally pulled the trigger on the make-up roll pattern. I've been eyeing it for a while, and this seemed like a good reason to just do it. As my dad used to say, "Be blessed and be a blessing." :)

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  27. Just bought the sparklers quilt pattern! :)

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  28. Hi Rachel! I am happy to help and I purchased a couple hours ago your make up roll pattern that I have been wanting to buy! Incidentally, I am currently in the Southwest of France at my in-laws, and brought my hand-stitched class Medallion quilt with me to stitch on vacation and it's finished!!! I will post photos to the group when I get home. Thanks for all of your great blogs and patterns!! Lily.

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  29. I posted my own blurb on Facebook about your close-out. I am not in the market for baby stuff, but maybe some of my friends are. I love your blog, your honesty and your testimony. Keep up the good work! Debi

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  30. On behalf of Marie "mariemacd77" who bought a sparklers pattern.

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  31. Rachel, you have given me much inspiration over the past few months. I love your blog & feel like I "know" you. Buying a couple of patterns is so worth all you do for me!

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  32. I too, applaud you for sticking your neck out there unconventionally. I've always admired your "sparkers' pattern. Great luck and good karma!

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  33. Although I'm not in the need of maternity/baby things, I passed your website to a friend of mine. We are headed down the foster-road and we pray for you and your husband and your journey ahead.

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  34. I just bought a bunch of diapers and some glass bottles for my little guy who will hopefully be here next week and a few toys and crayons for his two big brothers. I was so happy to find some things I needed at a good price and help a friend out too! Even though we've never met I do gather lots of great advice (both homeschooling and crafting) and really enjoy following your blog. Wishing you the best as you move forward with your plans!

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    1. Okay and since I couldn't help myself with the amazing prices and all, I went to the maternity store and found a few nice things for myself after this guys born. Thanks again for letting us know about these super deals and I hope everything works out beautifully for you and your family.

      I'm excited about the upcoming class. I've never taken an online quilting/sewing class before but it sounds fun.

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  35. Rachel, after reading your beautifully written Sparklers pattern, I realized a skills warm-up is in order. So, I've just bought the patterns for your makeup roll, Brickhouse Quilt and Wheel Quilt. Thanks again for such an enjoyable blog!
    Marie

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  36. Hi Rachel, I love your blog and the fresh approach you have to all the important things in life - including quilts. I have just purchased two patterns, Sparklers & Make-up Roll. Many thanks for sharing. I hope your dreams come true. Deborah in Cockatoo Valley South Australia.

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  37. Hi Rachel! I'm beyond the childbearing stage of my life but immediately sent out a text to my friends who have newborns or are expecting! One texted back saying she purchased a nursing shirt and hopefully the others will grab a good deal! Good luck with the liquidation!

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  38. I don't expect this comment to stay here, and I have spent several days deciding whether or not to even bother writing it. But as the owner of a small business which also failed last year, and leaves my partner and I facing financial ruin, I would never dream of writing a post like this. I'm sorry but it's nothing short of begging, and I'm horrified you would think this is OK. I will be removing your blog from my reader list.

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  39. Just purchased a couple much needed bras on your site! Thank you for the great savings!!

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  40. My daughter (pregnant with our first grandchild) was able to get some nursing bras and I was able to purchase a couple of shirts for her to get her through these next eight weeks. I remember being pregnant, short on money and hating wearing the same thing day after day. Good luck to your parents and to you and your husband.

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  41. I wanted to do wheel quilt for a while so I purchased your pattern. I enjoy your blog, your tuts and appreciate your honesty. Being in the draw for your class is bonus. Thx.

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  42. I bought your makeup roll. I'm also going on Facebook tonight to ask my old doula and midwife to post about the sale on their Facebook pages.

    And I also wanted to let you know that I see you as an AMAZING inspiration, even MORE so now. XO!

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  43. I just bought some Habba play food for my son. He loves to "cook" and I know he'll be over the moon when he gets his new food in the mail. I'm happy to do my little part to help you out!

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I just finished my Modern Medallion from this winter's Handstitched Class. It is spectacular! I'll be adding my photos to the Flickr group soon. I'm so looking forward to the tackling the Penny Sampler!

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  44. i just got your sparklers quilt pattern! so excited. :) i have been meaning to get it, so this works out great. i hope everything works out for you and your parents (as well as they can)! thanks so much for the chance to be enrolled in the penny sampler class! i have taken 2 of your classes at the basic level...it would be very cool to take this one at the premium level!

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  45. I was going to buy one of the toy baby carriers, but the shipping for ground was $14.52! Is that accurate?

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    1. We can ship by priority mail instead for $5.50. If that option's not coming up for you, you can call and order over the phone or check out as is and note in the comments that you want to switch to Priority Mail for $5.50 as per Rachel. We can adjust your total before charging if you pay by credit card! If you pay by Paypal, it will charge you, but we can refund the difference. Thanks!

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