|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|
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.
|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.
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!