I started this home business on a whim about a year and a half ago. The fifteen years prior I had been a stay-at-home, homeschool mom…. a job I loved immensely. As our kids grew, we decided it was important that we enroll them in school. It was tough giving up that part of my job, but then, homeschooling wasn’t supposed to be about me. I spent two years trying to decide what to do with the time the Lord had opened up for me. Perhaps go back to school and become a teacher? Going back to school meant going back to work to pay for school, so I got myself a part-time job and started taking classes. It was tough balancing work, school, and family. It turns out my kids still needed me at home, even though they were gone most of the day, and my husband and I had grown to love the flexibility of a one career family.
After about six months, my husband asked me to come back home. He and the kids needed me, and it is nice to be needed. My growing family was making money tight, however, so I decided I could use my time and talent to make some extra money. During my homeschool years, I had developed a passion for history, and found myself tying every subject to our history lessons. I had always loved making doll clothes, and what better way to satisfy my passion for history than to make historical doll clothes? I set up a corner in our house for a sewing space that consisted of one sewing machine, an old kitchen table and chair, and a couple of bookshelves. Now, did I mention I have a PASSION for history? Combine that with a personality that can get rather obsessive with details and it will quickly become clear that I am not someone who is going to be able to make a large number of doll clothes. I worked and worked for six months researching, designing, sewing, researching, redesigning, and sewing some more, and only had a handful of dresses to show for it. I was enjoying myself immensely, but it was going to be a LONG time before I had enough dresses to that I felt would be good enough to sell at a craft fair.
Patterns! What a great idea… but where to start? I spent the next six months researching pattern development. I think people who love history have a tendency to love research as well. I also think people who have a tendency to obsess with details also have a tendency to be perfectionists. Perfectionism is a blessing… and a curse. If you want something done well, get a perfectionist on board, however if you also want it finished you also need to add a cheerleader to help keep your perfectionist eye on the finish line. The Lord knew I needed a cheerleader, and he sent me Linda. She saw what I was doing, got excited for me, and kept me on task until that first pattern was finished.
It has been a year since I started working on that first pattern, and since that time, the Lord has continued to put people into my life to encourage and stretch me. They have helped to open doors that I didn’t know existed, they have shown me that my business doesn’t have to be all about myself, and that by working together we can make things happen. It was my birthday on Sunday, and my family went in together and got me a brand new chair for my sewing studio. It is so comfortable and sleek and makes me feel like a professional when I am sitting in it…. even when I am still wearing my jammies. This morning, I am sitting in my new chair working on my 14th pattern in the same little space in the corner of my house, but just on the other side of the wall, there is a space that will soon be my new sewing studio. I am quite happy with where I am today, but I look forward to what the Lord will put before me this next year.