An Indie Biz: 2011 in Review

2011 was quite the year in the land of Pierogi Picnic. It was a time for scaling back and blowing up, experimenting while remaining conservative. In a snapshot – here are the year’s highlights:

 – Merger of the Pierogi Picnic blog and .com

February – Everyday Beauty Contest; Spike in Etsy sales; Monthly tutorials begin

March – Inspiration trip to Seattle; Wholesale catalog released

April – Development of new swimwear line

May – Joined the EcoEtsy blogging team; Swimwear launch

June – “Meet the Models” series begins; Featured on Style Network

July – New designs” series begins & featured on BrideBlu

August – Fall fashion creation bonanza; Renegade prep party

September – Chicago Renegade Craft Fair; Chicago Uniform Project; “Inspiration” series launched

October – Winter fashions released

November –DIY Trunk Show; Featured in Ecouterre

December – Holiday Renegade Craft Fair; Hit my Etsy sales goal with a week to spare!

Some of the 2011 business shifts that stood out:

  • I consolidated my blog and website – creating a new way to interface with fans and customers. The new site has also become the perfect one-stop shop for posting new designs, contests, promotions and business tips.
  • My creation process evolved and became much more methodical – creating samples of designs, photographing them, and then making items on-demand. This really improved my efficiency but also enabled me to make things custom for more of my customers. Who wouldn’t want a dress to their exact dimensions?! Plus, this means I’m no longer clogging my storage with designs that aren’t moving.
  • In 2011 I finally learned to say ‘no.’ Not to things, projects and orders I didn’t want to do – but to things I knew I wouldn’t have time to do to well. Though it was sometimes difficult turning down an offer (like participating in Chicago’s fashion week) I think knowing my own limits saved me from potential debacles. Also, it clarified where I should be focusing my efforts so that next time around I can say ‘yes’ to some things spontaneously.
  • I finally allowed myself to collaborate. This was huge for me! The ultimate control freak – I let my guard down to work with others, style projects, share my knowledge, and buddy up for shows – allowing me to grow in more ways than I thought possible and loving every moment of it!
  • 2011 was the year for the color green. Admittedly, not my favorite shade, but order after order after order green was the trending hue for custom listings. I’m curious to see what 2012’s shade will be!

2012 is upon us – and with it will come a slew of unforeseen challenges and successes. I’ll be drafting my indie biz resolutions over the weekend and will share them Monday. Until then – relish the last 48 hours of 2011!


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