We’re Expecting!

little human 1

We have some big, exciting, huge news here at the Pierogi Picnic family. We’re expecting! A little human to be exact! David and I broke the official news to friends and family last week – and we couldn’t be more enthused at the prospect of growing and grooming a little person.

With the coming of the little man/gal we’ll experience a dramatic shift in lifestyle as we add baby to our daily activities and endeavors. So what does that mean for Pierogi Picnic?

little human 2

Pierogi Picnic has blossomed and evolved in incredible ways since I launched my handmade business in the fall of 2008. Since then I have grown as a person, creator and business owner in ways I could have never imagined. And that will continue as we anticipate the arrival of our bundle of joy.

The little human will make their debut in February of 2015 and we’ve already begun planning. For Pierogi Picnic that will mean some ebbs and flows in product creation between now and the winter. Instead of pushing my already limited energy reserves on custom orders, I’ll be focusing on hawking items that I’ve already created, as well as vintage pieces. There will definitely be some sewing going on here and there – but much of my productivity will depend on how my body is feeling. David and I have chosen to take as easy-going an approach to the pregnancy as possible, so keeping deadlines and mad-crunches at the machine at bay will be key.

little human 3

So starting this weekend, you’ll find that the “Custom Made” category of the Pierogi Picnic Etsy shop offline. Is this a permanent shift? Absolutely not! Being able to create tailored clothing for people of all shapes and sizes is key to what I do! So come Spring 2015 expect lots of new design choices within the made to order category. But for now, as my body settles into baby growing and all the fun adventures that go with it, I’ll be sticking to ready-made orders only.

So excited as we enter this new chapter of our lives! And who knows – maybe a Mini Pierogi Picnic line is in the not-so-distant future!

little human 4

Advertisements

An Indie Biz: Finding Balance

pierogi picnic finding balance Creating a healthy work/life balance is something we hear about all the time. “Making time for self,” “investing in you,” or my favorite, “taking time to breathe” are all fine and dandy – but how can we take the idea of maintaining time for your business, family and self a reality?

That’s a big question that I’ve been grappling with since the New Year. Pierogi Picnic is in the sixth year of rocking recycled duds and the opportunities to share what I’m doing are endless. Invites to take part in shows, magazines, and blogs are fairly routine these days. Would you consider that boastful? It’s not meant to be since I haven’t had the ability to take part in any of them – and it’s all thanks to being on the edge of burning out.

Attempting to balance a full time indie business with a full time (awesome but demanding!) job have stretched me thin these past couple of years and moonlighters fatigue is becoming more and more palpable. So what’s the solution? Is it a matter of setting a strict work schedule (oh to only have an eight hour work day!), designating sewing days, or creating a true resting day? Perhaps – but adhering to these kind of self-inflicted rules is only part of the solution. I often find myself sneaking in some photo editing while my husband roasts a batch of coffee beans – or saying “ooh – I’ll do some PR work while these potatoes boil!”

So the big question comes up again: How do you really, really create a healthy work/life balance without compromising your vision and quality of work? I asked this very question of my fellow maker friends via social media and here were some of the suggestions they shared: Continue reading

An Indie Biz: Made to Order

Pierogi Picnic: Made to Order t-shirt tunic with ruffles eco-friendly

After taking a 30 day hiatus from making custom orders – the Pierogi Picnic one-woman sweatshop is back in action!

In late July I decided that I would make August the month for taking some time away from my machine. Not only did I want to make some room for enjoying all the sights and sounds of summer, I also needed to give my skin a break. So after several weeks of hanging back, I’m all healed up and ready to rock and roll again!

So if you’ve been pining for a made to order eco friendly hoodie for the fall or a handmade swimsuit for summer (thinking of you Australians!) now is the time! Take a peek at what designs are currently available here or in my Etsy shop. And here’s to bringing back tailor-made pieces!

Pierogi Picnic: Men's Custom made upcycled sweatshirt hoodie with cowl

An Indie Biz: Etsy’s New About Page

So I did it – I hunkered down last night to create my “About” page on Etsy.

Deciding how to embody your brand in a neatly wrapped box and bow was quite the ordeal – which must explain why I’ve been putting it off for the past week. From the moment I read the announcement I cringed, knowing that my over-the-top detail-oriented brain would implode at the possibilities. The questions that boggled my mind included: What kind of dialogue should I use in the description? How can I fit my life story into such a small space? What photos do I choose to include in the revolving banner? Should the copy be more polished? Goofy? Down-to-earth? Continue reading

An Indie Biz: Keeping Things Fresh

One of the most important, albeit difficult, things for an indie biz is keeping your website alive with activity. Not only should we always be in a state of dreaming and crafting – we need to be using our creativity to make our virtual spaces fun and exciting. What’s the use of handcrafting that adorable new product if your new audience forgets to visit your .com? In the internet age, staying fresh and memorable is the key.

With all the talk of social media this, and Twitter that, it’s easy to get caught up in the new wave of marketing techniques, while forgetting the 21st century basic: your website. Many of your supporters will ‘like’ you on Facebook and follow you on Pinterest, but what about that new fan? If they’re new to virtual networking they may not be headed to the latest and greatest networking page. Instead, they’ll google you and land straight on your .com. That’s why it’s so important to regularly update your site.

Sure you can have fun new posts about your latest inspirations (that’s me to the ‘t!’) but are you changing your layout regularly? Are you enticing the reader to explore your pages? Are you uploading new buttons, photos, banners and other elements to captivate the viewer? Continue reading

An Indie Biz: Indoor Fairs

Tonight is the eve of the DIY Trunk Show and I am surprised to find I have butterflies in my stomach! No matter now many times or places I sell my wares in person – I am always anxious the night prior. And this show is different as I’m not just showing off my handmade goodies, I’m also leading DIY craft demos for participants.

What also sets the DIY Trunk Show apart from others is that Pierogi Picnic was a last-minute add-on. So between this show – and Renegade on December 4th & 5th – my brain is in fair preparation overload!

Here are some of the ideas I have up my sleeve and some things to inspire other vendors prepping for the madness of the season. If you’re anything like me you have butterflies too and could benefit from some advice! Continue reading