Events: Pop-Up Shop

pop up shop

Just when we thought all the fun was over – we’ve decided to host one last event to bid Pierogi Picnic adieu – a pop-up shop!

Join us on Saturday, August 23rd from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Chicago’s famed Nettelhorst French Market, just north of Belmont off Broadway and Melrose. We will be selling all of my remaining eco-friendly creations at steep discounts. Plus – we’ll have a buy two get one free special running all day!

Come on out to see us to help the brand with a proper send-off. See you there!

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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: My 50th Photo Shoot

This past month I held my fiftieth, that’s right 5-0-th, photo shoot for Pierogi Picnic. That’s 50 sets of clothing, 50 modelling sessions, 50 folders filled with product photos.

Hitting such a big milestone shouldn’t be taken lightly – so I thought it appropriate to take a trip down memory lane. Here’s a look at the evolution of my photos since launching Pierogi Picnic five years ago.

50 photo shoots: Pierogi Picnic

An Indie Biz: Taking a Break

Summer in Chicago: Inkling Boutique Sign "Treat Yo' Self"

Boy – is it hot outside! And beyond the naturally imposed sluggishness that creeps into my summer self, I also find that the season brings tons of distractions. Whether it’s a close friend’s wedding, long walks in the park with the dogs, swimming in the lake or festival hopping, there’s nothing like making the most of summer in Chicago!

Or so I found myself thinking on a recent weekend afternoon, as I sit sewing away at my machine. I started to fantasize about all the events, get-togethers and experiences that were taking place in my absence, when it dawned on me: I need a break!

This September will mark the five year anniversary for Pierogi Picnic, and since starting my biz in 2008, I’ve had nary a dull moment. Working full-time and running your own business is exhilarating, but exhausting work! So I’ve decided a teeny vacation from my biz will do.

But with all the time, sweat and love poured into Pierogi Picnic, I’d never dream of closing the shop or website, even temporarily. So as a compromise to myself I’ve decided to put custom order work on hold until the fall. This way I’ll have the luxury of sewing up new designs when the mood strikes – and can still sell creations that have already been photographed and posted to Etsy. But what it really means is that I can reserve my weekends off for time with family, friends and four-legged beasties.

So for those of you who have been eye-balling a custom swimsuit or sundress – know that they’ll be back in production in September 2013. Until then – take advantage of all the lovingly crafted readymade and vintage items in my shop. And if you’re not currently a fan of the Pierogi Picnic Facebook page – you’ll want to “like” it soon – as we’re going to have some big sales coming your way in August for our anniversary.

And to those who are fellow artisans and creatives – do yourself a favor too – take a break every now and then! You deserve it!

Summer in Chicago: Gelato - yum!Summer in Chicago: My Boston Terrier Butter

Summer in Chicago: Flowers from A New LeafSummer in Chicago: Lydia taking a break

An Indie Biz: Making a Look Book

Pierogi Picnic Look Book shoot

This past Saturday I embarked on my first look book adventure!

Gathering together a group of talented creatives and the Pierogi Picnic modeling gang, we orchestrated a fun-filled shoot in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. With loads of brightly colored designs and props in hand – we snapped and shot hundreds of photos to show off the latest Pierogi Picnic creations – orchestrating an urban picnic in one of the most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods in Chicago.

Pierogi Picnic look book teaser

Now that the actual shoot date is behind us, all that’s left to do is sift through the shots and do some fine tuning! We’ll keep you posted on when the final product is ready for it’s debut to the world. But in the meantime – here’s a peek into the planning that went into making the shoot a success. Continue reading

An Indie Biz: Photo Magic

Pierogi Picnic: Made in Chicago Clothing & VintageAs I sit at my computer late on a Monday night I realize that I am way way way overdue. Not for returning my library books – but for writing a post on running an indie biz! So here’s my much belated installment – and it’s all about photo editing.

Let’s say you’ve developed a beautiful new line of products and are ready to introduce your creations to the world. You’ve painstakingly planned the shoot, took the time to set up quality lighting and have captured a great set of photos to show the masses.

Now what? 

Don’t even think for a second that once your photos are logged and stored on your SD drive that you’re free to frolic about. Your next task as a handmade business owner is to make those pics magical. And I’m not talking pseudo-well-done they get a passing grade magical. I mean stop-em-in-their-tracks, make-heads-turn, kind of attention. Sure – paying a pro to do the dirty digital work can seem promising – but there’s nothing more fulfilling than empowering yourself to take that DIY step to enhance pictures on your own.

So before I sit back to tackle the 300+ photos I snapped of new Pierogi Picnic gear recently, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite tricks and short cuts for photo editing on the fly. Continue reading