I’ve made patterns before. And I’ve taught sewing classes before. But this past weekend was the first time that I’ve combined the two. After teaching my last class at the Indy Trade School (if you haven’t heard of them, it is definitely worth checking out!) about how to use downloadable patterns, one of my students suggested that I teach how to actually sew one of my Indiana Pillow patterns next.
I thought this class would be more nerve wracking to teach (I am a terrible public speaker) but it was actually so much better! I should have just started with a sewing class instead of the presentation on patterns, which I thought would be easier! Sometimes my tiptoeing nature ends up making things harder on myself. Teaching sewing is much less formal than a presentation, and I felt so much more relaxed this time. Although that may also be because I had some awesome students!
Ann, Lynda, and Steve were so much fun to work with, and I loved seeing their ideas for their Indiana pillows. Re-purposing old pillow stuffing, celebrating Butler, or creating a party decoration, everyone brought their own story to the sewing machine and I found it fascinating and inspiring to see how everyone managed to individualize their creations.
Despite a few machine setbacks, everyone managed to end up with a beautiful pillow in the end!
The biggest challenge (after hauling a carload of sewing tools into the coffee shop: Thank you Steve for your help!) was actually how much time we needed. Because this was my first time teaching this class, I misjudged how much time we would need. Timing myself making a pillow apparently really doesn’t work well as a benchmark since I regularly sew 40 hours a week and I know the pattern backwards and forwards. The class was supposed to be from 3:30 to 5:00, and even with starting a bit early, I didn’t end up leaving until 6:00!
Luckily, Josie, the owner of Rabble Coffee was super nice and willing to stay late to let us keep working. I had never been to Rabble Coffee before this class. The trade school used to be located in the circle city industrial complex, which is where I taught my last class. But I definitely prefer Rabble! Not only do they make a delicious smoothie, but I find it an inspiring place! Josie, who seems to be about my age (although I am a notably terrible judge of these things), has apparently wanted to open a coffee shop since she was a kid, and has had Rabble up and running for almost a year now. A cool girl living out her dream while making a difference in a comeback neighborhood. I don’t know about you but I think this is super inspiring. Maybe it’s the struggling business owner in me.
Basically, count me in for going back to Rabble, and count me in for teaching another Trade School class. It was more fun, and even more inspiring than I had hoped for.
Michelle and I met through Etsy. She has a shop on Etsy and has only recently plunged into the world of brick and mortar business. As she was getting ready to open, she put out a call out for local artists on one of the Etsy forums and I happened to see it. I looked into her shop, and saw that it was right up my alley. Michelle is an upcycling queen! (or should I say goddess…) She takes vintage furniture and repaints it, using environmentally friendly paint that she has developed herself. Every piece in her shop is unique and beautiful; my personal favorites are the trunks.
Alongside her furniture, my re-purposed fabric pillows fit right in! So we decided to work together. My pillows are sold through the junkyard goddess on consignment. This means that I get paid 60% of the purchase price if and when an item sells. This allows Michelle to stock more of my items, because she doesn’t have to pay my cut upfront. A 60/40 split is very standard in the consignment business, and really comes into play when I price products. If you want to learn more about my pricing, you should read my blog post “Why Are My Prices Changing??”.
And lucky for me I picked a great retailer! Because even though the store just opened, Michelle has already sold several of my pillows! Speaking of opening, the grand opening party was a great success! Michelle knows how to throw a party. Free food, drinks, massages, and entertainment helped to draw a crowd, and we artists set up in the parking lot for a local pop-up shop. My husband snapped a picture of me putting up my booth. With a wild Rattata of course.
If you are disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to go to the grand opening event, don’t worry, there will be another fun event next month! Aug 28th will be a Girls Night Out at the Junkyard. There will be wine, facials, shopping and more for any ladies who might be interested in coming out.
The Junkyard Goddess is an amazing new addition to SoBro! Even though it just opened its doors a few months ago, it has already been nominated for Nuvo’s 2016 Best of Indy in the Best Local Home/Gift Store category. You should most definitely check this Eco-Boutique out in person. And, if you feel like voting, head on over to the Nuvo website to cast your ballot.
If you want to check out Michelle's website, go to www.junkyardgoddess.com and right now, you may see a certain someone featured on the homepage ;)
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale