So, it has been a while since I have posted anything to my blog. I am not even sure I can call it a blog, but here goes...
I have just finished my 4th year in this dance costume business. I'm happy to report that it has grown! Yay!! I look back to my first year, just starting out. I really had no clue what I was getting myself into or what I was doing! For those that trusted me that first year to make their costumes, you were brave!!! I had a serious learning curve to catch up to. Making my patterns. Figuring out my sewing machines! What materials work best. Am I measuring the dancers correctly? So much trial and error. And with that came many many tears and self doubt. The pressure of not delivering what you thought I could was overwhelming at times. Somehow I made it. One of my costumes even received a costume award! Maybe I was doing something right?
My second year I was hoping to grow a little. Gain a few more clients, a little more confidence and a little more experience. And that happened! In fact, I doubled the number of costumes in year 2. Again, not without more learning, frustration, and self imposed pressure and throw in a little outside drama. I am a bit of an over-thinker. If you read my "about me" post, I admit that I am a pseudo-perfectionist. This trait lends itself well to my over-thinking. I recall my mentor telling me that at some point I will get into a mode of "lather, rinse and repeat." Well, I was not there yet. In fact, I did fail in a massive way and I am thankful everyday of this client's understanding. Still more learning. More tears and self doubt. Sometimes these lessons are so hard! It makes it more difficult for me since it also affects someone else. Oh the pressure! Did I tell you it was overwhelming? I thought I was doomed and I would no longer make costumes. Despite these trials, I did have triumphs. Some of my costumes received some awards of distinction. People were complimenting me on them, my social media following was growing. It eased my pain of failure. I survived my 2nd year. Maybe I was still doing something right?
Year 3. Here we go. What was this year going to bring? I am still pretty new at this business and I have what I consider seasons. So in my "off season" I reflect on what I can improve upon. Do you like how I said reflect? Let's face it it. I don't just reflect...but I will leave it at that. I tweaked my patterns. Made note of what settings to use on my sewing machines. Definitely gained a comfort level with my fabrics and materials. Like the year before, I always strive to gain a few more clients, a little more confidence and a little more experience. Lo and behold it happened again. I almost doubled the number of costumes from year 2. Holy cow!! I even had to turn away clients because I felt overloaded! I couldn't believe it! It was actually an awesome feeling! I always reference Sally Fields' Oscar winning speech when she says, "You like me! You really like me!" I know I am dating myself to even know who Sally Fields is, let alone reference her Oscar winning speech because I watched her give it. But that's okay! Anyway, I'd love to say that this year I have hit that ultimate "Lather Rinse Repeat Mode" with a vengeance! No such luck. More learning. What did I get myself into? I accepted too many orders. Oh my goodness the panic! Time management was essential of which I felt I had none!! I wasn't eating. I wasn't sleeping. So bad! (If I could say there was a plus side it was that I lost a bit of weight, albeit unhealthily. Not to worry though! The pounds came back. Ugh!) I couldn't let anyone down! I had to deliver what I promised. Somehow I made it through. Barely. All the while dancers were happy with their costumes. I was continually receiving compliments. Moms were coming up to me and telling me they could tell I had made the costumes they saw on stage. My social media following was still growing. Was I making a mark? Maybe I was doing something right?
So I'm still here. At the beginning of year 4 I vowed to do things differently. I was armed with all of the lessons/failures/triumphs from my previous years. By now, I had developed tried and true patterns that I love. I was confident in how to tweak them to make each costume different from the next. Don't overbook! Time management is key! Work smarter not harder! Don't over think! I even experimented with costumes to list on Etsy. So how did it go? As in years prior, I tried to gain a few more clients (via Etsy since I should not overbook), a little more confidence and a little more experience. Once again, I was able to improve upon my previous year. I couldn't really double my number of costumes as I am pretty much to my maximum of what a person can handle although I definitely still increased much to my own amazement. I still have some moments of self doubt though it is less. I still overthink though that is less too. My time management could still use some work, but that too is better. Did I finally reach the mecca of "Lather, Rinse, Repeat?" Nope! But I'm closer. I'm not even sure I want to ever get there. I enjoy the excitement of a new challenge. I know I still have a lot to learn. But for now, business has increased, dancers are happy with their costumes, I still get compliments (that never gets old) and my social media following is still growing. I hope I can continue to do something right!
4/24/2018 09:07:09 am
It feels like you're graduating from business! But four years in the business is not enough to say that you've experienced it all. There are still things that will come along the way, and more problems might come! That's why you need to apply those learnings you've gathered from four years in the business that's why you need to digest everything you learn from it. There are still things you need to learn and I am so excited for you.
4/24/2018 09:40:03 am
Thanks for reading about my journey thus far. There is so much more for me to learn! I'm excited for what lies ahead.
7/10/2018 06:13:25 am
You are so lucky to experience those things. I do hope for your better to be a better business. I know that in the four years of experience is still not enough to provide a stronger image for your business. It is not enough experience and knowledge to you as well. May you continue sharing your experience regarding business. I do hope that whatever the struggle is, you will still continue to run it and learn from it. Good luck in your career!
7/10/2018 07:22:08 am
Yes, you are right, 4 years is not yet enough experience or knowledge as new things seem to pop up every now and then. But it has definitely been a fun journey. Thanks for your well wishes!
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Welcome to gLAM
Hi. I'm Adora! I sew, knit, cook, bake, eat, and dabble in photography, although not necessarily in that order.. Basically, I am a general lover of all things craft related.