Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going Full Time

Well, it has been an epic couple of weeks for me.  After realizing that my high stress day job was putting my health at risk I really started to question what I have been doing with my life.  For the past couple of years I have been waking up, working on my Etsy shop, commuting to the day job, working a full day, then coming home to work on my Etsy shop until it was time to go to sleep.  Needless to say I burned out.  So I did something crazy....I quit the day job!

After giving my two weeks notice I was in this strange place of limbo.  I was right on the brink of finally attempting what I have been dreaming about for years.  Crazy?  Yes.  Shocking? Sure.  But you know what, for the first time in my life I am giving a full effort to something I have a deep, unwavering passion for.

What is life for if not for pursuing the things that really drive you.  Sure I was met with some hesitance by people close to more.  One person put it perfectly when she simply told me "seriously" (and not in a good way).  Yes, seriously.  Is it so shocking that I should actually try to make my dreams a reality.  My husband and I are in the perfect spot in life for me to give this a go.  He has a steady job, we have some savings, our expenses are low, and we have no kids (hence the low expenses).

Though I have been met with some resistance I am really surprised by how much support I have seen from the people in my life.  My cousin really touched me when she said "Good for you!  That has always been your thing."  You know what, it has been.  I have always been creating and now I get to try to make a career of it.  Sure, it's a huge pay cut.  But hey, if our expenses are covered who cares about having the best of the best.  What matters is finding happiness in life.

So before my last day of work I was contacted by Uncommon Goods to participate in their Winter Accessories Design Challenge.  I submitted my work and before I could blink, BAM!  I'm a semifinalist.  If I win I will become one of their vendors and get a cash prize.  Sometimes life throws great opportunities at you and for me, this is huge!  So, long story short I could really use your support.  There are 5 days left of voting and then the contest moves into the final round.  The person with the least number of votes gets eliminated from the contest.  Voting only takes about 30 seconds and your vote could mean the difference of me succeeding or failing.  So please, take a moment out of your day to support a struggling artist.  I will love you forever :)

You can vote for my knit ties here:

....and you can visit my Etsy shop here

Thank you for your support.  It means the world to me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding The Balance

So this past year has been a crazy one.  I am rapidly approaching 30 and things are finally starting to fall into place in my life.  A large part of my 20's were spent feeling down on myself, not knowing where my life was going, and feeling frustration at the fact that my creativity wasn't being utilized in my life the way I would like it to be.

I have finally found my groove.  I feel more secure in my own skin and don't over analyze every little physical aspect of my being.  I found the man I am meant to be with and we are happily married.  I will not lie to you, the first year of marriage and adjusting to marriage was definitely a challenge but we seem to have moved past the rough patch.  My career seems to be falling into place.  I have more responsibilities at work and don't work in a stuffy office.  Believe me, I have tried that and it was an epic fail.   This past year is also the year I got my Etsy shop going.  Finally!  My creativity is being utilized!  Sound the harps and angels.  Yeah, it feels good.

Given all that has been going on it has been rough trying to balance the important things in my life.  At first I was probably devoting a little too much time to my shop and I think some people in my life were starting to feel neglected.  So then I tried to distribute my time more evenly between Etsy and those I love but then that left me neglected.  This past week I have turned more focus to myself.  I have been eating much healthier and am finally running again.  It has been a while and it feels great to get out there and hit the pavement.  My farmer's tan is developing nicely :).

While I feel much better I do feel guilty for not creating enough for my shop.  I suppose this is the way life goes.  You have to weigh the things that are important to you and find the right amount of time to devote to each thing.  The friends that haven't been true friends to me are getting significantly less time so that I have more time for my family.  My shop is filling up so I can cut back a little on creating.  My marriage is going well so we are spending less time fighting and more time having fun.  What can I say, life is good.  Now I need to go charge up my i-pod knock off so I can go on an "adventure run" as I like to call them.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scouring the Streets

Ever since I was a little kid I've loved poking through other people's things.  That nosy little kid grew into an estate/garage sale junkie.  It's rare that I will actually buy anything but every now and then I find something I can't pass up.  Hence the bargain of the century painting we have had leaning against the wall in our bedroom for the past 4 months.  We don't have the wall space for it in our little condo but once we get a house that baby is gold! 

So what I am getting at is this whole estate sale crazy has sparked my interest in opening a vintage jewelry / bag shop.  Mind you, I am extremely picky so if I am not absolutely in love with something it isn't going in my shop.  So this will probably take a while but as I am estate sailing this summer I am going to be scouring the streets for the once in a lifetime finds.  Once I build up a decent inventory I will open up shop.  So for now, it's all handmade for me but be on the lookout for my newest endeavor! - check out my shop :)!/pages/Autumn-Amber/256883414342078  - you can like me on facebook!/AutumnAndAmber - and....follow me on twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 27, 2012

If you build it they will come - right?

So here I am at about 5 months in online selling.  I have never been so motivated to make something work in my life.  My sales so far have been steady but meager and I have to say I am completely determined to turn this hobby into something more than just a hobby.  My social life is basically non existant at the moment and I've gotta say I'm pretty exhausted but I have been having so much fun building up my shop.  I have been a knitting machine and am determined to make it to 100 items by Christmas time.  This past Christmas was pretty busy for my small Etsy shop so I'm hoping to have this coming Christmas be significantly busier.

Things that are keeping me sane at the moment - dancing on bubble wrap with my cousin (seriously), lunches with my mom, yarn shopping - a euphoric experience :), and dancing to the funk channel on pandora with my husband.  Any gaps between these activities are filled with insanity.  It's all good though  - I am accustomed to crazyness.  Okay, gotta cut this off - bootcamp class, then bootcamp knitting :)  Have a good one my dears!

I'll leave you with a few new product photo's from my shop!/AutumnAndAmber

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Etsy Wife

Life on Etsy has been great.  Sure it's had it's fair share of ups and downs.  I've had my endless days of knitting, posting, and checking my shop stats.  I've experienced the thrill of getting my first sale and the excitement of each and every sale after that.  Though this whole thing has been great I couldn't help but feel that something was missing.  What I really needed was someone to do the sales dance with.  It gets kind of lonely being a seller on Etsy.  I needed someone who could support me through the good times and the bad.  Someone to offer advice and who could help spread the word about all the new developments with my shop.  Of course, I would be there to offer the same support for them.  Sure there's always my husband but he doesn't really know the thrill that comes with getting another sale.  What I really needed was an Etsy wife :)

I found her a few weeks ago through a team dedicated to just such unique partnerships.  I saw a post by her and checked out her shop and I must say I fell in love with it.  She has unique earrings and bracelets and just a really cool vibe to her shop.  So we got hitched and it's been a great partnership so far.

Here is what she has to say about herself and her shop-

"I make earrings, bracelets, and accessories. My Phamster collection is inspired by my cousins,our shared love of hamsters and the color pink.

I LOVE to travel and I have seen so many pretty places around the world. I draw inspiration for my earrings and knits from places, colors and impression of places I have been so that my buyer can bring a piece of the world home or wear it.

Exotic earrings, Beaded earrings, glass earrings,bracelets and more! All items are inspired, designed and made with the world as a canvas. Always original, never mass produced. All items are made by hand with love, care and a twinkle in the eye. If you love to be the center of attention, this is the place for you. No two pieces are alike and only a few of each item are made. You will never run in to someone wearing your exact earrings! Say goodbye to mass produced cuteness and allow yourself to become INTERTWYNED." 
I hope you will check out her shop.  I must say I am quite partial to her post earrings.  They are so unique and fun.  So there you have it - I now have both a husband and a wife.  Only in the world of Etsy would such a thing come with so little judgement.  I have a feeling we will be doing the sales dance together for quite some time to come. 

Dorothy Dandrich post earrings
Awesome post earrings
Phamster bracelet


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Knitting With Pee-Wee

My husband sent me a video the other day that really hit home.  It was a clip from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.  A quote from the video is  "It's like you're unravelling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting....".  I never knew I would be able to relate to Pee-Wee so well.  Only I'm not doing the unravelling - I am the one who's doing the knitting. 

Pee-Wee Knitting VideoPee-Wee Knitting Video

The holiday rush has hit and I really must say it's been pretty awesome.  Sure, I enjoy sleep and sanity like everyone else but sales are what I am thriving on right now.  So the 9 1/2 - 10 hours of sleep I'm accustomed to getting has pretty much been cut in half.  Yes, I realise 9 1/2 to 10 hours a night is a bit excessive but what can I say?  I am a freak and I am quite proud of that fact.  I hope I will be doing the sales dance well into next month.  Enough of this jibber jabber, back to knitting and knitting and knitting!  Happy holiday's everyone!!
AutumnAndAmber on Etsy
Unisex Cowl

Coffee Cozy

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Look out world, here I come

I set up a Twitter account today. What is this the apocalypse...the end of the world as we know it?  Me??? A Twitter account?  You can't be serious.  This is the girl who has sworn off all technological advances.  The girl who fought the invention of the DVD as if it were kryptonite itself.  The girl who has refused to get an internet capable phone, Ipod, Ipad, I...(I'm sure there must be other I's out there and those have all been shunned too).  So why have I done such a crazy thing?  Something so uncharacteristic of myself?  For my passion!  My business! For AutumnAndAmber.

Never have I wanted something to succeed so badly before in my life.  I am finally doing something that I absolutely love and I really need to make it work for the sake of my sanity.  Of course I still have to work my day job.  But on any given day you will find me sneaking off into corners to knit.  I wake up at 4:00AM to check my shop stats.  I live, breathe, and dream AutumnAndAmber.

So yes, I am now an official member of society - Twitter account and all.

Unisex Cowl Neck Scarf
Leg Warmers