You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you. ~Maya Angelou
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Another Step. Hopefully in the right direction. :)

     Okay I called about the prospective place Id like to have my new shop. About 20,000 more than I'd like but found out that price includes all the leftover supplies in it. Which I dont want or need. So thinking I may be able to get it cheaper if I buy just the place only. Also found out its been on the market once before with no sale and the owner lives out of town. The agent assured me these were good signs I might get a better deal in the end. Right now just trying to find a price I can pitch in my business plan.

OH the dreaded business plan!!! Yuck I hate it. It started out easy but got harder very quickly. When I got to the last few pages of Key Financial Indicators, Break-even Analysis, and Business Ratios I was lost. I have no idea what they are talking about and the charts look very confusing. That part, for now is getting left empty until I meet with the Small Business Association. Hopefully they can assist me in that area.

What ever happened to simple business? Everything seems so complicated. Im not giving up though. I have my price point for the location now just need to do some more research on cost of supplies and what I plan to charge for my items. Then its a little math and write it all out.

Step 5: Spy out the competition. I am going to visit the two local coffee bars and get some idea of a competitive price as well as things they offer or dont offer. This will be an undercover mission. Gotta have a partner and since kids are all gone today will have to do it tomarrow. Plan to take my laptop and visit both places, buy something and take some secret notes. Shhhh dont rat me out. :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grant Money Update

Okay after staying up way too late lastnight I stumbled on this website Here I found a very useful tool to help with writing a business plan. They actually have templates in a gallery of 500+ business plans. You can choose the category that is closest to your own business or industry, and find a plan you like and then use it for reference in writing your own plan. I found one that was in the same industry I am trying to get into and found it really easy to adjust it to fit my own personal needs. At least it gives you a visual on what they are looking for. I was really suprised with how much information they need.

After reading over it, it has helped me identify some areas I still need to do research in for expected expenses and such. Hope this helps! Let you know more as I learn more. :)

Templates for sample business plans:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grant Money Blues

     Okay I have had a dream of starting my own little coffee/craft shop for a long long long time. Yes very long time!! Many have suggested to me that I see what kind of Grant money is out there and claim that for a single mom like me there is lots.

     So today I sat down in front of my computer and searched and searched for information. Its there but it isnt there if that makes any sense. Its not as easy as people say it is. In fact, do you personally know anyone who has ever got grant money to start up a buisness? I dont.

    This is what Im going to do for myself and all of you out there who have had equal irritation on how to get government grant money to start up your own small business....Im going to chronicle my steps for you here in my blog. I wish I had a step by step myself on just how to from someone who has but I cant seem to find one anywhere.

Step One: I am currently typing down my ideas for my shop, supplies I will need, and shopping online via Ebay and other sites for some of the items to get a idea of what kind of money I need.

Step Two: I looked for any available places to have my business in. Ive been looking at actual houses that are in or close to business routes. Thought I could probably purchase them outright cheaper than a building. And, if the buisness didnt work out I can always rent the house out for a home. (Backup Plan) :) I found a place that is just 1/4 of a block off the main drag in our town. It used to be a hair salon. Its a refurbished house with a gravel parking lot on the side that could probably hold 10-12 cars.  And, since its an old hair salon, extra plug ins will be a plus!  It has a basement that if its dry will be used for a breakroom, storage room and possibly small kitchen area. I love too that it is visible from the main road.

Step Three: I am going to call the realtor on Monday and see about the asking price and get a tour of the house so I will have an idea of how much to ask for. I will be including it in my grant money asking ammount.

Step Four: After I compile all my information from step one an three I am going to contact the Small Business Association in our town and  make an appointment to get help with a business plan and see what else I need and how to get the grant money. From what Im told they know WHERE to go to get the grant money and WHAT information you need to apply for them.

Not sure what happens after Step Four but I promise to keep you posted as I go through this process. I will try to be as detailed as I can and hopefully at the end of all this I will be happy to report that YES I am getting grant money to start up my own little shop. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ripples Through A Family

           My first ripple afghan is pictured here to the left. My motivation? That little cutie wrapped up in it. :) She is my first grandbaby Emilee Ann and she is so precious I had to make her a beautiful ripple afghan.

My aunt used to make ripple afghans and sell them. Growing up it was common to see
Aunt Darlene sitting crocheting a beautiful ripple afghan for someone. One christmas she crocheted me and my two sisters all a ripple afghan in our favorite colors. So, I have a strong associaton with afghans and family.

Suprisingly, this little baby afghan was made from some leftover yarn from my sister's afghan our Aunt crocheted for her. My grandma came across it in the shed stashed away somewhere and gave it to me to use. As soon as I saw it I thought, I have to use this in a blanket for Emilee.

I was really pleased with how it turned out. I didnt have enough vintage yarn to do the entire thing so I did also use some new off white and pink along with it. Now she has her own keepsake. :)

I crocheted all four of my children afghans but didnt use the ripple pattern because, try as I may, I couldnt seem to get the pattern down. Finally I found a simple ripple pattern and viola!

I picked out some colors and started my own ripple afghan about a month ago. But, I after my daughter (who is moving out in august) expressed how much she loved it and wanted it I decided to give it to her as a going away gift. Shhh! She doesnt know yet. No worries of her finding out here, she doesnt read her MOM's blog. :)
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Passionate For Pink- Breast Cancer Awareness

I am currently working on a new line of "Passionate For Pink" Boho Bags. The purpose of this new line of bags all sporting a pink ribbon is to help raise awareness of Breast Cancer. I will be donating a percentage of sales from these bags to Breast Cancer Research.

According to the National Breast Cancer Institute, there were 192,370 (female); 1,910 (male) new cases of Breast Cancer in 2009. And an alarming 40,170 (female); 440 (male) deaths related to Breast Cancer in 2009 alone.

Many have been affected by this disease whether through a mother, sister, daughter, friend and so on.  And as the above stats show some have lost fathers, brothers, uncles, and many others. With increased research comes new techniques and procedures that can help these loved ones in their battle against this life threatening disease.

If you would like to know more or make a donation to further research for Breast Cancer you can visit the following sites below.

National Cancer Institute


Susan G. Komen For the Cure

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Origin Of The Infamous Boho Bags of Pioneersis

Today is the first day of my new blogspot. I would like to share some ideas, hints, and projects with you the viewer. I have a shop on Etsy where I feature my main PROJECT at this time, which is my crocheted, fully lined boho bags. I have been selling them on Etsy since October 2008 and even though I added hats, scarves, headbands and other odds and ends the sale of the boho bags always eclipsed them. Also I really enjoy making the bags.
I have to agree with my quote from Maya above that we shouldnt do it for the money but just do what we love to do. So I revamped my shop, got rid of everything but the item I really do LOVE to make,the boho bags.

I came up with the design using two designs that had aspects I liked but I didnt like the overall designs themselves. I then threw in my own little bits here and there and viola! My first Boho Bag was born.

She was a sad little sack.....A little odd shaped here and there. I look back at her now and say, "Wow! I've come a long way baby!" Time has really helped me to refine my design. I have also started making my own handmade polymer clay beads. Thats another blog topic for another day. I am sewing and adding liners and pockets to them as well as handmade washing instruction labels.

A long, long way from the original poor little sad sack boho bag who went to the UK. Yes! She did. Along with sales all over the United States my little bags have traveled to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Romania! Its pretty exciting that people around the world are drawn to this artistic outlet of mine.

My goal now, is to stay true to my artistic outlet of crocheting and design what I FEEL like designing and hope someone finds enjoyment in it.  Pursuing the things I love doing and doing them so well others cant take their eyes off of them, embrace them, and make them a part of themselves. :)