Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well summer has finally arrived and it seems to have finally brought some sun! Here in PA we have had rain for the past month! It starts to get you down in the dumps.

Things here have been busy. My show on the 19th was a huge success and I met the nicest woman from Good Housekeeping magazine who loves my bags and is interested in my fall line and what I will have for the holidays.

This week I will work on several custom orders from the show and then I will be starting my fall designs. I have some new shapes I want to try out and some gorgeous fabrics I can't wait to work with! I want them ready for the Philly Designer Market Show on the 18th of July.

I also have to work on some more wedding bags to get to Kori from Wedding Daze Boutique in Easton. Work, Work, Work... It's great to be busy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Bag Designs

I wanted to share some new bags I have made for an upcoming show next week. These will not be available for sale unless they do not sell at the show. The next public show I will be at is the Philadelphia Designer's Market on July 18th so be sure to stop by and say hello if you are in the area. The show is free!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Just was contacted from the owner of the bridal boutique and she loves my work and wants to display it in her shop. She also wants to put all my information on her website which is fine with me!

I also have to contact another business owner who wants to carry my bags, as well as start working on two large shows in June and July. I need help!!! I am a little nervous and starting to freak out a bit but I am so excited at the posibilities!

I am also now on facebook so come be my friend! I still have no idea what to do there but I am learning!

Off to start sewing!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Opportunity?

Yesterday I attended a bridal shower for my friends daughter. I had made her bridal purse as well as the money bag which I had posted here about a couple of weeks ago. The shower was lovely and afterword my bff and I walked around downtown Easton to look at some of the new shops.

A brand new bridal boutique has opened up and we went in. The store is so pretty and the dresses were gorgeous. Wedding Daze Boutique is owned by Kori Muntean and she is a professional bridal consultant. Wedding Daze not only carries bridal dresses, but they also take care of every aspect of the planning from invites, to flowers, to catering, location, and photography. The website is gorgeous so be sure to check it out http://inaweddingdaze.com/ .

While we were talking to her, my bff, who is a consummate sales person, casually asks if she carries handbags, Kory said she didn't so I told her I was a handbag designer. She asked for my card and said she knew of no one who does that kind of work and if I wanted to bring a few to show her she would love to see them.

Although I am excited at another opportunity, I am scared. I am my own worse critic. Things have to be perfect and when they aren't, I am not happy. Although everyone thought my bridal purse turned out beautiful, all I could see were the small bumps from the interfacing, and the way the silk draped a little weird on the front flap.

I need to find a way to interface these wedding bags without the interfacing texture showing through. I also worry that I won't be able to keep up with all the work that is coming my way. With all the custom orders, the store in New Hope wanting more, a home show in June and the Philly Market in July, as well as a store in Avon NJ wanting some clutches to wholesale from me, I am getting panicked that I am only one woman!

So my question to all you talented artists out there: Does anyone know how I could interface a clutch to keep its shape without the lumps? I want to use more delicate, wedding fabrics, but without the worries of them being transparent. Also, how did you keep up with your growth spurts?

Answer on!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tough Decisions

Today I made the huge decision to put my Etsy shop in vacation mode. I moved all my listings to my artfire shop which I am hoping will do better. Although I loved the idea of Etsy, they are just getting too big, they do not advertise to the general public as much as they should, and the sales and views are shrinking.

I was very excited and proud to make the home page a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped that things there would pick up. Things did not change and instead of wasting my time promoting, and creating for them, I am focusing more on my other outlets.

Truthfully I am becoming too busy to handle the upkeep of two online stores. I have been receiving more and more custom orders, and my designs are selling well in New Hope. I have also been contacted to wholesale my clutches in another boutique in NJ, and I have several home shows this summer. The textiles editor of Good Housekeeping saw one of my bags and loved it. She said my bags were of superb quality, inside and out, which is the sign of a real artisan! She is coming to one of the home shows so keep your fingers crossed.

Once I complete my custom order backlog, my goal is to start on my fall line. I want to come up with 2-3 basic shapes and a couple of special techniques I have in mind to really make them original, funky, and fun. I will premier them here when they are completed!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finding Time to Sew

2 Years ago, I foolishly thought that when my youngest was at school all day I would get so much sewing done. This is why I timed starting http://bstauffdesigns.com for when all three would be away at school.

Boy was I mistaken. Now that the oldest is in High School and the other two starting 45 minutes later, I spend most of the day in the car! I don't get back home until 8:30, so by the time I eat breakfast, shower, and check my emails, it's 9:45-10 am before I can actually start sewing. I roll along pretty good until the phone rings, or the washer buzzer goes off, or the dog needs to go out, or I have to return books at the library. I then have to leave at 1:40 to pick up said teen, then drive to pick up younger two. It is 3:30 by the time we return home. I maybe get another hour in if I am lucky before homework, dinner, driving to activities and baths happen. By the time youngest is in bed at 8, I am tired and not feeling too much like sewing!

I have such ambitious intentions when I first wake in the morning. I think of my new fabrics and of what I want to make with them. I dream of completing three projects and posting them on http://bstauffdesigns.artfire.com or http://bstauffdesigns.etsy.com and still having time to work on the computer a while. Sadly the reality is there just are not enough hours in the day.

Balancing a start up business, being a mom, and running a busy household is not easy, but it is possible. You must be disciplined and dedicated, and you must want it bad!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wedding Purse

One of my friend's daughter is getting married on 6/20. Her shower is on May 16 and I made her the purse and the gift bag to match her dress. Her dress is beautiful, in ivory and champagne so I made the bag in the champagne and lined it with ivory taffeta. Her bridesmaids are wearing terra cotta so I added the little terra cotta rose buds to bring in the color.

I had some challenges because the silk I worked with was thin and when interfaced, it did not look smooth over the interfacing. I ended up having to double line it and it helped a lot, but it still pulls a bit when snapped closed. After three attempts and wasted materials, I stopped trying for it to be perfect.

I hope she likes it and I hope years from now she will look back with happy memories of her special day!