Saturday, April 23, 2011

#-46 - SNOW and how I got to where I am

Good morning, everyone!

First off, I have to say: SNOW????  Excuse me, Mother Nature, BUT it's softball season!! that I got that out of my system...

Someone recently asked me about how I got to where I am with my business.  "Morfing," I told, them, "by morfing."  If that has negative connotations for you, let's call it growth, shall we?

I stepped out of the classroom in 2000, seemingly a lifetime ago, when my youngest was entering 1st grade (she got her driver's license yesterday...).  I thought I might like to write - I liked it, publishers didn't.  Have lots of lovely rejection letters.

I considered what I was good and knew something about: teaching.  I'd been working on my master's and writing A LOT about teaching, so how could I share that with others?  I decided to write about the thematic units I loved.  I self-published copies and sold them.  One day my best bud at the library gave me an idea for focusing on books, literature and literacy and my company was born.  I called myself Whitt's Kits and have kept that name ever since then. 

In the spring of 2002 I created and produced a series of Literacy Kits (Whitt's Kits) that went out to schools and libraries around New Hampshire.  I came up with activites and selected book titles for a theme and then packaged them in a special zipped, vinyl-faced bag my mom made.  They had a grommet to hang them from.  They are STILL in out there ~ funny as I'll meet a librarian just last week who said "We still have those in the kids room" almost 10 years later!

(*side note: I got my job at the Historical Society BECAUSE of the kits!  I went there to try and sell my New Hampshire History Kit, instead, she sold me on teaching again!)

(*anothe side note: I had a website for awhile...not particularly successful, but fun!)

So, about the morfing ... the kits required cut materials for the hands-on activities.  I discovered a die cut machine used by scrapbookers and began collecting the dies.  That took me directly into scrapbooking, a WHOLE 'NUTHER story...

One day, while creating a scrapbooking page that used paper in a quilt-like fashion, I thought about how much I missed sewing.  I dusted off my sewing machine and started quilting again.  At some point in there, I realized I needed fabric at a lower cost.  I started researching wholesale options and found they were limited for a small potato like me.  THEN, I found New England Quilt Supply.  They allowed me to purchase from them at a discount with no requirements on quantities.  I have been driving down to Pembroke, Mass. since then!

As I mentioned, I had a website for awhile to sell the kits and then fabric.  Not too successful as it's all about traffic.  I discovered eBay early on and have been selling there for a long time.  Etsy was a more recent discovery and I enjoy listing there ~ you get soooo many ideas!!

So there it is!  I am a wife/mom/grandmother, I work at the Historical Society, I coach field hockey and I have my own business!  NOW I blog!  Lol...not much going on here...

That's my story.  How about YOU?
Quilty hugs and hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

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