First off, I have to say: SNOW???? Excuse me, Mother Nature, BUT it's softball season!! Okay...now 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,