Alternative Wedding Gowns created with vintage lace and fabrics. A portion of the proceeds are given to Destiny Rescue to rescue children from human trafficking.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Celebrating My Two Year Anniversary with Etsy, Selling Custom Bridal Gowns, Shoes and Accessories

This month I'm celebrating two years 
of a successful little business on Etsy, 
and I'm so delighted!

I'd thought I'd take a moment to share the journey with you.

I honestly can't remember a time when I haven't been busy using one medium or another artistically; painting, sewing, crocheting, embroidering and flower arranging have been in my life a long time.
Knowing this  a sweet friend asked for me to create a very special sign for her daughter who was getting married. 
When I finished the commission,
 I realized it was a season in my life 
when I once again could dedicate more of my time to being creative.

I painted signs for, and began making sashes and veils to sell at the local bridal store to be sold on consignment; what a wonderful group of encouraging women I found there. 
The owner opened up an opportunity for me to rework a few of the gowns 
and I discovered I LOVED the process of cleaning up and redesigning gowns. 
It was truly a childhood dream come true. 
However, living in a small community the dream of designing and selling unique wedding gowns seemed rather farfetched. 
Never the less, I continued to dream and design.

Just about that time a wonderful "local girl who made good" was offering an Etsy workshop.

My kids had helped me open a shop and list a couple of signs, but I hadn't really put any effort or even tried to understand how Etsy worked.

Wow! What a world she opened up to me by being willing to give a couple of hours to teaching a handful of local women over coffee and scones. 

She shared her success story and carved out a little corner of each of our hearts with her sweet honesty. And then she simply shared a beginners "How to get started on Etsy".  A few weeks later, she followed up with a shipping and marketing helps class.

Next, I spent many hours learning how to use the computer, photographing, and reading Etsy help articles, not to mention the hours spent creating my products and researching what was happening in the bridal industry.
I read a great book that helped me put the unpaid hours into perspective, it was just part of my education and part of working on becoming excellent.

Each of my children took on more responsibilities around the house, 
and they helped me with understanding the computer and photography, 
and my husband  has been my biggest cheerleader all along the way.
My first sale was a hand made sash of big beautiful Magnolia flowers 
with rhinestone centers that was sent off to New York! 
I was over the moon!
I began making ballet slippers, 
something I was fascinated with as a girl, 
and had made for each of my babies. 
I made sashes and veils,  
flower girl dresses, 
baskets and pillows, 
and bouquets, 
garters and gowns.

Having reworked bridal gowns, 
I thought creating lightweight gowns built right on a corset,  
using upcycled and fine materials, 
and being inspired by history and nature would want to offer in my little shop. 
I set my heart and mind to it and my first dress sold in less than two weeks!
Coming up with new designs and making existing orders has been something to learn to manage, 
but every season has had it's lessons, and every one has been valuable.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the opportunity Etsy has opened up to me and to my family. 
My kids have watched me build a business by putting in long hours, 
working hard, learning new concepts and skills, 
using and refining my gifts and talents 
and trusting God with the outcome. 
They've seen me make mistakes
 and learn from them, 
and they've seen the incredible satisfaction 
of a job well done.

On this two year anniversary, because of the income generated from this business, 
my husband and I will be taking our family to Italy. 
We will be visiting family and touring the country, 
and we are all beyond excited! 
I am truly grateful for the opportunity Etsy 
has given me 
and for the people 
who have encouraged me along the way!

Thanks for visiting!
I hope you are encouraged to follow your dreams!
You can follow me on instagram,

I'm pretty sure we'll be sharing some Italy photos there! Caio bella!

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