Thank you to each of you who asked me questions. I had so much fun thinking up answers to them~
1. GossamerScapes asked: "What do you love about being a business owner/entrepreneur, and where would you like to take Bright Eyes Designs in the next 5 years?" Honestly, my favorite thing about doing what I am, is networking. I was a net-worker from birth! I enjoy meeting and interacting with all of you! There are so many talented people out there, and getting to know them has been such a rewarding experience to me. In the next 5 years, I would like to think that somewhere in there I will have another child-I only have the one right now-and I would love for Bright Eyes Designs to become my 'Stay at home job'. Right now, I sell what I make because I enjoy making things!!
2. Kristina asked: "How did you get started and what is your inspiration behind it all?" I did my first quilt blocks when I was on bed rest while pregnant with my son. My Mother who is an amazingly talented quilter-gave my hands something to do with stitching the quilt blocks. I did them and didn't think anything of it until 2.5 years later when my Sister, and Sister-in-law were pregnant and I wanted to make their children a special quilt! I fell in LOVE with having my hands busy, and have enjoyed figuring out how to make new things. My Husband teases me that I can't sit still-which is true- so these all give me an excuse to be fidgeting!
3. Little. Princesses. Bowtique asked: "Everyone has something that inspired them to do what they do! I wanna know what inspired you. So, here's my question: What inspired you to make "Bright Eyes Designs". I am a picky person by nature. I didn't want my son to be in 'cutesy' clothes, and refused to buy into the cartoon characters on his shirt game that they sell. But I wanted him to have a 'special' blanket that meant something to him-as I had one when I was little. I really struggled with finding a special blanket for him that I would approve of, and have had many friends tell me the same. When his Car quilt was finished, I knew I had my special piece for him. That being said, I wanted him to LOVE the blanket I made for him, because I loved it. It was a work of love, all of the quilts I make are. I wanted to offer something that those 'picky' Moms out there would love. I have since made custom quilts for many people, that you would never find sold in stores. These are special OOAK items that will last a lifetime!
4. Kat asked: "How do you create balance between work and play? I am just entering the world of my own business and my biggest worry is making sure everyone gets their piece of me." Oh Kat, there will never be enough hours in the day for us to get done all that we need to get done! I am a Wife, Mother, Belly dancer and a Manager for a security company. I work 40 hours a week minimum outside the home, do the Wife/Mom thing, and somewhere in there find time to chase my passion of creating-everything in my shop is 100% me. That being said, I have found the best way for me to fit everyone in, is to have a plan to my day. Sure I may not stick to it, but it gives me some structure, and helps my boys plan with me. My 7am-5:30pm is pretty standard work day stuff, day care etc. However once I get home, it is my Boy's time. Until 8 o'clock when the little one goes down, then I get to be a wife until 9-then the big one goes down! After 9 is when I get to create and play! This doesn't give me a ton of time, but I find time to do some of the items while I watch a movie with my boys, long car rides etc.
5. Tina Rose asked: "Is this your Full time job, or do you work elsewher? I work full time right now and would love to start selling pre-made scrapbooks but have a hard time finding time." No, Bright Eyes is not my Full Time job, it is my hobby and my passion though. I do work outside the home, and I honestly love it. Gives me a 'break' sometimes. But, I can relate to struggling to find time to do it all. I haven't tried to make Bright Eyes the #1 company or even an extremely large one, because I simply don't have the time. I sell what I have time to make. My advice to you would to be, make what you can, when you can, and don't sweat the rest. We are only human right? If Bright Eyes took off, I would love to have it be my FT job, but until I can devote my time to it, I can't make that commitment. (BTW- I am a terrible Scrapbooker, so when you get up and running, I would love to see what you do!)
6. Cerrisse asked: "Did you teach yourself how to make your products or did you have help learning? Right now I am trying to learn how to crochet. Maybe you can give me some tips!" Yes, and then a BIG No. My Mother has been a sewer my entire life-and I am sure before that too. When I got married, she used the extra space to invest in a Long Arm Quiting machine. She has since quilted and quilted and quilted. I have always said I am not a crafty person nor am I a sewer. So when I decided to do the quilts, my family's response was: "Has Hell frozen over, or are pigs flying?!?!". But I have loved it. My Mother has helped me with the quilting, but we tend to learn from each other too! I have taught myself how to make the flowers, and to crochet. I sent you over some information on those if you are interested! Good luck to you!
7. Mybabiesrock asked: "Love your quilts. How long did it take you to learn how to quilt, and how long does it take to make a quilt?" To be honest, I am still learning new things in quilting. My Mother has been great teaching me how to use the Statler, and how to sew. The blocks weren't hard to pick up, but they are time consuming and take some creative expression to make. The quilts usually take me about a month from start to finish. Creating and stitching the blocks usually takes 24-40 work hours, then the top is another 2, quilting itself is usually 8-10 labor hours total-mostly because it is such a custom quilt job instead of just and edge to edge pattern.
8. Frenchy asked: "Where do you craft" On the floor, on a couch, at a table, on my feet, in the car, at the office.... really anywhere that I can. Most the crochet gets toted with me wherever I am, and if I have blocks I am stitching they come along for the ride as well. I used to do it at the Dining Table every night (so if you are ever over for dinner, please excuse the hot glue marks ;) ), but have since moved to a corner in the family room so I can still be a part of my family during the hours everyone is awake.
9. Jen asked: " How has your sales background helped you in starting your own business?" Jen and I used to work at a Jewelry store together, so I do have a bit of a sales background... My sales background has opened me to People. I feel like I am better able to relate to the people I interact with daily, and can decipher what it is that they are looking for. It also has given me an idea of what type of business owner I want to be. I am not in this for the money. I am in this to make beautiful pieces that people will love. I want to make sure that they are happy and love their Bright Eyes pieces first and foremost. (and yes Jen, it has been too long since we saw each other! We should get together for lunch one of these days! I want to meet Lil' Nick!! ;) )
10. Jilla00 asked: "I would like to know how you became so talented? What did you study in school?" *Blushing* Well, if I had to say my talent came from somewhere it would be my Mom. Man that woman can do just about anything! She crafts, sews, quilts, manages, volunteers, all while making it look easy. The getting me to FIND my creativity and talent took years of all my siblings telling me that one day they would get me to quilt... yeah yeah yeah I would say! But... here I am! :D I actually studied more in the medical field when I was in school. I graduated High School with my CNA, and worked for the Veteran's Administration for a number of years until I was injured on the job. Since then I have managed Diamond store, and a few smaller companies. I enjoy what I do now, even if it is a complete 180 from where I was 8 years ago!
I was really hoping to get more people to be involved, as each comment gives an extra percentage off for the coupon, but, hey 10% is pretty good-in addition to the lucky surprise gift each winner will receive! You will all be notified via email at some point today with your winnings!! So since there were only 10 people that entered, each of you will receive a surprise gift email! I truly appreciate your feedback and support
**However, there are a few of you that I need emails from: mybabiesrock, Kat, Kristina- please shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org**