Category Archives: Etsy

Make + Do Shop Update – Modern Dream Catcher Wall Hangings!

poesy-catcher-pink-orange-final-2I promised to share these Poesy Dream Catchers after I had uploaded them to Etsy!  I came up with this idea with my momma.  I love all the modern wall hangings I see around the internet and wanted to come up with my own Make+Do twist on the idea.  This is a dream catcher of sorts with a thick muslin fringe.  Behind the fringe is a secret pocket to hold a Poesy of flowers!  This wall hanging can be a seasonal item just by switching out your flowers with the season. How neat is that?  I am in love with this  product and its versatility.

I’ve started to add little touches of Macrame to a few of the styles.  I love the natural white with the wooden beads.  It has such a relaxed look!  Please check out all the Poesy Dream Catcher colors and styles on the Make + Do etsy page!

Love to you, Brittan

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Make + Do Journal – My First Steps in Starting a Handmade Business

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As I start my small business journey with my new venture, Make + Do, I wanted to share some of the thoughts and insights I have as I develop my brand.

I started Make+Do (said ‘Make and Do’) almost impulsively.  I had wanted to start my own business for about three years and had chosen the name Make+Do about two years prior to this winter.  I approach life with a lot of thought, but the thoughts had turned to fears and I had a lot of nervousness about actually starting my own business.  I was incredibly worried about what people would think of me, if I was “good enough”, if I was “creative enough” or if I was even capable of or deserved success.  When I decided to bust a move and be a part of a local craft fair, the decision was such a quick one, that these insecurities didn’t have any time to surface.  For a week I developed my product, created my brand and worked out some basic administration and finances for the craft fair to work.

As I worked that week, I couldn’t expect ‘perfect’, but I was able to create something really lovely that represented me well and had the ability to evolve as I did.  By taking immediate action I was able to overcome my fear of getting started at all!

December started to get really hectic, but I knew it was important to maintain the momentum I had created for my new business.  I made a list of things I knew I needed to do to get started and began to work through the list, accomplishing things like ‘start a facebook page’ or ‘create an etsy store’.  On the list are also goals to ‘list a new item on etsy every week’ so I can grow my inventory.

One of the challenges I have faced so far is maintaining my momentum.  Christmas forced me to slow down and it also really burnt me out.  The last few days after Christmas I was really tired and found it hard to get my house clean and normalize my life again.  I don’t feel right about putting my duties as “the woman of the house” on hold every day in order to work on my projects and I can’t concentrate on much of anything when the house is messy.  Balancing my responsibilities at home with my part time job and my new little job has been challenging requires a lot of discipline.  One way I am trying to stay focused and define my roles is by creating a work space for myself that is just for make and do. I work in our living room and at our dining table a lot so I can spread out and have a level place to cut my fabric.   We have a second room which was intended to be an office and work space for Zachariah and I, but it has honestly been such a disorganized space that I mostly just keep the door to that room shut.  I have been making an effort to keep it tidy and many times I am able to work in there, but I still float out into the living room.

Another initial challenge is knowing what to do each day to move my goals forward.  I have had broader plans for Make+Do, but the day to day actions which result in larger success were harder to figure out.  I took an evening to break down my goals into smaller tasks and then categorize the tasks by type.  I decided if these tasks were daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal tasks and created a few different to do lists for accomplishing these things.  Each day I try to work on my social media, responding to blog comments, shipping, and of course, making things.  However, Sunday and Monday are days which I write my blog posts and take photographs.  If you feel overwhelmed with the amount of work which your goals require, this is a good approach.  I feel a lot more comfortable with my work load now that it is broken down into daily chunks. Additionally, if at any point I feel directionless, I have these lists to look to for guidance.

In Summary:

+If you are starting a new business this year, so far I would really recommend taking a week to work furiously and impulsively on your goal.  I found that I shed insecurities and found a lot of clarity in my goals, direction and style when I did this. Its helped me to let go of a need for things to be perfect and allow room for possibility.

+ Create a work space for yourself as much as possible.  It helps to balance your life and create balance. It helps if you can shut a door on the work, especially if it excites you to the point that you don’t want to take care of anything else. That’s my problem ;)

+Approach your goals with a list and make them break down into baby steps which you can work at every day.  Have a list which gives you direction in the hours which you spend working on your business.

Looking ahead, I’m feeling nervous about maintain momentum and morale as I prepare for a move and try to set up shop someplace new.  I don’t Make + Do to fall by the wayside as I am packing up boxes and wiping down cupboards.  It’s important to plan ahead when stressful times approach.  I’m crossing my fingers for the motivation to keep up the hard work!

Are you starting a new business this year?  If you have written a similar journal post, or would like to, please share it with me!

Love to you, Brittan

Styling the Foldover Clutch with an Antique Lace Dress

brittan-ootd-make-and-do-1 Happy Happy Monday!  My day started bright and early with a coffee and a to-do list.  I finally took the time to organize my daily Make+Do to-dos into one comprehensive list.  So far, its kept me right on target and productive.  I’m going to share a Make+Do journal documenting some of my “firsts” some time this week.  Stay tuned, especially if you have the entrepreneur spirit as well!

Around lunch time, I did an errand to the post office to ship a new order and then went on a jaunt to the grocery store to pick up fresh produce and other staples we had been needing.  This afternoon I make a pan of bacon fried rice from the amazing cookbook Breakfast for Dinner, and now I’m taking more time to blog, make and hopefully clean my house!  Zachariah spends his Mondays and Wednesdays at band practice with the Max and the Moon guys, so Monday and Wednesday are both great days for me to work on my business!

brittan-ootd-make-and-do-3 brittan-ootd-make-and-do-2What you are looking at in these photos is a combination outfit post and store update!  I have brand new foldover clutches in the Make + Do Handmade Etsy shop including this peppy red, white and blue colored one (with pops of pretty yellow!)  I love the color this clutch brings to my antique dress.  I found this dress wedged into a rack at a thrift store and I loved the crochet details.  The dress has little holes here and there, but I really love it all the better for them.

Stay tuned for an upcoming DIY and the Make+Do Journal later this week!

Love to you,

/Brittan

 

Store Update : Love Potions is Returning!

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Last Valentines Day, I heroically published my very first Zine, Love Potions.  In just a little while (read…5-14 days…) I will have the second installment, Love Potions 2.0, ready for some action!  Until then, I have a few copies of the original Love Potions Zine available to ship in the Make and Do Etsy shop! 

As always, let me know what you think! I love you, my readers!

Love Potions ~ Zine °1

Love Potions Zine 1

Woohoo! Today I am sharing with you my very first Zine.  After 10 YEARS of wanting to make something like this, I fulfilled a teenage dream, sat down, and made one.  Sometimes an idea becomes so daunting even though you know it isn’t a big deal.  Making this zine required that I didn’t think too hard about the technacalities of it’s creation.  Sometimes you just need to bring yourself to the project to get your juices flowing. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got to the copy store and ran off xeroxed copies of my very first ‘angsty’ (not so much) zine.

I created this as a collage using all kinds of tapes, ephemera, pictures, stickers etc. It is meant to inspire. I wanted it to be layered with little details that make it fun to pick up again. I named it Love Potions, after this month’s moodboard.  The zine itself is a little quirky. Imagine weird things you might keep because of a boy you liked, or how you felt about love in elementary school… that is this.

These zines are available on etsy.  I would love to mail you one! I will hand make each cover and include a love note for you.  Happy Wednesday!

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:Little September Wishes:

1/Hair Pins   2/Best Dressage Skirt   3/Silvery Blue Toms  4/Vintage Clutch

I have obsessivly been watching this skirt on Modcloth for two months! Ai yi yi!  I just think it is awesome!  As we transition into Fall, many of you will get to bundle up and enjoy brisk Fall winds. Here in Los Angeles, we suffer the heat into November.  I channel Fall by wearing Fall colors…not by drinking hot beverages and drowning myself in blankets. Totally wish I could though… Can I put that on my Fall wishlist?

I’m spending most evenings lately keeping an eye on my to-do list, working on little crafts here or there and watching 30Rock.  This is such a busy but FULL season in my life and I really love it.  I can’t wait to share more of my special projects. Happy Tuesday, Sweet Thangs!