When I complete a big (or little) project, I tend to keep looking ahead to whatever is coming next. I suppose this is a fine trait, but I do wish I slowed down more to gather with friends and family, pour a drink, and make a toast to our achievements, no matter the size or scope. So I kind of made this resolution for 2015 to celebrate more... But I guess I haven't been doing a very good job because I completely forgot to celebrate Fringe & Feather's first birthday! Better late than never, though, right?
So here's how I'm going to celebrate: I'm going to give you a run down of where Fringe & Feather has been in it's first year! Here we go...
I filed for my official business license in January 2014, and became Fringe & Feather. My cousin, Erica, designed a logo for me, and I had earring display cards and business cards made.
In February I set up shop for the first time for a weekend at the NW Flower & Garden Show in Seattle, sharing a tiny, packed booth with my mom (aka Sound Horticulture), praying mantis egg pods, and a bunch of air plants. That same weekend I had to head back to Bellingham for less than 24hrs to take one of two business classes I was signed up for with SCORE, one on starting and managing a small business, and one of writing business plans. It was a looooong weekend!
That spring, I worked on creating more jewelry and seeking out shops to sell it in on consignment. I built up four solid accounts in Bellingham, which was about all I could handle on top of juggling multiple, changing day jobs and working 7 days a week.
Over the summer, I teamed up with Olivia at her rad blue bus parked downtown on Railroad Ave, which she had converted into a mobile boutique. I asked friends, family, and even strangers to clean out their closets and hand over all the used clothing they no longer wanted. I hosted the first Closet Raid, popped up several racks in a parking lot alongside the blue Sassy Babes bus, and sold everything for $3. There was a huge turn out on an incredible day at the end of May, and the sale was such a success that I decided to do a few smaller scale ones throughout the summer and early fall. At some point I decided I needed to rent a 5x7 storage unit for all the clothes I had accumulated because I was starting to look like a crazy lady who lived in her car.
In September I went to Turkey for the adventure of a life time. I explored the Grand Bazaar and the streets of Istanbul, and somehow successfully followed directions in Turklish (part Turkish, part English?) and wandered tiny streets behind the Spice Bazaar to find the bead district. I came home with a suitcase full of beads, evil eyes, and inspiration (and a hanging genie lamp!)
As soon as I got home, I got to work brainstorming with Olivia ways to take our businesses inside as the temperature dropped outside. I had already had booths at several other events, like the Cascade Cuts Plant Sale and the Naked Clothing anniversary party, I was a featured artist at Aslan Brewing Co. during a Downtown Bellingham Art Walk, and I had a trunk show during the Mi Shoes anniversary sale (all pictured below). Highlights of the holiday season included a really fun pop-up shop at Poppes 360 alongside Olivia of Sassy Babes, a private holiday shopping party, and then, drum roll... I organized my own Holiday Bazaar with 15 local artist, all of whom I hand-picked! I put SO much work into organizing the event, learned a lot, and made connections with some pretty incredible women.
After the holidays, I kind of went into hibernation, which I think is why I missed my own biz birthday. I focused on writing the bulk of my business plan for my dream retail shop, and did a lot of crossword puzzles. Then the sun came out, I remembered that there was a big wide world out there waiting for me, and stepped out again. I got to creating and re-stocked jewelry in the shops where I consign. I've had one pop-up Closet Raid at Sassy Babes, and plan to be there about one Saturday a month. I'm still working away on my business plan, and trying to do one thing every day that contributes to my side hustle.
So, it's a little late, but here's a toast to my first year in business! Thank you SO much to everyone who has helped and supported me over the past year, whether it was designing, folding earring cards, helping me set up or break down displays, showing up to my events, hosting an event, letting me convince you to be in my holiday bazaar, buying my jewelry, wearing my jewelry, gifting my jewelry, giving me hugs and high fives, lending an ear, or dreaming and scheming with me. I appreciate every single one of you. Cheers!