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Make Baby Stuff Newsletter, Issue #015-- Your LAST Monthly Newsletter
March 29, 2009

This monthly newsletter is brought to you from the Make Baby Stuff website. It is your kick in the pants to get crafty!

Our LAST Monthly Newsletter!

With much thought and discussion, we've decided to cease the monthly publication of this newsletter. We will now publish this newsletter approximately quarterly (aka - four times a year) - just to announce our new contests and other important stuff!

The good news is that ALL new tutorials and announcements are posted on our blog immediately: Make Baby Stuff BLOG!

Blogs have taken over, not many people even read email newsletters anymore (if you are, thank you!) and prefer to subscribe to blogs. If you aren't yet blog saavy, I highly recommend choosing a free blog reader which is a way to organize all your blog subscriptions in one place. Each time a new post is up you'll see it in your blog reader - this way you can browse through all your favorite blogs on one screen! I personally use Bloglines and find it really easy to use. I admit I subscribe to nearly 100 blogs through it! Such an easy way to keep track of what is going on. Another popular feed reader is Google Reader.

So please, if you haven't already, subscribe to our blog: Make Baby Stuff Blog and you can stay even more connected!

The "Meet the Crafty Mama" feature will continue monthly and each new one will be announced on the blog. Interviews will still be found on the Crafty Mama page.

Meet the Crafty Mama

emiko crafty mama Who: Emiko of Emiko loves to sew and sew and sew. Currently living in Portland, she came to the US when she was twenty not expecting to stay...but life had other plans. She is addicted to fabric, loves to snowboard, travel and visit her family in Japan. She lives with her husband and two daughters, ages two and four.

What lead up to starting Emiko? 

When we bought our first house and tried to find drapes for my daughter's room, we could not find anything we liked. We wanted something unique. So, instead of looking at baby/kid stores, we went to a local fabric store. When we were expecting the second daughter, we did the same. I got hooked on sewing then, and I have sewn nursery stuff, dresses, tops, bags, bibs for my girls and also started sewing zipper pouches and bags for myself and friends. One day, my husband suggested, "Why don't you sell your stuff?" So, I started on Etsy. Even when I was choosing my shop name, his suggestion ("Your name is unique in this country, just use that") was adopted. That is how "Emiko" was born. Yes, we like unique things!

emiko hatWhat is your main source of inspiration?

People watching. I look at people and what they wear and carry. When I find someone with very interesting things, I stare at them. They must think I am weird... Also, my favorite local fabric store here in Portland and one in my home town in Japan is a big inspiration. I love looking at fabrics. They give me so many ideas. My 4-year-old has been fantastic advisor for my shop, too. When I implement her ideas in my shop, usually they turn out great. She is a great source of inspiration.

What is your favorite part of your creative process from idea to completion?

Definitely, that is when I just complete something. It is a great satisfaction to see what I have pictured in my head is right in front of you!

What is your least favorite part?

First try and most second tries on a new design. For me, it usually takes about three tries to get new design right. First try is unacceptable, and the second try is usually better but I am not satisfied.

bandana bib

What was your goal when you started out and have you reached it?

My goal was to enjoy sharing my creation. I love it when I sell a lot. But, knowing that there are little ones and moms out there using my things is such a wonderful feeling. So, I think I am reaching my goal every time I sell my items or even just someone visits my shop. The more EMIKO items get out in the world, the more I am sharing my creation.

When do you find the time to create?

After the girls go to bed and/or when my 4-year-old is in school and my 2-year-old is napping.

baby blanket

What are your tips on balancing business and family??

My family is priority. I work less or none when the kid(s) need extra attention for being sick or whatever reason. Whenever I have time, I do sew a lot. When I have custom orders or wholesale order, I do work more than I normally would. But, still kids first. And, I am fortunate that all my customers are very understanding of my being a stay-at-home. After all, my customers are mostly moms!

What do you do to ensure that you don't burn out?

I watch TV and do nothing. I enjoy watching medical stuff (drama or reality) and cannot get enough of it. Searching for other fellow crafty moms' shops are also fun. I think I have one day a week I do no sewing and just do those things if I don't have order to fill.

bagAre you crafty in other ways? If so, what do you make?

I am not sure if I am crafty in other ways. I have tried a few other crafts and found out that I don't like them so much. Sewing is my calling, I think, though I do a little of scrapbooking for my daughters.

Any future business plans?

If I have more time, I will create more and add new lines. I am very spontaneous about my shop and products. If I have a light bulb moment about new design, I do make more time for production and you will see something new in my shop soon after.   My bandana bib was just that, and has been selling well, too. I also would like to take more wholesale orders. That is a great way to spread EMIKO out there. But, I do like to keep the production small and I want to be the one to make all of EMIKO products. After all, my product are mini me.

mealtime bibWhat was the first thing you made for your daughter?

Mealtime bib. I made drapes for her too, but didn't like to do that as much. I like making small things because you see the result quickly. Mealtime bib was the first thing I gain confidence about selling my things after testing them on my friends baby as well as my own daughter. My friends told me how great they were. That's when I thought "Let's do this" and my shop started.

Thanks Emiko! Visit her site at Emiko and support a fellow mama and buy handmade!

If you like this newsletter, please "email it forward" to someone you know who might appreciate it. If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe now!

As our site and community grows, I hope that you drop me a line and tell me what crafty baby stuff you are up to! Did you make something that was inspired by something on our site? Pretty please play "show and tell" with the rest of us! Often, having an audience for your crafting is just a kick in the pants that you need to get working.

Feel free to send in tips or questions too! We love mail!

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