Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a series of fortunate events (and an overwhelmingly wonderful response)

first, thank you everyone for being completely wonderful. for finding my little shop and taking the time to read my blog and for your excitement and encouragement. it's funny, because just a few months back, when i was still stuck in waitressworld, i just kept thinking (and saying, over and over again)

i just wish i could sit in a room by myself and sew and sew and sew all day long.

and now, that is exactly what i do. i sew and i sew and i sew. when i am not cutting and cutting and cutting and ironing and ironing and ironing and packaging and packaging and packaging. and i love doing all of these things. and i want to continue to love doing all of these things. which is why i want to tell you a little bit about madebyhank, and how things operate.

my name is katie henry, as most of you know. i am only one person. i have only two arms and ten fingers (which is fortunate or unfortunate at this point, depending upon how you look at it). i have one small sewing machine, that works very very hard with me and i am very grateful that it has not given up on me yet. someday i will overcome my fear of industrial machines (have you ever seen the size of the needles on those things? holy crap. and i have sewn through my fingers enough times to be a bit weary), but for now, it's just me and my little home-sewer.

each of my creations are one-of-a-kind (though i have made a handful of close lookalikes). this means that i think up each shape, color/fabric/textures combination, hand cut each one, prep them, set the snaps if need be, sew them, iron them, and finish them. and because each one is different, each one must be photographed (every day, i am more grateful for manny's help with this. madebyhank would not exist without him), a description must be written, and each one must have the photos uploaded to etsy.

i put great care and detail into each of my bags, and take great pride in what i do. i work at a certain pace and i am trying to get a bit more organized and speed up my process in small ways. i realize that the holiday season is here and each day seems to evaporate more quickly than the last. i am trying my best to keep the shop stocked in time for the holidays.

one decision i have made in order to do this is this:

i cannot accept any more custom or special orders until after january.

my inbox is exploding with requests upon requests upon requests. i want everyone to be happy, and i wish i could fill each of these orders in time for holiday gifts, but unfortunately i can only do what i can do. i have been cutting and sewing in batches to speed things up a bit, and in order to reach my goals, i have to turn many of your requests down. please do not take offense to this or think that means i do not value your business. its just that i am me and i can only do so much, and like i said before, i refuse to sacrifice quality for quantity.

ramble, ramble. i apologize for the long-windedness of this post. what i am trying to say is, i am so happy to be where i am right now, and very thankful for all of my success so far. and please, please understand that i am doing the best that i can.

so thank everyone again, and thank you martha and the gang.

one more thing. i had fun on saturday. it was the opening reception for the show at the mew gallery that i am part of right now, along with kathryn moran and james ulmer. the room was full of folks i like a whole lot and had not seen in far too long.

we also stopped by zoe's party for a bit, but we were way too late to buy the copy of her book we had been hoping for.
she did snap some sweet polaroids of us before we turned into pumpkins and had to head home.

photo by zoe strauss

photo by zoe strauss

photo by zoe strauss

frances, as usual, was the belle of the ball. she partied so hard she slept for two whole days afterward.


Darla said...

Well shucks Hank. You do a damn swell job. Don't sacrifice yourself for anyone...well except maybe Francis ;)
You go girl...sew your ass off.

Tom Boutell said...

Supply and demand... is it possible you should be charging more per piece? Much as I hate to say it, I also love to say it, because you are entirely deserving. Also nobody wants to read the post where you announce your repetitive stress injury.

Unknown said...

Katie - hang in there! You have an amazing talent and you deserve all of the success and attention you are getting. I hope you take time for yourself and are able to enjoy the holiday season as well as your growing business. Thank you for making such beautiful bags!

belinda marshall said...

hi katie, i came across your blog when i was emailing your sold items from your etsy shop to my sister who was checking out great bags on etsy! i love your bags and was completely impressed with your sewing drawings. i thought your logo was amazing til i saw those!
congratulations on your success and busyness doing what you love.

Shannon said...

Your work is gorgeous. Congratulations on your recent success! Here is to more and more in 2009.

Kerri W. said...

You are seriously one of my biggest inspirations. I can only dream to have the success you have - and I guess that's what it all starts with, anyway, right? A dream? I love hearing stories of people who are able to simply do exactly what it is that they love. Because, really? That's my dream, too. I could sit around crafting all day and be perfectly content. And I like to think that I'm getting there - slowly but surely. My next step is sewing, and I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my own sewing machine! Eek, I have no idea how to use it, but we'll see what happens...

Congrats on the shout-out in the magazine! How incredibly exciting! And I'm sure this is just the beginning, too.

Don't worry yourself about having to limit custom orders and all of that - honestly, people can tell you're genuine, and know that you're a one woman show! That's what makes you more endearing. :) You do what you can, and the rest will follow.

Hope you have a lovely week!

Crowandiris said...

Katie my dear, are so well deserving for all the kuddos, attention and praise. We all who Love Made By Hank will always wait for more lovely designs and understand that you also have a life that you need to enjoy even during the holiday rush!
A very happy holiday to you, manny and Frances!