Coup Soup ~ SURVIVAL BY DESIGN

 

 

soup

When owning a business, the ebb and flow of revenue can get pretty tricky and around here, Spring and Christmas are expensive! Gifts, entertaining, gardening, decorating etc. Thus, I’m forced to pull ideas out of my ass thin air to supplement our income. As much as I’d prefer to be organizing another event, penning my book, patenting an idea or Netflix and Chillin’, I throw on the SuperMama Cape and hit the streets of imagination.  superlady-mama

BONUS: I get to feed my inner design freak!

Without a helluva lot of coin for supplies, slight anxiety and an abundance of hope, I hit the drawing board to conceptualize & create things I pray will sell. It’s important that they’re quality & unusual; cost of materials is low; time is minimal and items are offered at a win/win price point.  (EVERYONE deserve nice things at reasonable prices!) A significant factor in the process is always a nod to Mother Earth.   Objects no larger than a dresser and no smaller than a brush are built stained embellished assembled pressed- even torched!  Every idea has a story too!

I see many late nights; people who look at me as though I’ve got a grilled cheese hanging from a nostril; organization of rosters as lengthy as Santa’s Naughty List; tired eyes, achy knees & knuckles –  well, you get it. But for the most part I loooove it!  All sorts of wonderful thingamajigs and whazzits take over our living quarters. With no garage or workshop, tidbits and tools occupy rooms like ants on an Oreo.  Thank goodness for stackable TV tables and a sense of humour!

a-before-and-after-dining-room-to-studio

Some ideas are flat out duds. Like, what the ACTUAL hell was I thinking when creating my own line of light switch plates??  (1996)

b-light-switch-plates

But thankfully, most of my initiative pays off – most items are embraced.

yay-type

ITEMS HAVE COME TO INCLUDE:

a-hammers-with-logo
Personalized hammers for the difficult to buy for dads.   274 of them.  Hand scribed.  Both sides.  Yep.  Sold for $35 ea.
a Pillow Cases homme (2).jpg
Customized pillow cases – both sweet and spicy – Sold for $45 pair

 

a-switch-plates-with-logo
Light switch plates.  30 or so designs.  Oy vey.

 

a-christmas-package-stitched-2
Seasonal Décor Kits ranging from $45 – $75

 

1-a-skate-wreaths-with-logo-2
Spring and Winter Wreaths ranging from $35 – $199

 

a-candlelamp-with-logo
2 car loads of CandleLamps.  So fidgety.  My hands were dotted with glue gun burns.  Ever done that?  You see stars.
a-crochet-with-logo
Crochet clothing and accessories.  I said yes to the dress! (and the footlets {tanalogue})

 

a-clothing-packages-black-and-white
Fashion ensembles ~ I’ve met some great people whom I’ve busted following me around stores.  So… why not shop for apparel, dress Katie (my mannequin) and sell groups of 4 or 5 outfits?  It worked!  However – the customer was a completely different animal.  They arrived to the house and mistook me for their own personal shop girl.  Hard no.

 

1-a-furniture-stitched-black-and-white
FurnARTure {tanalogue} became the Super Heroes.  No one was more surprised than I when realizing that over 50 pieces of antique/vintage chattel had been revived and revitalized.    Then again, one of my fathers leisure pursuits was designing and building his own furniture…

 

2-a-christmas-letters

a-main-shot-stitched-with-logo
This season, I scorched snowflakes (great oxymoron!) and “Christmas” letters. Because there is nothing out there on the market even remotely similar, folks ate ’em up! They were cool… I mean… hot… Whatever – they sold like hotcakes. OK I’ll stop now.

 

Schemes and strategies started flooding in post-kids and pre-internet.  Items were sold at festivals & events; friends’ restaurants and consignment stores. Then Etsy, Kijiji and Craigslist came on the scene – sooo much easier!  Soon after, a fave client mentioned that Facebook Buy and Sell groups debuted so I cancelled my Etsy account, poo poo’ed Pinterest and joined my first of many groups – Junk in da Trunk.  www.facebook.com/groups/junkindatrunk

I recall pouring a glass of SuperMama Liquid Courage and hitting the “Post” button for the first time.  To success.  Without “Junk”,  I may have ended up blogging from a very different chair – even home, in an alternative state of mind, wearing not a cape but a old onesie.  Ironically, I ended up at the helm of a specialized Vintage / Antique Facebook buy and sell group I’ve built to 13,000 members – Vintage Finds Ontario.  Take a peek and feel free to join me in both of these great groups.  There’s something for everyone and members tend to be smart and earthy.   www.facebook.com/groups/VintageFindsOntario

Today, tenacity and grit have landed me commissions, holding workshops, a Facebook Business page www.facebook.com/littleredbagproductions and a couple of blogs in Canada and the US. www.hometalk.com/littleredbagproductions

The icing on the cake was the substantial National Post article about my crusades last month. Sweet, sweet validation – We all need it http://news.nationalpost.com/homes/baptism-by-fire-how-this-woman-turned-dated-into-dramatic-with-a-lick-of-flame

Funny how things turn out…  It doesn’t take a village – it takes a SuperMama.  😉

 Now, to get back to my actual job!

cropped-a-red-vintage-purse-header.jpg

Tana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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