sewing

2017 was a good year

2017 was a good year - NoodleheadWhew! 2017 felt busy for sure. Looking back at pictures is always such a good reminder for me. Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you can accomplish over a year’s time.

On the personal side, I’ve continued in my yoga practice at my local studio. It has continued to be such a great stress reliever! I’m looking forward to more yoga in 2018 and that ever elusive search for ‘balance’ in my life. My girls are now in middle school (eeek!) and fourth grade. They’ve both been enjoying friends, soccer, and swim team as well as extra curricular art and creative endeavours. My husband has been doing a ton of mountain biking and running and I like going with when I can, it’s been fun to have those hobbies to share together.

In trying to recover from what felt like a slow year in 2016, I did try a bit more planning for the year in advance. Part of entrepreneurship that I love is its flexibility. That flexibility is something that I thrive on, it’s where I can change direction or trying something totally new that what makes me happiest. Tieing myself down with outside (and sometimes internal) commitments leaves me feeling less productive and less creative. I did, however, have a few select external deadlines that helped push me along the way. I think the most important factor is that I did take time at the beginning of 2017 and loosely map out projects I wanted to accomplish. It helped serve as a guiding light. I honestly have not done this in the years past, so I’m sure it might seem silly or and obvious thing I should be doing as a small business owner, but it was never something I felt I absolutely needed until now. I didn’t give myself hard and fast deadlines, but rather a quick list of projects I wanted to design or products I thought might be fun to add to my shop. I also took time mid-year to re-evaluate and explore new ideas which again was very helpful. I’m happy with how things ended up.

On the business side of things I released more new patterns than in years past, 5 to be exact (Explorer Tote, Wool + Wax Tote, Traverse Bag, Range Backpack, and Minimalist Wallet). I also shared my Canvas Pencil Pouch tutorial and Spring Snap Tutorial and shared a couple of videos for the Range Backpack (here and here). I’m hoping to continue to explore the world of video more this year as I find it both interesting and challenging. I also contributed to the No.3/DOTS issue of Making magazine (wallet). Towards the end of the year I also released a booklet which is a collection of 3 patterns, it was a goal I’ve had for quite a while now and really enjoyed putting it together. You can read more about my booklet, Everyday Essentials, in this post.

I was able to visit Denver, Colorado for the Sewtopia event. I had such a great time there! Once again I love how teaching pushes me out of my comfort zone and am always amazed at how much I learn in the process.

After launching my leather products in 2016, it was fun to watch things grow and change. With a bit of encouragement from a few friends, I decided to start offering hardware, some kits, and zippers to my shop. My goal is to provide a reliable source where you can find components that work with my patterns so you can get to creating instead of trying to track down everything from different sources.

And of course, there’s still much to learn and explore! I’ll be the first to say that I learn new things all the time and the business aspect of sewing is something that I am constantly trying to improve upon.

I’m continually grateful for my friends and support from this amazing sewing (and knitting!) community. I never could have imagined how my life would be when I started in this space back in 2009 and am so thankful for all of you. Thank you for your support, comments and encouragement. I’m looking forward to see what awesome inspiration 2018 brings.

If you’re new here, take a trip down memory lane and check out my previous year-end posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 20142015 and 2016. Wow, that’s a lot of years!

Oh, and I completely forgot to add a big thing that I’m working on this year, but that deserves its own post. Coming soon!

7 thoughts on “2017 was a good year

  1. Amanda Jean says:

    You’ve had a big year! Congratulations on all of your successes! You continue to be a source of inspiration. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with all of us!

    I used your pencil pouch tutorial again just the other day. I love it so much! Thanks for making it available.

    Happy New Year, Anna! I hope we get to sew together again this summer. xoxox

  2. LiEr says:

    You made beautiful things in 2017, Anna! I’m glad it was a good year for you. 2017 was a bit of a curveball year for me – we remodeled the house the first half of the year so it felt as if I’d only worked for about 4 or 5 months of the year. That bit you wrote about setting goals for the first time resonated with me because until this year, I never felt like I needed to do that – my creativity and productivity always seemed to flow on its own tide, pulled by external commissions and pushed by internal yearnings to make something new. Until it didn’t, because I didn’t have the mental space – and physical, too – to respond, with the house falling to ruin (as it were) around me. So goal setting in 2018 it is, then! Thank you for the inspiration and for the hand reached backward. Congratulations on a lovely year, and all the best in this new one.

  3. erin says:

    Happy New Year, Anna! Congratulations on making 2017 a great one – can’t wait to see what is in store for 2018. xo.

  4. Jeni says:

    Always fun watching your projects come to life! Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you 🙂

  5. www.latenightstitchery.com says:

    Happy New Year Anna! What a creative year you have had! Thanks for continuing to inspire us all xxx

  6. kateg2Kate says:

    It is such a pleasure to watch your business grow, Ms. Graham. You product line is solid, your introspection is inspiring. Best to you in 2018!

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