As usual, this year just flew by! Between the holidays and some early very cold and snowy winter weather, I have not been sewing a lot. There have been a few wholesale orders trickling in, and my regular customers have been re-ordering on a regular basis. That makes me very happy!
I have been working very closely with my local website hosting company, Southwoods Media, and we are set to roll out a brand-new website shortly after the first of the year. After more than 7 years on the WordPress platform, it is time to upgrade to a more robust e-commerce platform that has all the bells and whistles I want, including wholesale and retail functionality. I am really looking forward to this. Special thanks to Cole Ludorf at Southwoods for all his research and help in finding the right fit for my business!
In the meantime, I have listed a couple of new things lately, and there area few more all made up and ready to go:
Feather Texture zipper pouch
Ethereal Dragonfly print zipper pouch
I was very happy to get out on my snowshoes this past weekend. At the end of last year, one of the bindings broke, and I sent them back to Crescent Moon in Boulder, Colorado for replacement. It is just beautiful to be out in the woods traipsing along on fresh snow, listening to birds and checking out the animal tracks in the snow. We are fortunate to live in a place where I can literally step out the door, put on the snowshoes and walk into the woods.
Too all my blog readers, valued customers, and anyone else who has read this far- thank you for another great year!
Even though we have had a long stretch of unseasonably warm weather, it is still fall! Time to clean up the garden for the winter and get the bird feeders ready to put up for the winter.
In addition to the usual bag creations, I have recently started working on some long-neglected quilting projects. including having this Scrappy Parrot professionally long-arm quilted- I really like the way it turned out!
Scrappy Parrot Lap Quilt
With the arrival of cooler temperatures, it is time to break out the fall fabrics, including wild birds and autumn colors. Here are a few of my current favorites:
Baroque Garden Bird zipper pouch
Alpine Forest Cardinals zipper pouch
Padded Zipper Pouch in Snowy Birds and Branches Print
Zipper pouch in Leaf Into Autumn Owls on Natural background
Why Buy Wholesale Directly From Bags of a Feather?
Secure SSL ordering technology for maintaining sensitive personal information such as address, phone number, or financial information. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
Payments are processed through either a secure Simplify Commerce application or PayPal. If you prefer that I call you directly for your credit card information, I would be happy to do that. I use ProPay to process credit cards- once the number and information is entered, it is securely encrypted to prevent fraud.
The most up-to-date inventory of unique bird fabrics, batiks, and one-of-a-kind designs. New fabrics are added on a regular basis- my tendency to buy way too much fabric means more choices for you and your customers!
Clearly spelled-out Terms & Conditions regarding ordering, returns, and other important information about ordering directly from Bags of a Feather
Simple wholesale registration forms and tools to help you get set up and ready to order quickly
Customized ordering– Unlike other wholesale platforms, I will not require minimum initial orders or re-order quantities. Want to try out a few things- no problem! I also like to throw in some extra goodies for larger orders.
Quick turnaround time– I have been sewing for close to 50 years (!) and can sew very quickly and efficiently. It usually takes less than a week to fulfill and ship your order.
Great communication– I will contact you with any questions and keep you informed as to when you can expect your order to arrive.
Experience- I have been selling online since 2009, and currently have more than 53 wholesale clients in approximately 29 states. Many customers have become valued repeat customers. See my Where to Find Bags of a Feather page for more information.
I know, it’s only mid-August, and the summer is flying by. Soon it will be September, ready or not!
With the change of seasons, it is a good time to take stock and figure out what to change with the business and what direction to take going forward. I will be streamlining my retail business, and hopefully, by year-end, will only be selling directly on my own site here.
After almost 9 years of selling online,and trying many different selling venues, it just makes sense to focus on what I can control and where to focus my time and energy. I also hope to add full wholesale ordering functionality to my website. A lot of the pieces such as payment processing and secure ordering, including SSL certificate, are already in place.
I have been ordering a few new fabrics, including some owls in fall colors, with the natural background currently available, and the black background to be offered soon:
Zipper pouch in Leaf Into Autumn Owls on Natural background
Here is the same fabric design in black:
Which one do you like better? I think I would pick the black background.
A pictorial glimpse into the inner workings at Bags of a Feather, including the mess created by cutting up pieces of fabric and sewing them back together. Sewing is messy business! There is usually little pieces of thread on the floor, or attached to my clothes.
Owl Pouches in progress
Some of the following pictures were taken a couple of years ago an sent to an online venue for approval as a “certified handmade artisan” designation. I passed with flying colors- they determined that I was not a factory that was mass-producing bags all day long and passing them off as handmade.
Vintage 1976 Singer Sewing machine
Hard at work
26 pairs of scissors
Antique sewing cabinet inherited from my mother-in-law
It might look unorganized, but I can usually find what I’m looking for. Just walking into the sewing studio and taking the cover off the sewing machine makes me happy and relaxed. After more than 40 years of sewing, I still love it!
What’s new in the Bags of a Feather world? Well, the honest answer, is not much, or should I say, the old stuff I used to make is new again!
I have been making a few things that I have not made in years, including fabric bookmarks (last offered in 2011). The new version is a bit thinner, which allows them to fit in between the pages of a paperback or hardcover book. They are currently available only in my wholesale shop on IndieMe.com, but I am also working on getting them into few local retail venues. Here is a picture of approximately 20 of them:
And a close-up with on of my favorite crow fabrics:
More fabric bookmarks
I have also been making up some insulated fabric cup cozies or insulators, that look something like this old picture from my etsy shop in 2010:
I used to sell both the bookmarks and cup insulators/cozies these at a coffee/bookshop in Northfield, Massachusetts, which has unfortunately gone out of business. I’m currently making up more samples and hope to get these in a few local shops.
I am trying not to go crazy on buying new fabric for awhile, although my Wish List on several online fabric sites continues to grow. There is always some great new bird fabric available, but I have to tell myself that it doesn’t mean I have to buy all of it!