End of 2019! Beginning of 2020!
As 2019 comes to an end, I look forward to a new year with many new beginnings!
It seems normal now to reflect on the previous months that we so heroically triumphed over. Some months were challenging, some were a breeze and then there were those that seemed to end before they began.
My life changed a great deal in 2019. I lost my job; a very good job which I enjoyed very much. I was a full-time faculty member teaching fashion, then departmental politics took over. For nearly 10 years I taught fashion courses (patternmaking, sewing, grading, textiles, costume history, tech packs and various CAD programs) in Southern California. Full-time fashion faculty positions don't come up very often, so I had to make a decision to teach part-time and freelance part-time and stay in California, or do something else.
I chose to do something else. I had been saving a lot of money over the last few years, so just in case I became unemployed I had a safety net. However, if I stayed in California a large portion would go to rent, while still trying to maintain my other bills (the largest being student loans). I had joked with my sister before my unemployment that I would just move out to where she lives. Well, that joke became a reality, and I moved to Virginia.
Here in Virginia my rent is 1/4 of what I was paying in LA. Although the utilities are a bit higher (AC and Heating are necessities here, not options!). It's a very tiny town here, about 1100 and not really close to any major city; Washington D.C. is about 5 hours away. However, I can live cheaply here and I have plenty of room for all my machines. I moved here because my other family is in Maryland, and I am also helping my sister start her own online business Catherine Mary Shop.
Although you know me by Sew It Like A Man, sewing patterns for menswear, I have decided to expand into Women's patterns. I have created a brand call "Leslie Ann", after my mother. I earned my Masters degree in Fashion & Textile and had created a collection of dresses. I chose not to go into production with those dresses and locked them up as a completed project. After having some success with the Men's patterns (not really a financial success), and getting requests for Women's, I chose to open up the vault and plan the Women's pattern brand. So, beginning in the first week in January I will be publishing Women's patterns on it's own Etsy site: Leslie Ann Sewing Patterns. There is also a companion YouTube channel here: Leslie Ann YouTube Channel. Although there is not much there, you can watch a video of the actual photo shoot I did. I'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the channel. Once I get 100 subscribers I can get a unique URL.
I'm also working on some online courses in fashion. These would be similar to courses you would take in college; the courses I taught. Understand that these would not be casual courses, they would be focused on the very serious individual that actual wants to work in the fashion industry, especially the production environment (pattern making, grading, garment specs etc...). However, the home sewer that wants to create their own home-small business would greatly benefit from them.
Additionally, more Sew It Like A Man patterns! I have received many requests! I can't promise everything in January, but you will see a few. I have planned an entire collection (like you would see on the runway), and I am planning to release the entire collection to coincide with NY Fashion Week and MAGIC Trade show in February.
So, I have a lot on my plate, or planned. I like to set goals for myself and I usually make a list on my whiteboard. Right now, my whiteboard is full!
I have so much more I want to say (I didn't realize before I sat down to write), but I think I keep those thoughts for another post.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your purchases! Although the sales are not paying all of my bills, the business is supporting itself, and I see a future when the business will support me as well!
To you and all your loved ones; HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
May you be blessed every single day!