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I can't decide if #myweakness is that I'm too hard on myself or too lenient. Some days, I think I should have worked harder, more hours, gotten more done. Other days, I tell myself I deserve some time off, even though I didn't do anything biz related the day before either. I'm sure I'll figure out a middle ground some day (or just get rid of the guilt), but for now that's one of my struggles. ⠀

How do you deal with lack of motivation or being just plain tired when it comes to your business?⠀


Spent the last few days doing a lot of this (and more to go!)
Hopefully I'll have some time next week for sewing. I've got some spring wardrobe items start!🌷👗👒✨ #behindthescenes #smallbizreality

#smallbizreality day 3: My planner 😃 I use multiple resources to manage/plan/organise my life and business, but the central hub of all the planning is my trusty planner. This is my brain and houses everything I need to move my business and life forward everyday. I use a modified version of GTD in my planner in addition to using Google calendar, slack, Asana and OneNote. I'm a bit of a planner and productivity nerd, but it works for me 😃#filofax #filofaxmalden #plannerd #planneraddict

Back alleys often get a bad rep but this is where the real blood sweat and tears happen for small businesses. From shipping & receiving, waste management & recycling and the maintenance needed for a historic building, we are so thankful for all the people who work and make things happen in downtown Brunswick! #community #smallbusiness #smallbizreality #behindthescences

#smallbizreality #mynighttime Most evenings by the time we have supper, put the kids to bed and tidy up I'm too tired to do much of anything but sit in front of the tv and knit. #lakeknityarns #knitting #knittersofinstagram

It's favourite software time for #smallbizreality. I couldn't pick just one so here are my top 4 for Mac users that I use pretty much daily:
1️⃣ Screenflow -- this is what I use for recording my screen and for pretty much all video editing.
2️⃣ Spotify -- every work day needs a dance party, right?
3️⃣ Logoist -- this what I use to make all my graphics and I love it. I know everyone has their own preferences (I think majority use Canva) but I stick with what works for me.
4️⃣ Magnet -- this is the program that I use to easily split my screen into quarters like this and it's so incredibly useful.

Spent the day bottling #shrubs, #waterkefir & running errands. One thunderstorm outside, two adults & four hungry kids off for #springbreak -- it's time for burritos. 🌯 #smallbizreality #foodalchemist

Happy Sunday! I'm making the most of the sunshine to get some more yarn dyed (quicker drying plus solar panels giving me free electricity, double win!). I've started recording my vlog for day 2 of #sssveda. But there are so many great challenges this month, so I thought I'd dip into a few. Some catching up! #yarnlovechallenge asked for a random fact about me yesterday. Ummm. OK, this should be random enough...when I was 9, I was given a Sunshine Brownie award in my brownie guide pack for being very smiley! For day 2, squish, I give you this picture of undyed squishy merino.
#smallbizreality challenge today asks for my why. My family, and the security and happiness of my family. And my mental health. Making makes me happy, which improves my family's general mood!

Right, back to the dye pots!

@arohaknits and @knitfitch are amazing entrepreneurs that I look up to, I would consider them #mymentor. They freely share so much of their knowledge in their Facebook groups and even more in their courses. ❤️ These are my Saturday Afternoon Armwarmers, previously published in Knit Now and currently available for free on my website Mandybee.com 😁 Super cozy and they make for awesome Netflix binge knitting!
#freeknitpattern #freeknittingpattern #smallbizreality #knittersofinstagram #


how is it already mid-november? i'm still kinda frazzled with time right now. 2017 is almost gone, and there's still so much to do! like finishing off the #tiptoe collection that i've been working on all year. 7 sock patterns, all designed with @woolenboon's boon classic. i think the october sock (here in the foreground) should be out later this week, and then the two cakes in the background will become patterns for december. add to that 3 other patterns that also need to be published before the end of the year and i'll be pretty damn close to 100 patterns. not bad, if i do say so myself! ✨
did you like the structure of #tiptoe this past year? knowing you could buy in at the beginning and get patterns all year long, or choose single patterns as they were released? i think the last few weeks (months) has made me reevaluate for next year on my own end - instead of definitely committing to certain months for releases and then getting stressed out when life inevitably gets in the way, i'll just say "7 patterns released over 2018" and then aim to get them out every couple of months. oh yeah, i'll be doing this whole beast again next year! i'll be using @noxyarnco's penny dreadful collection, so if you want to get a headstart on stocking up your sock yarn stash, i recommend checking those out...

i was feeling pretty relaxed about december until i looked at the calendar last night and realized how far into november we are already, and how much dyeing i need to be doing in the next two weeks. i also realized i really need this shawl to be finished by the end of the weekend to be ready in time for the holiday sale on december 2 and 3... that's all do-able, right? 🙈
is time winging past you right now too? i honestly don't know where this year has gone...

What crocheters do to help keep their technology cords orderly :)

Behind the scenes. This is our shipping station, and yesterday it was also used as a workspace as I added small stones to our new lavender sachets that we make. #smallbizreality #dotandarmy #workspace #creativeworkspace #madeinga #madeingeorgia #madehereGA

Packing up this week's orders 🎁then onto Halloween fun at the end of the week! 🎃 A lot of your favorite retailers will soon be carrying our new holiday scents! 🎄We'll be letting you know more as we ship these orders out!
#shoplocal #buylocal #madeingeorgia #georgiamade #georgiagrown #wholesale #wholesalesoap #etsywholesale #etsyseller #handmadesoap #maker #makersmovement #handmademovement #soapmaker #smallbizreality #behindthescenes #entrepreneur #workathomemom #smallbusiness

i'm a nester. and when i'm as tired as i am this week, that nesting becomes really, really important. i curl up in positions that probably aren't great for my knees, wrap a bunch of layers of clothes and blankets around me, and find some busy work for my hands. most of the time it's knitting, of course, but sometimes i need to go into a bit of a mindless state, and that's when i pull out my spinning wheel. it's incredibly meditative for me, but i can easily get lost in it, so generally i don't do it frequently. i needed it this week though, so i brought it downstairs and have an art batt from tog & thel on the go. i'm going to add some of ivy's fur into it, and maybe ply it with some corriedale, and then eventually i'll figure out what to make with it 🐑
i think we'd be remiss to talk about the how's and what's and why's and who's of #slowfashionoctober without also talking about how making is often intimately tied into mental health for a lot of us. being a maker has definitely saved me on more than one occasion, whether it's by calming down my ocd or placing a hand on the shoulder of my anxiety or pulling me through bouts of depression. anxiety roots most of the things i deal with, and i honestly cannot imagine what my life would be like if i didn't knit as much as i do. i'm still too tired to engage very much right now, but if you're looking for me, you can probably find me with my needles and/or cleaning some knits finally so that i have warm layers for heading up north in a few days 🍂

No 'eggs in a basket', but perfume samples in a box...and lining up the 2.5ml roll on wands 💖😊 Bottle • label • bag • repeat... #smallbizreality #shopprep #popupshop #teamthrivercircle #organicperfumeoils #oddscents #ismellfab #botanicalperfumery #anointingoil #relax #seduce #whatever 🙄

i had a really lovely weekend spent with not much knitting and a whole lot of food and people. the first part of this week will mean a lot of paperwork for my day job, so hopefully by the end of the week i'll be making some headway on designs and projects i have on my plate for the next month or so. that might get hijacked though - my family dog isn't doing well, so there might be some therapy knitting that kicks in at some point. we'll see how it goes 🖤
the #bekindkal will be getting its first bi-weekly email later today. have you joined yet? i came up with a little plan on the weekend and it may or may not include a new free pattern for participants later in the challenge (not this pictured design, although it'll also be coming out next month) 💕

The new white and clear packaging arrived for Everyday Solar Balm and Deostick Gentle 🤗💖 #itsthelittlethings #handmadehappiness #smallbizreality #yesyougetexcitedaboutpackaging #maybeishouldgetoutmore 😘😋 Made in teeny tiny batches here in Qld where it was developed and trialled by willing humans ☺

#everydaysolarbalm #naturalsuncare #marinesafeformula #nonnanozinc #itshandmade #microbatch #ecobeauty #ecoluxe #skinprep #certifiedorganicingredients #brisbane #organicaromatherapy #nontoxic #motherandbaby #organicskincare #naturalskincare

So excited too because these will be stocked at the very fabulous flagship store for @spacollectiveau opening November in Victoria, Australia. Yay! My first VIC stockist!!! 😚💚

i'm cleaning my house today (hence no make-up) to prepare for a housewarming with wonderful people on the weekend, which involves also getting a bunch of stuff in the snail mail. yay! i like feeling productive, especially when it comes in the form of puttering around my house and dancing in my kitchen. it's a nice shift to the anxiety i was battling earlier this week. i think i've determined that my new bedtime routine should involve reading instead of being a lump on my couch watching terrible tv... 📖
speaking of taking better care of ourselves, have you joined the #bekindkal yet? i have a design on my needles right now that i have to finish first (good ol' #socktober), but i think maybe the next time i should knit is a hat using this skein from @fermefiolafarm. i'm becoming more and more obsessed with super local yarns, and considering how soft this yarn is, that's probably not a huge shock. and since it's a fingering weight, it'll be great for wearing as an indoor hat all winter! i wear so many layers it's not even funny sometimes...in my defense, my body doesn't really believe in regulating its temperature, and half my head is buzzed, so really 🙄
on that note, i'm currently wearing one of very few shirts i own with sleeves. my base torso layer almost never has sleeves because i inevitably get too hot and then i get cranky. i think i need to make myself more tops though. i'm thinking of starting with the #grainlinehadley and #ogdencami. thoughts, fellow sewers?

i feel like i haven't had much of a chance to breathe yet today. fought with online shipping labels (nothing is in the mail yet, sorry folx), there seems to be an ever-growing number of emergencies/priorities for my day job among not enough hours (or maybe it'll feel less chaotic once i've been in it for longer?), and i'm feeling super behind in pretty much every aspect of my biz. creating solid structure to my days that balances productivity and rest is way harder than i anticipated. so tonight, i'm winding up more mini skeins while scarves pre-mordant for tomorrow's class @finchgalleryworkspace (i think there's still space to sign up!) and a fresh batch of salve steeps 🌿
my outfit for run-around days is often this #wikstentankdress. this one is my 4th, and i made it last year, which is probably an indication of how much sewing i've done in recent months. i lengthened it to past my knees and made the neckline a bit higher because i don't really have a chest to push out a lower one (thank goodness). this pattern is definitely a go-to for me. must be the simplicity, i know i can whip one up in an evening without too much stress. paired here with my mum's old basket bag that's become my daily bag, and a box from @maiwahandprints with all those lovely scarves pre-scouring and mordanting. wanna come play with them and me tomorrow? i promise i'm less of a stress case when i teach 🙃

A few months back, towards the end of summer, I experienced a bit of frustration when trying to plan out my Fall line. I wrote up a blog post as a way to help myself sort through the issues that a small business may experience while trying to balance creativity and productivity. I gave it a re-read recently and felt like sharing, mainly because I know so many small business owners and creatives, and partially because I have spoken with several people about the realities of starting an actual, profitable entity that is based on creative energies. So perhaps you'll find this insightful! I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on "Producing Art: Maintaining Creativity in a Wholesale-Centered Business".(Blog post is linked in our bio!)

#soapmaking #soapmaker #soap #soapshare
#smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner #smallbusinesslove #smallbusinesslife #smallbusinesstips  #creativepreneur #creativeminds #creativelife #creativebiz #workathomemom #growingpains #dreams #wholesale #etsywholesale #makeithandmade #etsyhandmade #etsyseller #etsyshop #makeithandmade #goals #smallbizreality #goldenisles #georgiamade #belhamherbals

okie doke, day 3 of #slowfashionoctober! 3 is the best multiple, so there are 3 photos to swipe through. @samsonphotography wouldn't let me wear a bra when we shot #jökull (in his defense, it was the better choice), so here it is with one so you can get an idea of the least amount of layering you can do with this piece. @ohhhlulu makes my favourite lingerie sewing patterns, but i haven't actually attempted bras yet. and as a femme who loves black lace as much as i love politics, that means turning to feminist lingerie company @lonelylingerie for my underthings. #slowfashion doesn't automatically mean you have to make the clothes you wear as far as i'm concerned, it just means being conscious of the environmental and social impacts of your textile footprint when you purchase and/or make 🖤
i keep making really long posts with this project, so here's a list of thoughts instead:
-having a body can be hard
-tattoos make mine feel better (thanks @unclearlosaplustattoos and @iamnattee 🖤)
-selfies and making most of my clothes has made living with mine easier -avoiding mainstream media sources helps too
-"the lonely hearts hotel" is a really really fantastic book and you should read it 🖤
what makes living with your body easier for you?

nearly missed #slowfashionoctober day 2's #ootd. there are two photos here (swipe to see me pre-make up, half outfit, not enough coffee...). the first is actually kinda blurry, and normally i would just skip it, but i'm using this month as an exercise in following through and showing up, even on the messy days. today was a messy day, or at least it was this morning. #Ferðaskór went live on #ravelry, and my anxiety decided to accompany it. like, gonna-puke-got-the-jitters-between-my-shoulder-blades anxiety. big launches always freak me out, but this was bigger than usual. i have this tendency of processing upsetting world events into vibrating at a higher energy level than i can control, which results in anxiety jitters and self-doubt and all the rest of that fun stuff. and there's a whole lot of upsetting things these days. i'm not really sure about how to help in a deeply meaningful and direct way, which is what my activist roots want desperately, and i know i can't afford to burn out because that's just more useless than helping in smaller ways. so i'm gonna noodle on it more and figure out how i can make my biz feel more useful in this area, and practice showing up in the meantime 🖤
my politics are so fucking important to me, and are a central pillar of my biz. i never want to run a biz that feels constrained to not representing me and the people i love - the witches, the queers, the nonconformists, the different bodies that say "fuck you" to the mainstream status quo while embracing those bodies that happen to fit into it through no fault of their own. knit design is so beautiful because it is for every body. no one gets to tell you that you can't rock that crop top you spent hours knitting stitch by stitch, or that those speckles don't look good wrapped around your neck in that elaborate lacy shawl. when i design for femmes, it's for femmes of all genders and gender expressions. if you need to modify a pattern so it makes you feel totally gorgeous, do it! and then share it with me so i can gush over how fabulous you look. please don't ever stop making clothes for your beautiful bodies 🖤
check the first comment for details about what i wore today!

i have no idea what's going on with instagram's algorithm again (i'd seriously love if they could stop overlapping big changes with my book news), but i'm just gonna keep puttering away over here. who wants a new sock pattern? 🙋🙋‍♂️ check out the first link in my profile for the latest #tiptoe pattern - meet #stainedglass!

happy #makersmonday! i already feel like this week is going to be super productive for me, which is exciting because it means i'll be offering so much for you. new classes, patterns, and i have this feeling that #Ferðaskór will be ready at any moment 😍
i'm trying to figure out ways and platforms that will make things more efficient for you and for me, because i feel like i have so much happening all the time and i don't want you to worry about having to hunt through a million possible links. like, what if you want to sign up for a class that has registration through my co-host? or you just wanna sign up for the newsletter? or you want the link for a sock pattern but don't want to have to sift your way through multiple ravelry pages to get it? i know there are good platforms out there to solve this for us. are you a small biz owner who uses one and loves it (or used another and hated it)? are you a regular user who's seen a few options on your fave shop's pages and you really liked or loathed certain experiences? share your thoughts and feels with me! 📝
in the meantime, you can find the pre-order link for #Ferðaskór in my bio while it lasts. it's full of lovely photos like this one from @samsonphotography 🖤

Our new tags have arrived! 😍 They came just in time too, because next week Knot What It Seams is starting to sell at Market Girl, a boutique handmade store in #whitfordscity!!! There are so many beautiful, creative items there, and it's crazy that we get to join them 😊 So excited, and just a little nervous 😶
#shopsmall #marketgirlperth #mycreativebiz #makersbiz #smallbizreality #excitedbutnervous #handmadegifts #crochetteddy #amigurumi #keychain #thehandmadetribe #producttags

In the process of long overdue ironing I found $26 in my market apron. Now, that’s a great motivator! (Lovely custom apron by @dotandarmy & @peppermintlanga) #smallbizreality #handmade #marketseason #farmersmarket #inspireyourself #reclaimingmytime

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