Sunday, January 2, 2011

Things I have learned - #1 Find your Passion

I have been making bags for about 4 years and selling them since October of 2007. One of the things that inspired me to make this my profession was being encouraged to read books about finding and following your passion. At the time, I set a goal of being able to quit my day job in 3-4 years. As many of you know, I am quite goal oriented so after setting that goal, I had to make mini goals to keep my dream alive. I recently felt it was time to take the plunge and "practice without a net", the net of another income! So here I am in a new year, with renewed passion and determination.

I feel that finding your passion in life is so important. You don't have to make it your profession. Maybe you love to knit. DO IT. Maybe you love to cook. COOK FOR ME! Maybe you love children. BORROW ONE! Just kidding...but seriously, find something that brings you joy, peace or satisfaction and go for it!

When you are passionate about something, you are moved to find out more about it. For me, I wanted to learn how to make a better bag. I still have a couple of my first attempts that I may dare to share with you one day, but they were NOT good. They were limp and very "homemade" looking. Not a good thing! So my next stop was the Salvation Army. I went to thrift stores and bought bags made out of a variety of materials from leather to canvas that I took apart to see what made them more professional looking than mine. I discovered probably the most important feature in bag after bag. I will go into more detail about this feature in a future "Things I have learned", but let me just say one word, "Stabilizer". I noted where the bags were stabilized and figured out why.

Some gals would have just bought a pattern and learned from that. Well, I tried that as well, but I swear, I don't do well with other people's patterns. The drawings confuse me and I seem to spend more time reading and rereading the instructions than actually sewing! I guess I am one of those who learn best by doing!

When you have a passion that you also want to make into your profession, it isn't good enough to know how to make it. You also have to know who would want to buy it and how to get your product out there. In the early days, I spent hours and hours on the internet reading forums, blogs, and tutorials. I loved to read the stories of how other people built their little empires. Those stories also served to keep my dream alive.
In this new year, I challenge everyone to find and pursue your passion. Who knows where it will lead you?

a hui hou

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