Ole Little Red Bird

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This project has been on my mind for a looooooonnnnngggg time! This is not a finished project and will never be finished. It will hopefully be an ongoing process that I keep around for way longer than I’ve been thinking about it. I opened a shop on Etsy recently. For years people have told me that I should try to sell things on Etsy. I have really been intrigued by the process of this online marketplace since I first heard about it when I was in college. There were so many parts of it that seemed so simple, but there were other things that made me feel very apprehensive. Shipping scared me, and it still does. I think it might take me a while to figure out the best way for me, but living approximately 2 minutes from the post office eases my nerves a little bit. Then there is also always nerves about how people will receive your creations. Will they be good enough to sell? Will people like them? Will they be comparable to other sellers items, but be unique enough to be purchased? Will they be priced fairly? etc…… I think those fears will probably never totally go away for any artisan. I have also really, really had to think about the finances of this thing and what was the best way to keep up with everything and make the most of what I had. I know all the kinks aren’t worked out and I’m sure I will find unseen problems along the way, but it’s a process, not a final project.

After I finally convinced myself (with a little help from some people who love me) that this was a good idea I had to figure out exactly what I wanted to sell. I’m a little bit all over the place with what I like to make. I bounce around and try all different kinds of projects, so I had to dig deep and determine what craft I would be willing to repeat over and over for a period of time and not get bored or want to abandon.

Ta-da I chose up-cycled children’s clothing. Up-cycling is economical for cost of goods, it’s good for the environment because you are using someone else’s waste, and it constantly forces creativity. This way I would not technically ever have to make the same thing more than once, and if you’ve been around enough you know I get tired of making the same thing over and over again. It’s also a constantly evolving field with trends changing seasonally so I will have wiggle room to create lots of things. I do hope that this grows and evolves and becomes more than just children’s clothing and accessories, but for now I think it’s a good place for me to be in.

Next I needed a name. Maybe that didn’t happen totally next but it did eventually have to happen. I ended up with “Ole Little Red Bird”. There is a song called “Winter’s Come and Gone” and it starts like this:

Oh, little red bird come to my window sill Been so lonesome, shaking that morning chill Oh, little red bird open your mouth and say Been so lonesome, just about flown away

So long now I’ve been out In the rain and snow But winter’s come and gone A little bird told me so

I love this folk song for many reasons. It always seems to give me comfort if I’m feeling bad about anything because it’s a reminder that you can move on from whatever is happening. The red bird brings good news of times changing. In some round about way it can be applied to my clothing too because the old worn clothing/fabrics are gone and are turned into new items just like the winter turns into the beautiful new spring. With the combination of lyrics from this song and conversation with my sister the name became “Ole Little Red Bird”. Just think of a fat old red bird bringing you good news and good clothes.

I had been collecting supplies for a while now so I did some more shopping and started creating. I would wake up early and stay up late washing supplies, making patterns, researching, and sewing. All these cute little things were starting to appear in my house, but I still had other things to do.
Luckily my sister and her husband are really great friends with an amazing Graphic Designer/Artist. I had ideas of what I wanted, but he made them amazing. After a few emails with poorly drawn and cut and paste art he created this banner for the top of my Etsy shop.
red bird banner

He also created this button, which ended up being the tags in my clothes.

Little Red Bird Sticker

They make fabric that you can print on. How freaking cool is that?  I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but I’m guessing it’s at multiple craft stores. That is what I used to make the tags and then I sewed them into the clothing.

red bird tag

There is my tag in a skirt. I was so extremely proud after I sewed this first one in. It seemed so official and professional. It felt more like a real thing at this point than it did at any other time.

I still have have so much to do, or that can be done. I still have items that haven’t been listed or photographed. I’ve already started thinking about what I need to make for the fall season, and I think I’m behind on that part. This is just a side thing, but and important side thing. A side thing that makes me smile really big. I do wish I could be a little more super girl like and do 500 things at once. Or maybe I need a time travel device so I could keep going back and giving myself extra work time. The thing thats good about Etsy is that you can have as much or as little in your shop as you want, so I don’t feel as pressured with needing inventory right this moment.

Please wish me luck and hope that people will buy my stuff. It might seem like junk to some people, but I think it’s very cute junk! I’m very thankful to all the people who pushed me to do this!

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