Today I would like to introduce you to Heidi of The Blissful Stitcher.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I homeschool a 13-year-old, an 11-year-old and a five-year-old. They are both the biggest frustration and the greatest joy in my life.
I'm married to the man who was the high school boy I had a crush on in jr. high. We celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary this year.
I am an RN. Until spring of this year, I worked as an IV Therapist at a hospital near my home. I have worked as a nurse in IV therapy, medical-surgical and medical-telemetry units for nearly 10 years. In nursing school, I told anyone who would listen that I would not be working in a hospital. My life is full of such irony.
I have used various art mediums. My favorites are watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, beads, photography and embroidery. I hope to revisit watercolor in the next few months.
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How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business?
I started out making gifts. I suppose they were gifts I would like to receive. When customers began to order variations of these gifts, I was thrilled.
What is one of your favorite homeschool memories thus far?
I find it interesting that my favorite homeschool moment is tied to my least favorite. I took a few years to find the right math curriculum for my daughter. She struggled mightily with programs that had a spiral learning path. The first three programs we tried left us both hating math. Every time multiplication showed up on a lesson, she flailed, floundered, and fought against it. Since multiplication is such a foundational skill for all math, I finally found a curriculum that focused on teaching the why and how of multiplication before moving to more complex problems.
Half-way through the year, she came running to me with her math book. I was sure her news had nothing to do with the math because her face was shining. Before I could ask her why she was so happy, she burst out, "This REALLY WORKS! I can multiply sixes, and I know WHY!"
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What advice would you give to other homeschool families who are also trying to run a home business?
Set a specific time for marketing and crafting. I talked over my schedule with my husband. He had excellent insight. We decided I would "go to work" during specified hours. This reduced a number of problems we were having with household duty responsibilities and reduced the number of interruptions from bored children.
Marketing is a great big mystery to me. I am soaking up information from the etsy blog and from the examples of etsians I admire. I plan to have a discussion with my husband about my marketing plan. He is a great sounding board.
Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Ideas live in my head long before they become pieces. I'll tuck something into the back of my mind and save it for a while. I have a vast collection of embroidery designs of all kinds. I keep these designs in mind while going about my day. Add to this the rush I get from figuring out the solution to a design problem. The challenge may be maddening, but when the product comes to fruition, that high can carry me for a few weeks of crafter's block.
For my business, I want to use up and sell my current stock before I purchase more.
For our school, I would like to finish up a few subjects from last year before I purchase more.
Places to find Heidi
~ The Blissful Stitcher Blog
~The Blissful Stitcher Etsy Shop
~ Company Casuals
~All Photos and information in the post are used by permission.