Monday, October 3, 2011

Interview With Karen of Sew Determined

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a Christian, homeschooling mom of four kids ages 17, 15, 13 and 11. This is my fourth year homeschooling, and it seems to get better and better! As with most things in my life, I seem to do things opposite of most everyone else! Seems many stop homeschooling for high school and that's when we started! It's been an eye opening and extremely rewarding experience for my children and me. I now only wished we had started from the beginning.

Before homeschooling, my children were disconnected. They loved each other, but didn't really ever play together. Separate lives so to speak. Once we started homeschooling, our whole family dynamics changed. We are now a very close knit family. I love knowing what's going on in their lives and sharing those experiences with them.

So who's the man behind the scenes? I am married to a wonderful husband who thankfully encourages me through all of my many whims and hobbies. In fact he's the one who got me started with sewing. Love him.

How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business?

I started creating and designing things as a child, but only started sewing when I was in my early 20's after my husband bought me a sewing machine. It was love at first stitch.
I have a close "relationship" with my seam ripper. One day after Christmas last year, I was using my friend the seam ripper and it gave me an idea to start a blog on sewing and crafting. I wanted it to be a "real" blog about my successes and failures of my sewing adventures. A blog to encourage others to not give up, but be determined to persevere, even if you sew the sleeve on backwards 3 times. While working on projects for my blog Sew Determined, my friends started asking me to make things for them. One thing led to another and that's how my Etsy shop "Call Me Cordelia" all started. It's still in in it's beginning stages and I'm slowly adding new things bit by bit. I enjoy sewing pretty, feminine things that I would love to have.

Ruffled Lemon Delight

What is one of your favorite homeschool memories thus far?

One of my favorite homeschool memories thus far has been our trip to Boston to walk the Freedom trail. We studied American History together as a family and it really brought all those biographies and stories to life. It was fantastic to hear the kids remembering all the things we had studied and to see them thoroughly engaged and interested.

What advice would you give to other homeschool families who are also trying to run a home business?

I am by no means a seasoned homeschooler or business woman, but my advice would be to put your family first and definitely keep a schedule for your business. That was my first mistake. Not keeping a schedule for my business. I tend to be a "free spirit" and that does not work for long. I've done a great deal of reading of others success stories and they all seem to have one thing in common. Order. Making a workable schedule and sticking to it.

My sewing studio

Our homeschool; the dining room table!

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

Red and Cream Toile Handbag

I am a huge fan of literature and I find my inspiration from the stories I read. For example, the name of my Etsy shop, Call Me Cordelia, is after Anne of Green Gables. If I'm feeling in a slump, I simply read one of my favorite classics and it always inspires me to make something I love. For example, I made this toile handbag after reading Sense and Sensibility.

Do you have specific goals for your business or for your homeschooling? Would you share some of those with us?

One of my goals is to have my business become more of a family affair. My youngest daughter loves to help me, but I would really enjoy having all of my children participate in the creative process one way or the other. Being an entrepreneur is a wonderful way to teach hands-on "school" to your children.

My other specific goals include, growing my blog, gaining FB and twitter exposure and really learning how to schedule my time to it's fullest.