Today I’m taking a moment to look back at what I’ve accomplished in 2012. Overall this has been a busy, productive and positive year and for that I’m very grateful.
In 2012 I did a bunch of writing and a whole lot of designing, made connections with new people in the industry, taught classes, made a few people angry at me, sought out new opportunities and got a bunch of them, made some excellent friends, and worked really hard doing what I love.
I’ve been designing toys, trying to sell them, and writing this blog for nearly eight years now, but this is my first “year in review” post. Here goes!
I wrote 149 blog posts on While She Naps. Here are the top five most popular posts on my blog this year:
In 2012 I completed the transformation of what I do from a hobby to a full-fledged business. Abby Glassenberg Design is now incorporated. I now have a business checking account, I’ve made things official with the state, and I’ve officially separated my business finances from my personal finances for good. And I broke down and started a Facebook page.
Check out my nifty logo!
In March I turned in my manuscript for my second book, edited and re-edited many proofs, and celebrated as my book went to press. I can’t wait to show it to you in May!
I licensed a set of softie patterns to Simplicity this year. They’ll be out as a pattern envelope in May and I can’t wait! This kind of licensing means that my patterns will be in national chain stores like Wal-Mart and JoAnn’s.
This year I designed and self-published 23 sewing patterns. I cleared out my Etsy shop and restocked it with digital PDFs of my patterns. I’ve made over 530 sales this year and my Etsy shop is now a significant source of my income. Self-publishing patterns also allowed me to begin selling on other websites. My patterns are for sale in my Craftsy pattern shop, on Sew, Mama, Sew!, and on the Pink Chalk Fabrics website. And selling patterns has made my business truly profitable. Hooray!
I did quite a lot of teaching this year. I taught more than 60 people to use their sewing machines as part of my group and private Getting To Know Your Sewing Machine classes here in Wellesley, MA. This culminated in self-pubishing my first ebook, A Teacher’s Guide to Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine. This is the first product available for purchase right here on the blog, which is exciting. I also taught a “Design Your Own Stuffed Animal” class at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA. And I created a workshop for Craftsy on making a Humpty Dumpty doll.
Poor guy is a bit bloated.
Some favorite design projects of 2012 included making a custom constipated teddy bear for a pharmaceutical add, designing my first inside-out toys and my first set of puppets, and collaborating on a project with one of my favorite soft sculpture makers. I also created display pieces for National Nonwovens’ booth at spring Quilt Market and contributed two projects to a forthcoming collaborative book.
The more you do the more you risk failure and I’ve had my share of that this year, too. I had a project rejected by Stitch magazine. I joined and was subsequently expelled from the Etsy Plush Team for trying to make changes that the team wasn’t at all interested in making. There are other rejections, but they’re still sore so I’ll have to wait to share them once I’ve moved past them further. I can say, though, that for all of these things, I’m glad I tried.
Video has become a part of my social media presence this year. I participated in a live video chat hosted by Sister Diane about effective blogging for handmade businesses and I recorded video chats with the CEO of Goodsie and with Stan Smith, a leading social media expert. I also took my first online class, Monetizing Your Craft Blog with Sister Diane, which was excellent.
I’ve got big plans for 2013 and I couldn’t be more excited to continue designing, writing, and interacting with all of you. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and emails this year, for your support and encouragement and feedback. You guys are awesome.
Cheers to an amazing new year of making, sharing, supporting one another, and reporting the reality of handmade. Thank you!