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Trimming the Fat & Allocating time!

Hey Everybody,

It’s me again. Bringing to you an update on all things sewing over here in Uta land. I hope the month of November has been good to you and that as you continue to press in to those year end goals and plans that things materialize. These end of month salutations are becoming a thing with me eh. I figure I can save you the rabble in-between and catch you at the end of the month. I plan to do better in 2019. At least two post a month. What do you think?

Snip,Snip: Trimming the Fat

So about my caption…lol its not a weight-loss post ( that’s another story..lol). Rather it’s a self and life evaluating season that I am intentionally pursuing to gain momentum and clarity concerning my business, life and career. 🙂 A reset and recharge.

This is really all about the noise. You know, the distractions, that have a way of creeping into our day from the moment we open our eyes. Whether it’s the news, emails, messages, procrastination, social media…etc. whatever it may be for you. Trimming the fat is looking closer at the things that are not adding value to your overall purpose. This will take some time of course but November was dedicated to starting that process for me.

Allocating time: Pursuing and feeding that which is enriching your life!

This speaks for itself. We have to be intentional about how we spend our time and looking at those things that are also stealing our time? Can you identify some of the things that are stealing your time? Are there things you have been carrying from month to month hoping to get done and are still lagging? Maybe this is just me?

Now we know time is not promised to anyone and really getting things done when they need to be should be our goal and focus. What this means is that in everything we do we are to bring and be our best selves and not half hearted. So in my allocating and trimming the fat I am being more intentional than ever before today and not tomorrow.

What have I done lately?

I examined what I am feeding myself spiritually on a daily basis, what I am eating ( I have done lots more healthy cooking and eating this month), I literally cleaned out my closet and got rid of a few bags of clothing and shoes, I cleaned up my entire apartment with the help of hubby of course…lol, took almost three weeks break off instagram to refocus on my business goals and some sewing ( I know…. November was not a crazy month of sewing at all, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have done any of the above goals..lol). Here are some of the meals below!

Roasted veggies, Plantains and Bean and P-Choy Chilli

Butternut Squash Carrot Coconut Soup with Avocado

Bell Peppers and Homemade Humus!

Closet Organization!

Now I don’t want this post to be super long but I did want to pop by and give you guys and update on where I am at. Indeed the intentional focus continues as I consider where I want my business to be in 2019 and where I want my career to be. These are not overnight decisions, so time will tell.

PS: I won’t be participating in any Christmas Markets this year but I will be doing more online promotions of handmade gift ideas you can grab from Amshina as well as Holiday looks. I am working on some limited Christmas pieces. I will share a post on each category as I share them on instagram and my shop. Stay Tune! Here’s a peak!

Gift Ideas

Thanks for stopping by. What are you up to as we enter December? Are there any major things you are working on for yourself? Do share how you keep motivated in meeting your year end goals. The sewing chronicles continue.

Bless

UtavZ

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October what!!!: End of month salutations!

Happy October end Everyone!😊

I trust your month was off to a great start and that as you close out this month you feel very accomplished in those things you set out to do. If you didn’t meet those goals like me…..well guess what? It’s not the end of the world!😊

In the spirit of not letting a month go by without a blogpost I have gathered all energies to make sure I get at least one post in before October ends! Just when I thought I couldn’t do it I felt motivated and inspired by a fellow blogger who posted inspite feeling like she didn’t have anything to say! So here goes a little catch up for the month of October on all things sewing, the business and life as I know it.

Post market review

The last post if you remember was all about the Etsy Made in Canada Show held in Toronto on Sept 29, my first appearance at this show. Guys it was all that. I felt well received and enjoyed the fun filled day of a worldwind of faces. Old and many new people came to my colourful booth to bask in the pieces. I was super proud of the hard work prepping for this show. While I didn’t know what to expect I felt putting my best foot forward always wins the day! I did just that. Here are some photos that captured the day!

Life update

Graduation finally happened! Most of you who are following me on instagram might have seen my little video or pictures to capture the moment. It was great to have friends and family supporting me that day. It has been some journey and even with last Saturday’s graduation over I am still processing it all. I guess these things take time.😂😁 Of course for graduation I wanted to make a new dress. If you are following me on instagram you would have seen I changed it last minute to a knit dress. The dress was a mash up of my Dashiki dress with the LOL Cardigan sleeves. I think it came out great. What do you think? I added the extra details in the neck for some style. Here goes:

What’s next for Amshina?

Well, believe it or not November is upon us which means the holidays are near. I intend to be on the ball with presenting handmade gift ideas as well as trying to get into one Christmas market this year. I have my eyes on two. Applications go out this week. Hoping I get into the one of my choice. I have been busy updating my shop with new items for the fall. So if you haven’t stopped by recently, go check it out. http://www.etsy.com/shop/amshinaapparel

There are a few business goals I have not been able to meet so far that I am still hoping to scratch the surface of before the year is out. I will be focusing on these. This includes updating and creating a system for inventory tracking, clearing out my work in progress pile, reviewing my business plan and updating it. There’s more but these three are big on the list for me. These along with the holiday sewing are my focus for now. I am also making plans for the first quarter of 2019 all ready! God spare! 😊

I would encourage you to really attack the last few months of the year. It’s key that you press in and not be distracted by what didn’t happen. Like me, identify those key things you still want to pursue and go after them. It’s never too late. Be encouraged that your perseverance is cheering someone else on! Have a great day! God bless!See you back in November.

God bless

Uta vZ


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Showtime: Etsy Made in Canada, Toronto

Hi Guys,

Happy Friday! Just me popping by to say hello as promised and to give you the update that I am still working away at meeting my market goals for tomorrow. Can you believe it. It’s Friday already! Like… how did we get here?

Don’t mind the screen shot image above. I couldn’t figure out the crop mode on the blog app. Hahaha. I am typing on the go.

Nevertheless, I am plowing away at the machines. The show is tomorrow and I am almost ready you can say. I am not feeling stressed or anything but the pressure is on. I have a few more makes for today and then later in the evening it’s the ironing and packing and all that good stuff. ( Any volunteers…lol ) I know you all would if you were closer! Thanks in advance. 🙂

It’s definitely been a crazy week for me. Productive I might add. In between the show prep I also created three pieces for a client who is travelling soon. So that was added to my already show pile of makes. I worked on two gorgeous skirts and a tunic. Here’s a quick look at one.

Thoughts in the midst of the show prep

I was reflecting as I wrapped up last evening how much goes into running a business like mine. In my case it’s mainly just me doing mostly everything. The fabric store runs, the fabric prep, the stash maintenance, staying on top of my expenses and invoicing, social media stuff, shop updates and maintenance, emails to name a few. Let’s not forget all the sewing and design. The main thing😂. I truly enjoy some tasks in their own way. Some I would gladly delegate… lol. I must also give credit to my husband who is key in helping me stay on track with my lists and who checks in when I start to flutter around the apartment like a butterfly. hahahah. Thanks love. He is my silent helper, he doesn’t know it..lol.. I am thankful for those lists and the opportunity to turn the living room upside down during market preparations. Perhaps one day I will dedicate a post to document just how crazy my multitasking skills are when I have a market! The flow, stresses, the sewing and the drama of it all.

Basically mid week I had to revisit the plan for makes and be realistic about what was possible and what I had to save for another date. So I had to do some process of elimination. In the end I am happy with what I committed to get done and am working at doing just that. My goal with markets is to really have a variety for different customer needs. As well, since we just switched seasons here in Canada, adding some fall pieces are key. I have added the new product I will tell you about below, infinity scarves, some new maxi skirts in gorgeous prints, my funky wax print key fobs, some t- shirts for men with wax print details, coin purses, shoe bags, new satin pillow cases ( Queen size), new pencil skirts, the knit version of the dashiki dress, rayon maxi dresses, culottes etc…. 🙂 See why you need to come if you are in Toronto tomorrow.

New Product Alert!

I am super excited to introduce a new item to the Amshina pieces, the ‘LOL’ Cardigan. The name is all in the sleeves. 😊 This style of sleeve is also known as “Leg of Lamb”. I know it’s hilarious. Not what I had in mind but the acronym just speaks laughter so for now I like LOL 😊. The full name is a bit much. Here goes.

Initially, I wanted to do a fall kimono as seen in the photo below.

I made that sample for myself.:) While I think its a great idea and I will do custom orders if needed, I felt that in my style of function and fit I preferred a longer sleeves cardigan that allowed me to bunch it up at the elbows and be all preppy and stuff. So I revisited the design and opted for this look instead which organically came about. It was developed as I created the pattern and design. Just like that I have an awesome function staple to add to my pieces and my own pattern to add that works :). These will be exclusively available tomorrow at the show.

Limited quantities of course but as always custom orders can be taken once I am able to source new knits. I absolutely love these. I am happy the way they turned out and can’t wait to add them to my shop year round in other fun heavyweight and lightweight knits and prints.

Okay folks, as you can imagine it’s a packed Friday for me and I want to make use of the time so I can be wide eyed and bushy tail for tomorrow. ( Haven’t used that expression in a minute..hahahah). Have an amazing Friday and weekend ahead. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you.

I can’t wait to pop by again in October and bring you up to date with my sewing and entrepreneurial adventures. The chronicles continues! Stay tuned.

Bless

UtavZ


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What’s next?

Happy September!

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September also means that we are approaching a change in season ( For those who live in countries that have all four seasons…:) ) . I am looking ahead! There’s a newness about this month that literally feels like a new leaf has turned. This is exactly the same sentiment I am feeling at the moment. 🙂

It feels weird to not have grad school. This time last year I started my final year of grad school and was fully entrenched in my thesis proposal work. I can safely say I miss school. Despite the emotional roller coaster that ended smoothly ( Thank God), I miss that crazy adrenaline rush of the new semester and the commuting. 🙂 However the show must go on. In an attempt to take it easy and recover from the academic rush I am dedicating my time to working on my handmade business and blog to bring it up to the place I want it to be. I know that takes a lot of work and time. Despite feeling I am not where I want to be I know that even with the small efforts of the work I put in during the summer I am getting there :). I think the two opportunities I am about to share with you speaks to that growth so far. Both opportunities encourages me to press on and keep building. One step at a time! Here goes.

Opportunity one!

Screenshot_20180906-000007You guys!!!!!! I am so excited. You don’t even know. I mean I know it’s another pop up opportunity ( Meaning I have to work my bum off the next few weeks to prep and then spend an entire day of selling and meeting fabulous people…phew)but its major. It’s major because I have applied two years in a row and didn’t get in. So that’s a big deal right? I didn’t give up this year even though I knew there was a possibility of not getting in. This is a juried show which means that hundreds apply and only a few get in. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to having my pieces there. 🙂

So you know whats next…. Sew, sew, sew, sew! I have already made a plan for the pieces I will have to add to what I already have in stock. I will be adding some new infinity scarves, fall and winter pencil skirts, shrugs, some holiday pieces etc. This event is known for attracting a lot of shoppers looking for unique handmade pieces as well as gifts so if you are in Toronto do check out this event at the MARS Discovery District.

I have two weeks to add those new pieces as I curate the garments and accessories I will have available. Wish me all the best! I will pop by the last week of the show to give you an update on all the pieces I was able to add and how plans are coming along.

Opportunity two!

toronto.poster.final

My awesome friend Carla Beharry who has dedicated countless hours to community capacity building work around health and wellness, mindfulness, HIV/AIDS prevention work and business coaching with others in communities locally and internationally has organized an amazing event highlighting the challenges and resilience in diverse women in Toronto and Waterloo regarding social and racial injustice within our society. Tickets available here This Ted talk like forum will feature women from various backgrounds in community work, fashion, fitness, health and wellness who will share their stories and experiences to empower each other in an evening filled with hope and resilience. Guess who gets to be apart of it? Moi! I was very anxious when she asked me to be one of the speakers at first. I mean I do have a lot I can talk to about challenges but also a lot about hope and resilience in the face of those challenges. So I accepted! 🙂 This is also a great opportunity to connect my research from my recently completed thesis at the community level to give back. I am looking forward to connecting with like minds.

Both opportunities couldn’t have come at a better time. The focus these days are dedicated to building my handmade business but also getting involved in community work at another level. 🙂

That’s a wrap for now! Thanks for stopping by. As  always, thanks for coming along my sewing and entrepreneurial journey!

The creative chronicles continues!

Bless

UtavZ


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It’s been 3 months: I am back!!

It’s been a minute everyone!

As always, I want to thank you for sticking around these past empty months here on my blog :). I know some of you follow me over on instagram so you would have seen some updates on there during this time. Thank you, thank you! For those close to me you are definitely aware of me completing graduate school these past few months. Yahoooo!!! 🙂 It is finished!

I can’t begin to tell you the story and journey of the past few months of grad school. It would take way too long a post. Things were crazy I tell you. Lots of reading, writing, researching, review, edits, edits, more edits and so on. However, on May 17th I successfully defended my Masters Thesis in Social Work and pass with flying colours!!!! Woot Woot!! God knows, it was something else.

At my thesis defence 🙂 May 17th 2018

It was no joke. It was by far one of the most difficult moments and times in my education journey to date. No graduation pictures to show you yet of my actual convocation, that will be in the Fall this year :).

I won’t bore you with the details of my journey and turn this into the most lengthy post you have read but I am so thankful to be finished. I am sure in between posts over the next few months I will share some of those stories. Encouragement came from near and far and I am so grateful. The past two years have not been easy but by God’s amazing grace I made it and I am still processing everything.

Sewing and my business

During this time I did do some sewing for my business and myself for sure. It didn’t take me long to realize I had to take a break as my research was calling for me to focus and really get into it during these final months. The sewing in between was handy. It was like my own therapy! SEWTHERAPY!! 🙂 I made some awesome pieces. I will share them with you over the next few months. Picking up where I left off as I get prepared for a few summer markets and business promotion of my products. Wish me well! 🙂

A dress I made 🙂

What’s next?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips I meet. To be honest I am still processing everything and deciding which direction I want to head in. No rush! In the meantime I just returned from a mini vacay with hubby from Cancun, Mexico. It was a great gift and break and I was so grateful to my family members that made it possible! THANK YOU!!!! We appreciate and love you!!

Vacation in Mexico…..A day tour to Tulum! The top I am wearing is an Amshina piece!

Anywho! It’s great to be back in blog land. Every time I am away I feel like I am starting over again. I am sure anyone can be discouraged by that, yet here I am turning a new leaf. I am down for the task and will definitely keep at it.

I trust you all will stay with me on this creative journey. I hope to dedicate more time to refining and fine tuning my creative business and sewing skills over the next year with new inspiration and goals. Research has definitely influenced me these past two years and I am excited to take my blogging to the next level.

So stay tuned as always!

If you are not following me yet, hop over to instagram @amshina or my facebook page @amshinaapparel for daily updates. 🙂

God Bless!

UtavZ