Uta Sews

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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. πŸ™‚

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 thingπŸ˜‚. 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…. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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!

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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 hereΒ 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! πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

That’s a wrap for now! Thanks for stopping by. AsΒ  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!!! πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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!! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

A dress I made πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

God Bless!

UtavZ