Uta Sews

Inspiration.Lives.Here


2 Comments

Really inspired: I am an Entrepreneur!

Happy December!

You are probably wondering what happened? Well, aside from staying on top of making and promoting holiday pieces and sharing them on my instagram, etsy shop and facebook page ( If you haven’t checked it out yet you should 🙂 ) I had my second and final speaker event of the year. I know right. Your girl is getting out in the community! Spread the word….lol hahah …okay..no..don’t..lol…alright..spread the word! 🙂

Screenshot_20181205-100700.jpg

Photo by: LOVE.DESIGN.ETC

The opportunity presented itself for me to be a panelist in a women’s entrepreneurial initiative at a community organization in Toronto. I basically sat with 5 other women who are at different stages of their businesses to answer questions around being an entrepreneur. The discussion was aimed at encouraging and offering insight to these budding entrepreneurs that just completed half of their training in getting start up.

What could I offer? Getting over my own fears and insecurities.

Seriously guys I wasn’t sure it was the forum for me initially. I was basically questioning whether or not I had something to offer that was tangible to this group. As you all know my business/side hustle has always been competing with either being at work full time or the last two years of being a full time grad student. I was either the Project Manager or the student with a business. However, having completed school and not currently working full time while I explore my options, guess what remains and is a fact? I am an entrepreneur. Whether my business is where I want it to be or not does not change the fact that I am an entrepreneur. I mean for crying out loud my business name is registered. hahahah

All that is to say is that I had to get over my fears real quick and get with this event because I needed to be there and be present fully knowing that I did have something to offer. My 3.5 years of business has definitely been a learning curve and I am still learning, growing and figuring a lot out.

IMG-20181207-WA0001.jpg

Amshina sweater dress: My Outfit of the day

At the end of the day

I was all pumped and feeling extremely grateful. The other panelists were amazing and the future entrepreneur women offered so much insight and reflection for me that was out of this world. I have never sat and talked about my business in such detail – sharing and reflecting on past experiences. It felt great. I felt grateful to share my challenges and successes with these creative minds and be empowered by their stories as well. The lonely road of entrepreneurship sometimes causes us to forget that there is support within the creative community once we tap into it.

IMG_2645.jpg

End of event photo

I trust in 2019 I can do more events like this where I can share and be encouraged at the same time. I am excited and inspired about the next year of business. There are so many ideas that I am writing down since this event that starting now seems to be the best time instead of waiting until January 1st. 🙂

PS: I made this dress for the event. I used my drafted cardigan pattern and a stretch knit material to create this. It has two pockets. :). My good old boucle scarf was a hit and went well with my look!

Blessings until next time.

Uta

Advertisements


2 Comments

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


Leave a comment

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


2 Comments

What’s next?

Happy September!

edf

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


4 Comments

A Pop up shop: Summer treats!

Hi Guys!

It’s a monthly check in :).

I trust you all have been having an awesome summer. If not, its not too late to make some summer memories :).

Hubby and I enjoying one of the outdoor fest! 🙂 My look: Amshina original Maxi

It’s been busy, busy, busy bee, on my end. I mean…where did the time go?Seriously though! Anywho, I have been working on all sort of fun projects throughout the summer. I will share these makes before the fall sewing gets too deep! The dress in the above photo was a new addition to the summer wardrobe for me. More dresses! 🙂

🙂 Moi

I am here to tell you about an upcoming pop up booth I will be having in Toronto on this Sunday 26th August and share some of those goodies I enjoyed making for this event. This is not my first pop up at the Kensington flea. I was actually there back in July this year. This flea is part of the pedestrian Sunday that takes place in Kensington Market in the downtown core of Toronto. A mix of tourists and summer loving people enjoying the festivities of a great neighbourhood in the city. There is a array of food and creative vendors like myself that add to this day in the city.

Last year was the first time I ventured into this pop up community with the Kensington Flea and it was a success. I met some amazing clientele and vendors and was of course inspired and encouraged to return yet another year. Like last year I was able to meet some great people in the market last month and I am looking forward to connecting with like minds yet again at this Sunday’s flea.

If you are in the city please feel free to stop by. There is a handmade goodie for everyone.

The creative sewing chronicles continues. If you are not yet logged on, follow me over on instagram @amshina for daily and weekly updates.

Blessings until next time!

UtavZ