Friday, July 6, 2012

Scratching That Itch (Watch Out, it Could Be Contagious)

Inspiration comes from weird sources; any artist, writer, or musician knows that. I have gotten inspiration from some doozies of places before- meditations, dreams, necessity, boredom.

This one may top it off, though.

Hubby got me addicted to the show 'Weeds'. For those that aren't familiar, it's about a suburban mom who sells weed to keep up her lap of luxury after her husband suddenly drops dead. That's how it starts, and slowly Nancy finds herself dealing with gangsters and mafia, growing weed, making deals with the DEA, all kinds of crazy stuff.

When I say I'm addicted, Hubby got me to watch an episode this past weekend, and I'm already half way through season 5... that's a lot of 'Weeds' watching.

It's in this show that I've found some inspiration. No, I'm not going to be turning into a suburban mom who makes weed the family business, don't worry. But, it's made me want to do something. What that something is, I haven't quite figured out yet, but the itch has started.

This type of thing happens to me every so often, and while I love it and ride the inspiration wave until it ends, Hubby hates it. No, no, not even hates, I'm sure Hubby loathes it. We've been through this so much in the last 10 years, separated or not, that when I say, 'I have an itch', he knows there's no telling what will come out of my mouth next.

It started about 8 years ago when we lived in England and well, I got bored. I was going to craft fairs
in the villages and on the base, and I realized that my mom could buy stuff for me at the discount stores in the states, mail it to me, I'd arrange it in a gift basket, mark the price up, and sell them to the other bored military wives, and to the locals, who would be getting an amazing deal because of the exchange rate at the time.

It worked, and worked quite well for a while. I even was hired to make a welcome basket for an incoming squadron commander. All fine and dandy until I was selling out of certain baskets and left with others for what seemed like forever. I did some research and realized it would be cheaper for me to make the items in the baskets that were selling like hotcakes- the spa baskets and the foot care basket.

That's when the big venture started. I researched raw ingredients, suppliers, recipes, etc, and decided to make all natural bath and beauty products- no chemicals, no bad stuff whatsoever, to go into the baskets. I prepared for a big craft fair coming up, and after all of the baskets were made, I had a few jars of foot cream and foot fizzies left over as extras. I slapped price tags on them and went to the show... where I sold out of the extra items, the natural skin care baskets, spa baskets, and foot care baskets... in 2 days, sold out.

Actual products I made; this was a merchandise stage for
the website... I miss it!
I began producing the items in bigger batches, lost the gift baskets aspect altogether, sold at craft fairs and even did a few home parties. I continued to read about all natural ingredients, experimenting with recipes, expanding my product line, doing test studies- I had an all natural stretch mark cream that one woman bought off of me in bulk because she sent a jar to her mom in the states, and the woman swore it practically erased her stretch marks in a month. I'm not sure how accurate that was, but when we got our orders to go back to the states, I know that woman was quite upset I wouldn't be delivering stretch mark cream anymore.

When we got settled back in the states, I didn't wait long. Within a few months I had an actual store front open (it was the size of a walk in closet, don't get too excited), but instead of focusing on the natural bath and beauty products (I tried it, and the states were slightly behind Europe in the organic/all natural movement; this was 7 years ago; I was ahead of my time, damnit), I took $500 and bought new age inventory- you know, candles, incense, herbs, fairies, dragons, that stuff.

My new age store ran for about 3 years, in the Bible Belt, which I prided myself. We expanded twice from that walk-in closet (out of necessity once- I was kicked out of the first location because of what my store was- a 'devil worship' shop, according to the first owner), and it was the second expansion that killed it. That, and the fact that I had started tattooing and one of the two women that I put in charge of the shop was stealing customers behind my back and using my wholesale accounts to order her own stuff and sell out of her house.

Ha! I sound like Nancy now.

My store closed 3 years ago, and I miss it. I had just started making the all natural bath and beauty products again before it closed, so I was getting back to my roots with it. But, I miss being my own boss, helping people, providing customers with a service or product that improves their lives. I'll admit it here, now- I miss that more than tattooing. Don't get me wrong, I miss creating art on people, but I'm a retail girl, a sales person, a one-on-one customer service business person. Been in retail management since I was 19; it's hard to let that part of me go, and I was damn good at it.

So now I'm a stay at home mom again, sitting around watching Weeds, and that itching has started. I'm not sure what I'll do about it this time. I'm mentioned to Hubby, in passing, that if I got back into making all natural bath and beauty products, I could probably start with $100 in raw products and turn it around pretty quickly.

Holy crap, I really do sound like a drug dealer, don't I? It's all business, right? Whether you are a mom selling weed or natural beauty products, it takes the same motivation and business practices... except for the fact that I wouldn't head to jail for pushing my refreshing foot cream on people.

An original of mine, including the quote. It says, 
"The key to unlock a secret door
must be handled with care, love and strength,
 for what is held inside
is not for the faint of heart"
Now I just have to figure out what to do about the itch, now that it's started. Sometimes I can bake my way out of the itch, or sketch, or glue stuff to canvas (I call it art), or do crafts with the kids, and that satisfies it. It's hard to fully explain what the itch is... to help others, to provide a product or service to people, to make things... I don't really know. But, it's there, and at the moment I can't even scratch it. All of my supplies for making bath products, jewelry, gluing stuff to canvas, hell even scrapbooking, are in storage right now. I do know, though, that this isn't a grand scale itch like it was when we moved back from the states. I wanted to own a store, I knew that then. That was my goal. I don't want to do something that big again; just something to take up my time during the day.

So for now, I'm going to finish catching up on 'Weeds', and maybe jot down some ideas here and there to try and pinpoint this inspiration itch, and if need be, figure out a way to pitch an idea to Hubby. Hold on, he reads my blog... damnit, idea pitched I guess. For all I know, this itch will be satisfied when I break things and glue them back together on a table top like I told Hubby I wanted to do the other day. Yes, it's called mosaic, but I call it amazing, creative stress relief.

There's always my natural bath and beauty products, too. I still have the recipes, and now the states have caught up to the European trend, so practically everyone is on the all natural kick these days. Hmmm, more to think about.

Now is y'alls chance to help motivate me! If you have an etsy store (or other online crafty store) post your link below; I don't steal ideas from people, don't worry, but I do love seeing other people's creativity; it motivates me to get off of my ass and do my own thing. Or, if you know of a site or store that isn't yours, post it below!

I need to figure out whether to scratch the itch or put some ointment on it and hope it goes away. Hubby would vote for the latter; my kids probably the former because they are just as bored as me during the day. Damn itches...

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  1. Make the magic stretch mark cream. I need it. Thank you.

    1. Still thinking about doing that. It'd be exciting to get back into it. =)

  2. I love that you have the itch and are searching for building something you are passionate about....think about what would make you happy, build on that and GO FOR IT. I'm so interested to see where you go with this.

    I'm on my own "ITCH" adventure these days and keepin it low key for the moment. Life is good.


    1. I'm narrowing it down slowly, lol. Hubby wants me to paint flowerpots for us, which I think is awesome!

      Good luck with your own 'itch' lol.

  3. OK, I had to come back and repost on this to tell you, I , now hooked on this Weeds myself. Working on Season 3 tonight now that I have all the 3rd shifters out of the house and the tween is off to her room and headed to bed soon. LOL Just wanted to say...."THANKS"...LOL

    1. You're welcome! LOL. It's an amazing show!! =)

  4. your blog is amazing. new follower!