Hi guys! I’d like you all to meet guest blogger Jac Zapatos of I.Am.Handmade.
Jac is a working mom and manages her own handmade doll business. If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, ya’ll know my soft-spot for anything handmade Jac and I were classmates in grade school and back then you can already tell that she has quite a creative streak about her. I’m glad we’ve managed to touch base throughout the years. Handmade dolls are her passion. Here’s her story:
Hi! I’m Mommy Jac and I run a little doll shop. I often get asked how I do it especially when I still have a 9-6 job and a toddler running around. The answer is, with great self and time management, plus letting go of full control. And did I mention I’m not great in either of them? A perfect example is right now. I’ve been procrastinating over my materials, dolls, the branding for the dolls, the workshop, business plan that it’s now February! A month has passed and I have not started work on a doll!
The difficulty with any start-up business is time. Then with handmade it’s that, plus the time to actually make things. It’s turning your hobby into a profit. Since it takes 3 to 4 hours to sew a doll then a couple more for clothes, profit can’t be your only motivation.
So how do I go over these moments? I just keep on sewing. I run a little theme song in my head like Dory’s song in Finding Nemo Instead of “Just keep swimming” mine is “Just keep sewing”. Then once the dolls start taking shape, I get that spark! I get excited to finish them and I end up loving them too much after, like last Christmas where i added crochet pieces to the dolls. It’s safe to say that I love sewing and making the dolls. That’s why I’m still doing what I do and trying to do more for this year.
No doll is ever alike even with patterns and measurements and that makes it fun! I even get surprised on how they turn out that I simply can’t just let a doll go. I make sure she has the necessary details before i send her off. The result are happy little girls whom I’m told can’t let go of their little dolls either.
I try to balance things as much as I could and whenever guilt from not being with my little boy hits, I stop sewing or alternate my weekends. If I’m doing stuff for the dolls one weekend, the next weekend I’ll free up so we can spend time together. It’s harder now to do especially now that he is in the stage where he always wants to be with me (a stage every mom loves and hates at the same time).
But like any business, the activities roll into a whole month’s worth of doll-making and art fairs. That’s when I’m learning to just let go. It’s in every woman’s DNA especially after being a mom, to take charge of the home. May it be on full homemaker-mode or the not so hands on approach…either way we orchestrate everything in the home.
I didn’t realize at first that i was doing this until it was getting crazy for everyone. So I let my hands go and asked my husband to step in. He has been my biggest handy helper. He can’t sew so instead I turn over the “keys to the house”. He and my son actually enjoys it when that happens especially the impromptu pizza breakfast, no bathing and in pajamas until after lunch. It’s like their pseudo-bonding time when I’m fully engaged at sewing.
The entire family is part of my handmade business. In their own way, they contribute to it. It may be by giving me time to lock-up in the sewing room or reminding me when to come out. Or just sewing in the living room so everyone is together while a movie is on.
We are all adapting to it. And since it’s all of us, that’s what will make it work!
So, have you fallen in love with her dolls yet? They are the most adorable things in the world I tell ya! Do follow Jac’s blog and like her Facebook page here. Also, for those who want to learn to make their own dolls, she is teaching a Waldorf-doll making class in Fully Booked on February 17. Details below.
And more good news to my readers, for my blogversary giveaway soon, I am giving away this precious Waldorf doll from I.Am.Handmade. Stay tuned for that.
Happy weekend everybody!