Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday season, enjoy the time with family

I always feel I don't have enough time to finish what I need to to every day. It seems 24hours is never enough for me to finish my to-do-list. When holiday seasons, it even becomes more crazy, but I try to learn how to enjoy my life without too much stress and keep this dress making business going well.

In the morning I will take an hour to do yoga and one hour study Spanish. Of course I am a housewife, I need to make 3 lovely meals a day and clean the house very well. Then I take all afternoon and evening time working on my dresses! I have a goal to create something unique and beautiful every day, even if I don't have full day time to do it. But I learnt how to manage my time. The first thing in the morning when I wake up, I turn on my computer and relist some of the dresses and give a quick check of all my etsy conversations, it normally takes 5-10 minutes. Then I shut down my computer for all day until later in the night before I go to bed. I find it's so easy to forget about time when I sit in front of the computer and start to work on my shop, blogs and learn news about fashion and design. I have 3 new orders I need to finish within 3 weeks time, I can't spend too much time on computer! So I learned only turn it on for 10 minutes in the morning, and later in the night before I go to bed I need to reply emails and etsy conversations.  When I try to make dresses, I don't like to be disturbed, so I turn off my phone, turn off computer, put on light relaxed music. Sometimes I can finish a new dress in one day, but sometimes it might take me a whole week to work on one dress. I like to focus on one dress at a time, so when I work on a new dress, I put away all the other dresses and fabrics, only display everything I need for this new dress. In this way I am able to make 10-15 dresses in a month without feeling overworking.

English is not my first language, and I have to use it to communicate with my customers and write blogs, I make mistakes, but I learn from my mistakes. My husband is a great teacher, he taught me so many things that has turned me to be a more organized successful business woman. There is a saying"Behind every successful man, there is always a successful woman." I am so lucky to have a very supportive man behind me to teach me and help me. Marriage is the beginning of the new couple growing closer, wiser and stronger together. I really enjoy to be a married woman with a home-base job.

Another thing I feel thankful and lucky is I have such a wonderful and smart sister JoJo who is helping me with the business. She is running around to find perfect fabrics for my dresses and giving me new ideas and suggestions. She even set up a studio in suzhou where they produce nice silk fabric, just to make it easier for me! Sometimes to find the right beads, she has to travel to another city and walk through each store in the fabric market. She is my base in China to shop all the nice silk fabric and ship them to me in time. I work here in US to create beautiful dresses and ship all over the world.

It's such a pleasure to work with beautiful brides, I also get tuns of new ideas from my brides and bridesmaids who is looking for something different. It can be stressful when it comes with a rush order, but good communication and understanding always can solve the problems. For a custom dress I spend days (sometimes weeks) try to make it perfect before I send it to my customer, but with distance and weight change, I can't promise you it's going to be perfect. In this case I always double check with the size and measurements, and I even find models similar size to try it on. Most brides are very understanding and supportive, I will give some refund back if they do need alterations after they receive the dress and it doesn't fit well. But 95% of the dresses will fit perfectly when brides give me their correct measurements.

I will tell the story how I started this dress business and about my education background in my next blog.

Thank you so much for reading and following!