Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slowly moving forward

January was a slow month for Patterns By Jen. While I can't share yet, I'm ending the month with a bang. An exciting bang. There is nothing like crazy, good news to help get you moving forward again. 

The hard thing about pattern designing is that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes, that has to stay behind the scenes for awhile, that I wish I could share with all of you. It is very hard to hold my tongue. So I will just bury myself in pretty fabric.

The quilt that will go on the cover of Pattern 6 is now in construction. Pattern 6 has been named by my youngest, "Star Light Star Bright". It's a sampler and will have a 60 x 60 quilt, 2 wall hangings, a miniature and a table runner as part of the pattern. I hope to have the top ready to go to the quilter Saturday, and then stitch up the extras.

Next, Pattern 7 needs to be stitched up and then sent to the testers. It is another of my patterns that takes just one block, but adds a fun sashing. It's just another step towards reaching those goals I shared with you a month ago. 

Thank you for following along on my journey of pattern designing.

Happy Stitching,

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Goals

I plan on sharing my business goals with you each year, and hopefully, I will be able to come up with a better name for each post. Though, short, sweet, and to the point isn't a bad thing. I hope by sharing these with you, I will keep myself on track, and maybe someone might even have some insight for me. Or encouragement, encouragement is always good. :)

Goal 1: I will publish 6 new patterns this year. 

I feel this is a low number, though it triples what I've done in the last couple of year. I have to remember that this isn't my full time job, yet, and my child care takes a lot of time and energy. And a mom of 4 isn't exactly a quiet "job" either. So hopefully I'm not selling myself short with this number, and at the same time, not setting myself up with too high of a number. It's a fine line isn't it?

The last party favor. So sad.

Goal 2: I will set up 4 trunk shows this year. 

This goal is a bit scary. I don't mind speaking in front of a group of people, but doing the whole one-on-one and talking up my stuff  thing freaks me out a bit. That little voice starts talking about how my patterns aren't good enough, I only have 4 out in print, etc, etc. But... the year is long, so I have time to get a few more patterns out, and a plan together. 

I still love a good, write-in planner.

Goal 3: I will get published in a magazine.

Putting myself and my babies out there, that's a big step. I'm not sure what to expect, but I have a pattern that is done and ready to be submitted. So submit it I will, and then I will see where that take me. I'm just a long for the ride after all.

Goal 4: I will add another distributor.

It seems to me that more distributors is a good thing. I know that I need to get more patterns published to pick up other distributors. Which takes me back to Goal 1. 

The start of 2016 is gloomy and windy in SW Minnesota.

Goal 5: I will find more testers.

I know, in order for me to get these patterns published in this time frame I'm going to need a larger range of testers. This is a tough one, as most testers I haven't even met personally. This can set you up for patterns not getting tested, because they aren't reliable, but having never met them, you just don't know that. I've had that happen a couple of times, which means there is even more pressure on me to make sure these patterns are correct. I have also found some awesome testers along the way, though. And by awesome, I mean AWESOME. They are reliable and always have good information for me. I'm so thankful for their time, work, and thoughts. 

Goal 6: I will work towards blogging once a week.

Blogging is time consuming. Wow! And yet, necessary. So my goal is to get to consistently blogging once a week by the end of the year. Breaking that down into smaller goals of: making a list of possible blog titles, playing with which days are good days for me to plug in blogging time, and which day of the week seems to get the most traffic, and can I fit that in my schedule. 

Sub goal: Scan fabrics for pattern instructions *before* cutting them up.
These are for the cover quilt of Pattern 6: Star Light, Star Bright. Aren't they scrumptious?

I think this list is going to be doable. I have added to my calendar to read it on the 1st of every month, hoping that it will keep me working towards these goals. I also think that if I keep my focus on these goals I will get a better idea of what I am working towards and if these goals benefit that. What should I be doing differently and what is on track. 

I am excited for 2016 and what it holds for PBJ! 

Happy New Year!