Friday, November 28, 2014

Small Business Saturday

Each year I tell myself that I will resist all Black Friday temptations.  And each year I find at least one thing that we really honestly need and I trudge into the chaos.  But not this year.  Nope, this year I stayed home and sewed all day.  It felt good, and the purple bra turned out beautifully!

I will be out shopping tomorrow, but not at the usual big box stores.  This year, all my Christmas gifts will be handmade or purchased from local stores.  Toys?  There is a fantastic local toy store that specializes in things that encourage creativity and exploration instead of being plastered with some TV character.  My husband's gift will come from the local hardware store.  Even if I get things online, I will still buy from small businesses.


Because when I support small businesses I know that my money is going directly to support someone with a dream.  Small business owners generally aren't out to make millions, we are simply out to make ends meet.  We like the challenge that being an entrepreneur presents, even though the long hours and seemingly endless list of things to do can be draining.  When we pursue our dreams, we take a big leap of faith trusting that the next dip in the economy won't send our families into ruin.  So I support these risk-takers, hoping that my little contribution will help keep their head above water.

When you purchase from BravoBella, you are not buying from a big chain fabric store whose employees may not even sew.  I have sewn my entire life, and you are supporting my love of a craft that was passed to me from my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  You are supporting my dream to have a flexible enough schedule that I can drop off and pick up my son from preschool (and pay his tuition as well!).  And you are supporting my dream of giving back - I was given a gift of understanding fit and bra design and BravoBella is my way of giving that gift back to the world and helping women feel more comfortable and beautiful than they thought possible.

So I hope that as you do your holiday shopping this year, you remember me and all the small businesses that you come in contact with.  Let us help you bring a smile to a loved one, while helping us bring smiles to our loved ones, too.
Silly face painting with mom!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Average Halloween

I'm a professional seamstress.

Shucks, I even used to work as a costumer for theater productions. Aslan and centaurs, the knights of the round table, even the sharks and jets...

Maybe that's why I place such high expectations on myself for Halloween. I have the ability to make just about any cool, creative, crazy costume I could dream up. And now that I have kids, I feel even more of a burden to do something awesome.

But just because I can doesn't mean that I should. I have come to realize very clearly lately that my most valuable resource is time. There is so precious little of it and it seems to be constantly consumed by so many things. I ask myself every single day how I can best spend this irreplaceable resource.

And, sorry awesome Halloween costume that I saw on Pinterest, you didn't make it into my time budget.

This year, we made memories instead of costumes.  We painted, got our hands all gooey with pumpkin guts, roasted seeds, made rice krispie treat pumpkins... My oldest asks every day for "pumpkin Friday" and I still chuckle at the expression on the babies face when he touched pumpkin for the first time.

We went super simple this year - the boys wore their jerseys, the baby got a store-bought onsie to be a football, and this mom bought a referee jersey (which will likely come in quite handy in the future!). Little Ben was just as excited about putting black makeup under his eyes as he would have been to be a fully functioning Transformer. All the parties and events were just as fun and everyone loved our family theme.

Like most moms, I tend to have very high expectations of myself. As a recovering perfectionist, its difficult to let those go.  But this Halloween I just let myself be mediocre and gained some invaluable memories with my family. Average really can exceed all expectations!

Anyone else out there proud of being average this week?! :)