Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Mule

Not too long ago we came to the realization that our vehicle was costing us more than it was worth. We had a 2000 Dodge Durango 4 x 4. Yes, that 4WD came in handy for upstate NY winters and the little bit of snow we get here in Indiana (since they plow the roads pretty much when they feel like it). It was a fit all of our show stuff. Stuff = totes of inventory, canopy, and displays.

It had become obvious that it was time for a new truck. We broke a ball joint last year...which in turn broke an axle. Don't ask. Of course on the day of a show. This year was a broken brake cylinder. Don't ask. Again, of course on the day of a show.

We're pretty loyal to the Durango, so again we choose to go with it again. This time around? A 2008 Flex Fuel. Again, a 4 x 4. Again a V8 (like we would really go to a V6 after having all that power...sheesh!). The nice thing about the Flex Fuel is that it takes both E85 AND gasoline. So while it's not really financially advantageous for us to use the E85 right now, we're glad to have it in the event the price per gallon is better in the future. And it's still a mule. We were super lucky to have found a gunmetal grey (our all-time favorite color in a vehicle) in our price range. Of course, driving 2 hours away could have something to do with that.

So why do we call it a mule? A mule is used to haul everything. Just like we do with our Durango. Don't believe us? Check it out...this is after loading our mule up in preparation for the Fishers Freedom Festival this past weekend:

So what does our mule haul?

~ NINE 30-gallon totes filled with inventory, walls sheers, table covers, and miscellaneous table displays.
~ 7 wooden crates. We have another 4 totes already in the inventory totes. It helps to cut down on setup time at our shows immensely and also saves room in the truck.
~ ONE 10' x 10' canopy with sides, corner pieces, weights, and stakes.
~ 1 bar-height directors chair.
~ THREE 3' tall headband towers.
~ ONE 20 - gallon metal beverage bucket with stand and THREE 1 gallon buckets.
~ 3 smaller totes holding our hair clips, headbands, and merchandise bags.
~ FOUR 6' x 2' grid walls with TWO 2' shelves, ONE 4' shelf, TWO 2' wire baskets, TWO 1' wire baskets, and 1 corner hanging bar.
~ TWO 6' tables (non-folding)

At this point, we could probably get 1 more tote of inventory in the truck before we need to pull out the truck topper. We're a little apprehensive about our fall inventory...we'll have another 3 - 5 totes and 1 more 6' table.

We might need a bigger truck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Child Essence Photography

You may have noticed some amazing photos popping up in Two Seaside Babes lately. The fabulously talented Alexi Killmer of Child Essence Photography has so graciously taken these for us. Alexi is a child and family photographer working out of the Chicagoland area. The first photos she sent us were of the absolutely adorable Macie...seen below modeling some of our goodies.

6 - 9 Month Flapper Beanie - Lavender and

Soft and Fluffy Photography Prop Blanket - Ivory Cream

Striped Flapper Beanie - Lavender, White, and Pink with Chocolate Brown Flower and

Soft and Fluffy Photography Prop Blanket - Ivory Cream

So of course, after receiving these photos of our crocheted goodies, we asked her to take some of items in our shop in dire need of new photos. The first were our Flapper Beanies in the newborn sizes. This is by far our favorite one!

Preemie/Newborn Flapper Beanie - Pink

We would totally be remiss not to mention our newest product that we asked her to photograph...our Crocheted Flower Onesies and matching Stretchy Lace Headbands. She used her own stinkin' cute daughter, Ellie, for the photos. And we just went ga ga over them!

Crocheted Flower Onesie - Shades of Purple - XL/18 Months and

Crochet Flower White Lace Elastic Headband - Dark Purple

We cannot thank Alexi enough for the fabulous work she has done for us. We are so grateful that her work graces our shop!

Monday, June 20, 2011

flowers, Flowers, EVERYWHERE!

3 flowers on each hair clip trio card x 24 color combinations x 6 deep = 432 flowers

2 flowers on each gingham hair clip card x 11 colors x 6 deep = 132 flowers

1 flower on each stretchy lace headband x 6 colors x 5 deep = 30 flowers

3 flowers on each onesie x 6 color combinations x 6 sizes = 108 flowers

432 flowers for hair clip trios + 132 flowers for gingham hair clip pairs + 30 flowers for stretchy lace headbands + 108 flowers for onesies = 702 flowers (now if my math is off, get over it...seriously...there's a reason I'm an artisan and not an accountant!)

702 flowers = flowers, Flowers, EVERYWHERE!

And that's only the mini flowers! Don't even get me started on the cotton flowers for our Flapper Beanies. Or the single, double, and triple-layer flowers for all of our headbands.

Why are we surrounded by flowers you ask (because seriously, we're talking about important stuff here babes!). Well, you see, our summer shows last year were hot. HOT. No, not even HOT...scalding! I'm not exaggerating either...I was sunburned each and every show. We're talking 100+ degrees every single day. Not really the best weather for trying to sell wool blend hats. No one would even try them on. The only thing that saved us was our hair clips and headbands.

So we came up with a new booth design that would allow us to display our hair clips 6 deep (as opposed to singles with our old setup). And we came out with a number of new designs...our onesies and matching stretchy lace headbands. So really, that's a LOT of mini flowers I've been making lately.

And while that may FEEL like a lot of mini flowers that I've been doesn't really LOOK like that many when they are all out on display (excuse the poor's raining out right now and the light is pahooey in the house right now!):

So, now I'm not sure if I'm impressed with all the mini flowers or a little disappointed...

Or, maybe just crazy.

I guess I'll find out this Saturday and Sunday at the Fishers Freedom Festival!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's New with Two

It's been quite some time since our last post. With being a single mom, raising two daughters, running my own business, and trying to get settled into our new home, can you really blame me? Time is a precious commodity...and when someone can bottle it, I'll start buying it by the jug!

So what have we been up to? I know you are asking yourself this.

For Two Seaside Babes, we've begun to really take a new direction with our business. Not only did we get a new logo "look" a few weeks back, but we also received a totally new (and equally fabulous...if I can say so myself) look to our boutique. Deb of Lilac Ave pointed me in the direction of This Chick Designs a few weeks ago when she made a massive change to her online site. I checked out This Chick's Designs and fell in love with a particular one. And after many (and I mean MANY) emails back and forth regarding color changes, fonts, and logos, with the ever-patient graphic designer Jennifer, this is what we have:

And boy, do we LOVE it! It is exactly what we are looking for in the "feel" of our shop. We always try to stick with that beachy feel...the blues, greys, and white. Jennifer made a wonderful suggestion with adding a beach glass green, and it couldn't have come out better. We're so pleased with her work and we're hoping that it takes us to that next level we're eager to hop to!

We've also been working on a number of new products for our boutique and our local shows. One of our favorites so far is our Crocheted Flower Applique Onesies. Each onesie is made of 100% cotton jersey and features lap shoulders, short sleeves, and bottom snaps. 3 crocheted flowers have been firmly sewn to the onesies with coordinating buttons. Each flower is accented with lime green polka dot ribbon. So far, we have 6 different color combinations, with each available in 6 different sizes (Newborn - 24 months), for only $14 each. And...we have matching headbands too! Made of 100% white lace elastic (with the same matching crocheted flower and polka dot ribbon as the onesie), they are available for purchase for $5 each.

Many thanks to Alexi Killmer of Child Essence Photography for her uber adorable photos! All photos are copyrighted by Child Essence Photography...please do not copy or use without permission.

Neapolitan (left) and Shades of Pink (right) - our Best Seller locally!

Shades of Yellow (left) and Shades of Purple (right) - my personal favorite!

Shades of Blue (left) - My daughters' favorite and Shades of Green (right)

Personally, we've been doing a lot of painting around the house. A LOT. We've been working on each room little by little. Instead of smartly doing one room at a time. The girls rooms came first:

My oldest daughter's room. Originally dubbed "the Bug Room", it is now the Blue and Pink Horsie Room. Yes, she picked the colors. And yes, I painted the mural. Can you guess what is her favorite movie of all time? ("Spirit"!)

And my youngest daughter's room. "The Dinosaur Room". She's a little sad to see the dinosaurs go. Although I'm really not too upset...seeing those things in the middle of the dark night...kind of creepy (even more so with the bugs!). But she's quite happy with the colors that she picked for her room...purple and yellow. We're waiting for her to decide (with 100% certainty) what she wants her mural to be. She's leaning toward giraffes right now.

That's it a nutshell. One CRAZY nutshell. We're loading all of our products into our boutique (to concentrate more on that as opposed to Etsy), creating new products, painting our house, and working on inventory for our next show. Which, by the way, will be the Fishers Freedom Festival on June 25 - 26. We would LOVE to see you there!