I’ve been following along with the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge by @JOANNEHAWKER. It’s been super fun and inspiring to see all the things that people have come up with. The talent from one person to the next is fascinating.
Day one of the challenge was to tell about your favorite thing to make; I make a lot of things. When I started Youba Handmade in 2012, I started by making rice bags. For those that don’t know what a rice bag is, it’s basically like a pillow that’s filled with rice and you can heat it or freeze it and use it on your body as you would use a heating pad or an ice pack. For me this came about because I had recently had all of my wisdom teeth extracted. I was on pain meds, lying in bed, and completely miserable. Several years before when I was having tooth pain, someone had loaned me this rice sock thing and it was MAGICAL. So, under the influence of pain medicine and delirium, I went on Amazon and bought a sewing machine, a massive pack of men’s tube socks, and a twenty pound bag of rice. Thus, Youba Handmade was born.
But what is my favorite thing to make? It’s not rice bags. I like rice bags just fine. Rice bags helped me to start this adventure and for that I am eternally grateful. My favorite part about rice bags is the fabric. I had a revelation shortly after buying the tube socks that people would probably appreciate something a bit prettier, so I started to make rice bags from regular quilting fabric. I love fabric. There are so many prints and amazing designers. It’s art on fabric.
Presently, my favorite things to make are stationery and stickers. I love drawing something and having a place to put it. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate hanging things on the refrigerator, but past age ten one desires a larger audience than the refrigerator brings.
When you have a small business I think you’re supposed to focus that business on a central idea. The problem I have is that I love making all of the things. I love stationery, stickers, sewing, painting, drawing, gluing popsicle sticks, and making macaroni necklaces (I definitely have not made a macaroni necklace since I was five.). I want to make what I’m passionate about and my passion has ADD. I can’t imagine that I’m alone in feeling this way. If you’re a maker that sells what they make, do you focus on one particular type of thing that you make or do you just put it all out there and hope that people aren’t overwhelmed? Let me know what you think.