Hi, I'm Jessica Moore and I run an online shop, Frolic, selling handmade and vintage clothing. My dream has always been to design clothing, but I didn't think that was a possibility while living in a small city so I just took any sewing related job I could find, from doing alterations at a dry cleaners to sewing at a t-shirt factory. Looking back, each of these jobs helped me develop skills that I now use in my business even though at the time I felt discouraged because I wasn't doing exactly what I wanted. Almost four years ago, while I was looking for outfit ideas on Chictopia, I saw a cute dress and clicked on the store to see where she had bought it. It sent me to an eBay store that sold awesome vintage dresses. A lot of the clothes were very similar to ones that I regularly saw while thrifting (my town, Springfield, has a plethora of thrift stores). A thought began to grow in my head, could I really make money doing the things I love: thrifting, vintage, and sewing/alterations? I'm all for 'following your dreams', but I'm also for being able to pay rent so I spent 2 weeks researching if and how this could work. I found out that there was a big demand for vintage in the large cities and other countries but the prices were very high. I was able to provide a place for affordable vintage to these ladies. I started out small, investing a whopping $10 in dresses to start. Another huge part of the business would be photography because the quality of the photos makes or breaks the sale. Luckily for me, my husband is a photographer (yay, free professional photos!). I took my profits from the sales and used them to buy even more vintage until I was selling 40-50 items a week. It was a lot of work! I didn't have time to sew for fun anymore or create my own designs. I decided to try listing some handmade headbands that I designed on Etsy. To my suprise they sold fast! I had to cut back on the amount of vintage I was selling in order to have enough time to keep up with the headband orders. It was so exciting and gave me hope that maybe one day I could be designing and sewing full-time.
Fast forward to today and that's exactly what I'm doing! With vintage on the back burner I'm now focused on selling my own designs. A typical day for me is waking up early and sewing/making orders until around . Then I have lunch with my husband (a perk of us both working from home). The afternoons are all different, but usually include: packaging and shipping, designing and drafting new patterns, fabric shopping, photographing new items, creating listings, and responding to e-mails. My biggest challenge has always been balancing my time. Working from home makes it way too easy to work all the time! I've struggled with feeling guilt any time I'm home and not working. For that reason, I'm currently looking for an outside workspace possibly with a retail storefront.
Another hard thing is that while there are lots of highs there are also some lows. The highs come during busy times when the orders are rolling in (woohoo, people like what I'm making!), then there are slower times that can be discouraging and make me question if what I'm making is good enough. During these low times it is tempting to not work as much because it all feels like its for nothing. When this happens I like to hang up one of my favorite quotes from Rory Vaden where I can see it, "Success is never owned, it is only rented; and the rent is due everyday". Even though being self-employed is very hard work, to me it is totally worth the sacrifices. My husband and I love road trips, so it is awesome being able to travel whenever we want. The best part for me though is just knowing that I'm supporting my family by using my own two hands to create items that people enjoy. It may seem impossible at times, but you CAN make a good living by doing what you love!
*If you want to read the first "Do What You Love" feature you can find that here.