I created Hot Fudge back in 2008 and opened my Etsy shop shortly after. At the time we were living in Brisbane and a group of local Etsy sellers, about 16 in all, got together over coffee and cake. It was such a success that it was unanimously decided that we should form a local group of Etsy sellers and thus BrisStyle was born.
We took a few baby steps towards organising a market to test the waters, and the rest is history. BrisStyle is now a household name in Brisbane and the Twilight Market at King George Square is the place to be. I am so proud to have been there at that first gathering and to see how far it has advanced.
Meanwhile, my Etsy and Madeit stores expanded and along with my stall at the BrisStyle markets, I was quite contented with the way my little business was growing. I never wanted the it to become so big that I would have had to employ outside help, so I deliberately kept it manageable.
In 2011, after nearly 21 years in Brisbane (plus a four year period in the early 1980s), we decided to return to our hometown, Sydney. The time was right, as the bulk of our family and our old friends were there and we were not getting any younger. It meant leaving behind our son and his family which was a terrible wrench and it did take some soul-searching. We were also leaving behind those loyal Brisbane friends who had stood by us through particularly difficult times.
It's now going on five years since that move and we are happy and contented with our decision. Our lives are full of family and old friends and we are constantly grateful to have reached this stage of our lives.
And now to that detour. Over the past few months a little voice has been whispering to me, advising me to slow down and make some changes in my life. I had just turned some ridiculous age and I made a mental list of what was important to me and what I wanted to achieve in 2016. It was a no-brainer - family always comes first, closely followed by friends. One branch of the family is going through a stressful time, while a dear friend in Tasmania is seriously ill, and this has led us to do some travelling over the past month.
There will be more trips ahead which means I cannot devote as much time as I would need to keep my children's clothing business up to speed. That little voice was also telling me how much I missed the time I used to have quilting, so I have undertaken two quilting projects which should (ha ha!) be complete by the end of the year.
I have removed all made-to-order items from my Etsy store and am in the process of adjusting my Madeit site. All that I have left in the way of children's clothing is what I have in stock. Here's an opportunity to take a look and if you see something that you like and it is in the right size, please grab it, even if it is for next Christmas (eek!), because once they are gone, they are gone, I'm afraid.
Are you still there? So sorry for the lengthy post, but it's not the sort of decision I make every day.
Thank you so much for your support over the years and don't forget, if you need garlands in your life, you know where I am.
Oh, and a big thank you to those wonderful photographers and their models, particularly Sara of Boutique Baby Photography and her two gorgeous little girls, Lyric and Kay. You are so talented and you brought my clothes to life.