Monday, March 30, 2009

We are small

I just read this article from The Harvard Business Reveiw. I found it via a blog I love to read, written by Josh Kamler (it's a well written blog - which is the type of blog I like to read). It is about the people who have started businesses because they love what they do - about the thousands of companies who are doing well enough to provide a great place for a bunch of people to work. Businesses "whose owners are trying to build sustainable businesses they love rather than fast-growing companies they can flip. They have no intention of retiring. They like working in them. And their clients know that. Which is why they have a loyal customer base willing to invest in the relationship."

Many of you have been willing to invest in us. You have bought our bags, written about our business, mentioned us to your friends, featured us in your mags and blogs - and we think that is awesome. Your support has made it possible for our business to expand in ways that provide work for a few other people. We all work hard. We like what we do and we do it well. Everyday, I make lunch for the people that work with me. We cook a pot of rice, chop up a vegetable, toss it with some Braggs and recharge for a half hour in the middle of the day. It is the part of the day we all look forward to. Not just because of the nourishment, but because it is a fulfilling part of the day. Because we are small, we can do things like this. I hope we can always do things like this.

We are a tiny company doing big big things. We started just over two years ago with no real intention of becoming anything other than a few things here, a few things there. I did not even have a clear sense of what it was I wanted to be doing. But, I designed The Market Bag. It went through a few variations, all of which were very public - at that time we did everything within our Etsy shop. I think its name went from The Farmer's Market Tote, to The Farmer's Market Bag to the Market Tote to finally, The Market Bag. Many of you watched that evolution happen. The design was refined, my skill set expanded, I learned how to use more specialized equipment, I learned how to build a business, I grew...and you all watched and supported as that happened. It has been super rewarding.

I prefer to keep to myself. I like to be anonymous. I have a very small circle of friends (whom I tell everything to) but in contrast to my daily life, I have lived out our business growth on the internet. A very public place. I've made mistakes and been too emotional at times but, I've learned a lot while doing it. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am glad we are still going and that we have had fun doing it! I quit my "paycheck job" a year and a half ago and never looked back. And, very soon, Jeremy will be joining me full time at Moop (more on that later). An exciting thing. But, it means we have to grow some more. We have been lucky to have one full time income to count on every month - while mine has been steady, it can be rather unpredictable. And anyone who has ever started a business knows, everything you make goes right back into making your business better. We work and work and work to do what we do and we're getting better every day. We're committed to this process and feel pretty strongly that it shows through in the product we produce.

I think Peter Bergman is right on. Small is the new big - and I'm glad we're part of the big group of small businesses. I just want to say, thanks for your support. It has meant the world to us.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mass Moca

If you are in Western Massachusetts today (or simply looking for a reason to do something), Mass Moca is hosting Dean & Britta: 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests. If you get there early you can go through the galleries and see the Sol LeWitt show....that would be two amazing things in one day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Megan Auman

I'm so glad to see that Etsy is featuring Megan Auman this week! I met her a few years ago at the Bust Holiday Craftacular and have admired her jewelry designs ever since. Recently, though, Megan came out with a line of home products..and it is very well done. I want her vertical leaf pendant lamp. And I want it to hang over my non-existent kitchen table.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Cool Hunting did a great write up on Moop, yesterday. Thanks so much!

One of these days we're going to put together a press page. So many great outlets have been writing about Moop...and we're so thankful!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

feels like...

i'm sure most of you have already heard of the amazingness that is white lightening. i encountered it a few months ago, started browsing and quickly closed things up...because i could have read all night...and i just don't have that kind of time and certainly did not/do not need another thing to eat up my precious few moments away from producing producing producing. but, you see, jeremy is away tonight, its saturday, spring has supposedly sprung (though it is still chilly in these parts) parker and i watched a ridiculously chick.flick., ate tiny servings of food (sometimes called appetizers...really just a way of letting me be lazy and not cook dinner tonight) , drank a bottle of wine (well, i drank the wine..she drank a pomegranate izze...and i did not drink the whole bottle)...and i found myself cruising the internets looking know, love. one thing led to another and i've been reading for the last hour. she's funny. really funny. and i like funny. (plus she seems smart and in the know...and that rubs off, right?)

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Letter Clutch

filz felt

I had the pleasure of sharing the weekend with Kelly and Traci of Filz Felt - a company specializing in one of the most fabulous materials available, German wool felt. Pick up one of their sample sets and you will be instantly hooked. The tactile quality and the color pallete are unparralleled. They sell finished goods as well as yardage.

Upon arriving home from breakfast with Kelly and Traci (I wish it could have gone on all day!), I went straight to the studio and started working on a new design. I've been thinking about it for the last few months and I'm certain it took spending some time with a few new faces to finally work itself out . It is the perfect extension to all of the other Moop bags...I couldn't be happier with it! The Letter Clutch is available in the shop/s now (I stayed up way way too late editing photos and uploading everything to each site).

It is initially only avialable in Sand but, for all of my lovely blog readers, I will take requests for any of the corded canvas colors (provincial blue, rosewood or black). I hope you love it as much as I do!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

and we're down....and back up?

It seems when running a web shop, you should let your web hosting service have an email address that you use on a regular basis. Not the email address you use when you sign up for things that you know will make you be the recipient of profuse amounts of junk mail - or, you will not see the 30 day notice regarding the expiration of your web hosting service. Neither will you see the 15 day notice, the 7 day notice or the 2 day notice...letting you know your web hosting is about to expire.

Had it not been for a wonderful customer (thanks Heather!), I would not have known the website was down. But, it has been addressed, I renewed the site and it should be back up and running soon. Sorry for any confusion when you see the "Holly Bits or Something blank generic page" that comes up when a website has lost its hosting.

In the meantime, there's always our shops on Etsy and Supermarket. Though, we prefer the streamlined nature of our, when it's all up and running again...visit us there!

***UPDATE*** we're back up and running...whew! - woo!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wait Wait, we're not itchy!

I love Saturday morning NPR. Through the power of the internet, I listen to WBEZ, the Chicago NPR station...even though I do not live and never have lived in the windy city (jeremy has, so I guess I can claim ties through marriage?), they have great programming. Saturdays begin at 10am (my time) with Car Talk, followed by Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Sound Opinions and This American Life.

Car Talk eases me into the day with a bit of humor and day dreams about questions I could call in to ask and for quite some time, the hour of This American Life had to be entirely loud noises, phone calls, distractions of any kind. I did not want to let anything take away from hearing all of my radio crush's stories - Ira, David, David, Sarah, Dan, John. But, recently, I have developed a more than nerdy obsession with Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. It is my favorite part of Saturdays...nay, The.Whole.Week! It is an hour where I am made to laugh repeatedly while still getting my weekly headlines and work done in the studio. I want Karl Kasell's voice on my home answering machine and Peter Sagal makes the snobbiest me want to be a Treky with his way more than nerdy obsession with Star Trek (you must listen to the episode with Leonard Nimoy to understand). Last week, while I was working (and laughing) all the way through Not My Job and Panel Round Two, Mo Rocca made a comment in response to hand knit sweaters for chickens. I believe it was something like, "EEEEeeeeWW! I HATE homemade sweaters! They're so itchy!" While I did laugh, I also thought, Oooohhohohoho, my comrades in the handmade world are not going to like that! And, boy was I right! Because, this Saturday when I started listening, Parker and I were getting ready to go to the Children's Museum (it was a last minute decision and our time of departure was 11:15, 15 minutes into the show. I made her wait until the right moment, standing by the door, coat on, ready to dart down the 8 flights of stairs of our building, dash through the parking lot and jump into the car as fast as possible so as not to miss one minute of the show - we made it and only missed 2 minutes). I was feeling just ducky, we had a 45 minute drive and 40 minutes left in the show. I was laughing and laughing, listening to Bruce Campbell talk about Spider Man and answer questions about Barbie. Parker was sitting next to me, iPod earphones stuck deep into her head, rockin' out to the latest pre-teen pop darling (it's Taylor Swift right now)...then, right near the end, Peter Sagal announced that Mo Rocca had an apology to the handmade community who, it seems, was NOT happy with his comment last week...specifically, they received an earful from Ravelry declaring hand made sweaters are NOT itchy! So, all I really want to say is, Go Ravelry, standing up for homemade sweaters like that!

You made my day. And, I love Peter Sagal and the gang (and I can't wait to see Mo in his new homemade sweater!).