And in case you are unfamiliar with the beginnings of IKE & CO...here's Chapter One....
In the Fall of 2009, I was starting to find myself in a not so good place. I had a year old son, two daughters, a husband, a new job...and I just felt ho-hum. I had gained so much weight with my pregnancy and then lost it, but still just didn't really feel like myself. I didn't like my clothes, or my hair, or my style.
It may seem crazy, I know, but I felt like I could look better than I was letting myself.
And then there was the issue of money. I knew how tight money was for us – three kids with two teachers as parents will do that to you. And I couldn't imagine spending a lot of money on accessories. But I saw soooooo many cute, cute things out there.
So I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. Mainly because that was what I had time for. I had just finished my 3rd degree from UGA and went right into coaching one of my daughter's cheerleading teams...which ate up all the extra time that I thought I might have that fall.
At this point, I had been reading blogs for several years and writing my own for over a year. I was so inspired by the stories that I read out there and other women's style...and even though I loved Anthro, I knew I couldn't afford to shop there. So, I continued with my thinking.
And then it happened. I decided the week of Thanksgiving that I would make a few pieces of handmade jewelry for people in my life for Christmas. I knew how to attach a clasp to wire and I already had all of the tools for beading and jewelry making. Cheerleading season was over. Grad school – where I had spent the previous two years of my life – was over and I was ready for something new. So, I went to the local craft store, stocked up on what I thought I would need, came home, organized everything that I bought into one small box and then sat on the couch with my husband after the children went to bed that night and made three necklaces. The next night I did the same thing. And the night after that. And the night after that.
By the end of the week, I had made about 30 necklaces. No kidding. I was so relaxed while I was working on them. I loved it. I loved creating the combinations of the beads, imagining who I was going to give it to and how much they would love it.
I had spent years scrapbooking and had loved it, but this...this was ten trillion times better. I could give these away. I could wear my pieces out places and feel good about myself.
After my thirty necklaces were made, I sat back in amazement. My husband kind of sat back with a look of horror on his face. “What in the world are you going to do with thirty necklaces???” I looked up at him, “Ummmmm, wear a different one everyday?”
And then we came up with a plan. I had about 10 of them that I knew were gifts for people. And about 5 or 6 of them that I absolutely couldn't live without. But the rest...maybe people would want to buy them.
And they did. The ladies at church did and the women in my family did. And before I knew it I had made enough money to cover what I had spent to begin with and it was very exciting.
Chapter 2 coming soon!