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I am a sewing machine and more

I thought it might be interesting if I posted a week in the life of Jen Neitzel.  When people say to me, what are you working on right now?  Most of the time I want to answer, “What am I not working on?”  I have a tendency to jump head on into projects and worry with details like time later when I’m knee deep in a project.  I always get the job done if it’s within my power, but I can really struggle at times because I have too many plates in the air at one time.  Sometimes I think that I shouldn’t commit to as many projects as I do, but ultimately I really like to be working on new and challenging projects and I don’t think I have as much of a need for down-time as the average person does.  I came out of the womb with an insatiable curiosity.  Learning and growing is way more interesting to me than down-time.  Not to say I don’t get any down-time, just maybe not as others require.

The biggest thing I’m spending my time doing at the moment is sewing and sewing and sewing.  I am a sewing machine.  Good thing I love to sew.  It’s very relaxing to me generally, but recently I’ve been so busy that it’s hard to feel that relaxing, meditative feeling that sewing usually brings me.  I thought it would be interesting or perhaps maddening to list the things I’m working on right now so it’s more obvious what I spend my time doing.

1. Sewing: I have been sewing tons of skirts with my friend Jocelyn.  We’ve started a line of skirts that are now available online on our Etsy shop.  If you want to see photos or learn more about us check out our blog on Tumblr.

2. Branding: Jocelyn and I have been working on branding for the new skirt line.  We order 3×5 postcards which we are using as hangtags on our skirts and as business cards/flyers at the moment.  We are making a sign for our booth and having a logo designed so we can incorporate it into business cards, letter heads and more.

3. Production Schedule: Jocelyn and I put together a production schedule for our sale so that we would be able to produce skirts in a timely fashion for our next sale at First Thursday happening June 2nd  from 5pm-10pm.


Jocelyn laying out our tree skirt design

4. Sponsors: I’ve been working on creating a sponsorship form for Bargain Hunting, so that we can offer businesses sponsorship packages in exchange for great online and print material marketing.  The form is really a collaborative project I’m working on with Angie Heiney and Julz Nally the other two organizers of Bargain Hunting.

5. Bargain Hunting Systems Management: I put together a graphics standard for us to use so that we’d all know the font, color, etc to use when creating graphic for Bargain Hunting.  I gathered all have the information and put it into a Google Doc. {Google docs are magical.  I don’t know how I ever worked with a team before them.}  We also created a Flickr page for Bargain Hunting.  I’ll be adding photos soon.

6.  Marketing: I’ve been working on stepping up my marketing knowledge for my various businesses and projects.  It has occurred to me recently that although I know a lot about marketing there is more that I could learn and should learn so that I can be as knowledgeable as possible.  The other reason I’m stepping up my knowledge around marketing is that there is always a new format, new information, new tricks out there, so staying up to date on what the new trends are is really important.   I’m working on adding a section to my website so that people could receive support from me around marketing or event planning, which are areas I have a lot of experience in.  Also, I really like helping people.  It’s sorta my thing.

7. World Domination Summit: I’ve been helping Chris Guillebeau, who writes for the blog The Art of Non Conformity with various aspects of his event, the World Domination Summit.  It looks incredibly amazingly cool and I can’t wait to attend!  Just recently I helped Chris line up a venue for the after party and next I’ll work on the Alberta Craft Crawl.

8. Video Editing: I’ll admit I haven’t had enough time to really work all that much on the encaustic video.  I am hoping to get back to work on it this week, but I have been working on some fun editing projects for friends and family to continue growing my editing skills.

9. Competitive Craft TV Show:  As if I wasn’t already busy enough, I was contacted by a company, I’m not going to mention them yet, because it might be a little early, but they are working on a competitive craft TV show and asked me to be involved.   I’ll just say I’ve been doing some things to help them out.   More on this soon, but I’m pretty excited about it.

10. I Heart Art – Mixer Match: I am in charge of all the food for the I Heart Art Mixer Match this Wednesday.  Mixer Match is basically like speed dating for artist/crafters and galleries/boutiques.  I’ll be prepping the food tomorrow and setting it up in the evening.  As if that weren’t enough I am also planning to make a digital flipbook for the Mixer Match, which involves me taking tons of photos at the event and this time I’ll bring an audio recorder too.  I’ll add some of the audio tracks and music and other sound effects to the photos (I will be shooting continuously/rapid fire) so that the video captures the event in a sort of artistic, moody way.

Kirsten Moore of Piper Ewan who is a member of the I Heart Art Leadership Counsel.

11. Fashion Show? I’m applying to have some of my work in an awesome fashion show that’s happening this summer and is hosted by 33rd Alley.  I can’t say for sure if the Jen and Jocelyn line of skirts will be a good fit for this fashion show, but I was encouraged to send in photos by one of the board members so what the heck.  Why not?

There are about a million other things I could mention that I’m working on, but they are to do with my son, house, husband, friends, dog and actually there are probably a few other business related things that I forgot to mention.  There are so many other projects that I’d love to start, like taking more photos, learning more about my camera, taking a woodworking class, reupholstering my couch and making some cushions for my basement benches and wow, I could really go on, but I’ll stop here.  OK, just one more, I’ve been thinking about piano lessons recently, but I know this isn’t realistic right now. (Do you see how my brain works?  Stopping is hard for me.)

DIY baby, gotta keep learnin’ and growing my skills. So this is a quick snapshot of what I’m up to professionally.  What are you working on?  I think it’s interesting to know what other people are working on as well.  What do you want to learn?  What do you hope to fit into your schedule soon?  Give me a moment of your time and tell me what you are learning, working on or want to learn.  Talk soon!

by: jen

 

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2 Responses to “I am a sewing machine and more”

  1. Chris "Fan of DIY Lounge" Guillebeau Says:

    Hey Jen, you’re a true rockstar! Thanks for your help with WDS – the whole team talked about you tonight. Wish you were there, but we’ll give you another chance. :)

    All best and see you soon,

    cg

  2. jen Says:

    Thanks, Chris! I know, I really wanted to come to the walk through and cocktail hour too. Thanks for giving me another chance ;)