Monday, February 23, 2009

The Obama Bag Mini Series part II

Obama Bag Story Part II

Right place, right time? Networking is the key to success? Hard work pays?

These are all things that we hear all of our lives. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I am a doubter ( I need to stop that).

I was a presenting artist at the Columbus Winterfair, I got a lot of interest, but not many buyers. The economy has just been really rough. I broke even. Many of the artists there barely broke even. Poor sales = rough economy.

The following weekend I did a very small show at a local Salon, DJ’s Art a Palooza. I almost didn’t do it. I was exhausted from the four day art show. I just didn’t have enough energy.

I made myself go and set up. I met a lot of really nice artists, some of them will be friends for life. Not a lot of people came through that weekend, but one person did that changed things for me. I will call her Miss Rhonda.

Miss Rhonda really liked my Obama Clutch and thought that a friend of hers who happens to work at Ebony Magazine would love it. She suggested that I send a bag to her, and I did.

Sometimes you just have to go on faith, a lot of work goes into making that bag, and it’s hard for me to just give it away as a result. I had to just trust that the bag would get to Ms. Norment, and that she would love it. As most people do!


New Years Eve, and I am on my way to the Russian liquor store (no one there speaks English) to get a bottle of Vodka. Hey it's New Years Eve, I am not drinking soda! As I am leaving my little house in Bexley, I get a call from Ms. Norment at Ebony. I had to sit down.

She tells me that the Obama Makes History Clutch is exquisite (yes, those were her exact words) She wanted more bags for photography.

My feet did not touch the ground on the way to Boxmaster on Broad Street. I chased and tried to pass the Federal Express truck as I knew it was headed to Boxmaster and I wanted to beat it.

Broad Street is too congested for a race, so I resigned myself to following the truck. He was kind enough to wait while we got the bags packaged for their big trip to Chicago.

I was so excited I forgot a return address. OOPS.

Time passes, and the day after my birthday (of which I completely forgot it was my birthday) I get a call from Ms. Norment (who has since retired) and she wants to interview me about the bag, how its made, a little about myself, and she indicates that the article will be in the March issue of the Magazine.

Yaya. I did the ‘happy dance’ in my office all by myself.

Since its release, I have been so hit by orders, all I do is make Obama. I have a friend Larry Conroy who is helping me ink the bags now. Larry is a clothing designer and made it as far as meeting Heidi Klum in New York for Project Runway.

I try to ship them within a week although I ask for 3 weeks delivery just in case.

I am having a lot of fun, and I am talking to women all over the country who call to tell me they love their bag.

I have never worked so hard in my life. I work a full time job in IT and then I come home and work my night job. Design work is my passion. I love it, so I don’t mind working from sun up to sun down!

One of my biggest business goals this year is to pay cash for a Toyota Minivan, and a website. I have a photographer and a model, and I need to find a really good web designer.

Let’s just say, I am halfway to paying cash for the Toyota minivan!

Hard work pays! Right Place, Right Time! and Network, Network, Network. Doubt no more!

Best of all, my son Mando who makes leather wristbands is very proud of me.

There will probably be a part III


BlenderBach said...

great story and quite inspirational!

Tom Banwell said...

Wow, what a great thing to happen to you! I was going to say a great story, but this is a true story!


Sewlutions' World said...

What a beautiful story, I am so inspired.

Boutique Mix Fashion said...

I'm so honored to be part of this great transition for you!! I am so happy for you. You've worked hard for this so enjoy the ride.

My Book of Lists said...

I was flipping through the issue of Ebony and saw this 'dope' bag. Then I followed down to your website and was really excited. As a fellow Etsian, I am inspired to get on my grind tonight. God wanted me to see your article and now after reading your blog I am officially keeping it going! Congratulations!!

The Creative Lady said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It serves as inspiration for all creative spirits!