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Mimi's Spring Embroidery and New Changes

A lot has changed for me these past couple of years. I had a new baby, who is recently one year old. My oldest just started elementary school, and there was so much to prepare for her! Juggling a new baby last year and now recently getting ready for elementary school put a lot on my plate, I didn't have much time to focus on my handiwork. Even if my youngest started going to nursery school from last year, there was no doubt shifting from one child to two was a lot to handle. I had to step back and slow down my work, and only could handle a few small sales here and there. I barely was on my Instagram making new posts. It wasn't until these past couple of months where I felt like I could embrace the new rhythm of life and learn how to fit in my embroidery and sewing again. I did just that!

I don't know if you recall, but while I was pregnant I made myself a dress using kimono fabric, and also I made my husband a jacket using a yukata (cotton kimono) that was reversible. With that same spirit, I managed to make my daughter a nice dress for her entrance ceremony to wear to elementary school. She is also wearing the embroidered accessories I made in her hair and for her necklace.

Above is a video of me wearing the dress I made in 2022. And to the left is the jacket I made for my husband with yukata indigo. You can scroll to see the indigo side. I was positively delighted to hear fashion designers that my husband met with rave about the jacket I made for him. Some wanted me to make them one, but the yukata I got is unique. It was hand dyed, so I can't guarantee the same pattern. People also loved my daughter's dress. One inquired if orders were possible.

No one asked about my dress, probably because I have few opportunities to wear it! I did wear it to my daughter's entrance ceremony though.

So this made me think a bit more about the value of my work.

The hand embroidered accessories I make do take time. One sakura flower is three hours from start to finish. Most of the time I have multiple flowers to make for just one accessory.

The rose takes about 3 days of work. The ginkgo earrings take me a couple days as well. I know my value, and I think I need to start representing it better. When I first started my business, I was afraid no one would buy my work if I sold it at what I thought it was valued at. But if I sold my ginkgo earring for 5000 yen, and they take about 2 working days to finish, I'm left being paid 360 yen per hour for the earrings. Then there is the cost of materials and time to coordinate with the customer to make sure they are getting what they want. I was under the influence of my Etsy days. Where in Etsy, they encourage you to undervalue yourself, and ship it fast and for free. If you don't, then Etsy will rank your items in the search much lower and you will never be found. I quit Etsy for that reason. Etsy is not the place for handmade small businesses anymore.

So I need to adjust my prices. I think I'm worth more than 360 yen an hour. Some pieces are paying me only 50 yen an hour. It was only because I was afraid people wouldn't buy my work if they saw the high price. But I need to adjust, so I can finally feel like my pieces are worth their weight of what I put into it. I hope you can understand. I hope you understand that I put a lot of love and care into each piece, and I consider them little artworks that you can wear. I also hope you understand that I also try to give the best customer service, and try to match your idea when it comes to a customized piece. I also hope you understand that each flower or clothing item I make represents anywhere from 3 to 48 hours of my time put into your piece. And so I need to represent my efforts accordingly.

Also for that reason, I would like to focus more on making lessons for those who want to make it at home. If you are also a creative person like me, I will share with you my techniques with a pdf you can purchase. Spring is here, and I have my time back to myself again! So here's to new beginnings.

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