This week I don't have a bra or bathing suit for you. This week I have incredible news instead.
You might have noticed me making little hints and comments about behind-the-scenes projects and things that I've been working on, and I'm so excited to finally announce everything.
I am so excited to announce that I am launching my own business and opening my own studio!!
The Emerald Studio
*sobs with happy tears*
So how did all of this happen?
This April I decided that I needed a change. I was living in Hamilton, far away from my family, barely paying my rent, juggling work, my blog, driving home to see my family and making lovely friends in Hamilton. And I had a long think about what I wanted to do with my life and my goals and dreams. And I realized that I love my blog, I love sewing, I love bra making and swimwear, I love pattern drafting and most importantly I love everyone in this amazing community. I have so much passion for this, and so many people tell me that my eyes light up when I start talking about it. And I came to the definite conclusion that I wanted to be in this amazing creative sewing field the rest of my life- and that my best option was to start my own business.
So, with much pacing, anxiety and biting of bullets, I quit my job, moved back home and went about starting a business. And I haven't looked back for a second.
As soon as I got home I decided to start thinking about exactly what I wanted my business to be- An online store to sell my patterns and kits, a place to make and sell custom bras and swimwear, and somewhere that I could teach classes.
Then my mom told me about youth business grants that are available in the area. So I called up the Small Business Centre, told them my idea, and they had me come in right away! After a frantic 3 weeks of business plan writing, survey making -remember my giveaway survey ;) - form filling and more decisions than I've ever had in my life, I applied for a small business grant and I got it!! Yay $5000 to help start my business!
But then, just when I was leaving my grant application in the office, they stopped me and asked if I would want to enter their contest- Pitch this Place, for a chance to win 1 year of free rent in a shop in downtown Belleville (20 minutes from my hometown)!!! And long story short- after more gruelling business plans, and a pitch (when was the last time you had to make a speech to a panel of judges? *sweating*) But all that hard work paid off and on Friday June 26th they announced that I won!!!
So I will be opening my studio, The Emerald Studio, in downtown Belleville. *Cries happy tears*
(Photo courtesy of the Small Business Centre)
A special thank you to the Small Business Centre, Trenval Business Development Corporation, the BDIA, the City of Belleville and my new landlord Mr. Paul Dinkel!! :) :)
This is going to be a place for my classroom so I can share the art of swimwear, bra and corset making! It's going to be a fitting and consultation area for me to meet with you and plan out custom bra and swimwear orders, it's gong to be a sewing workshop for me to sew all my bras and draft all my patterns, and it's going to be a lovely little photography studio in the back to take my blog pictures!
(It's this little shop beside a bridal boutique! And they are taking down all the wood and having a solid window front!!)
The shop used to be an old lane-way between buildings downtown, making it 10 feet wide by 80 feet long- crazy! and it's all exposed brick and hardwood floors- I'm completely smitten!
I can't even begin to describe how overwhelmed I am with all the kindness, generosity and support that I've been given in the last three months. To think that I moved home mid-April, with no set plan, only the skills I've built and a readiness to take every opportunity that came my way and give it 110% effort. And now I have grant money to start a business, and I have a studio. It is dream come true, and I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me, and everyone who is continuing to support me on this journey. I am truly blessed.
And I'm most excited to have you all come along with me on my journey of creating The Emerald Studio, to be part of the launch and to have you come to my studio when it opens!!
I get the studio on July 1st (that's Wednesday!) and I'm hoping to open my doors on August 1st! So instead of the Bra-A-Week Challenge this summer I'm going to be posting constantly about putting my studio together, how my business is coming together, tutorials, DIYs and all these new challenges that are going to come with opening my business. I have never been so excited, scared and happy in my whole life!! So if you have any questions or comments about this exciting news then please ask and share!!
And now that you're all excited from the news- I present to you some gorgeous submissions to the challenge this week!
First we have this very fun bra from Sofia of Silver Lining Atelier!
This is Sofia's 'Catrina Soft Bra', a lovely simple soft bra with two darts, power mesh back, a little lace on the bottom and contrasting straps that go to a 'V' in the back. But the showstopper of this bra is definitely the print- oh the print!!
You know I love a good sugar skull! Sofia is planning on showing this off through sheer shirts or layered under v-neck t-shirts. Love it! Don't forget to check out Sofia's post over on her blog!
Next we have these two beautiful bras from Andie of Sew Pretty in Pink!
Andie made these two lovely bras using a clone of a RTW Elomi bra. She made this beautiful and delicate one to wear on her wedding day, and the black and fuchsia as a practice- Lovely job!
She made these bras using duoplex, powernet and lace, tweaking the fit until it was perfect! Fantastic- and may I say that you are going to be a beautiful bride in this bra! :) Don't forget to check out Andie's post over on her blog!
Next we have a very lovely set from Maddy of Miss Maddy Sews!
Maddy made this set using the Merckwaerdigh MIX30, in pink lycra and white lace she got from one of their kits!
How pretty is this- I absolutely love the mix of this fabric and lace- it has a real vintage feel to me! And I love the lace placement on these panties. Major points for squeezing a pair of panties out of your kit too it's fantastic when you can do that!! Don't forget to check out Maddy's post about this lovely set over on her blog!
Next we have very pretty bikini top from David of Bonnet Bleu!
David made this bikini top using pretty sheer floral fabric and black lace. It is a nice halter style with a delicate back. David said it was inspired by Japanese lingerie and made for long walks on the beach :) sounds lovely to me!
And last but not least we have a beautiful bra from my good friend France!
France made this gorgeous bra for her mom :) using a self-drafted pattern. She made it using cut & sew foam covered with navy supplex, fold over elastic to finish the edges and some 15 denier to stabilize the bridge. And those buttons- how lovely is that?!
She also made the back a full back using supplex for extra comfort. Beautiful work! And she has plans to make lots more in the future in some beautiful bright colours- You're mom must be so happy! :)
Wow- really fantastic submissions today! You are all such talented bra makers, it's truly awe inspiring! :)
As always don't forget to check out the Pinterest board, and the Flickr Group if you enjoy those platforms! Grab a challenge button and send your bra for next week to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday for the next Sunday post!!
And with that I will pass on the torch for the summer to the lovely Michelle, of Michelle's Creations!!
In case you missed my post update on June 11th- I'm going to be taking a summer break from hosting the Bra-A-Week Challenge and passing it over to the lovely Michelle- she is going to do a fantastic job! Please continue to send all submission to email@example.com all the submissions will be forwarded to Michelle!
I'll have a small preview of the posts on my blog every Sunday to link to Michelle's post- and you can see the post over on her blog. Some weeks I might have a bra or swimsuit to contribute but I'm going to be quite busy preparing The Emerald Studio!! :) :)
So for the next two months you can look forward to lots and lots of posts about my business, getting The Emerald Studio together, launching my website and other social media (how do I not have instagram yet?!), along with some tutorials and fun things.
I am truly overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that I have received over the past three months. I cannot believe this is all happening, that I am launching my business and opening my studio. If you had of told me a year ago that I would be here today, I would not have believed it. This is a dream come true. And I'm so excited to be sharing this journey with you all :)