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I've been keeping myself so busy!
When we moved here to Texas I quit working and after a while I was bored and didn't have anything to do. There is a local farmer's market in town that is small and they were looking for people to come and sell yard sale stuff to make more bodies in hopes of attracting more attention. So, dr and I started taking stuff we found at yard sales and stuff that somehow got moved with us. After a little bit we decided we needed to sell something that had a little to do with food so dr started selling honey and barbecue sauce and I started making aprons and tote bags. The honey and barbecue sauce didn't do very well so he went back to the yard sale stuff.
I started making tote bags. I line them all and they could be reversed if people wanted the plain side on the outside. But, I generally use a print on the outside and a solid inside. After saying that I have to tell you that I've made three or four with the plain side out. Men would rather have a plain bag but don't mind a plaid or innocuous print inside. I make them in all sizes from 12"x12" to really big 18"x18". Our neighbor had me make him one that was 24"x24"x12". It's huge. It has padded over the shoulder straps. He takes it to the warehouse store and fills it with the things he buys so he only has one bag to carry. He enjoys the look on the clerks faces when he hauls out his bag. Until last week he has always been able to handle it. But, last week the stuff ended up really heavy. He said he bet he had over 100 lbs in that bag and he was glad the man who filled it accompanied him to his truck or he would never have gotten it out of the shopping cart. When he got home he used his two wheel dolly to haul it out of the truck and into the house. I asked if he didn't think about unloading some of it and he said, "No, because he had me make the bag so he wouldn't have to make more than one trip to the house with his stuff." We enjoyed a good laugh about it and he laughed along with us. I like making people happy.
I started making regular half aprons and kitchen bib aprons. They are of lightweight material and some have pockets and some don't. Then one of the farmers wanted an apron with one big pocket to pick his peas and okra. And with a little imput here and there one developed with velcro at the bottom so they can empty it easily at the end of the rows. It will hold enough to fill a five gallon bucket. I had to recall them last week. One of them was saying it worked really well but when it rained and things were wet the water soaked through the back and make his jeans wet. So, I bought some vinyl tablecloths at the thrift store and recalled the aprons and lined the back with the vinyl and that fixed the problem. I still have a couple floating around but haven't seen the guys to tell them to bring them back for fixing.
Then, a friend and I decided that if the men had a farm apron then the ladies needed a garden apron. So, with a little discussion I came up with a bib apron with three pockets in the middle for gardening tools, gloves, etc. There is a big pocket at the bottom that buttons. It holds what the lady picks from her yard or garden be it produce, flowers, herbs, etc. Then, up at the top there is two pockets sewn one on top of the other for kleenex, cell phones or notebook. Whatever the lady needs outside with her. Add in barbecue aprons with big pockets to hold sauces, tools and spices and kids play aprons and I have a rather long list of things to sell. Now, they've begun asking if I have anything for the holidays. I did have two and sold one of them today. So, I can see that this week I will be working on aprons and totes with a Christmas theme. I also need to make some more of the ladies garden aprons and I only have about a dozen totes left. We're working on getting the paperwork done to make it a proper business with all the legal stuff involved. That should be set up by the end of the year. It will be called "Pea Pickin' Aprons."
We are getting business cards made and some labels to sew in the seam that says "Pea Pickin' Aprons", Madisonville, Texas.
What started out as a way to help attract customers has evolved into something much more involved. Now, people come and look and we discuss what they want and what sort of material I have. I can tell them the colors and they let me choose the prints. If they don't like it, I can hang it in the stand and try again but so far I haven't had to do that.
I'm making aprons and tote bags for family Christmas presents and I've sent Texas tote bags to all of my sisters.
Last week, I only sewed four tote bags because I just had to do some work in the yard and the house needed a bit of clean up. We went grocery shopping a couple of different days.
I guess I am not bored and looking for something to do now. I find it a bit difficult to find time to get everything done. dr says, "You are retired. Do it at your pace. Don't rush it!" I do like sewing and creating new styles. It should do rather well between now and Christmas if I can keep up the amount of stuff in the stand.
The farmer was going to close after Christmas but says on nice sunny Fridays and Saturdays we can set up but he doesn't want to sit out in below freezing weather. I can't see doing that myself but on a sunny warm day, why not?
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Dooley it certainly sounds as though your totes and aprons are taking off in a big way. I'm really pleased for you but hope you will find some time just for yourself now and again. Before you know it you'll be branching out and making bags for laptops, crafts and so on. Yes I can see 'Pea Pickin' Aprons becoming a really well known brand.
Dooley, it doesn't surprise me that you are keeping busy. I love the name of the business. When you get a chance please post some pictures of the ladies garden apron, I would love to see them.
I bought one from her as a take on bag.I then ask her if she had a way to seal the top.She put velcro all the way across.I love my bags.My texas med bag will fit inside plus so much more and the straps will go over my head and be easier to carry.
I am one sister who got a tote bag and I use it to keep my meds in and haul them back and forth to the Doctor. I love it. wannabe
What a great story. I just love it when a great idea comes together like that. Congratulations on your new business. I just hope you get time in the garden now and then.
Who would have thought you would be starting a business once you retired! I think it is great. I know you will keep coming up with new ideas and your business will continue to grow. ;=)
Great idea...it is such fun going to Farmer's Markets, we enjoy the fresh produce and all the other local baked goods and crafts. Good luck.
I like to read about your life. You have me gasping for breath with everything you do and I really enjoyed reading about your business venture too. Good luck. *hugs*
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