Wednesday, May 10, 2017

There's A Few Good Reasons Why We've Spent So Much Time Preparing For This Event

It all started with a box of scrap wood, a wood pallet, and a few power tools. Add several coats of paint. Lots of time. Sanding for a slightly rustic appearance. Freehand lettering and art. A coat of gloss wood finish. As of now, I just need to add brackets to the back, hooks for the leash holders and this batch of goodies for the upcoming Annual Spring Festival and Craft Show will be done. I can exhale, but only a little. There's lots more to do.

Throughout this entire process of making leash holders, Bodacious Patchwork Doggy Quilts, decorative doggy themed wall decor, doggy toy boxes, etc., I was reminded just how much work goes into a single event.

I took a trip down Memory Lane...

In my early 20's I made handcrafted hanging and sitting dolls. My own creation. I spent days making sample pieces and trial-and-error patterns until everything pieced together perfectly.

At the time, I was working as a manager in training at a local convenience store. Lisa was the manager of the store.

Yes, she was my boss.

I worked well over 40 hours a week. In addition, I brought the in-store deli to life by offering a wide selection of homemade grinders, sandwiches, and breakfast sandwiches. Most mornings, I was at the store by 4:30. I usually left between 2 and 4 in the afternoon.

I spent most evenings in "the doll room" in the home that Lisa and I shared together.

Yes, we were also in a relationship at the time.

I made doll after doll after doll. Eventually, I started participating in craft shows every weekend. It was a lot of work preparing for these shows. As I sold dolls, I had to make more dolls. I needed enough dolls to at least fill the display. That task alone kept me busy until the wee hours of the morning.

Then, the day of the event, we had to pack up the truck, leave early, set up, stay for the duration of the event, take our display down, pack the truck again, drive home, and unload.

Thankfully, Lisa assisted with most of these shows. On occasion, Lisa's mom helped out as well.

I sold quite a few dolls and, as time went on, I started getting custom orders. In the months ahead I found myself in a predicament. I didn't have enough time to work on the dolls. If I wanted to expand and take on more custom orders, I needed more time. In order to have more time, I needed to decrease my hours at the store.

After many lengthy discussions, and to make quite a long story short, that wasn't an option. I finished the season out, fulfilled the custom orders, and sold what I could of the dolls I had left. I kept a few aside to give as gifts.

Life got busy. Lisa and I eventually split up, but continued to live as roommates. That winter, I got a promotion and became manager of my own store. The following year, Lisa and I went our own separate ways.

Back to the here and now, as I've sat at the kitchen table for hours on end, working on these DIY Dog Mom Projects, the old fire has reignited.

This time around, it's going to burn big and bright. And, there are no plans on putting that fire out.

I'm a work at home Dog Mom. Older. Wiser.

Living in the digital age. That wasn't the case almost 20 years ago when I made dolls.

I've got a decade of experience in the social media, blogging, marketing, and content management field.

Times have changed all the way around.

As our family has gotten bigger over the past few years, so has our financial obligations.

For example, a few years ago when Coco was our only child, the cost of a 3 month regimen of Revolution was a little over $50. Now, with 4 kids, the cost is over $200. In short, our monthly expenses for kids has quadrupled.

What that all translates to is we've had to alter our budget.

When it was just Coco, we didn't pay much attention to how much out-of-pocket expenses we were doling out for Bodacious Biscuit Love.

In 2014, when Sophie joined our family, we had to tighten the reigns a little bit, but not too much. At that time, we were participating in a lot of events and began hosting our Summer and Fall Bodacious Yard & Bake Sale. The money made from all of that helped out considerably.

When Lobo joined our family in 2015, and as the event season progressed, it became more difficult to participate in events. When we hosted our Fall Bodacious Yard & Bake Sale, we knew it was going to be the last one.

The hustle and bustle and commotion was too much for our kids. It stressed them out too much.

Last year, we participated in 1 event. We didn't host a Summer or Fall Bodacious Yard & Bake Sale. We pulled 2 of our displays that were located out of town. The over-an-hour round trip commute time was too much. We published the recipe for our Bodacious Biscuit Love Peanut Butter Dog Treats. We also made a lot of changes on the Bodacious Biscuit Love end of things.

Those changes were much needed, but at the same time it diminished our Bodacious Biscuit Love funds. A lot. March of this year, Willa joined our family. She was in need of a doctor's visit, tests, medications, flea and tick preventative, and she needs to be spayed.

Her surgery is scheduled for July. We had to wait until she was out of heat and tack on 3 months from that date.

Once again, our budget altered.

As responsible Dog Moms, we always make sure there's plenty of money for the health and well being of our kids. That comes first.

In order to compensate for less out of pocket funds for Bodacious Biscuit Love, we started making Bodacious Patchwork Doggy Quilts and other DIY Dog Mom Projects to sell. The money earned from those projects would cover the cost of ingredients, supplies, and shipping so we can spread lots of biscuit love and Bodacious Care Packages to pet parents in need.

So far, that's helped out a lot. Our goal is to make more. Offer more of a variety. Expand. Eventually, we'd like to sell enough stuff to fully support our mission.

I know we can do this.

This is why we've spent the past few weeks getting ready for this event. And, why we're considering doing a few more. And offering more cool DIY Dog Mom Projects to sell online.

It's a lot of work, but at the end of the day, it's worth it.

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