Tuesday, 24 January 2012


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Sparked partly by eating a lot of rice and beans (don't pity us, there's a kind of adventure in living on a really tight budget, and a kind of freedom in knowing what you can and can't afford), partly by reading Meg Mateo Ilasco's Craft, Inc. about running a crafty business, and partly by some New Year's resolutions. How does one break down those thoughts into meaningful pieces of information? I think, by telling stories...

...I don't usually look for work online. But this particular day, with things so uncertain, I was beginning to wonder if it was irresponsible of me not to. Maybe the perfect job was out there waiting for me. maybe we could make a 'role' reversal work really well. I think I could even enjoy not being in charge of the washing, I thought. 
I started clicking. It turns out the perfect job was out there. At the uni, working in the residential colleges. Full time. Mentoring, organising, socialising. I was even almost qualified. 
I put the laptop aside. 
I picked it up again and looked for a while. And then I went out to the garden to process it. 
Pros, cons, interview questions, framing sentences in my application...it all filtered through as I fed the chickens. 
And then what I'd be giving up. Mothering small children, creating, hosting, writing. Time. 
I wasn't prepared to hand over the washing just yet.

...These amazing little tags from Gutentags arrived in the mail yesterday! I won them as part of my prize for 'Celebrate Color'. They fold in the middle and I can choose, depending on my mood, to show the logo or the little boy dinosaur (or diso-door, as Tully would say). I love what they bring to these Drawstring Quilts. They make them mine. Made just for you.

...I've made the decision not to sell my wares at craft markets this year (or at least till before Christmas) and to focus my energy on my online shop, the blog and having time to create, express, experiment. Last year I was a production line. This year, I'm determined to be... I don't know how to explain it. At least not without cliche. So maybe I won't just yet.

...I've been reading Craft, Inc. before going to bed lately. Not a good time to read something that gets you dreaming and scheming. It's fun to think that one day, Tickle could grow. I'd thought for so long it just couldn't. And this book helped me see why I thought so. You see, some of my prices don't reflect the work that goes into creating at home. There. I said it.
When I first started making these Drawstring Quilts, I wasn't sure anyone would buy them. I set the price low, to see what the response would be. They sold in two weeks and I madly rushed to make a few more. They sold too and soon I was using every spare evening and sleep time at the sewing machine. I got to the point where every time someone would buy one, I was resentful of the chunk of my sewing time it was taking. So I started to put the price up slowly, with little effect.
The shop has now been without these happy colour-wheels since before Christmas while I took time to make custom orders, develop the new pattern, and have fun playing with colour again. And now I am just about to list these ones. But I wanted to tell you first that I'm going to put the price up again, this time a bit more. Here's why.
  • to pay myself an hourly rate, because I value my work and I want to keep doing it.
  • to allow my business to grow, to give myself the time to develop new ideas and to afford help, if I need it. 
  • to acknowledge not just the time at the sewing machine but in ordering, designing, marketing and communication.

Thank you for supporting Tickle & Hide! And for buying handmade. There's a lot of me that goes into these creations, and I would hate to under-value that.


  1. Go Jodi Go!! How wonderfully ypu write about your thoughts and decisions. I entirely agree and it would be such a shame to have to put things aside. You are brilliant and I wish you every success :)

  2. Good for you, you definitely deserve to get paid for your efforts and your quilts and clothes are GORGEOUS, so, totally worth it. I think people understand that these things are high quality hand made and should be willing to pay for it. Wishing you the best in growing your business ! :)

  3. They are so beautiful!! I understand the work and I think you are right to try and make it more equivocal. There's no way you can ever put a price on the love and feeling that is put into one of your creations. I think people aren't bothered by the price rise because we are so surrounded by superficial things that when we see something homemade, it is just that much more special!

  4. only people that sew can really appreciate how much work goes into these beautiful things,no price will ever be high enough .I just bought your pattern, and am so excited to start, hope you sell bucket loads of PDF'S as i think they are a great way to boost your income while keeping some time free to develop your creativity .I for one am constantly buying them!! Good luck and happy sewing.

  5. Hello, I just found you through a friend's recommendation.

    I came across the same job and had the same conversations with myself! Not really qualified but could be a good fit... I managed to post the application at 5 past midnight and my husband said "you do realise they probably have an automatic cut off and it'll just get bounced back to you?" Gah!!

    Your work is so beautiful and colourful, I'm away to look at more of your posts!

    Sandra x

  6. So glad you wrote about this, I am at this place, I cringe when I get a nappy wallet order, I make next to nothing out of them and they take so long to make (but live looking at the finished project). I have put my price up once and I need to take the plunge and increase again. kylie


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx