Positive Yarn

October 28, 2008

Looking forward to next Wednesday…

Filed under: Personal — heathergooch @ 7:18 pm
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I’m anxiously awaiting Nov. 5 for two reasons. One, the election will be OVER and I won’t have to lay eyes or ears on another campaign commercial for a while. But two, and perhaps more important to me personally, it’s when the November meeting of my needlework guild takes place.

I have been a member of the local guild for three years and counting. I am the official photographer and newsletter editor, so I can’t afford to miss a meeting. Not that I’d want to — I love being around other stitchers, whose experiences and skills shape their projects into true works of art.

However, because I am one of only about five members under the age of 50, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. After a day of work and chasing my kids, it’s difficult to find time to sit down, find my place in my sampler and get a few stitches done before sleepiness gets the better of me. Still, I believe everyone should MAKE the time for their passions, be it for family time or a hobby. I attend the monthly guild meeting even if it cannot be at a less convenient time, because I know when I’m there, I’m at my happiest.

And so I plan and I plan, for in seven days I need to have 22 more beads stitched in neat little crescent shapes, plus a completed felt Christmas ornament to donate to the Head Start program. Then there’s my younger daughter’s Christmas stocking, which I am gunning to have hanging on the mantle this year so all four of ours are handmade. I am 80% done, which if experience tells me anything means the last 20% will be completed around Dec. 23 in a round-the-clock effort.

But that’s OK, because there won’t be any campaign commercials to distract me.

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October 24, 2008

Trying to spin a positive yarn

Filed under: Business marketing — heathergooch @ 6:14 pm
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So here I am, ready to take Gooch & Gooch (my half, anyway — my husband can keep on plugging away) into a new direction and focus on helping people in a field that I love. I’m scared to death, but I just got back from a COSE conference and feel emboldened.

Based in Cleveland, COSE is an acronym for the Council of Smaller Enterprises. I’ve just spent two days with some fantastic small-business owners from all over Northeast Ohio. We’ve done a lot of talking about new media and how to harness it. Now it’s time for me to file the business cards away, quit talking about what I want to do and start doing it.

I’ve spent 13 years in business-to-business media, the majority of which has been spent on covering the professional pest management industry. But as great a group as the pest controllers are — Joe the Plumber seriously pales in comparison when it comes to being down to earth, loyal, patriotic and er, licensed — I want to shift my focus toward things that interest me personally. I want to write about, and help publicize, professionals who design with and/or supply the pretties I love so much: beads, yarns, threads, fabrics. What can I say? Sites like Etsy.com and IndiePublic.com were practically designed with me in mind!

Business Directions Owner Sherry Mulne, an absolutely fantastic person and a marketing communications consultant for The National NeedleArts Association, took a chance on me last year as her part-time assistant. I am delighted to report that working for Sherry has been great, and has been a wonderful introduction to the business side of the needle arts (defined as crochet, knit, embroidery, counted cross-stitch and needlepoint; tattoos are merely a matter of personal preference). While I hope to continue fulfilling assignments for Sherry, I want to start taking on additional clients involved in needle arts and related crafts. I want to help build a brand for an independent retail shop. I want to spread the word about some wonderful patterns someone has designed. I want to get someone’s handmade item into everyone’s Christmas stocking.

Want, want, want. I guess I should first pull back and identify the needs.

That’s where you come in. What can I do to help build your business, and in turn, help build mine?

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