My Home-Based Biz: K-Lee’s Kreations
In addition to my freelance work from my home office here in the beautiful state of Maine, where the fall foliage is simply amazing right now, I have another home-based business: K-Lee’s Kreations.
One of today’s writing prompts for the Ultimate Blog Challenge (UBC) is to discuss our first business venture. While it wasn’t a formal or structured business, when I was a young wife and mother, I began doing business as “Mommy Made Fashions” because that’s what my kids always said when someone complimented them on outfits they were wearing: “Mommy made this.”
At that time, I lived in New Hampshire where I was born and raised, and resided until 2003, when I moved here to Maine. My four children, one boy and three girls, were my best models as well as fans of the clothing and accessories I made. Eventually I also made dolls, stuffed animals, various other crafts, AND THEN…
I discovered **QUILTING**
I made quilts for gifts, for us and other family members and friends; I made baby quilts for shower gifts; and I made an assortment of other types of quilted items, such as pillows, bags, tablerunners, and wallhangings.
The first real breakthrough for my business, however, occurred after I moved to Maine and began doing business as K-Lee’s Kreations through craft shows and online venues. I eventually met a fellow entrepreneur who had an imprinting business that allowed her to add photos to assorted items, including fabric. She and I collaborated on creating bags, pillows, wall quilts, and larger quilts with imprinted photos added.
An important event and turning point occurred in 2008 when I took a 60-hour FREE business planning course called New Ventures, offered by the Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community. During that course, the instructor and fellow classmates encouraged me to consider investing in the necessary equipment to do my OWN imprinting, so I wouldn’t have to rely on my friend to find the time to fill orders and mail the imprinted fabric squares to me (which was becoming a barrier to production at the time).
So with my hubby’s support and encouragement, my second breakthrough in my entrepreneurial endeavor was doing my own imprinting and adding my own customized imprinted products to my K-Lee’s Kreations business. Those items continue to be my best-sellers, because imprinted photos make each quilt, pillow, or bag personal and special to the recipient.
I believe my next growth phase is upon me as customers have asked me if I have any ready-to-buy items, especially with the holidays fast approaching, so they can buy right away and not have to wait for me to fill custom orders. SO…market demand inspired me to begin working on a line of products, similar to the ones in the above photo and more, which will go by the name of K-Lee’s Kollectibles.
As I mentioned in another blog post yesterday, this will be a line of about two dozen items–a mixture of bags, pillows, wall quilts, lap quilts, and quilt/pillow sets–that will still have imprinted images, but they will be ready-to-buy, featuring photos from various family members and friends who have agreed to let me use their photos. I’m really excited about this new phase and new venture (such an aptly named course!) for K-Lee’s Kreations!
Photo Credit: MCBunnell Photography
So what about you? Are any of you currently running a business or thinking about doing so? What type of business? I’m a firm believer in helping promote one another, so feel free to leave links in your comments. I just may decide to feature some readers and their businesses in future posts! 😉