November 30, 2011

It's really true! I'm on Zulily!

I've hesitated writing this blog post.....I needed to see it before my very eyes to see it and realize that it's actually happening!  But sure enough, it's happening!  My 3-day shopping event on Zulily launched this morning and I couldn't be more excited.

I'm excited because of all of the obvious stuff...obviously!  I mean, they have 4 million active users and they are the second largest site of this type (after Groupon)! But, I am mostly excited because it's an unexpected, completely unimaginable event to be happening to me.

I remember over a year ago, I received my first order from Zulily (I bought Finley a few princess costumes) and inside of my package came this pretty blue postcard that thanked their Zulily customers so much.  I pulled it aside and kept it in my desk drawer, having gained inspiration from it that I need to always remember that my customer's happiness is the most important part of my business.

I then designed a postcard, inspired by that card (which I actually don't have currently printed), but I used it for quite a while in my packages.  It featured this photos of a friend's daughter wearing SLD, and that friend was the one who urged me to go out and do this business.  I keep this card tacked up on my little bulletin board in my studio.  (Thank you Ashley, again).

I find it funny/odd/unreal/bizarre (insert any similar adjective.  Wait, is that an adjective?  I moved back to Canada from Israel in Grade 2 and never quite caught up in my English grammar type words!), that here I am a year later, up all night folding and packing dresses, for the very same company that I, myself, have shopped from, and who made me remember to always remember how important my customer's are. The whole thing is just freaky to me :)

Zulily approached me not to long ago for this event, and in a very short time (for me!),  I put together this collection of 14 pieces that I am really excited about.  I hope you love it!!  Here are some model shots that my amazing friend and photographer, Mindy Baker, shot, of her adorable daughter Sarah, plus a few of her friends.



November 25, 2011

Black Friday through Cyber Monday at SLD....

Have you been getting your shopping on?  Every year I get the urge to be part of those midnight doorbusters...until 9pm Thursday night rolls around and instead I get into my jammies and forget all about it! :)

The beauty about internet shopping is you don't have to get out of your today I plan to do some holiday shopping from my warm, cozy home, rather than brave the snowy outdoor crowds.  Plus, the biggest shops we have in town is Staples and a small Kmart. ;)'s what SLD has to offer you in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and through to Cyber Monday shopping!  Yup, FOUR whole days of discounts!! :)

**Spend $20-$39 and receive 15% off with code black20
**Spend $40-$79 and receive 20% off with code black40
**Spend $80-$119 and receive 25% off with code black80
**Spend $120 and up and receive 30% off with code black120

Here are a few of my favorite items in my shop right now ....  enjoy!!

Have a great weekend!  And go get your shopping on!!


**Please be sure to use the correct code.  If you make a mistake I'll be in touch to make any corrections.  Thanks!

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving thanks....

We should pretend Thanksgiving is every day.  Really.  Think about how much happier we all would be?  :)

I actually never grew up with Thanksgiving.  I know, I'm Canadian, and we have Thanksgiving in October.  But both my Mum and Dad were immigrants to Canada later in their lives, so they never really picked up on Canadian traditions.  Which is probably why I had never carved pumpkins until a few years ago, or why I had never had a s'more in my life until just recently.

Now I am addicted to carving pumpkins for hours :)

Anyhow, I should say, that I'm thankful for all those things, and for how my Mum and late Dad raised me and my sister. Here is a photo of me and my dad, and my favorite Grover doll that I took everywhere.

I was brought up quite modestly, and my parents taught me the value of hard work and loving life.  I am thankful for everything that I have.

When my dad was growing up (he was born in Yemen but at age four he and his family walked as Bedouins for four years through the desert to reach Israel so that they could be free to be Jewish.  Can you believe it?!  Makes me so thankful for a roof over my head, freedom to be who I am, and warm food in my belly).

When my dad was growing up, cats and dogs were usually stray and not something one could afford or want to have as a pet.  So I am so thankful that my husband brought home our dog Maddie and taught me about the joy of having a pet, and the unconditional love they provide.

Here is Maddie on the second day we had her. 
Which leads me to how thankful I am that my husband brought me to Jackson Hole, WY nearly ten years ago and introduced me to a whole new way of small town life.  He also introduced me to snowboarding, which I am not sure I am so thankful for ;)

I am more than anything thankful for the amazing daughter, Finley,  that I have been gifted with.  And the unconditional love that my husband and I ooze toward her.

I am thankful for her health, amidst a few frightening times, when I have never felt worse in my life thinking that something could be wrong with my child.

I am thankful for my entire family, and though they all live so far away, I am thankful that we also get to see them as often as we can.

I am thankful that my beautiful Mum, who dedicated herself tirelessly to taking care of my father when he was ill for so many years, and who has since been a widow now for nearly ten years, has found happiness again with her sweetheart from 40 years ago.  She moves to Australia this week to spend half her year with the man who proposed to her forty years ago but she never married because of different religious beliefs.

I am thankful for my mother in law , who is a world adventurer and is already eager to take Finley on adventures reserved just for she and Finley.  She's already been to all seven I am thankful that Finley will have a loving and experienced adventure guide.

I am thankful for my father and mother in law, who will undoubtedly teach my child about the world through art and culture and books and smart stuff that only they know about. 

I am thankful for my friends back in California, who I am lousy at keeping in closer contact with.  But I am thankful that they forgive me for that nevertheless.
I am thankful for my friend Ashley (pictured above) who convinced me to push my creativity to the limits, and how it resulted in my first mosaic/patchwork dress, and turned my life completely around.  It has allowed me to try new things every day, meet new people, and ultimately has allowed me to meet all of you across the miles.  Though we have not met in person, I feel I've learned enormous amounts from my friends and customers at SLD.  I am so thankful for you.

I am thankful that my husband lost his job in California, and that we decided to shortsale our home there, so that we could move our little family back to Jackson Hole and create a even more beautiful life together.
I am thankful that in Wyoming, Finley has the opportunities to see and experience the beauty of our country, and experience and enjoy seasons and all that mother nature has to offer.

I am thankful for Ellen, who started working with SLD over a year ago, and has now become a dear friend and adviser.

I am mostly thankful for two people in my life.  My incredible husband, who cleans the house so that I rarely have to, who cooks, takes Finley to the bus stop each morning, who bakes me cookies each night (though my belly is starting to wish he would stop that ;) and who will do anything to make our family happy.

And I am thankful for my princess.  For which there are no words to describe the joy, love, and magic that she has brought into my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.


November 23, 2011

Krista Lund Photography = Adorable

I just had to share these pictures I just received from Krista Lund Photography!  Her work is so great.  I was totally taken by her work when I stumbled across it several months ago. 

Anyhow, I emailed her to see if she would be interested in working with SLD...and lucky for me she said yes! :)  I love looking at her Facebook page and seeing what she's up to. :)

I've always struggled taking good pictures of my 2-bit trousers.  It's so hard to show how they fit (I call them yoga pant like...but how would you describe them?) and Krista just did a great job capturing her little cutie in these patchwork pants.

I also love love love this photo of her little girl twirling around in a Prairie Dress.  It's the exact carefree feel that I think matches SLD. :)

Thanks Krista for sharing your amazing talents with me!!


November 22, 2011

Ups and Downs......

No, it's not that dramatic, nothing major going on here!  Ups and downs usually become major though.  But these "ups and downs" are about my absolute dreaded topics....


There, I said it.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a business, and not have to think about pricing?  Yeah, only in my dreams :)

A lot of people have been advising me to raise my pricing.  I went to a workshop for artisans a few weeks ago, and the point was reiterated over and over, that artisans have to remember to pay themselves (really!?).  Then others tell me to  just go ahead and do it, and that I don't need to announce it.

I'm having a hard time doing that.  I respect each of my customers so much.  Yes, YOU. :)  I love that I know your kids names, or what you ate for dinner last week via our friendships we've formed on facebook and via email.  I love that I know if your child has sensory issues, so I ensure to use the smallest amount of Fray Check possible on your dress.  Or that your daughter is taller than most other three year old's so I can add an extra inch to your dress if you need it.  I love these friendships and relationships, and wouldn't want to just raise pricing without explaining it to you.  It just wouldn't feel right.  Nor does it feel right to not let you know that this is a bigger struggle than you can imagine for me.

Fact is, I have a small business not just to create cute, fun clothes, but to also earn a living for myself, and my employees.  I am so grateful to have Ellen working at SLD full time, and two other part time seamstresses in town who help me gear up for big projects like my upcoming Zulily event (eeeek!) or my craft fairs.  These folks need to make a living too.  And, we all happen to live in a glorious place called Jackson Hole, WY, where living doesn't come too cheap ;)

Anyhow, I'll spare you the details.  But, after a lot of deliberation and number crunching, and telling my bookeeper to leave me alone for several months because my brain could not handle the whole "cost of goods" numbers I was seeing..... I decided that the time has come....  in order to keep SLD going pricing will have to increase by small amounts. 

It's been an internal struggle, because I want to create accessible clothing for kids.  I want to make stuff that any Mum out there can just buy.  But my realization is that these pieces are not mass produced in countries with small living wages, and also the limited edition nature of SLD does not make 'production' very cost effective.

So, over the coming days and weeks you will notice prices starting to go up.  I'm hoping that you still can get on board and remember the quality and unique styling of SLD, and the individuals behind the clothing that you support. :)

Now, you wanna hear about the Down part of "Ups and Downs?"  Since Up is about my prices increasing...the Down will be about prices Decreasing!  A Black Friday sale at SLD.  Stay tuned to find out more.....

Stay tuned.....


November 03, 2011

Two Years Ago.....

Two years ago I wrote this guest blog post on the Lil Blue Boo blog.  It was one of my first blog posts, and it was about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  More importantly, it was about recognizing our failures or shortcomings and taking them as stepping stones to paths of greatness.  One of the last lines reads: "...let’s take a moment and give a standing ovation to our failed projects. Without them, how could we appreciate all the beauty we otherwise create?"

Now, two years later, I had no idea how true that would ring.  Ashley is now battling cancer, and can't do the things she typically could in the time frames she is used to.  She needs more rest, something she is not that used to doing.  She's got a new scar and tiny skeleton hands (see her blog posts here ) and you know what?  She's as beautiful as ever.  

I think that while many people have always loved her, without even knowing her, now even MORE people love her.  They can see through her recent struggles, the greatness that lies within her.  She's not just a crafting guide to so many, she is a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter.....  And now she has chosen to share her recent 'shortcomings' with the world in order for others to learn and grow from their own struggles.  If she helps just one person, she's helped give them the standing ovation that they need to get through a hard time.  It's more than most people can give in a lifetime.

Today, oddly enough, a local magazine is having a photo shoot at my house.   They are shooting "Art and objects in a home that inspire."  You know what I suggested to them for one of my objects?  The same bricks that I wrote about in that blog post two years ago this week.  

Funny how things come full circle.  Old houses are demolished, but we maintain a piece of it with us for the rest of our lives.  Ashley's body was practically trampled in surgery, but she maintains her high spirits.  Our failed projects, our losses, and our disadvantages, do not equal defeat.  They equal a path to greatness.