Dear fans and friends, and those that are one in the same,
I regret to announce that after a few years of tragically slow sales on my one-of-a-kind handmade clothing and purses, I am going to take a break from the production of aforementioned products. I cannot compete with the prices of mass produced goods overseas that many are demanding of me.
I am an independent artisan. That means I imagine the item, source the materials (online, out driving from store to store, anywhere I can find goods), design the item, I draft a pattern when appropriate or make the item directly on the dress form, I cut, assemble and sew each item, I photograph each item, sometimes many times since I am an amateur photographer at best, I write copy and descriptions of each item, I measure each item, I upload images to the internet, I make my own advertising materials with my basic paint and Microsoft Publisher software, I write blog entries, I promote my own work on facebook and twitter, I try to convince buyers at craft fairs that my work is worthy of your hard earned money, I build display props (which involves sourcing materials, figuring out how to make my idea functional, trouble shooting, rebuilding, redesigning...repeat), I set up my own booth at fairs...the list goes on. I am a Jane of All Trades....literally. All of this while working full time day jobs!
Needless to say, to keep up with the cost of living I need to earn more than minimum wage for all of this work and am not coming anywhere near that. My purses and clothes have been sold at production cost (materials and some labor (and barely)) for the past 10 years because when I raise the prices to a profitable number I experience no sales. I cannot sustain this business model. I love designing purses and clothing, but without a customer base it is a labor of love in vain.
What does this mean? I am not going out of business. I am shifting gears. I will continue making fabulous jewelry and will also continue with the new baby shoes and accessories line. I will consider custom orders on purses and clothing on a case by case basis. I will also consider custom quilting projects, though be prepared to pay what they are worth ($500 - $1500+).
I have been in the process of relocating to a different country for the last 2 years. Once that process is finalized, I will reevaluate my creative pursuits again and may launch a new line. I've wanted to design high end, fashion forward, performance outerwear for many years and may finally be able to take some design classes to learn about some of the technology out there that may make this process doable, though I will not be sewing these pieces from scratch but intend to source a domestic sewing shop to produce them.
As my personal friends are aware, I have been slowly auctioning off at deep discounts, and now finally am giving away, the rest of my handmade purse and clothing inventory. This decision has been extremely difficult for me (simply facing the loss of potential income...not to mention confessing that I failed). Just today I gave away a hand stitched leather piece for free that I know should sell for $300! This decision and my failing business has caused me too much stress, anxiety and depression. It is time to move forward with new ideas.
I want to thank you for your continued interest in my creative pursuits and support over the last decade (can you believe it, YazBerry will be 10 years old in May!). YazBerry has been an interesting ride and I hope you will continue following me as my creative direction shifts in the next few years.
Please continue following me on facebook I am too active there and you will have the most up to date news. You can shop my existing inventory right from my photo albums. I accept payment via PayPal invoices (all major credit cards - no need to even have a PayPal account) and I will ship worldwide.