This is my first blog entry here at BlogHer, and I am so excited! It's probably best to introduce myself and explain what I do.
I am Sandi - a.k.a. the HomeBadger. My company is HomeBadger Creations, Inc (www.homebadger.com). I have a home-based business in South Jersey and I sell handmade apparel wraps, shawls, scarves and yoga blankets for people of all ages, from almost any fabric requested.
I started the company 2 1/2 years ago during a strange time in our lives. My father had passed away on Christmas Day, my daughter moved out on January 3rd, and by the 10th I had been laid off from my job. Even if I wasn't facing the big question: "What do I do with the next 50 years of my life?", it would have been a little challenging.
However, then I had an epiphany of sorts. I was watching one of my favorite Judge TV shows, and saw two women who had gotten into a physical fight (no kidding) because the "Defendant" objected to the "Plaintiff" nursing her infant child in the waiting area of a popular chain restaurant. The details of the case are unimportant, although fun to listen to!
Given that I was a nursing mother when Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth, I was surprised to find that public perception had not evolved to the point where we could all be adults about it. The case made me think about when my daughter was an infant, and I needed to find a way and place to nurse her when we were out on sales calls. Then I started wondering if I couldn't come up with a solution to the problem today.
Since my mother and grandmother were both dressmakers I learned how to make my own doll clothes before I went to school. Over the years, I found that having the ability to sew was not only fun, but it saved me money and was more and more unusual.
That is how I started making wraps - I thought I might find a way to make something affordable, that would be more of an accessory than a functional item (like a fuzzy blanket with puppies on it thrown over your shoulders), and could also be used for more than just breast feeding.
With encouragement from my husband and family, I got started. With suggestions and requests from friends, neighbors and customers, I began to find out other items that people wanted. Breast cancer wraps and comfy wraps, shorti wraps for people in wheelchairs, fleece sports wraps for Soccer Moms, Itty wraps for children, beach wraps and even various styles of scarves - all these came from real people and their needs.
The purely selfish aspect is the pleasure I get selecting fabrics and colors. The rewards I get are the lovely comments from people who buy a wrap, and will call me weeks later to say that it was the perfect gift, or that they wear it every night when they are watching TV with the family.
Since I work out of my home (my living room and dining room are my 'studio'), feedback and contact are very important to improving my product. Now that I am going to craft shows and home shows, I have a wonderful opportunity to meet new people that I never had in my previous office jobs. For example, Janet from www.divatoolbox.com, who introduced me to this site, and has been massively encouraging (and never calls me a dimwit - thank you!)
So, out of a potentially chaotic time, I got a chance to start a new chapter, and I hope that everyone who puts on one of my wraps feels just that little spark of excitement I have in my life every day when I make them!
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