Sunday, September 21, 2008

Recap: A Year in a Day

Here are some photos recapping the par-tay.
Marlowe's delicious sheep-y cupcakes

Jane and her sister May, show us Jane's outstanding work.

Marcel was a natural. Complete party animal.

I want to say thank you to everyone, literally, from the bottom of my heart. First, for the phenomenal past year. It has been such a pleasure to meet all of you. I am so gracious to all of you for your support and laughter. It was great to see everyone yesterday. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to stop by. And for all of you that sent your well wishes via email, thank you for your kind words of support. Last year at this time, I could never have imagined that my life would have manifested itself in this way.

As we get to know each other, it is no secret that I value a life full of challenges and exploring the unknown. This provides a healthy serving of torture and bliss. Having my own business certainly has had its ups and downs. To some extent, it is great to be "the boss". I can nap in the afternoon for an hour or two, however, I may have to stay up until 1am, 10 days in a row, because I am the one ultimately responsible that deadlines are met. This is textbook. Anyone who has considered starting their own business has probably gone and bought a book which describes that there is going to be a lot of hard work...for years. Most times the big book of business lets you know that if you don't like hard work, then starting a business is probably not for you. Ok, well I am not afraid of hard work. Check.

But there are challenges that are not covered in business books and in some ways how could they. These challenges are personal and most likely particular for each of us in our distinct personalities. For me, my biggest challenge running my business has been my sense of security. Over the past year, I have had to go through a deep exploration of my idea of security, its foundation, and a re-evaluation of it in order for my business to grow. Challenging my sense of security has meant re-evaluating my idea of what constitutes as success and as failure. It has also meant learning to trust in myself to accept vulnerability. That by trusting in myself, I will make the best decision that I can. Most importantly, I have had to learn to draw boundaries around my self-critic. This single step has been the most important thing I have learned all year. Once I learned to draw a boundary around my inner critic, I could drop the entire pretense of success and failure and actually get to work. Right now, I feel like I am in this beautiful stage of my business. At this very moment, I have more self trust than probably ever before because, in my mind, the concept of failure has evolved. Failure no longer has the same meaning. Failure is no longer a destination in itself. This life, and this business, does not lead to a distinct point, it is a continuum, it is an experience.

This past year has been a whirlwind of activity. We have used new dyes, new types of dyeing, moved into our first studio, and worked at a variety of venues, from Stitches to the Black Sheep Gathering, to sell Verb's product. We have learned a lot about our craft and about business.

I look forward to this upcoming year, to new ideas, learning even more new things, meeting more new friends, and watching my current friends and customers grow and create. To start things off, I am excited to tell you -- that we have decided to rent a second space and to open up a small retail venue. Beyond the fact that it is rented, there are still a lot of particulars to be worked out. For instance, store hours, products, etc. Over the next couple weeks, I will be brainstorming for ideas and ways to carry out those ideas. Our goal is to have the store up and running by November.


The 1st shipment of the Ultra Fiber Club. 3oz of Baby Camel/Silk.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Hello Everyone!

It is so beautiful out today. Warm and sunny.

Just thought that I would drop everyone a quick note. The week has really gotten away from me. It's Friday! I cant believe it. We have been busy this week. Dyeing new colors for Fall. Reds, oranges, blues, and greens.

Also, we have been getting ready for the par-tay tomorrow (Saturday). Marcel will be making a guest appearance. We are going to make a special announcement around 12:30. And, 15% off throughout the day. We are accepting cash and check. Like the olden days. I hope if you are in town here, you will stop by. At least for a drink!

Feel free to bring your wheel with you. Or your spindle. There will be people there spinning. Word! All the details for the party can be found here.

Other than that, the first shipment of the fiber club has gone out. It was so great seeing all of the beautiful colors sitting in these huge mounds around the studio. It was great to to hear everyone's excitement. It feels great to pass along love. I already have a few ideas about whats coming for October's shipment.

I really miss my spinning and knitting. I have been deeply entrenched in this new scarf I am making. From a fleece my mom and I bought together at Black Sheep Gathering 2 years back. The yarn is turning out lovely. The scarf is a reversible cable pattern. This is probably one of my favorite things I have ever knit. I think next week is going to be a bit more laid back, I can return to spinning and knitting the scarf. And, post pictures of the progress.

I hope all is well!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Coupon Code!

Let the party begin!

Enter Verbiversary in the coupon code for 15% off everything in your shopping cart.

This coupon can be used as many times as you'd like until September 20th.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Love, Silk, & 15% Anniversary Party

Oo, Adrienne just cut her finger doing dishes. My head swoons just thinking about it. I do not do blood. Or seeing my loved ones in pain for that matter. What I can do is call from the bedroom "What happened? Do you need me to come in there?" She knows that unless she cut her finger off she probably doesn't want me in there. And even then, she would probably just say call 9-11 (for the both of us). I just finished rubbing lotion on her non-cut hand, to try to take her mind off the hurt hand. I do what I can.

This reminds me of a time, three years ago, I received a phone call from Adrienne's work saying that Adrienne had been taken to the hospital. We learned that Adrienne had ovarian cysts and needed to have an operation. It was a 1 day procedure. I felt confident that I could handle this.

She went into surgery. Everything was going great. They called me to come and get her. They were told (read warned) that I don't do so great in trauma / recovery / blood! types of places. When I arrived to the hospital to get her, her blood pressure was very low and they decided it wasn't time yet to release her. The nurse led me to her, she was laying in a little space, only made so by a curtain and a bed. All around me, I could here people moaning about there wonky, cut up knee, and their head, this and that. Uh oh, feeling a little swoony. But I persisted. So, the nurse asks me "Would you like to help Adrienne get dressed?" I actually think that she suggested it. My ego wouldn't let me say what I really wanted to say -- which was hell no! all of these blood and guts, I gotta get out of here!" So, I walked towards Adrienne. She was a bit smile-y coming off all of the drugs, and happy that I was there to help. I helped lift her off of the bed. And then I saw all of the bandages! Uh oh. So, there we were, me clinging on to her trying not to faint, and her clinging to me, not being able to stand up because she had had major surgery on her abdomen region. As we rocked back to front, left to right, me, having at least the where with all to know that falling down with Adrienne would be horrible, I shuffled her over to her bed, all of 5 inches in that tiny space, seeing stars. Adrienne made me sit down, and then fed me one of her saltines. She leaned on her bed, and gingerly dressed herself.

The nurse came over, she put Adrienne in a wheelchair. I walked alongside as we went to the car. The nurse eyeing me cautiously -- I am sure running thorough her head some nursing code of ethics where there's a rule against releasing patients to people who faint at the sight of them -- and how that probably isn't the best idea. Oh yeah, not to mention that I was the one behind the wheel, and was to drive Adrienne home. Thankfully, it was a short drive.

A week ago, I went with the girls to the city. Urban Fauna Studio, a new fiber and yarn store was celebrating their grand opening. The store is very sweet and cozy with a nice selection of notions, needles, hand dyed fiber and yarn. Honestly, though, it was a bit hard for me to look around because there we so many knitters and spinners! It was great to see such a supportive turn-out. Ah, the fiber community, love those people. I will have to return to Urban Fauna Studio on another day when I can peruse the store a bit more.

The rest of the day was spent at Marlowe's house, doing fiber prep. Aija has been so inspiring with her combing and fiber prep that I was itching to get my hands on Marlowe's new combs. (thanks Marlowe!) Here are a few of the bundles I combed.And here is a bit of the yarn that I spun from the handcombed coopworth x romney. In an upcoming post I will write about what I plan to do with it and and a bit about the history of this fleece.

In Verb news, last Wednesday I added 2 new colors of silk, Apple and Shirley Temple to our online store. I was obsessed with drinking Shirley Temples when I was little. Sitting next to my Dad at the bar.

**** Big News ****

September is Verb’s 1st Anniversary.

To celebrate, in honor of my wonderful customers, everything in Verb’s store will be 15% off from September 9th until September 20th, 11:59 pm pst. This discount will be deducted at the time of check-out.

Plus, for all of the folks here in the Bay Area, we are going to throw a party.

Saturday, September 20th

AVFKW Studio
2703 7th St #145*
Berkeley, CA 94710

*We are on the ground level, facing the Activspace parking lot.

We will be offering 15% off through out the day. Plus, their will be yummy snacks and beverages.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past year! This truly has been a dream of mine, and to watch it unfold is truly remarkable. And, to see your projects and use of the product, so inspiring.

**** Cheers! *****

Sometime tonight, between midnight PST and 9am PST, I will post the coupon code necessary to redeem your 15% discount. There is not limit to how many times you can use this coupon between now and the 20th. Talk to you soon!