Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review + End-of-the-Year Gratitude

I saw another blog where the author used the word "memorable" to describe 2014. I am going to use it, too. It seems like the mildest way to describe a year that was nearly too much for me. So much change (moving twice, Erik's new job) and a few legitimately tough life things (unexpected expenses, chronic health issues, my parents and cat moving 3 hours away). Of course, 2014 was also full of joy– I got engaged in March and married in August, as well as paid off the last of my student loans– but as a whole it seemed entirely too overwhelming.

[The tattoo in the photo above is my present to myself for surviving the year– a reminder and a mark, because things will never be the same. Side note: it seems that since college, every three years I have a traumatic year. 2008, 2011... 2014. :/ I have a tattoo from each of those years.]

But enough about the circumstances swirling around in my personal life. And I'm not just saying that because this is my business blog– it's because House of Moss has been a rock for me this year. It truly brings me so much light in life: it's something I can turn to for distraction, success, and a sense of control. My business is like a safe little corner of the world where things make sense, where the energy and care I put in grows into something worthwhile. In many ways, 2014 has been House of Moss's best year yet.

Here are some notable highlights of 2014 for House of Moss (in no particular order):

• I introduced heart garlands, seedlings in gold pots, chicken ornaments, and new colors of cottage ornaments and pebbles in the shop.

• I interviewed 8 local makers for my blog series, We Make Portland Awesome.

• I finally joined Instagram.

• My work showed up on the Etsy Front Page 5 times, including twice in one day!

• I made it to my gross sales goal for the year– my highest ever– as well as my goal of having 400 active listings in my Etsy shop, and 1000 sales in my Etsy shop!

• I opened other online storefronts at Storenvy and The Scoutmob Shoppe, and on the wholesale site Self to Shelf.

• My work was featured in a Scoutmob email blast, a promo video for The Happy Cabin in Australia, in Presents of Mind's Valentine gift guide, on The Frosted Petticoat Blog, on Faerie Magazine's website, on SpoccaDeals, as Scoutmob Shoppe's holiday section header, in Alpine Lily's holiday gift guide for hikers, and in Retailing Insight Magazine. My website was featured as part of a promotion for a SnapPages/SquareMarket integration campaign.

• I was interviewed as a featured brand on Storenvy, in a Storenvy email, on the OPB website, on Tender Loving Empire's artist page, and on the Anna Attard blog, and some of the business tips I submitted were included in an advice post on Create & Thrive and in an article for the Etsy Seller Handbook.

• I cultivated relationships with quite a few wonderful new stockists across the country.

• UncommonGoods picked up my acorn ornaments for the second year in a row.

• I participated in Crafty Wonderland's Spring Sale and Holiday Sale, as well as 6 other holiday shows around the Portland area.

• I celebrated my anniversaries of 1 year self-employed, and 4 years in business.

• I finally launched my official website,!

...So, as you can see, I channeled all my frustration and angst from 2014 into my business, ha.

But I also want to emphasize that, while I am a one-woman business, I am so grateful for the support and opportunities extended to me by my network of awesome family, friends, and fellow handmade business owners (alliteration!). And my wonderful customers and stockists! You guys are so positive and encouraging. There are many reasons why I love running my own creative business, and the support of this community is definitely one of the biggest. Thank you for following along with me and House of Moss.

Much love and smooth sailing to everyone in 2015! <3 <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Featured by Tender Loving Empire

It's no secret that I have a deep devotion to Tender Loving Empire. Their retail shop, which promotes the work of hundreds of local makers, was my first stockist. Over the years, they have expanded so much– most recently with a second Portland retail shop and a newly-redesigned website.

Among their new features on the site is a page dedicated to some of the handmade artists whose work they sell in their shops. And I'm honored to have my own photo & write-up there! You can see it for yourself HERE.

Thanks, TLE! My business would not be where it is now without you. <3

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