Thursday, January 4, 2018

#2018MakeNine

Happy 2018!

I just absolutely love the thought of a fresh start on new year's day. It's like the start of a new week but on a much bigger scale. Normally when I set goals each year I jot them down on a piece of paper that gets lost in the shuffle a few weeks later. This year I vowed to change that. Even though I hate to admit it, I am constantly on my phone. So I opened up a new note and wrote down my goals. I even ventured to brainstorm a bit about ideas I have been dreaming up. Now every time I hop on Instagram or do a quick email check, I can easily scroll through my goals, note my progress, and reset my path for tackling things that are already forgotten. On top of that, I'm setting smaller weekly goals. 3 small things that I can accomplish in one week to set me on target for crushing my overall yearly goals. 

One of my biggest goals this year is to try and sew clothing. Yikes, right?! Give me a zipper pouch or a quilt any day. Straight forward and to the point. Clothing is much more fluid and overwhelming. I know I'm not alone in this feeling, so for all of you out there hesitant to make your own wardrobe, I'm giving it a whirl for us! I'm not sure where this journey will take me, or if I will succeed, but I'm feeling inspired. So I'm joining Home Row Fiber Co. and their #2018makenine challenge. A self-paced journey that brings makers together through the common goal of completing nine projects in one year. 

So far I've selected nine clothing items that I would like to add to my wardrobe. I'm not sure if these will be my final items, as I'm sure I will learn a lot about fit and style as I go along, but it's a good place to start. Here is the line-up:

  1. Sew Caroline, Primrose Peplum
  2. Indie Sew, Cleo Skirt
  3. Tilly and the Buttons, Coco Dress
  4. Sew Caroline, San Francisco Swing Dress
  5. Simplicity, Pattern 8101 (need one for Amaia!)
  6. Seemly Co, Vallynne Tank
  7. Hey June Handmade, Santa Fe Top
  8. Sew Liberated, Stasia Dress
  9. Sew Caroline, Downtown Tunic 
I'm still working out fabric and color choices for some projects, but I absolutely adore most of the originally styled items. First up I am going to try out Sew Caroline's Downtown Tunic and Sew Liberated's Stasia Dress. They are perhaps my favorite of all and what I'm most excited to try. I just ordered my patterns and fabric, so here we go!



Here's to stepping out of our comfort zones and crushing goals in 2018!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Markets

The Holiday Season countdown is officially on! And that means Amaia Papaya will be popping up here and there over the next few weeks. If you're looking for the perfect gift, we've got you covered. We will be fully stocked with zipper bags, mug sleeves, tumblers, tote bags and more! Here is out current market schedule:

Saturday, 12/3 Totally Bazaar IV, Mill No. 5 Lowell (12-5pm)

Sunday, 12/11 Farm Market, Mill No. 5 Lowell (11-3pm)

Saturday, 12/17 It's a Wonderful Market, Mill No. 5 Lowell (12-5pm)

Not local? Our Etsy shop will remain open during these events, but we encourage you to place your holiday order soon! For guaranteed Christmas delivery orders must be placed by Monday, December 12th. Looking for a custom order? Send us an email or Etsy message and we will set one up for you!

We truly hope you enjoy every moment of this holiday season!

Alyssa
Amaia Papaya Shop





Friday, August 19, 2016

Vendor Packing List


This month I had back-to-back markets, so I thought what better time than now to share my vendor packing list!

I usually set up shop at local Farmers Markets or indie craft fairs that tend to be on the smaller size. Mostly because I find that my products tend to fit in better at these events & locations.

These events may only last a few hours, but there is certainly a lot of prep-work that goes into them.

Most markets require you to submit an online application several months in advance. Generally I write out a list of what events I want to attend and then start searching for application details. Once I have all the information, I'll set reminders on my calendar so I don't miss the deadlines. Be sure to have photos of your booth display and products on hand to submit with the applications.



Once accepted, the entrance fees are generally around $25-35, depending on the event. The organizers will send you load-in time, vendor booth number, load-out details, and general event guidelines and rules.

Next I work on creating my booth itself. Tent, tables, racks, baskets, etc. This didn't happen overnight. I started out with what I had on hand and then slowly added items as time went on. Pinterest has a ton of ideas, so definitely start there!

And then begins the biggest hurdle, making inventory! I usually start making as much product as I can as soon as possible. You will want to have enough stock so you can replenish your stand as the day goes on. It took me a few markets to figure out how much I would sell on a normal day, so now I have it down pretty solid how much inventory I need.

For me, I like to have everything packed and ready to go in the car the night before an event. Or at least packed and by the door for an easy load in. The morning of an event you want to be relaxed and just hop in the car because you will be doing plenty of work at the market itself!


My last few words of wisdom are bringing water and snacks/lunch along with you. You might not have the time to run and grab something, plus it saves you some cash. And most importantly you don't want to pass out!

So here we go! Here is my go-to packing list for pop-up shops! Do you have anything to add to the list? We would love to hear your ideas.

Happy vending!




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Around here!

Oh hey there! I have not forgotten about you little blog. Life has just gotten a bit crazy these days. With work, the shop, our little Amaia, friends, family, sewing, etc. etc. etc., writing has been put on the back burner.

But, that doesn't mean that the shop hasn't been making tons of progress during that time. Since we last talked, we've done five farmers markets (more on that later!), gone through our first holiday season, added a new machine to our shop, continued to sell on Etsy, and gained lots of new followers over on our Instagram page.

My original goal with this blog was to share my journey of starting a handmade business. And that's just what I plan to do. So here's what you can expect from here in the near future: sewing tips, info on vending at farmers markets, background on why eco-friendly products are so important to me, and a glimpse into our little shop.

Right now we are gearing up for our next farmers market. Which means every table surface is covered with sewing machines, cutting boards, and fabric. I'm spending as much time as I can just making. So cleaning will have to come later! After doing five markets this holiday season, I got in a really good groove of prepping and packing so this time around is much less stressful.

As I jump back into writing, here are a few pictures from around here lately.

Packaging up produce bag sets. 

New batch of zipper pouches.

Fabric shop labels. Prepping for the summer market season. 
Nothing better than bright, vibrant, summer prints. 

Meet our new gal! We now have a serger machine and I can't wait to start making!

Our days are filled with sewing and enjoying the sunshine in our little patio garden. 

Tote bag + leaf print.


Succulent fabric. Yes please. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Find time to be creative


It's no mystery that kids can take up a lot of your time and energy. After chasing my 14 month old around all day, the idea of settling down at my sewing table for a late night of work can be downright terrifying. I'm still trying to navigate mamahood and discover what works for me, but I thought I'd share these super helpful tips to find more time to create...or do whatever it is you love to do!

►Nap time is the best time. Sure there are chores to tackle, but creating is more fun. Use your free time to tackle one project at a time. And don't get frustrated if things get cut short. Because they will.

►Get everything ready to sew/knit/crochet/paint/whateveryoulike the night before. That way you can just jump head first into things when you have a free moment.

►Better yet, wake up EARLY. Again, terrifying, but if you can get yourself in a routine of getting things organized for the next day and heading to bed early, you can do it. Set a 10pm bedtime and things will get a whole lot easier.

►Take things on the road! Heading out on a family trip? Pack some things that are car-friendly that you can work on. Doesn't apply to your current projects? Consider picking up a new trade and practice along the way!

►Don't expect to do it all! I can't tell you how many ideas I have bouncing around in my head All. The. Time. But there simply aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. Just knowing that you aren't alone on this front can be reassuring. Prioritize what you want to work on and keep a running list of projects.

►Schedule in time for creativity. If you're like me, sewing is a great release for everyday stress. So just like chores, meetings, or appointments, I schedule in a time when I 'have to be sewing'. For me, Thursday nights are for sewing. Axel watches Amaia and we eat leftovers or order takeout, so there's no added stress. I look forward to it all week.

►Have a set sewing space. Keep all your essential supplies right at hand so you can again jump right into things when you have a free moment.

►If your kids are old enough, get them involved too. There are lots of terrific kids sewing projects out there to try.

I hope these tips help you carve out a little more time to find some creativity in your life. And if you have any advice of your own, please do share!

Until next time.

Alyssa/Amaia Papaya Shop

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Around Here


Around here, things are starting to feel like the end of summer. That means we're trying to squeeze in as much time as possible outside, enjoying every minute. Long walks after work, trips to the playground & park, movie nights under the stars, and concerts downtown. Summer life is sweet.

But that also means that I've been gearing up for fall in the shop. We have a few shows coming up in November, so I'm working on curating supplies and building up my product stock. There is nothing better than the sound of my sewing machine humming away mixed with the giggles of my little one running around underfoot.





As a part of my fall shop plans, I decided to take a step back and really educate myself on the handmade business process & freshen up my sewing skills. I truly believe that education is empowering and the key to success.

Your local library is a great resource for this. They have tons of 'selling handmade' books with excellent tips from some of the top sellers. Even after 15 plus years of sewing experience, I've been hitting the books and re-learning all the basic sewing techniques. No matter how much time you've logged at the sewing machine, there is always room for improvement and some inspiration.

On top of that, I've been working on a ten part video series from The Merriweather Council. Danielle is a great resource for starting your own shop. She offers insight into maximizing your efforts on Etsy, gaining followers and customers through social media, and leveraging the great work you are already doing. I strongly suggest you check her out!



AND, don't forget to check out the shop. We have the cutest market tote bags up for sale at only $15 plus shipping. Pair them with some local honey, soaps, and fresh flowers from the market and you have a great (and inexpensive!) gift idea! PLUS, I am super excited to be working on some new mason jar tumblers, mug sleeves, and pouches that will make the perfect gift for anyone this upcoming holiday season.







Until next time!
Alyssa/Amaia Papaya

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shop re-opening!

Hi Friends!

We're back from our amazing family trip to Disney and the shop is now officially open! We had an incredible time enjoying our vacation, but I have to admit that I am so happy to be back here creating and making.




I'm feeling re-charged and re-inspired to work as hard as ever with my shop. So in honor of it's mini re-opening today, we're having a quick sale! Go ahead and treat yourself to something sweet and enjoy 15% off all items currently listed. Just use code SHOPLOVE15 at checkout. PLUS all tote bags have been marked down to $15 plus shipping. Don't miss out on this great handmade deal. Just click on the 'Shop' link on the home page and you'll have everything right at your finger tips.
Glad to be back! Keep your eyes peeled for a post-vacation breakdown very soon!

Alyssa/Amaia Papaya Shop
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