JM Handmade Giveaway

 It's Small Business Saturday and we are celebrating big here at In the Heart of my Home. I'm shining the spotlight on a new sponsor almost every waking hour today and offering you a chance to win with every post. I want you to get to know my kind sponsors and I think you'll be glad for the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping in these small shops. The giveaways will remain open until Tuesday at noon and then all the winners will be announced in the original posts.

I love a handmade Christmas. And if you hang out around here, it doesn't take long to discover I love handsewn things the best. So, I'm thrilled to welcome Joann back as a sponsor. Her little shop is taking off and it's a pleasure to be a part of it. Let's get to know her a little better and then I'll tell you all about the giveaway.





How did your shop come to be?

Sewing has always been a "hobby" of mine passed down by my mother and aunt. I grew up watching them sew for a living. I never had to buy any dresses (including my wedding dress). We were spoiled in that department with my mom. Sewing was always something fun to do. A family friend gave me their old industrial Singer (which was the same machine my mom had). After I had unlimited access to that wonderful machine, I wanted to spend more and more time doing it and I became better and better. I was whipping out adorable baby items for friends, place mats/aprons for weddings and curtains for our home and I couldn't get enough. My husband understood that visits to the fabric store were weekly events. Time went on. We had a baby, and of course a new baby also meant more adorable sewing. People started telling me I should sell my items. At this point I had acquired quite a bit of fabric. I reasoned that I had nothing to lose by trying to sell items made from all these available material/scraps that I had acquired. So I opened my ETSY shop.

How do combine your work and your family life?
It's hard. I would love to be sewing and creating all day but I don't think my 2 girls (ages 5 and 1) would enjoy that much. Plus as much as I love sewing, I love my family way more. Being a stay at home mom is my dream job! I take things day by day, and the family is the priority, which means if you were to knock on my door on a random day you might not enter the cleanest house in the neighborhood and my dining room table is always covered in gorgeous fabrics and pattern pieces. This past month I've had a crazy increase of sales and I'm about to sell out of my Christmas holly dress. This has been the first time I bought wholesale bolts of fabric and I can't believe I'm down to only 2 yards of it! However this also means I've had to spend more time than anticipated to fullfill orders. My husband is a teacher and on some days can make it home early for me in order to fulfill my orders. But for the most part I've had a lot of late nights recently. It's a learning process. I know in the past summers have been typically really slow and my husband has the summer's off. So of course I need to utilize that time better next year so I don't have to sacrifice family life. 

What inspires you?
I'm a graphic designer by trade and love everything related to the arts. I love anything vintage or retro. Growing up in a Portuguese family made me love different cultures. I'm always attracted to brightly colored fabrics and anything that looks remotely cultural. When I married my husband and took on his Irish name I embraced having an extra heritage to celebrate. St. Patricks Day has become a big feast for us. When my second daughter was born I made her a baptismal gown with Irish embroidery. I made 2 different prototypes that I listed in my shop and they sold so quickly. Every so often someone will find it online somewhere (via piterest or in my sales history) and e-mail me wanting one. Its the unique items that you really can't find in stores that sell the best. I also love Our Lady of Guadalupe and when I found some "Our Lady of Guadalupe" material, and made my daughter a dress, it was comical the mixed reaction I received. My daughter and I loved her "Mama Mary" dress. I decided to try selling it and it was another best seller! I love when I can incorporate faith into my items and make feast days fun for my family. 

What's the product you are most excited about in your shop right now?
I recently added some kitchen towels and hair accessories. I'm finding it brings more traffic when you have more of a variety of items to sell.

Any plans for your shop for the new year that you'd like to share?

I have plans to make my Irish embroidered baptism gown available again and even try out a First Holy Communion version. I'm always on the look out for "Marian" or religious fabrics and thinking about ways to make feast day celebrations even more fun. On a local level I started teaching sewing lessons to a group of homeschoolers. We are on our second year and I have enjoyed passing on my love of sewing. I hoping to grow my sewing school. But basically, we take things day by day! I'm hoping my shop is a fun way to contribute to my family.







Take a look around Joann's shop and tell us what you love in the combox. You'll be entered to win $25 to spend in the shop. Also, this weekend through CyberMonday, Joann is extending a 10% discount to readers who use the code TURKEY10. Happy Handmade!

The Winner is Lisa Schmidt of The Practicing Catholic, who wrote: I love the bowties!

Lisa, please contact me with your snail mail address at intheheartofmyhome AT