Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My first auction ..... Emma Woods

Emma Woods, mother of two, handmade (and fabric)-a-holic and the creative soul behind 
Georgie Porge

How it all began

When Georgia was born in 2009 I discovered the world of handmade. I fell in love hard and quick! I loved the idea of buying something so unique for my little girl that could not be shop bought or mass produced. I loved that I was helping stay at home mummies make a living as well as providing my little princess with things that not every second child had. I have always been into crafty things and always had ideas running through my head. The more handmade I bought the more I came up with ideas for things I would love to see on Georgie that I wasn't seeing out there. It got to the point when a) I was spending money each pay on handmade and b) my ideas were like a scratch I needed to itch.

I remembered vaguely how to thread a sewing machine in high school,  and had recently inherited my Grandma's Bernina!  Oh my GOD it was like Christmas! Looking back now I was shocking ... but I was happy making singlets and wonky clothes that were made by mummy for my little girl. Sewing became my happy place.

I became friends with Emma from Whimsy Woo, our friendship began with me being a customer to then emailing many times and getting sewing advice. I asked her if she could make George some weighted owl bookends and being the gorgeous girl she is she drafted me a pattern and pushed me in the right direction and said do it yourself :) So my love of softies began. Em asked me to be a pattern tester along with Jo from Squiggle POP for a Wooie. I was BEYOND happy!!!! She was so happy with the result that she was generous enough to allow Jo and I to make the Wooies to sell.

I  was SO in love with the pattern that with gentle nudging from a few close handmade friends (Nat from Little Miss Tippy Toes, Jo from Giovanna and Joanne from Squiggle POP) I started Georgie Porge on Feb 19th 2012. It was a success fast!!! With overwhelming support from my handmaidens and besties I got to 1400 fans within a few short months and every item I put up sold within minutes. A MASSIVE shock to me who even now feels like a newbie. With that though it felt like a lot of pressure fast. So when I fell pregnant with my little Milla I had a years break because my sewjo had up and gone! :) I started back fresh this Feb 2013 with my 1400 fans and was so refreshed and trying new things like clothes and headbands.

Trying these things opened me up to the gorgeous Kristie from BOO! Designs whose help has been invaluable! She promoted my work on her page and since then my business has gone through the roof again with gorgeous new fans and friends, and giving me confidence.

So what do I sell?!   hmmmm anything that takes my fancy!

 .. clothing, softies, Wooies, headbands, necklaces, brooches the list is endless the more ideas I get. I have a notepad by my bed as the ideas usually hit hard at about 3am!


I am successful, yes, but purely from the help that I have received from all my handmade friends who are so generous with sharing the love. Am I making a profit? HELL NO! I need to curb my fabric shopping lol.  I have made soooo many new gorgeous friends since I started back who have given their support. I wouldn't mind if I had 100 fans as long as my work was appealing and sold, but it's an added bonus to be growing ;)

A little about me

I am a fabric addict, if it was a choice of food for me or fabric, hands down I'd starve (which is probably best cause my diet went out the window a few weeks back). I'm VERY thankful that my hubby works away so that when my 30 odd packages arrive in the mail he isn't here to receive every one ;). Some weeks this is not the case, LOL, but he loves me regardless and puts up with it. I'm a new mummy again to little Milla Moo, she is pure joy and ignited my sewing passion as I wanted to make her divine baby clothes from Mumma.

My first auction

When I hit 2000 fans I promised I'd make a one of a kind Wooie as I hadn't made one in so long and they are so popular. "Princess Milla" was so special to me and unique, I found it very hard to price her and SO many hours were put in. So, early on I decided to auction her to hopefully get the price that I was too scared to ask for, but the price that she deserved. This was very daunting as I'd never auctioned anything before and knew nothing. I thought of a few different avenues like eBay etc, but decided after some advice on 

So I registered as a business on hand-made and went through the steps of setting start and end times. I chose one day, from 6pm to 8pm the next day AEST, this way the momentum was there and people wouldn't get bored. I chose to go with a reserve of $155 for "Princess Milla" so she would not sell if she made under this amount. You have NO idea how nervous that made me :) but there was no way I was willing to part with her for less, I wanted to keep her badly!!!!  I knew she was worth A LOT more than the reserve, but hoped people thought the same. As she was a 2000 liker gift I suppose that was the gamble I was willing to take. I advertised pictures of her on my page, throughout the whole making process so everyone got sneak peaks. I also had a few friends share her on their walls when she was completed. 

Another great resource I used was The Sewing Library, which is a group on Facebook for people to share creations and chat about sewing. I put pictures of Princess Milla up on The Sewing Library. I also joined another Facebook group solely for sellers on hand-made and asked a few questions there. I let my fans know prior to the auction that they had to register on hand-made if they were serious buyers. I started writing countdown statuses to build excitement, and made the decision after talking to Aline from Bedros Designs (who had recently run an auction for a unique doll), that I wanted to tell my fans the reserve. I was a bit nervous as $155 is not a small amount and it's really putting yourself out there! But it also avoids people wasting their bids at $100 and so on and the fans knew that she was not on the market until she reached $155, they all knew how much I wanted to keep her too ;). There weren't many comments on my page about the auction so I had NO idea if she would even sell!

Bidding opened and I had major butterflies in my tummy :)

It started off slow but got to the reserve immediately. Through the next day there were no bites really and I was a bit disheartened that maybe people didn't like her, then probably 30mins to go till bidding ended, there were about 4 people fighting over her and it went crazy! :) Bids were changing right up until the end when "Princess Milla" hit $235!!!!!!!!!!!! I was SOOOO shocked and wondered if she was open for another 5mins how much she would jump to ;) LOL. I was SO ecstatic that she went for a price that she deserved and all my hard work had paid off!! I found it hard taking her to Australia Post but happy that she was going to someone that knows her worth and will treasure her! Listen to me! You'd think she was real, hehehe but they do feel like my babies.

Would I do it again?!?! In a heartbeat! already planned a Circa Wooie!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO

Thank you for listening to me waffle!!! Now its chocolate time!!!!!!! headbands to make :)

Emma's Personal Cheer Squad
Emma, WhimsyWoo
Joanne, Squiggle POP
Kristie, Boo! Designs

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