You’re probably reading this right now because you’ve been redirected from my Instagram or some other form of social media, and you’re curious about when, if ever, Little Deer will make its long awaited comeback. When I first decided to (temporarily) close the doors to my store at the end of last summer, I promised I’d be back in two months, tops.
I decided to create this blog to communicate with my incredible customers, followers and fellow shop owners. Although Instagram and Facebook have been excellent tools to reach out to many folks, I felt a simple post wasn’t enough. I want to express my utmost gratitude to those who supported me. Everyone who took a look, liked, commented, shared, followed, and purchased. You’re amazing!
The reason I closed Little Deer is simple. My most popular items were the graphic tees, tanks, and onesies. Particularly the Mom Life tank. I am so in love with these items and designs, and I was so proud that people were expressing just as much interest in them. However, opening the shop when I did was a poor business decision, and I’ll tell you why: I didn’t do my research. I bit the bullet and after making only a couple t-shirts, I opened the shop and created listings as I was creating designs. I had so much fun with it. Until I noticed that my t-shirts (of course I wear my own designs!) were starting to look a little dingy around the areas I printed on. And as I washed them more, some of them were even peeling. I was so embarrassed that I had products from my shop with this quality. Had I taken more time before opening, I could have avoided this disaster. I closed the store with the intention of finding a third-party printer and getting back on track within 8 weeks.
Eight weeks came and went, and I had no luck. It seemed like there were no options for what I wanted: I wanted to be able to send out quality shirts with long-lasting designs, and to not have to charge an arm and a leg. Until a few months ago, when I finally stumbled upon what semed to be the answer, a “DTG” (direct to garment) machine that I can hook up to my home computer and print out the best quality possible.
This machine costs thousands.
One thing I didn’t consider when I began this journey was how difficult it would be as a single mom. I’ve been so happy to meet so many wonderful “mom-preneurs”, many of which, I found, are lucky enough to be stay-at-home moms or are married and sharing the financial responsibility with someone.
I’m not mentioning any of this for any pity or sympathy, because I don’t need it. I’ve been so incredibly fortunate in so many ways. While discussing the difficulty of saving up this money, one friend suggested I start a Go Fund Me page or Kickstarter. I just can’t bring myself to do that, I feel like there are so many important programs out there on those websites much more deserving of generous donations. But I thought of something else, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner.
I just launched The Starving Artist on Etsy, and I’m so excited! The Starving Artist is a side project I’ve created, carrying items ranging from paintings and prints to dreamcatchers, all handmade by me! I always wanted to expand the Little Deer brand to more categories such as nursery and home decor, but I didn’t think I would be doing it under these circumstances. This just works perfectly. I will be focusing on this side of the company until I can save enough money for the DTG machine!
Thank you all for having patience and sticking with me while I learn. I can’t wait for Little Deer to continue to grow, as I grow alongside it!