Wednesday, March 26, 2014

From Housewife to Truck Driver to Housewife to Truck Driver...Bizzy is Dizzy

Whew, what a brutal winter! It is no secret that I seriously dislike any temp below 75 degrees and if it weren't for our adorable children who love their schools we would be moving south. I will sacrifice my comfort for the little chickens 85% of the time, but I draw the line at sledding and building snowmen. I would seriously pay someone to take my kids sledding, snow is NOT my thing. Unless I am skiing in 50 degree weather. Hey, I have never claimed to be uncomplicated.

Ever since I was a child I have battled the winter blues. Over the years I have found that the best way to keep my sanity is to complete a large goal by spring. To complete this years "keep my sanity goal" I channeled my inner June Cleaver. Why June Cleaver? I have this romantic ideal of the 50's era. It was a period of growth, the country was recovering from the war, technology was booming and there were many new opportunities for men and women. What I love most about this era is the emerging boldness in art, decor and women's style. I envision that women were struggling with a fine balance of keeping their homes immaculate while trying to mix in creativity. Over the years our house standards have relaxed due to women working inside and outside the home. We now have multiple play dates, charity functions, school volunteering and jobs outside the home. Like the 50's era women we still dream of the perfect balance; an immaculate home, success outside the home, and a happy family.

My inner June Cleaver spent the past few months organizing every inch of our home and minute of our schedules. Everything has a place and everything is in it's place. There is a new set of chores, new budget and the house is...wait for it...clean. Even the dog is clean. I found that the oven in the kitchen still works and that baking homemade bread is gratifying. The kids even eat the crust, I tell them that I sprinkle extra love on top, the teenager smirks and a happy tear forms in the younger one's eye (ha). Even the hubby is smiling more.

You may have this image of me holding a dust pan in my polka dot dress with my hair curled and red lipstick painted upon my lips. If so, thank you for that kind thought. Truth is, I look more like Frankie Heck from 'The Middle' than June Cleaver. Soon it will be time for the reversal, I must trade in the Frankie Heck sweat pants for the June Cleaver dress (if it still fits). Driving Bizzy into the sunrise in sweatpants is not very becoming of a lady truck driver. Love the irony.

The Bizzy calendar is filling up fast, looks like mid April is the beginning of the season. I have truly missed being out on the road and mingling with my artisans and our fans. Spending a few years building this business kept me away from my family and I have really enjoyed this time to dedicate every moment to them.

Here are a few things to look forward to:
-During the mass organization I weeded through the craft supplies which will be sold on the the new Bizzy Craft Shelf
-Tweaks to the cash register, website and a better way of informing you of shopping locations.
-Deep cleaning of ole Bizzy. Her infamous floor took quite a beating during the late fall.
-Reorganization of Bizzy's shelves. Look for some fun new additions. 
-Spontaneous parking sites. I have been scoping out spots around the city to park and will be partnering with other boutiques and food trucks. F.U.N. will be had.

Excitement is building and I look forward to the '50's housewife challenge' of balancing my family life with my Bizzy life.

See you all in mid April,

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of Pricing Blood, Sweat and Tears

Photo borrowed from Gallery 50 in Traverse City, MI

Every handicraft person struggles with price. They try to be fair to the customer and themselves. The price includes materials, years spent perfecting the design, time spent creating the display, sleepless nights, insurance, gas and numerous fees (insurance, booth, store, etsy, credit card, legal, employees).

My heart breaks each time I witness a shopper inspect an item to copy it themselves or they may turn to their friend and say, "Hey, Suzie you can make this right?". I have also witnessed people comment or share some of my artisans photos asking their friend to make the item for them. I delete those comments from my biz page.

I will admit that before becoming an artisan myself I was that person, I even took a photo or two of items I intended to copy. Those photos sure look nice sitting in my computer files, the few that I did attempt were unfinished and the materials were donated to Indy Upcycle. I regret wasting the time and money and wish I would have bought the item from the maker.

Some have compared Bizzy's Boutique to a mobile Etsy, which I take as a compliment. That is just it, I am driving the artisans products around to reach shoppers who may not seek out handmade items or know how to find Etsy. My intention was not a mobile Pinterest which I have a love/hate relationship with. I loved it when I first discovered it and then hated it when people would post photos of Bizzy Buckets on their DIY boards. My pins diminished along with my bucket making.

All artisans try to keep a thick skin but whenever we see a facebook post, pinterest pin, overhear a persons intention to copy our hard work or have a person tell us that our prices are too high, it stings and stays with us. The remedy...Whether you intend to buy from the artisan or not say something nice, compliment them on their display, their attention to detail, their ability to hide the blood, sweat and tears that led them to that very moment in time.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Butterflies, Boots & Derrière's

I was so excited to have received an invitation from Hobnob Market in Danville, IL. I have watched the market grow into an exceptional show over the years and the location this year is in Danville Gardens greenhouse. Add in great friends attending, a new alternator, radiator and engine and nothing was stopping me.

Since Bizzy is so large (she is still oblivious to that fact) we had to be one of the first vendors to set up. A 7 AM departure time was a must. I overstuffed Bizzy with her favorite wares and set off in the cold, rainy, windy, dark before dawn hour. The adrenaline was pumping for the the first half of the trip. I am talking white knuckles, belly full of butterflies, boots a quaken, a derrière squeeze or two and a handful of the "Oh my gah, Oh my gah, Oh my gah" squeals. We set into a rhythm and began bee bopping to The Beastie Boys. It is no secret that while my left foot is jammin to the beat, my right foot is filling up with lead. Imagine the shock and awe when I spied 80mph on the shaking speedometer. After a quick "Holy-something-or-other exclamation I began to rein in my confidence.

We arrived safe and sound and once again drew all the boys from the yard as they watched me squeeze ole Bizzy inside the greenhouse and then nest her into her comfy spot. I cannot lie, I love to see their faces as they say, "Wow, you did great!".

Bizzy and I are excited to meet many of our Illinois neighbors and I am especially looking forward to the margaritas with great friends after tonight's intro party.

The Hobnob Market is a quick hour and half drive from Indy and it gorgeous and warm in the greenhouse. The Market is open Friday, Nov 22 6-9 and Saturday, Nov 23 9-4.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Food, Trucks, Tips and Bribery

Today I received an S.O.S. message from a fellow trucker, Scout's Treat Truck. She needed someone to help her sling cupcakes during a Cluster Truck event. I dropped everything and ran to be by her side, literally, because when you work on a food truck you are attached at the hip, belly and backside.  I also had the pleasure of being attached at the hip with the driver of  Der Pretzel Wagen, his ride is under the weather and he was also eager to help our sweet friend.

I was tasked with packaging Scout's to die for sea salted brownies and then I hit the street practically throwing cupcakes in peoples mouths. What a rush, people were drawn in by the smell and then left with not only one sweet but up to four at a time.

Funniest moment...A customers bill was $10, she paid me with a 20. I hand her a 10 and she says, "Oh, I only need $7 back." I give her a confused look. She explains, "I know what it is like to work in the food industry". Little did she know that this was my very first food industry job and that I make my living as a boutique truck driver. I highly recommend flying incognito, you just might get a 3 dollar tip out of it.

I give mad props to food truck drivers. My trucking biz is a tough one but I now see how much work it takes to sell food from a truck. Hands down one of the best jobs I have had. I always love to work with the public and who doesn't love a paycheck of laughter, hugs, cupcakes, brownies, mac n cheese, pizza, fries and a $3 tip.

Second funniest moment...My daughter comes home from school and I tell her I have a surprise for her. I pull out the Mac Genie and Scout's Treats. She looks me straight in the eye and asks, "What did you do? Did you break something of mine?". Oh yes, these two items are bribery good.

Be sure to check out:
Scout's Treat Truck
Der Pretzel Wagen
Mac Genie
Cutie Pie's Pizza
Groovy Guys Fries
KG Slider Station

Happy Trucking!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sad news...

I am sad to report that Bizzy is going to be out of commission for a couple of weeks. Her ticker (engine) has failed and she is currently waiting for a replacement.

Gut wrenching news on so many levels but on the bright side, she will be as good as new. She may even receive some fancy dancy shocks. The other trucks are going to be SO jealous.

During this time we will not be able to do every event we had planned. There will be a funny story that comes from this experience, just give us a little time to let all of this digest.

Thank you to all of those who have sent their well wishes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Follow Me For A Unique Shopping Experience

Things have been so "Bizzy" that I have not been able to keep up with the blog. If you do much "looking" around the blog, it seems like Bizzy is not yet in existence. Well, she is and she is traveling all over the Indy area sharing the top handmade goodies in town.

When you see Bizzy, you must climb on board. There are so many offerings for all members of your family, including fur-babies. Here is a compiled list of all those goodies you don't want to miss out on.

Handmade crayons
Stylish handbags
Repurposed cashmere
Locally authored book
All natural body products
Soy candles
Beautiful felted jewelry
Gorgeous totes
Hair Flair
Sassy words of wisdom
Girl's dresses and pants
Ladies ruffled skirts
Infinity scarves
Stuffed animals
Fabric covered notebooks
Cuddle Blankets
All natural dog Treats
Whitty stationary
Fun Mugs
Repurposed leather accessories
All natural cocktail and mocktail syrups
Recycled t-shirt headbands
Hand stamped sterling silver jewelry
Pillow case dresses
Sheet skirts
Dog scarves
Hand crocheted winter must haves
American Apparel screen printed Indiana T's and hoodies
There may be a few other surprises amidst the shelves and more boy items coming soon.

Have I mentioned that everything in the boutique is handmade locally? How does one fit all this amazement inside a mobile boutique? Ohhhh, you must see it to believe it.

Be sure to follow Bizzy on facebook and Twitter for the next don't want to miss event.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Get My Perks featuring Bizzy's Artisans

Get My Perks Indianapolis is featuring 12 of Bizzy's artisans this week. Two artisans will be featured each day and you will not want to miss these deals. After snatching up your deal be sure to send each artisan a shout out by thanking them on their facebook pages and clicking like. Here are the links for each page.

Get My Perks Indianapolis
Bizzy Buckets
boris loved natasha
Frangipani Body Products
Green Illuminations
Inga's Popcorn
Lois Pearl Designs
Lucky Ducky Designs
Mrs. B's Gourmet Biscuits & Bones
Specifically Random
Time & Again Shop
Two Seaside Babes
United State of Indiana