Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Choosing the MSPCA and other charity talk

I spent quite a lot of time doing test batches of dyed fibers. Then, I started dyeing for real and went on a binge of dyeing fibers. About half the fibers I've dyed is in the shop, although most of the colorways are now represented. One day in the midst of it, I knew I wanted to get something in the dyepots, but was not feeling terribly inspired with color combinations. I looked at the two hot lazy cats I call companions and was suddenly inspired. I know that I don't have a whole lot of time left with Winston and not only knew that he needed his own colorway but that it could not just be in name.

I've been researching and looking up animal charities, but then I thought about Winston as a kitten. I was a poor college student, who probably should not have adopted an animal. I was taking a year off of school to figure out why I was in school to begin with, and was making ends meet with a 30-35 hour a week job getting paid $5.00/hour, before taxes. So far the vet bills of a new cat were manageable as long as I didn't eat out, even McDonald's. Having the orange fluffball to come home to was well worth the sacrifice knowing he would be healthier. I lived with 3 other women in an apartment that should have only fit 2, maybe 3 people. We all got the flu at the same time and were taking flu meds like candy. Someone must have dropped one, and 3 month old Winston must have liked the sugar coating and ate it. Long story short, we ended up at the MSPCA/Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston at around midnight after driving there from another clinic.

I don't know what kind of magic they performed that night, but Winston survived and not too much worse for wear. He spent one night in an oxygen tank and about 2 days in ICU before they released him to me. He isn't quite the size he was meant to be which means he's a little misproportioned. My family says he has drain bamage, but I think he's perfect. After Angell Memorial looked at my finances, they came up with a monthly finance plan and defrayed some of the overall cost.

When the Winston and Sally colorways came out of the dyepot, I knew that other crazy cat people, myself included, might like their own too. After doing research on animal charities, I decided that Angell Memorial will get the first donation from this series. It will go directly to the PetCare Assistance Fund, probably the same fund that helped me as a naive college student.

I like the idea of being able to give back in a small way using this business. I plan on rotating the charities and coming up with different series. There are a couple of causes that are close to my heart and those will be reflected in this store. For now though, the crazy cat series will go to Angell Memorial. When I reach around $25 I will make a donation in honor of Winston. The next round for the series will probably go the ASPCA since they do so much on the national level as well. I am also considering Houston SPCA since they do so much for animals during hurricane season. If you have other pet charities or suggestions, please comment and I will take everything into consideration.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's in a name?

Simply Basics does not seem like a fitting name for a fiber store but it does fit who I am. The name of my shop was chosen when I was using it to sell jewelry. When I was getting ready to re-launch the store with fiber, I had to think things through and decide if I was going to keep the shop with this name or not. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the name fit me as a person and that it would do for an eclectic fiber shop and I want to explain why.

My knitting business is named Basic Knits, and when I was looking for a name for my etsy store I wanted to somehow incorporate that big part of my life. I explored many incarnations of names that included the word “basic”. I liked the word because I think all things good in life come from basic things. The word “simply” fit for me because I like simple things, from clean lines in furniture to minimalist clothing and accessories. The busier stuff are the less I’m inclined to like it.

Putting the two words together into Simply Basics encompasses what I hope will be the center of this store. You won’t find items that are too fancy or frilly here. You will find things that are practical. The fibers I’ve chosen are good basic fibers. The stitch markers that will be listed soon have one larger whimsical marker with 4-5 smaller more functional but still pretty markers. I am trying to choose good quality but also economical materials. That again encompasses my personality and embodies things that I, myself, would use. I won’t sell anything that I would not use myself, and I can be one picky bitch.

Every now and then I will add things that maybe are not so basic, but I just really like. It could be fancier jewelry or a really special fiber. So look forward to a shop with simple basics and every now and then something really special.