2019 was a good year

Whew! 2019 seemed to fly by faster than ever. It seems the older my kids get, the faster each year goes. My husband and I are trying to fully relish this busy time of our lives, we know it doesn’t last. We’ll have a High Schooler next year. However cliché it seems, looking back at pictures is always such a good reminder for me. Sometimes it’s a way of remembering what happened and that it all didn’t fall through my hands like grains of sand.

On the personal side of things we said goodbye to my best friend, Pepper, our Beagle, in June and after her leaving such a huge hole in our hearts, I felt the only way to recover from that was to give more love to a new puppy who needed a home. We adopted a puppy, Frida, from a local Humane Society. She’s a Blue Heeler/Border Collie and is just what we needed.  It hasn’t been the easiest adjustment, but she’s been so good for our family. My new main exercise activity is lots of walks and hiking and I’m loving every minute (even the cold minutes!). My girls participated in lots of soccer, volleyball , and school activities and we went on a fun family beach trip to Chincoteague, VA during the summer. My husband, Dan, has been busy cycling (from fat tire biking to gravel and road biking). It’s been fun to see him enjoying every moment.

Our new pup, Frida.

After finishing my studio space in late 2018, this year I felt was actually a need to re-settle into my work. I didn’t want to try to push myself beyond what my business was already doing, so it felt good to accept that I could go at my own pace no matter of any outside expectations.

Speaking of the business side of things, I released a few new patterns, the Crescent Tote, Redwood Tote, and Hillside Tote. Your enthusiasm for the patterns was contagious! My next fabric collection with Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Driftless, is actually shipping NOW! I also contributed to Making Magazine’s No. 8  (Wood Carrier project). It will be released as a PDF in my shop in a few months. I also have some upcoming work that will be in the next issue in Spring! I switched my shop platform over from Woocommerce to Shopify in August. It was a long-term project that I worked on for quite a bit of the first part of 2019 and finally got the kick in the pants to finish the switch in late summer. It’s been a great thing for my shop and also comes with a few quirks and hiccups along the way. Things are going pretty smoothly now and I hope to always allow time to take a look at the big picture parts of my business. I also had a fun interview on the Love to Sew Podcast with Helen & Caroline, such an honor!

My goal is to continue to provide a reliable source where you can find components and supplies that work with my patterns. I’m also hoping to continue to expand my offerings a bit while maintaining the kind of business I want to have (small!). If there’s anything you’d like to see in my shop in the future let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear! At this point it’s only really ME holding myself back, so a little push never hurts.

I’m looking forward to the new year! I feel that as I get older and my business evolves over time, I no longer need to compare what I’m doing to what others are doing. I can go at my own pace and run a business that aligns with my values and still have fun!

I am continually grateful for my friends and the support from this amazing sewing (and knitting!) community. After 10 years in business I cannot believe all the goals I’ve achieved while also being the kind of mom and wife and friend I want to be. Thank you for your support, comments and encouragement over all these years. There’s so much fun to come in 2020 that I cannot wait to share with you!

If you’re new here, take a trip down memory lane and check out my previous year-end posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 20142015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Wow, that’s a lot of years! I say that almost every year, but it’s true!


16 thoughts on “2019 was a good year

  1. Sandra Woods says:

    I remember when you had a full-time job and were running your business part-time! Your patterns continue to be amazing and so professional looking. All the best for 2020.

  2. Sandra Woods says:

    I don’t see the pattern for the bag top row, third one. What pattern is this please?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks so much Sandra for your sweet comment. 🙂 The third one across the top row is my Explorer Tote pattern, I have a blog post about it here with all the details 🙂 :

  3. Leslie says:

    You are my favorite friend in this world of blogs and online experiences. I love your patterns and your sweet, humble attitude. And I love your brick and mortar shop — so beautiful and chic. You elevate “handmade” to a classy, respected, honored place. Thank you!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Oh gosh Leslie! Thank you so very much!!

  4. Leslie says:

    And thank you for the poignant note about Pepper . . . and now Frida. So sorry for your loss, and proud of you for pushing forward with another companion. I said goodbye to Jack (12 yr old Standard) this year but haven’t had the courage to interview for another. Thank you for the motivation to share my home with a rescue pup . . . who will probably rescue me. Blessings for a wonderful new year.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      I am so sorry for your loss! It was one of the most difficult things. Frida has been such a joy and helps me keep my memories of Pepper alive.

  5. Esther Dunn says:

    Happy New Year Anna! I so enjoy all you do and wish you continued success.

  6. Michelle Morton says:

    Happy New Year Anna! I have been following your blog for nearly 8 years now and have loved the glimpses into your sewing and family life. I also set up a workshop last year – just about the same time you did but for an entirely different business from yours though. At that time, I was struggling to see myself in business and all that entails without loosing out on family and fun time. I found a book called “The Magic of Tiny Business: you don’t have to go big to make a great living” by Sharron Rowe. I listen to if often while working in my workshop to remind myself that small business is OK. I think that you may really enjoy this book as well, so I encourage you to download it from your library! I have made several of your patterns and up next are the Redwood Tote and Making Backpack. All the best to you and your family in the New Year, you are amazing!

  7. Janet says:

    Happy New Year, wishing you good luck in 2020!

  8. Megan says:

    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved. Well done indeed. Great patterns for bags, I have an addiction I am afraid, and I loved watching you renovate your shop, it was inspiring. Lovely to see your beautiful and always happy looking children grow up. Congratulations on Frida, I had a cattle dog (blue heeler) border collie cross for 16 years, great dog blue marle coat and just gorgeous. Your little dog looks more like a terrier… she is so cute I remember the first time I saw her photo she certainly has landed on her feet.

  9. Alice Dillon says:

    I’ve just recently come to discover your bag patterns and have made three so far. Love love them. Keep doing what you’re doing cuz it works. Your bag patterns are my favorite and the best I’ve made so far. I also love your Driftless fabric. It’s beautiful. I need to get it to make a quilt for my daughter. She went to school in Winona and meet her boyfriend there. They love that driftless area so much and really miss it so a quilt will be in order from your fabric and the one you made with the flying geese is perfect as he is a duck and goose hunter. Good luck with your future as I think it will be bright. And also sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved dog. I’m sure your new puppy will be wonderful. We had a border collie mix that left us a few years back and she was the best dog we ever had.

  10. says:

    Happy New Year Anna! I can’t wait to get my hands on your new fabric collection! I hope 2020 is a great year! Thank you for continuing to inspire all of us!

  11. Kathy says:

    So many beautiful pictures! I look forward to doing more sewing in 2020 including more bags. I’ve had very good luck with your patterns!

  12. Angie Mueller says:

    I absolutly love the messenger bag and the fabrics you use are incredible. I am at the point of attaching the gussets and unless I’ve missed it, I don’t see how or when the gusset lining is attached. Can you help me with that please.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Glad you’re liking it Angie! Happy to help, we’ll send you an email. 🙂

Comments are closed.