I did it!


For the last three months, I have worked like a mad woman with only one goal in mind, a new commercial sewing machine. My old one had waved the white flag by the end of last year and right now I do my ‘magic’ on a loaner machine I could borrow from one of my former students.

Fortes fortuna adiuvat, a phrase I learned in Latin class at a very young age. In my native language German (with an Austrian accent), it would be translated into Das Glรผck ist mit den Tรผchtigen, meaning Fortune is with the hardworking. In English, we translate it into “Fortune favors the bold/the strong.” I suppose it stands for the same.

My Grandma had similar phrases and they basically all meant sleeping in was not an option -and the lazy ones will never get things done. According to her, the early worm is raised, very seldom born.

With my husband still on light duty (restricted hours and weight limitations due to a work-related injury in December 2018) and with the ongoing inflation, money seems to go out as it comes in. After a year of Kaputt, where we replaced so many things, now the last item on my wishlist was the new industrial sewing machine. There was not much money left in the savings for extra purchases. The way it looks right now, some of our money will be used to make up for luxury acquisitions in the future -like ‘eggs’ and the diet-coke, which my husband can’t let go of. Our electricity company just announced another price hike of 28%.

A new sewing machine. How would I swing it because not swinging it is not an option.

I will turn 60 by the end of this year. Another sensational chapter in the book of life will be finished and a new one will begin. Perhaps now is a good time to gift me my dream machine and so I decided to take on some unusual project. Spring is just around the corner, and people want their outdoor cushions done, preferably before Easter, in case the weather will be nice -which in Ohio means above 50F with a little bit of sunshine.

This is not what I normally do, but money doesn’t stink! Also, one of my grandmas’ favorite phrases, and so I sewed a nice amount of outdoor cushions and walked away from my normal routine.

And then I got two calls. The first one didn’t sound like much at first. “Do you do dining room chairs?”

I normally don’t. I restore, refurnish, and reupholster mostly antique furniture or heirlooms, but hey, why not. Money doesn’t stink? With a friendly monotone but not a too interested voice I asked for more specifics.

“Please text me a picture -front/back and side- and add your name and your email address, so I can send you a quote.” The usual chitchat. “Is it just the seat or do the chairs have a reupholstered back as well?”

“Seat and back, I will send you the pics,” and two seconds later I heard a PING and the pictures arrived on my phone. Nice looking chairs, not the cheap kind, but the more decent ones you find in hotels and pricey restaurants.

“How many do you have?” I asked, still not very interested, but curious enough to ask more questions.”

“48,” he said and I almost fell out of my desk chair. Holy Mackerel! Could it be that I would get that lucky?

I went all in. I underbid everybody who didn’t need the job and spent hours helping the customers to find the right fabric, and two weeks later they let me do a test chair. A restaurant/hotel a couple of hours away had hoped to find a smaller business like mine. They got lucky and so did I.

I crunched the numbers. $95 each with a wood touch-up. I knew nobody would underbid me. They loved the price -and the result-and I valued the opportunity.

Hello Sewing machine, you better be ready, because I will place an order soon.

Right in the middle, when I tried to figure it all out. Another call came in. This time from a former customer.

“Do you want to get the craziness out of your system?” I laughed. I always tell my customers that I have visions of designs and colors in my head that need to come out before I burst. After years of off-white and gray, a trend I will never understand, I am thirsty for a more colored world.

“What do you need?” I asked and thought she wanted a piece of furniture reupholstered or perhaps had some wood furnishings that needed some tender love and care.

“I want you to create unusual stools and a few unique chairs or perhaps a small couch. Something bright, maybe with a Mexican influence, crazy and modern. Something that can’t be found in a store.” The pieces would be shown at a furniture show.

I had two months to come up with something. My ‘wood guy’ created the base for the stools and I finally got red of some of my fabric remnants. Creating the stools was fun and the sofa and the chair that I wanted to display with it, had been waiting for a second chance in my storage facility for way too long.

I set up the booth on Friday and my phone started ringing the next day. The show was a big hit, it looks like my ‘craziness’ attracted quite a few people.


My “craziness” and mighty proud of it!

I feel very fortunate. By the end of April, I will place the order for my new commercial sewing machine, and not just that, I will finally get rid of my old banged-up worksurfaces in my workroom and will replace them with two wood countertops 90″ x 26″ in Oak. A small bonus I decided to give myself!

I don’t know if luck favors the strong and hardworking, or if it shows up randomly anyway, but I know it feels better if you work for it.

Maybe the amount of good luck, depends on our willingness to act?

Whatever it might be, I worked for it and it feels good!

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51 thoughts on “I did it!

  1. I missed this post during my recent two week digital detox, but I’m happy I read back today. I’m happy that your business is going well enough to get that machine!

    That couch looks very fitting to the request. Cool! I’m glad to read that in this IKEA era people still seek out people that provide real craft. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My father is a carpenter, so I realize how much time and effort it takes to do these kinds of things. I know there is a lot of excitement behind it, but it can also be tough and grow you.
    All I can say is that you are extremely blessed, and it is now time to prepare for overflow! God lovesย you. ๐ŸŒน

    Like

  3. Bridget, your work is just wonderful! I wish you were local to me, that’s for sure! The Mexican themed/colorful couch and stools are breathtaking! And the dining chair is stately and elegant. I am so happy for you to finally be able to afford your commercial machine. If anyone deserves and can use it that would be. you. Your “good luck” is because you are so hardworking and you do excellent work. I am just so happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a really good time designing and not just being the laborer, as I normally am when I make other peoples visons and dreams come true. I had a ball and I glad you like what I came up with.
      Thank you for being happy for me.

      Like

  4. Those look fabulous! They were right in choosing you for the job. Congratulations in getting it all done in time and that the customers were so pleased. I’m sure that new machine will make the new jobs you’ll be getting a way bigger pleasure to work on. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like your earlier series, this is a marvellous narrative or taking the gaps and making the most of what comes your way. Well done on producing such beautiful work in a relatively short time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am absolutely delighted that good fortune came your way and you were able to seize the opportunities Bridget. I love the fabric you chose for the chairs and your crazy collection is divine. Your wood guy also came up trumps with a simple, but interesting design for the stools base. Well done indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Bridget, you are so-o-o talented! Very few people can reupholster furniture now and even fewer at your skill level. The furniture you created was fabulous. And, yes, you made your own luck! Kudos to you and your hard work ethic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Working on something colorful was fun. I enjoyed it and finally got some of the crazy ideas in my head out.
      I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am about the new sewing machine. I didn’t think I would come up with a few thousand dollars extra, but I did it.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I LOVE this post! I totally believe that ‘luck’ is just planning, preparation and practice. So is “talent,” to a large extent. 48 chairs!!! I’d go crazy, I think, doing that many of the same thing, but I can understand that an order like that is something to covet and will make a huge difference in your savings account. And I LOVE your sofa and stools…would love to have a short stool to prop my feet on when I’m sitting in our overstuffed boring brown living room chair. What a great way to use up some remnants . I’m not a sewer, but my sister is and she has TUBS of fabric, most people that sew seem to have a lot of beautiful fabric around, waiting for a great project. Anyway, I’m so happy for you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right, Too much of the same drives you mad. I took 10 in every ten days and did two a day, beside my normal work.
      You are right, everybody who sews (no matter if normal sewing or heavy duty sewing) becomes a fabric hoarder. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

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