The 2016 Stitch & Hustle Shop Small Holiday Discounts & Gift Guide

It is the First Annual Stitch & Hustle Holiday Gift Guide!  And boy oh boy does The Stitch & Hustle Season of Giving continue in an EPIC way.  Our community continues to amaze me with the generosity and man have we got some awesomeness for you from some of my favorite small business shops & artisans... check out these deals and do not miss out.

YARN MAMAS:
If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I LOVE the Yarn Mamas. Krista, the owner, is not only a fellow yarnieand avid crocheter, but launched the Yarn Mamas with amazing gifts for fellow yarnies. Top notch customer service and great products keep me coming back. Now you can save 15% with code HOLIDAYGIFT on all orders through December 1st. Get a great gift for yourself or a fellow yarn loving friend from this awesome shop!
 

ATELIER DE SOYUN

I first "met" Soyun about 3 years ago when I was searching for the perfect Crochet Hook Case for my longer Rosewood Hook collection. She custom made the most amazing case for me. SInce then I have been back several times for another hook case, a knitting needle case, and a project tote. Not only is she an amazingly talented artisan, she is super easy and fun to work with. Check out this deal:
* Purchase by Nov. 6 to get 15% of entire order using a coupon code 'EARLYBIRD2016'
* Purchase by Dec. 1 to get 10% of entire order using a coupon code 'JOY2016'

PAWLEY STUDIOS

I had the wonderful gift of meeting Amanda and her husband of Pawley Studios at Stitches Midwest. I instantly fell in love with her creations and her vibe. Not only are her yarn bowls insanely awesome but her collection of yarn sayings mugs are on point and so fun.  Use coupon code "stitchandhustle" for 10% off through Nov. 15

JESABELLE B PROJECT TOTES

Jesabelle of Otterburn PQ makes the most wonderful knitting project arm bags. Read my review here and see why I literally use mine every single day and never leave home without it! Now Jesabelle is offering the community 15% off everything in her shop from now until Christmas with code STITCH15.

SMALLGLOW
If you've seen my instagram feed, then you know my yarn loving, small biz owning, inspirational coffee mug game is strong. One of my favorite small biz owners and source of many great mugs, including the mug that helped launch this blog is Zenia of Small Glow. Now you can get 10% off with coupon code: YAYHOLIDAYS now through 12/1/16

MAD LOVE SHOP

I had the privilege of meeting Angel of Mad Love Shop when our booths were across from each other in the Etsy Pavillion at the OOAK Show.  We've become friends and collaborated many times since. Her shirts are among my faves and staples in my wardrobe. Perfect to bring a pop of art to my wardrobe. Get your own piece of Angel's wearable art and use code SPECIAL20 for 20% off through the end of the year. What? yup expires 12/31/16

TOOSHAYCROCHET HOOKS
Ok guys - SO MANY of you have asked me about my crochet hooks. Well Angelika, the amazing artist who makes them is giving you guys 10% off with code TooShayCrochet on orders of $50 or more through 12/31/16. Now I happen to have 5 of her hooks and can honesty say that are unmatched. They are premier ergonomic hooks and the wood means they are durable. I LOVE them!

WONDERLAND QUILT CO.
I have to be honest, even though I CAN make baby blankets, it is my least favorite thing on the planet. So I outsource baby gifts lol. My go to is the Wonderland Quilt Co. I met Eileen, the maker, at an Etsy event a couple of years ago. Her quilts are amazing. Use code HOLIDAY16 for $10 off any purchase over $100 now through 12/31/16.  These are simply the perfect gift for any little one. To quote my last gift recipient:  "Thank you guys so much for Lily's present!!! The quilt is adorable and Lily loves it! She tries to cover herself with it all the time. And the star is a permanent toy in her crib. Great idea and we are all super grateful! Thanks so much for thinking of us. Lily will give you lots of hugs and kisses next time"

CLUCK CLUCK BOOTS

You guys - one of my fave mugs comes from Kathy at Cluck Cluck Boots. Every time I share it on Instagram in stories I get so many messages. People love it. Now you get get 20% off her yarnie mugs, patterns and more with code HOLIDAYHUSTLE20 now through 12/5/16.

144 STITCHES

And because I think you are all awesome, as a thank you from me, use code STITCH20 for 20% off my site and Etsy Shop now through 12/31/16.


OTHER AMAZING SMALL BUSINESSES & GIFT IDEAS

PASSION PLANNER: Ok guys - I am telling you my Passion Planner was a Game Changer. I am more efficient, more productive, and reaching goals like never before. The concept is simple. Invest time in yourself and get a plan to get to the next level. They always have deals and sales if you follow them on IG. Cannot rave enough about it!

 

 

RAINGIRL DESIGNS

 I discovered Joanna's shop about 3 or so years ago on Etsy when I was in search of the perfect iPad case. I wanted someone to create a case that could be a pouch as well. In my mind it would be fabulous of course. When I contacted Joanna, she seemed to understand exactly what I was after and made the ordering process super easy. I was so impressed with the craftsmanship and customer service that I went back for my project totes.  Joanna looked high and low to find the right fabrics to fit my color palette and style. She created these perfect project totes for me.

KNIT BAAH PURL

I met Paula of Knit Baah Purl at Stitches Midwest over the summer. I grabbed up her "For The Zen Of It" and "Lay Flat To Dry" yarnie & sheep shirts. Her sheep themes gifts are perfect for anyone in your knitting or fiber circle. Mugs, gift cards and witty sayings on wine glasses. I could go broke in Paula's shop. Check her out here.

 

KNITATUDE
I met Chantal online in the Instagram community. I am such a fan of her vibe, her work and her constant push to grow the community through her weekly Knit Nights. She recently launched her Knit Kits which as a beginner knitter I must say are AMAZING! Fun pouches to hold your notions and they come with all a knitter needs to get going.

 

There it is. The Stitch & Hustle Top Gift Ideas and so many discounts. Thank you to all the generous shops who feed into this wonderful community. Happy shopping season!

Cozy Season, Simple Season

As Makers & small business owners, this is our time of year. This is the time we live for... these months leading up to the holidays and all that comes with it. But for us, this time of year brings a unique set of challenges in finding balance and enough hours in the day. I am always interested in how to improve in this area and squeeze as much quality into those hours as possible. I've invited one of my favorite makers, Nicole Knutsen of Naturally Nora Crochet, to share her tips for not just surviving the bustle of the season, but thriving through it! Take it away Nicole...

When I was a child, my grandmother would overwhelm us with loving gestures all autumn long. Family outings, special celebrations, and gifts upon gifts upon gifts. We would find ourselves buried in an avalanche of white tissue paper and golden tinsel every year.

I read a book when I was about eight or nine in which the little girl protagonist received a set of colored pencils in a wooden box as her Christmas gift from her grandmother. This little girl cherished her simple gift and rode home with it in her lap, cradling it like a treasure. That year, I wrote a letter to Santa asking for only one gift, making sure to specify that I did not want anything else. I wanted to feel what the little girl from my book felt-simple pleasure from a simple gift and the freedom to pour out gratitude for a humble holiday. Even as a young child, I felt deep in my soul a longing for that kind of joy.

That simplicity becomes more and more difficult to claim as we grow into adulthood, as we marry and integrate two families, as we commit ourselves to meaningful friendships, as we have our own children, as we start our own businesses. Simplicity and slow living doesn’t just happen, it takes commitment and work.

The demands and expectations of the coming season can overwhelm,  draining the comfort and joy out of all the things that bring us our happiest childhood memories, particularly when you are a self-employed-maker-of-cozy. Your boss can be SUCH a task master! I know mine can.

I am taking some steps this year to make this my family’s most intentional holiday season yet, even though it is also likely to be my busiest season as a maker yet. As I tiptoe carefully into fall, I will be focusing on five commitments to help achieve the humble, joyful season I so desire for my family. Care to join me?

Make a Plan

I recently created my own planner, customizing it to include all the areas of my life I am currently attempting to juggle. In addition to daily tasks, I have an area for my various business needs, including weekly goals for making, designing, writing, photography, and social media. By splitting these tasks up throughout my week and planning goals a few weeks in advance, I know how much work I can realistically bite off on any given day. This has literally saved me from insanity as the season has already begun to ramp up with market applications and collaborations.

In addition to my weekly planner. I keep a very strict daily schedule. I am strictly disciplined about work on my computer-writing, photo editing, and patterning must be done in the two hour window my husband and I plan for when he is home throughout the week, before the kids wake up, or after they’ve gone to bed. This is the only way I, personally, can be fully present with my children, which is top priority for me (this is what works for ME; no judgment here at all if you do it differently!) I allow myself time to crochet throughout the day, as the kids play at home or at a park, while they are at dance class or as we wait for an appointment, but my computer stays closed.

Take Time to Prepare

I am a designer. I want to be creating new designs and writing patterns all the time. I am a blogger. I love writing and sharing my heart and soul to encourage others. But, this time of year, I am specifically setting aside one day a week when I work exclusively on building stock for fall markets. For me, it is so easy to get distracted from building stock. I have about fifteen ideas roaming like free range chickens in my mind at any given time (I know you have NO IDEA how that feels!). Compartmentalizing my various business tasks keeps me moving on the parts I wouldn’t naturally do first.

Focus on People

So far, I have talked about organizing your many to-do’s. It is a constant danger for me to focus so much on my to-do list, that the people right next to me who get in the way of said to-do’s are dealt with swiftly and harshly. This isn’t how I want to live, and it isn’t the kind of mother or wife I want to be. I am working this handmade business life in an effort to spend MORE TIME with the people I love. I must have the self-awareness to realize when the opposite is happening, and the discipline to reverse the effects by refocusing on the folks I’ve been given to care for and the folks I am serving through my designs and handmade items.

Develop a Comfortable Pace

Small tasks done consistently over time add up to very big accomplishments! Treat yourself well by having patience with the pace that works for you. A super-productive day is great; a well balanced day is better. I never feel less satisfied than when I rush myself or my family and the simple pleasures of being together are lost on the highway of life. Take a backroad instead-as Phil Dunphy says, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!”

Claim Peace

Peace is lost when the expectations we feel from others or ourselves are not met. We feel restless, less-than, harried, and worried. But peace is not a state of being that simply alights upon you-you must be intentional about claiming it. For me, this means letting go of those expectations. I had a goal for September to publish “x” amount of patterns. It didn’t happen. There were days and evenings I could have worked on them and I choose not to. I took my kids to their grandparents or had a date night in with my husband instead. Things went undone. I made peace with myself and let go of the expectation that equates success with productivity. Last holiday season, I had Christmas cards all designed, even printed. They are still unsent, sitting in my desk drawer. I claimed the peace the season is truly about and let go of the expectation that equates an adorable photo sent out in December with familial bliss. Above all the commitments I am making this year, claiming peace by releasing expectations is by fay the most vital.

Plan, and prepare, yes. But I challenge you this year to keep you focus on people, move at a healthy pace, and feel deep in your soul a still kind of peace that will last beyond your busiest season as a maker.

Nicole is the amazing designer and artisan behind Naturally Nora Crochet. Get inspired & follow her on Instagram here.