John is coming home from his year-long deployment to Afghanistan! It’s really, really happening! In fact, by the time you read this, he may already be home! This week, I’ve got some of my wonderful blogging friends who are sharing their variations on the theme: homecoming.
I’ll be back sometime during the week (or early next week) with pictures and at least one post about John’s homecoming. Until then, I’ll be off the grid, enjoying some much overdue time with my fiance.
Enjoy my guest bloggers’ stories! To see other posts in this series, click here.
Over time, my account has gone from a place to vent, get and give support, and talk with other military SOs to a small business for me!
It all started one day back in December. I was searching for some cute military support clothing, and just could NOT find anything that I liked. I wanted something that I could wear in support of not only my husband in the Army, but also my brother who serves in the Navy! I wanted something I could wear to show my support of everyone! There were tons of companies who made cute things, but I had trouble finding a cute, stylish, all branch inclusive shirt! It seemed like almost all the stylish ones were either branch specific, or the ones that weren’t so stylish were cheesy or way too “HEY I’M AN ARMY WIFE-GLITTER-JINGLING DOG TAGS-BLAH BLAH” And, that just is not my style.
So, I set out to design myself a simple, all inclusive shirt for Red Friday that I could wear to support ALL our Armed Forces! I played around for about a day with some different computer programs, and finally landed on the design I now print on my Red Friday Tanks! I posted it to my Twitter account, to see if a couple girls might want one, since it would make more sense to order a couple from the screen printer for cost purposes! I. WAS. BLOWN. AWAY. by the response. Twitter went crazy over my simple little design I had put together while playing around! I quickly got together 25 girls who wanted one, and I kept adding emails to a list of more girls that would want to purchase one if I made another order!
By January, I had a list of over 300 girls who wanted one! What happened next, now looking back, was one of those situations that proves why I believe everything happens for a reason! I made an order with a local screen printer, who gave me a time frame, which quickly went by with no shirts. Once I finally made contact with them again, they told me the tank tops I wanted were out of stock, and I needed to choose another. I did some digging myself, found out the tank tops I wanted were not on back order and most likely they were just stalling. So I cancelled my order! I was SO upset.
After a week or two of being upset and looking for other options, I thought, “You know what, I’m gonna do this my damn self.” And that it exactly what I did. I made quite an investment and purchased my own screen printing press, ordered the shirts, all the ink and supplies, and got to work. I will be totally honest with y’all, I had never screen printed before in my life. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, and I had multiple freak outs and breakdowns over the process of learning. There was so much more to it than I realized!
I could go on FOREVER about how long it really takes to get up and running on one design while you’re also learning everything new. Just trust me, it’s possible, but no walk in the park.
Long story short, I was very worried about investing ALL this time and money and effort into something that I thought might sell, but I really had no idea. After my first sale sold completely out in five minutes, I knew I made the right decision to do these myself! It felt great that I did all of this, taught myself, printed, marketed, sold, packaged, and shipped all of these, and that girls really loved them!
I plan on keeping this up as long as people will buy them! I have a lot of really fun design ideas for the future, and I would really like to get my design printed on more pieces, but that also takes some learning on my part! I’d say my biggest problem right now is that I just can’t keep up with the demand! But that’s a great problem to have! I hope to have my next sale as soon as I can get some more pieces done! If you want to know about future sales, you can always follow my Twitter (@deploymentprbs) where I announce all the sale dates and times, or follow along on my blog sassbritches.com or check out my shop on Etsy, “DeploymentProblems” And remember, “On Fridays We Wear Red.” Until they ALL come home!