From Fails to Finished

Yesterday I set up a workspace for the 3D Printer I received the other day. Actually, my wife allowed me to use a small corner of her studio where she makes her wonderful hats. Check out her website- Ningen Headwear for some great winter hats!

I spent a good couple of hours leveling the bed, installing software on our computer, and getting a couple of designs ready to print. The first test design was a thank you to my wife for use of her space. She had made some face masks and wanted one of these to try out. It was technically “Headwear” related- Surgical Mask Strap. I figured it was an easy print and wouldn’t take very long.

Boy was I wrong.

After about half a dozen failed attempts just starting, I eventually got a print that was not at all what it was meant to be. It was missing some layers. Back to the Internet and YouTube to figure out my issue. Turns out I hadn’t set the proper parameters for my brand of printer.

A couple tweaks and we had a successful first print! Followed by two more successes! I could really get addicted to this feeling of accomplishment. But now I am out of my spool of plastic. Time to wait for the Amazon order to arrive. During that time, I plan on getting some more files downloaded and ready to print.

I see how this could become a love/hate relationship with a 3D printer.

She Works Hard For the Money

My wife has been running her own business for what seems like forever. Check out her website (that I helped design) at Ningen Headwear. She loves what she does. All of her hard work has paid for our vacations and the kids’ activities. I love her products and enjoy talking about them to everyone I know.

However there is a small change a brewin’.

My wife had a job interview on Friday. It was a Skype interview that lasted about 45 minutes. She did well enough that it was followed immediately by a secondary interview that involved problem solving skills. I hope that she nailed it.

My wife was a bit anxious and is having some mixed emotions about this. She never really used Skype before (neither had I) so it was a fun challenge to get it set up and see what it can do. She also expressed feelings of doubt in both her abilities to do this new job and in herself for having “failed” at her own business.

I reminded her that she didn’t fail at running a business. She successfully made something from scratch. I don’t see it as failing for trying something new by working for someone else. It’s time for her to change it up a bit. She will continue to work on her own business if she gets this job. She is passionate about what she does.

Fingers crossed she gets this job. It seems like a perfect fit for her. Now we wait… waiting is tough. But in the meantime she will continue to work from home making awesome hats and cosplay ears.

Break? What Break?

Last week we drove from the Vancouver, BC area to San Jose for Silicon Valley Comic Con. We left on Wednesday stayed one night in Ashland, Oregon before a weekend of nerdiness.  We returned home by leaving at 05:30 on Monday to make it home by 8:30pm the same night.  We only have a couple of nights at home…


And we are leaving again tomorrow morning at 08:00 to drive through the Rocky Mountains and into Calgary, Alberta. We are going to drive straight through and should be there by 8:00pm the same day.  Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is a four day event beginning Thursday. It’s a hard go, but a lot of fun.  

It’s even harder go to have a day and a half in between traveling.  I’m on vacation from my regular job and when we return from Calgary, I’ll have six days of recovery.  My wife isn’t as lucky.  Her business is always on.  She is constantly working.  Even while selling at these shows, she is often sneaking off to email correspond with online questions.  Her business is her pride and joy and she takes it very seriously.


My wife also has ups and downs but can’t just leave it in the office.  Her studio is only steps away from the side door of our home. She doesn’t get to go on vacation as easily as myself.  But when I’m on vacation and traveling with her- I like to think that I’m alleviating some of her work load.  

And I get to hit conventions!  Have I mentioned how much I enjoy those?

Closer to Home

We are getting ready for Con number three of the spring season.  Emerald City Comicon has been a roller-coaster ride for us over the years.  We had a great first year, terrible second year, and a great third year.  The convention circuit is fickle.  The company that runs Emerald City Comicon changed at the end of last year’s con so we had to jump through some new hoops and re-think our merchandise layout.  Every convention is different, and each presents its own challenges.  Some conventions, we are in the Artist Alley, sometimes we end up in The Vendor’s Hall, at WonderCon we were at The Dealer Tables.  Emerald City Comicon is a great convention, don’t get me wrong.  It’s huge and fun and there’s plenty to see and do.  It has become so large in fact, that they have added an extra day and expanded the gaming area into the hotel next door.

We do this Convention because it is fairly close to home.  We have taken the kids with us, but have since decided not to.  Seattle is an expensive city to visit.  My wife and I are taking a weekend to ourselves this time around.   Today is our crazy packing day.  We’ve been home for only a week and are ready to go back out again!  I love helping my wife out with her business.  She makes her products and I do the sales (generally).  It’s a good way for us to travel, meet people and generate some extra income.

As usual, I am promoting her business.  She doesn’t like to self-promote, so I try and get her out there every chance I get.

Banner 2016

If you can, take a moment and “Like” her page on facebook & follow her on Twitter.  She shares her adventures and pictures on Instagram as well.

And if you wish to purchase or request a custom hat, contact her through her website: Ningen Headwear or through her shop on Etsy.

We hope to see everyone at one of the next couple conventions!  If you’re at Emerald City this weekend, stop by and say hello!

Faded dragon Thanks2015

Running a Home Business 

My wife has a small home based business.  She creates fleece hats and hair clips in a small studio off the side of our home.  Shameless promotion here: Ningen Headwear

Her business started about eleven years ago as a way of making some extra money while our children were toddlers.  My wife attended craft fairs and sold on eBay from 2005-2010.  Etsy showed up in 2009 and she began selling there.  From that point on, she made numerous contacts and began focusing her products towards a specific genre.  We attended our first Anime Convention, and thus began a new way of life.

My wife’s business pays for our trips.  We incorporate vacation time with the Comic Cons.  As a family we love the Convention Circuit.  The kids are often dressing up in Cosplay, having photos taken, meeting celebrities, meeting fantastic artists and just having a good time.  It doesn’t feel like work when we are there.  But building stock and merchandise, that feels like work.

 

Inspirational view and sewing machines.

 

Last year I finally completed my wife’s studio.  Up until this point, our dining room and spare bedroom was where she worked 11.5 months of the year.  We only ever packed up for the two weeks at Christmas to make it feel like a home again.  Now she walks out the door and enters her own world.  She puts in full time hours but it feels like part time pay.  That’s the cost of running a home business.  No one tells you it will take twice as much time for half the results.

In my spare time, if I’m not doing housework or general home repairs, I try and help her.  I don’t know how to sew.  I don’t know how to measure and cut fabric.  I do know how to update her website.  I know how to sit at her embroidery machine and thread it (thank you movie theater experience for that!)

 

Busy making fan favorites!

 

My wife’s home business isn’t going to make millions.  But it does make her happy.  My wife makes her customers happy as well and their feedback is phenomenal.  That’s a job satisfaction that comes with taking pride in your work.  Her business also keeps us traveling.  Which allows for us to spend quality time together.  That is worth more to us than any amount of money.

Running a home based business isn’t easy- but it sure can be rewarding.