Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011

2011 was a very eventful year for me, looking back there was some really rough patches, yet some really great spots too.  I spent most of today reflecting on what all happened in my life this past year and it was a lot! I don't think any of us really realize what we go through in the course of a year, until the end of the year that is.

This blog is my 2011 in a nutshell:

January saw the birth of a new grandbaby, what a joy and a true blessing!  It also marked the loss of my dear old friend Cookie Monster..... She was 17 years old, I had her since she was 6 weeks old what a great companion, dog, and friend.  I still shed a tear when I think of her (which is often).

March came around and I decided to try my hand at gardening, so I planted my first garden, it was a great experience and actually it did really well until the drought and excessive heat took over.

Speaking of heat whew what a summer! Over 40 days of 100 degrees or more!

June was quite exciting my husband bought me a new sewing machine and Bags By Hags was born!!! What a great experience this has been!  I still have so much to learn about running my own in-home business however I am determined to keep learning, growing, and making this business a success!

July brought another loss in my household, in fact 6 months to the day we lost Cookie Monster we lost our little pom Prissy.  She was a rescue dog that we got in Alaska when I worked at Animal Control, she was such a sweet little thing, Never and I mean Never barked!  She came from a horrible situation so I take comfort in the fact that in her last few years she was in a loving home. 

August brought the news that we would be blessed with our third grandchild! 

October brought more change as my son-in-law exited the Army and the kids and grandkids moved in with us.  October also saw the first month of Bags By Hags making the craft bazaars, I really enjoy these as it is so nice to actually talk with your customer face to face and get a feel of what they are looking for when it comes to handmade items. 

As we move into 2012 I already know of many more changes to come.  My kids will be moving out on their own in January, new baby is due March 12th, and I plan on expanding my items for Bags By Hags.  Those are the things I know about, the rest I just trust that God won't give me more than I can handle.  

I wish success, wealth, health, and happiness to everyone in 2012, Let's all make it a great year!!!!!

Marsha Bourquin/Head Hag of Bags By Hags

Friday, December 23, 2011

Huge After Christmas Sale!

The Promoting Creative Friends Team is having a huge After Christmas Sale!  Numerous shops on Etsy with many great items will be participating in this sale.  You can view some of the Treasury list created here on my blog.  Sale starts Monday December 26th.  From free shipping to percent off sales you will want to check this sale out!  For a list of all the shops participating you can visit

Merry Christmas from Bags By Hags!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Exciting Day!

It was an exciting day for us at Bags By Hags!  One of our items was featured in a Treasury List on Etsy and our shop is one of the Shops of the Week! 

Promoting Creative Friends: Weekly Shop Hop: Do you have an online shop? Love to check out other shops, and would love some free advertising? This is the place for you! Just click ...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting Organized

As the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season is upon us it becomes even harder to stay organized it seems.  But today I had enough, I simply had to get my workshop area back in order so I could regroup to start sewing new projects for the New Year. 

I knew I needed a better way to keep all my things within reach so I wouldn't have to spend time digging and thinking I know have red bias tape here somewhere! But until today I didn't really know how I could do that with the limited amount of space I have in my workshop area.  And then TA DA!

I recived this as a Christmas Gift last night, it is actually supposed to be used for storing photos, however I decided to to hang it up in my workshop area and make it a sewing organizer!  Its right next to where I sit at my machine so very easy access and no more digging through boxes that I was using before.  I just Love it!

Now back to sewing!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seam Ripper or Seam?

When it comes to my sewing I still classify myself as a "newbie",  I have come a long way since I first started making my bags and aprons, but I still have a lot to learn, of course my motto is we learn something new everyday!  After all if we didn't we would stop growing and just stagnate.  I have learned though that it's better to laugh at yourself and those horrid creations that you pull off the sewing machine than to get all frustrated, mad, and quit.  Like the day I decided to try and sew a fur cuff on something, oh my goodness it looked like something my 3 year old granddaughter had made!  My daughter who is the artist for all our items started laughing and pretty soon we were both laughing so hard tears were rolling down our cheeks. 

Most days I turn on the radio in my workshop area, sit down at my machine and zip right along but then there are some days that I feel I am one with the seam ripper!  I have also discovered that on days when nothing seems to be going right, or coming out the way I have it pictured in my head its better to turn off the machine, get up and go play with my grandbabies or simply sit down and watch a silly tv show for a little while.  We all have our days where our focus just isn't where it is supposed to be, don't feel well, or get a case of the blahs as I call them.  That fabric will be there tomorrow, while I am totally dedicated to growing my business and making it a success I also realize I have a life to live and sometimes taking a break for a day or two will in the long run will make me a better creator, more focused, and hopefully a better Business Woman.

Here's hoping for the days ahead to be those zip right along types, but if they are not we must all remember:  Sometimes you are the seam ripper and sometimes you are the seam!

Marsha Bourquin-Head Hag
Bags By Hags

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Outside of my Realm

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am into western decor, clothing, and accessories.  But when I started sewing and created Bags By Hags I knew I couldn't just make things in the Cowboy/Western style. 

As a crafter/creator of items you have to try and come up with things that other people like, things that are in style right now, and unique items.  This creates a challenge for someone who was country when country wasn't cool! 

However I was lucky enough to be given a bag of fabric for free from a fellow vendor at a craft show.  Inside this bag was this wild funky material so I sat down and came up with this funky little tie bag.  I have to admit it turned out really cute.  I hope other people think it is cute also!  

If you are interested in this funky little bag it can be seen at
As I continue to build my business and hopefully grow I guess I will be stepping out of my realm more often.  I apologize John Wayne but don't worry you will always be my hero and always adorn the walls of my home!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Craft of the Craft Fair

I have learned so much since I started sewing my bags back in July.  After I had mastered a few items it was time to figure out how to make some money off this little endeavor I had started.  Enter the Craft Fairs.......

I thought this should be easy, throw up a table put my stuff out and sell.... WRONG!!!!
There is an art to this in itself and while I am by no means an expert on this at all, the following is a list of a few things I have learned over these past few months.

  • Display is EVERYTHING!  You are not holding a garage sale, you are a vendor selling precious items you have spent many hours creating.  Cover your table with a bright tablecloth or material.  If you are sitting up at an outdoor event you might want to invest in a pop up tent.

  • Arrange your items neatly not in messy piles.  If you have items to hang, a pegboard is a good idea.

  • Promote some of your items by wearing them such as aprons, hats, etc.  There is no better way for customers to notice your stuff than if you are wearing it.

  • Don't try and put out everything, chances are you have more items than your table can hold, just put out a few of each item and fill in as things sell.

  • SMILE!  No one wants to stop at a booth where the person looks miserable.

  • Take the time to talk to everyone who stops at your booth, just because they don't buy anything today doesn't mean you can't speak with them.  Hand them a buisness card they might not buy today but tomorrow is another day!

  • Talk with other vendors, this is very important most of them are very nice and they can offer you good advice and maybe give you some good ideas.  They are just like you trying to figure out the best way to sell their wares also.  For me while it is a great since of accomplishment when someone buys one of my items, it is a bigger since of accomplishment when another vendor compliments you on what you have made!
The last thing to remember and probably the most important, don't expect to sell all your stock at one event.  Some events your stuff sells like hotcakes, the next one you may only have one or two things sell.  Don't be discouraged, we can never know what the crowd on any particular day is looking for or is willing to open their wallets for.

I hope this list offers some helpful hints and I wish all us handmade/homemade workers much success!!!!

The Head Hag
Bags By Hags

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Trying to figure it all out!

This is my first blog post!  Here we go!!!
  Back in July of this year I decided to embark on a mission and teach myself how to sew and make a tote bag.  I have to admit the first one was a bit hideous but I kept on plugging and soon Bags By Hags was born.
Soon I signed up for a couple of the local craft fairs and I am on my way!
 Next step was opening up my own shop on Etsy, now comes the part of marketing all my items and getting traffic to my shop.  There is so much out there- Do this, Don't do that, you need this app, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Purchase Ad space- AHHHHH I think it was easier learning how to sew the stuff than it is to market and sell it!
 Well God willing and the creek don't rise I will get it all figured out!!!!

Marsha Bourquin- Head Hag
Bags By Hags