Nontraditional winter wear.

Well guys, I took A six month vacation from blogging due to some unexpected events, but I’m back with new ideas and a fall/winter product launch coming up in just 10 days! 😱 🎉 I’ve learned so much over the summer, and I took that time to refresh my creativity and get a new perspective on my shop

One thing I am doing differently this season is, instead of focusing on a select few products, I am launching a whole color collection and basing everything off of it. 

  
I’m really loving the bright and cheerful color palette. The colors are  definitely nontraditional for the season, but the materials are just everything warm and cozy. I’m designing all of the chunky knit hats, cowl scarves, etc in a Peruvian wool so it’s super soft without any of the scratchy.

chunky knit slouchy pom pom hat

I managed to find a way to incorporate it into every day household items too! Cup coasters, tumbler sleeves, coffee mug cozies, are just a few of the initial ideas that I’m creating with these colors.

heart shaped coasters

Aren’t these heart shaped coasters adorable? One of my favorite features about this season’s line is that you can customize everything in any color from the collection. So if you want a beanie that matches your cowl you can do that, or if you would rather have them in contrasting colors you can do that too. And while you’re at it you might as well get a matching set of coffee table coasters! 😉

tumbler cozy

 
There’s still so much I have to get done but the closer we get the more exciting this is! I’ll be showing off more of the line over the next two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled! 👀
XOXO,

Julie

Some of my small shop favorites…

One of my personal goals for 2015 is to buy more handmade and local items, especially if they are made in America. Not only do I want to support my fellow small shop owner, but I feel like the entire shopping process makes me rethink the way I buy. It’s so easy to walk into a store and buy things that I don’t need, just because they are on sale or cheap. When you buy handmade, while the prices may be slightly higher (not always the case), you really start to rethink about wether or not you need it, and appreciate the gorgeous work that went into it.

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1. CraftyLia heart pouch
My friend, Amelia, makes these adorable pouches. I have a bag for all of my knitting tools, but I had been looking for one to use on the go. Now I can just take the tools I need for my current project. I’m super excited about using it during a trip this weekend!!!! You can find the zipper pouch and lots of other adorable pieces she has made in her shop.

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2. Wemak body scrub
I purchased the ‘Woods’ scented body scrub at the craft fair I was a part of last Saturday. Veronica’s table was right next to mine, and I really got to learn about their process and how their business came about. I went home that night and used the scrub to give myself a pedicure, and I seriously felt like a new person… The scent that I got has cedar wood and lemongrass oil in it. You can check out their shop here.

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3. Me & Ris jewelry
Some jewelry, you can just pick up and feel the quality. The bracelet I got from Me & Ris is one of those pieces. Harlee and Marisa do such a beautiful job creating necklaces and bracelets out of various stone beads.

There are so many amazing local and small shops out there. It takes some effort to find them, but I promise that it’s worth it. I hope to share more products/shops as I discover them throughout the year. 🙂

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. These are all products that I bought and genuinely love.

Recent creations…

When I was a kid, I always loved the books with lots of pictures. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, in fact I actually LOVED reading. There’s just something about flipping through pages of colorful pictures… Even now as an adult, I often find myself flipping through a travel magazine, full of pictures of far away places, or a new cook book that shows off the deep colors of exotic vegetables and fruit.

So today, I am just going to post a gallery of my recent creations. Comment and let me know which one is your favorite!! 🙂

XOXO,
Julie

P.S. I made each photo ‘clickable’ so that you can see more info on each project. ❤️

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Why I’m not making resolutions this year…

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First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! For some reason I am way more excited about this year than I have ever been before. I’m excited about this chance to reset and restart. For this chance to look at life with fresh eyes and work towards new goals.

If you’re thinking ‘new goals?’ and reading my title wondering why those two ideas seem to contradict… Don’t worry because I’m about to tell you how this is going to change your life.

When I looked up the definition of resolution, one of them was:
A firm decision to do or not to do something.

I realize that there are other definitions out there, but I chose the one that most people think of when they hear the words ‘New Year’s resolution’. It’s the beautiful hopes and dreams we have for the new year. It’s the ‘I’m going to get into shape’, ‘I’m going get up earlier’, and ‘I’m going to read more’ that we have planned for our lives.

It’s beautiful and it’s fun, for the two weeks that it lasts… None of us intentionally get sidetracked. The truth is, most of us want to continue. The problem was never with the resolutions, but rather the plans behind them.

A resolution without a plan for action is nothing more than a dream that lasts as long as our willpower. I don’t know about you, but my willpower ain’t all that strong… That’s why this year, instead of making resolutions, I made plans in my calendar.

For every resolution that I would have made, I set aside time in my calendar to carry out the goals I want to accomplish. Rather than resolving to get in shape, I set aside time in my calendar to work out. Rather than hoping that I can produce more product this year, I gave myself deadlines to create new things.

Making a resolution without a plan would be like a mom who didn’t make plans for meals, who hopes that dinner makes itself, and brings everyone to the table, assuming that everything is ready. Sometimes we get lucky, and Hubby brings take out home, but it usually doesn’t work that way… Wether you are a planner or not, it takes time and thought to make things happen. Our goals for the new year are no exception.

I’m sharing a very simple thought, I know, but it’s more difficult to carry out than it would seem!

ATTENTION:
While we’re on The topic of getting all organized and making things happen, I have been meaning to get an email subscription available to you, for the last several months. I’m excited to announce that this will finally be available to you starting this next Monday!!!

On Mondays, I will be blogging about things that are helping me to find balance as a work at home mom. Balance is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot. We all know that we need it but sometimes it’s hard to know what the practical application would be. That’s why I decided that I would like to start sharing simple tips and tricks that are helping me in this area.

On Wednesdays, I will be sharing fun family moments and some project progress photos so you can come along for our family time and keep me accountable keep track of the projects I am working on.

Then Fridays!!!! On Friday I will be sending out the subscription newsletter that will include a coupon for your next shopping trip to Tokyo Blossom Boutique, and a recap of Monday and Wednesday’s articles.

I am so excited, and I can’t wait to get to know you all better this year. If you have any questions about the subscription that will be available starting Monday, feel free to ask. I want to make this as enjoyable for all of you! Well, hope you all are not too tired from staying up late last night. 😉

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What a raven taught me…

Between Sean’s birthday and our church’s missions conference Sun-Wed, I haven’t been able to do as much with the shop and blog as I have wanted to. While it has been challenging to juggle everything, what has happened to us this week is invaluable.

I have always hoped that my shop could be something that God could use to be a blessing to not only my family, but others as well. I wasn’t sure about how that would happen, but that has been my desire from the start.

In the last message of the missions conference, our guest speaker talked about a lady who wanted to give to missions, but she felt like all she had was her sewing machine. She went ahead and told God that it was His to do with as He saw fit. Once she gave her ability to God, a well known homeschool organization contacted her about making all of the uniforms for their branches, nationwide.

That kind of hit home for me. Yeah, of course I want my business to succeed and to help my family, but I feel like there’s a bigger purpose to all of this. And This week, I found it…

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We put a map and a chalkboard vinyl up on our dining room wall, so we can write down the needs of the missionaries that God puts on our heart to ‘adopt’. While my shop is still small, part of each sale I make will be going towards missions as well as to meet the needs of our adopted missionaries.

The more Scott and I talked about it, the more we both realized that God is leading us both to work on this together. I love how God had been telling Scott how his graphic design skills would come in to play. Both of us had already surrendered our lives to whatever God has for us, but this week, I think we found our purpose.

I Kings 17:4 came to mind. If God could use ravens to encourage and feed the prophet Elijah, how much more can He use you and I?

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What happens in Atlanta, stays in Atlanta…

Sometimes I think mompreneurs are super moms. A lot of them are adventurous and willing to go through all kinds of peril to succeed at what they are doing. They defy the odds and do it to make their lives, and their family’s lives a little better each day.

But then there’s me and my family…

Our story begins when I see that a little shop in Atlanta is selling a used dress form, like I had been searching for. I hop in the car and call the shop at least a 1,000 times just to make sure they don’t sell it to someone else, then we get stuck in traffic, take a wrong turn, and wind up getting there 10 min after closing. Thankfully they were still cleaning, so we were able to get it.

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Now if the story ended there, it would sound like your typical stressed out, bargain hunting family that happened to be shopping for a dress form. But what we did afterward is what makes me rethink the term ‘normal’.

We just happened to be in the part of the neighborhood, where the guys turn up the the cuffs of their blazers, to show off the snazzy print on the lining. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. That place where hair products reign supreme. And there were a lot of them watching us…

Cause you know… It’s not every day that you get to watch a family drag a dress form over a bridge, then stop to pose with it. There also may have been some couples on this bridge… On a date… While our totally ‘normal’ family + dress form did our thing.

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Yeah… I’m seriously rethinking ‘normal’.

The story begins…

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So here we are at a new beginning. There’s something special about new beginnings, no matter what the occasion. But today, I’m celebrating the new beginning of this blog.

I want this to be a place where I can record and share my thoughts, dreams, and memories on the road that my husband (Scott) and I are traveling as we grow our own companies.

He is a graphic designer/founder of The Studio Temporary, and I am shop owner/designer @ Tokyo Blossom Boutique creating vintage inspired crocheted and knit accessories.

Two weeks ago, we moved to North Georgia, with our almost three year old son. It’s been a little crazy, as we juggle a full time job, kid, two start ups and everyday life, but I’ve never felt more excited and alive!

Maybe it’s because on the inside I’ve been waiting for this moment. Maybe it’s because I’m never really happy unless I’m continually moving forward. Honestly, I think it’s both. The restlessness motivates me to try a little harder each day and to keep learning, so I can become better at what I do.

So that’s my explanification of why I’m starting this blog. While I enjoy sharing my thoughts, I would love to hear your thoughts and make friends with others in a similar boat as well.

Are you a mompreneur or is your family starting or growing a company? What are some challenges you face each day? Please don’t be shy and share a comment below! ❤️