Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our First Team Picture

Whew!  What a year 2011 has been so far for Bit of Whimsy Dolls!  The first six months of this year Rob and I watched as demand continued to grow for new patterns, finished dolls and clothes and we found ourselves at yet another big decision point - Do we level off and just do what we can OR do we take the next big step to become more than a stay at home business. If you've been a Facebook fan over the last several months, you know what we decided - TO GO FOR IT!

After finding the perfect office to work from, our attention turned to figuring out what roles we needed to fill, how many team members we needed for the various roles and most importantly  trying to find people who were the perfect fit.  I'm so excited to finally introduce to you the first full Bit of Whimsy Dolls team.  While I have had a couple other friends assist with various things, this is where it really begins. Below is our first 'team picture.'

Starting from the left, I'd like to introduce you to each of the women who really make the BOWD wheels turn as fast as they are these days.

Terri was the first hire after Rob and I opened the office.  Terri joined us about a week after the office opened.  In fact, we were still setting up much of the equipment, work spaces and only had concepts for how we thought things needed to work.  She had responded to an ad I placed in the newspaper back in January when Rob and I thought we were taking the business in a different direction as a home-based model.  When we opened the office, Rob asked me to pull out all the response we'd received from the ad and Terri was one of the first people I wanted to meet and see if she was interested in working at the new office.  She was, and the rest is history!

Karen, like Terri, also responded to my original ad in January.  At the time, we talked on the phone and it was obvious to me that she loved to sew and was someone I would certainly want to know better once I had the BOWD act together.  Fortunately, when I reached out to Karen shortly after the office opened, she was still interested in hearing about the sewing opportunity. Karen officially joined the team just after Labor Day.

Ailene happens to be a former high school classmate of Rob's. In this crazy social media connected world, Rob had reached out to several friends of his on Facebook and quickly received a response from Heidi (she's the one on the right).  Heidi in turn shared the Facebook message with Ailene and they both were interested in the opportunity to help with photography, listing and shipping.  Ailene has a passion for photography and has done several projects in her spare time. Seeing what Bit of Whimsy Dolls was about, she fell in love with the dolls and immediately started sewing dolls for her girls, even though she doesn't have a lot of sewing experience! Today, Ailene shares the photography, listing and shipping responsibilities with Heidi and is instrumental to getting the finished dolls and clothes into customer's hands.

Sarah - That's me.

Kathy - Shortly after we opened the office in June, I had the good fortune of being featured on the front page of the Business section of our local newspaper.  It was a wonderful 3/4 page article that had several pictures of the dolls, office and me.  In that article, I mentioned that the new office would provide me the ability to hire up to five sewers for the dolls.  Having read the article, I had a knock on the office door the following week.  It was Kathy.  She said that she had read the article, loved what I was doing, and wanted to introduce herself to me for consideration of one of the sewing jobs before anyone else had a chance.  With gusto like that, how could I say no? She fit right in and joined our growing team a week or two later.

Heidi - Having received one of Rob's Facebook message around 11pm one evening asking if she or anyone she knew would be interested in assisting Sarah with photography and other activities, Heidi not only sent back an enthusiastic 'YES!' that she was interested, she also passed Rob's note to Ailene as I mentioned above and both joined the team just a few weeks ago.  Heidi and Ailene have both jumped head first into the wonderful world of handmade and sewing!  Infact, if you go back to September 18th on the BOWD Facebook Fan Page, you'll see one of the first BOWD dolls Heidi ever made, an awesome Peter Puppy from someone who had not sewn much previously!

Rob and our kids - Best husband in the world and the guy behind all Bit of Whimsy Dolls technology and business stuff.  What can I say?  I couldn't do it without him.  Robbie, Abby, and Billy are the loves of our life and truly provide the creative inspiration behind almost every design I've made.

Well, that's it.  That's Version 1.0 of the Bit of Whimsy Dolls team and I couldn't be happier with everyone who has made the decision to join me and make the Bit of Whimsy Dolls dream a reality!  As we move forward, we'll be doing little spotlight, get-to-know-the-team posts on different members of our team. There's so much more in store for BOWD over the next year.  I only wish I had more hours in a day to turn my imagination into the new patterns, dolls and clothes that are screaming to get out!  We're working hard every day (and most nights!) to give you the best products and customer service possible.

As I was preparing this blog post, Rob found this picture of me working in our living room.  It was taken in spring of 2008 when BOWD was only 6 months old and I had around 5 - 8 designs.  Looking at this picture, it's hard to believe just how much things have grown over the past four years or so. So much has been done and there's so much more to do! We really are JUST. GETTING. STARTED!

Rob and I both sincerely thank everyone on our team and our entire team thank you for continuing to support our business.


  1. nice...what a DREAM JOB (typing from someone unemployed for over 2 years..)
    !!!!! CONGRATS!!!

  2. Awesome story :) Glad you're still around and still love what you're doing !!

  3. Fun to read! I started buying patterns all the way back. My first couple were Lennie Pig and Milly Monkey. Our granddaughter loved them, and I discovered I loved making them. Before long, she had lots of different dolls.

    One of my favorite memories is her crawling along with Ellie's ear scrunched up in one of her hands. Louis has turned out to be her long time favorite. She's nearly 4 and he is still a bed regular... Thanks for sharing all the great patterns with the rest of us who enjoy making but not necessarily figuring out the nuts and bolts. Your directions make it a cinch to be successful! Jo