I had a gut feeling that advertising in the Oh My! Handmade Creative Marketplace would be one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made, but I had no idea how much goodness would come in the way it did. When I signed up, I wasn’t aware that I’d also get a membership to the community forums which were still being built and I also didn’t know how many amazing people I would connect with there.
When the forums launched, I joined in slowly, traipsing around behind the scenes for a while, posting the occasional comment but really just soaking it in. Around June, I started to feel a little lull in my workload and I popped into a thread about collaborating on “sweet t-shirt designs.” Jenelle, from TrashN2Tees, was looking to pair up with some designers that have the skills to make designs for screen-printed t-shirts, a new product she wanted to explore.
Although I’ve worked with many clients on graphic designs, this world of more unstructured, community driven collaboration was new to me. I followed along behind the scenes for a while again, watching the brainstorming and excitement unfold…until…Jenelle posted a list of fun character ideas and my eyes stuck on the word “lumberjack.” I have no idea why I was so drawn to that idea, but I started to sketch some different lumberjack characters and then shyly shared my favorite sketch in the forums. He was a pretty big hit, a heart-throb with the ladies!
Jenelle was a fan as well, so we set up a phone date to talk about the details, and how working together could be mutually beneficial. We spoke on the phone for nearly two hours- our creative minds connecting instantly. I learned more about TrashN2Tees business philosophy and the incredibly creative and driven woman behind it. We brainstormed other products that could coordinate with the tees, like a fabric collection, a cut and sew kit, pillows, paper products, etc. We started to dive into the details of cross-promotion. Jenelle even gave me some excellent advice on SEO and streamlining my Etsy shop. Not only did I make a business connection, I made a friend!
After that, things pretty much started to rock-and-roll. I got to working on drawing up the lumberjack in Illustrator and creating the fabric designs, while getting input from Jenelle and the OMHG community. Jenelle worked on important business details, figuring out how to make the screen-printing come together, while also whipping up some wickedly handsome little lumberjack appliques made from t-shirt scraps.
Because of Jenelle’s brilliance with her business and with her networking and marketing genius, some big things started to happen! Jenelle was invited to show off her goods at the 2013 New York City Times Square EcoFest Fashion Show, which happened on August 25th. What a perfect opportunity to share the new lumberjack line with the fashion world!
But before the fashion show, she put her brilliance to the work again and came up with the idea to have a lumberjack party with some friend’s children, with the intention of rallying excitement and also getting some fantastically styled pictures. Since the fabric was just about done, I sent her a few yards of it and she sewed her heart out, making some skirts, constructing the cut and sew plushies, and creating some marvelous lumberjack hats. The party was a success and the pictures that came from it are adorable. She honestly amazes me.
As August 25th closed in on us, I helped Jenelle put together a lookbook to bring to the fashion show along with the added help of Jessika and the OMHG community. Jenelle was nervous about being part of such a big event, but we (OMHG) had faith in her and cheered her through! The fashion show was full of excitement and went off without a hitch, as the lumberjack line was debuted for the first time!
Today we are excited to announce the launch our full line of lumberjack goodies! TrashN2Tees is featuring recycled screenprinted & appliqued tees and cut and sew softie kits in her shop. Joyful Roots is carrying coordinating fabric for all the sewists and DIYers out there. We are still brainstorming more ideas like lumberjack party invitations, printables (thanks, Jessika, for the idea), and cell phone cases and it’s most likely that the range of products will continue to grow. We still have a couple of limited edition items in our shop from our pre-release, like hybrid screenprint/applique shirts and limited edition fabric bundles but they are going fast.
What’s more, a portion of the proceeds from our launch sales at both TrashN2Tees & Joyful Roots will be used to plant trees in the Atlantic Forest, to help protect and restore a natural treasure through PlantABillion.Org.
You can join us on social media today via the hashtag #lumberjackattack to get involved in the fun! We have a few things up our sleeves, that may just involve adorning yourself in an orange burly beard.
We will also be taking part in some other exciting opportunities like the National Sewing Month Giveaway at The Sewing Loft starting September 22nd. Jenelle is on a roll, having recently signed a book deal and been declared a finalist for the 2013 NYER Small Business Awards in Green Business Best Practices (at which ceremony she will hopefully be adorning a cute lumberjack dress).
For me personally, I can’t imagine how different my business and my day to day life would be without the Oh My! Handmade Community. Not only did it open the doors for such a significant collaboration, it has brought me deep and lasting friendships, advice & support, taught me new skills, pushed my creative boundaries, inspired me to advance my business, and has given me the feeling of belonging while I work alone from my home studio. Thank you, Jessika, for creating such a magical place. I know something like this could not exist without your wise and kind heart, dedication, and bravery!
The OMHG community helped start this collaboration now let’s help launch it! Visit Jenelle’s launch party post & learn how you can join in the party. Spread the news far and wide using the #LumberjackAttack hashtag, and meet up with Jenelle and Kimberly when they co-host an #OMHG chat on creative collaborations Thursday, September 19 from 1-2pm EST!
This is so so so fantastic! I’m so proud of both of you, what a wonderful experience for you both, and such an example of how we can better create in community. Hoping for big success for this project! xoxo
Thanks Tania – This has been a hue eye opener to me in terms of how much value community has, and how much more productive I am when I collaborate. Of course, it helps that Jenelle is so incredibly amazing to work with!! I will definitely be collaborating more often as a result of this! xoxo
Amazing to see what has transpired in a years time, eh Mrs. W? Thank you for showing me how much of a difference authentic connection can make & always believing in me!
This is a true testament to all of the support, creativity and encouragement over at the forums and the whole OMHG community. I feel so fortunate to have seen this amazing collaboration from start to finish. You ladies are a big inspiration to me!! I got my confetti out and I am ready to celebrate!!
Sprinkling some confetti on you too! Next up I want to see some collaborations with your awesomeself! Maybe some lumberjack clutches?
Yes!!! We need lumberjack clutches!!
That sounds soooo exciting and fun! I have some plaid shirts that could be reused + the actual lumberjack fabric collection looks yummy!! ;D
Thank you Citlalli! You’ve been so supportive of us from the very beginning and it means the world! I feel fortunate to be surrounded by suck a brilliant group of people. So so much love and support here. It honestly blows my mind!
I love all the positive energy and enthusiasm here, I feel myself feeding off of it (as I’m sure many of us do). I, too feel so fortunate to be able to connect with awesomely creative people!! Now, if we could all just teleport to Jess’s beautiful house…. 🙂
I agree! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to all meet for tea at her house. I would give you all the biggest hugs!!!
It would be a marvelous time, Kim! There would be many hug attacks :]
What an awesome story! I love to hear of the amazingness that comes out of the OMHG community.
Truly, this community is the best ever! It’s really transformed my business and brought me so many friendships! Now I can’t imagine my life without OMHG!
So grateful to have you joining the celebration Bev!!
There is SO much awesome in this post!!
THANK YOU, Nicole! =D
Thank you so much Nicole!
This colaboration has been so much fun to watch! I admire you ladies so much….your creativity and dedication is inspiring!!. You are a true example of what the OMHG community can do. Now I am off to shop and share!!
You were instrumental in the design too Karen- thank you for always offering up valuable feedback as a designer & mom of boys! We truly appreciate your support and friendship!
Yes Yes and Yes!!!
Love seeing you two partying it up in here & all the love + support flowing your way. I hope you sell out!
It’s amazing how much support and how many comments are here!!!
Thank you Karen! It has been an inspiration to me as well and now I can see how much I need this type of collaboration in my business and my life. It really fuels the creative fire and is so fun to work with someone who compliments my own talents with a different set of skills. This community is the best!!!
Truly one of the most exciting days on the web. Ever. I only wish I could have been more connected to the social medias – whenever I checked in there really was a #lumberjackattack! Such an amazing collaboration of talent. Here’s to many more!
Funnest launch EVER! Seriously brought home that doing things with friends is the very best way to share our goodness with the world-fun + effective + the momentum is generated together instead of all on one person. YAY! Also definitely felt like you were a part of the launch team with your beautiful beards 🙂
Thanks Darice! You all made this so incredibly fun for us! I hope to see many more OMHGers collaborate late this and to be able to support them the way you all supported us. So much fun!
This is huge! All the process, the discovery and the final product is fantastic. Congrats to all of you! (and by the way, I think I need to buy a plush toy for my husband!!)
Also: the “launching” link of TrashN2Tees is directing to JoyfoolRoots.
Thanks for pointing that out Soledad! I’m going to fix it right now 🙂
Happy to help 🙂
Thanks Soledad! We really enjoyed the whole process and I’ve learned just how much two heads are better than one. It’s been a great experience! Plus, everyone needs a little lumberjack in their life ;P
OHMYGOODNESS!!! This is FABULOUS!! I am now in complete awe of you two powerhouses! Way to go!! I am also really kicking myself for not joining the marketplace! Time to get my rear in gear! The lumberjack is so stinking cute!! The photos & styling are superb. Truly a match made in OMHG Heaven!
Don’t kick yourself! Just come play with us in the forums, we would so love to have you! Also keep watch-today’s post features YOU!
Hi Heather! Thank you!!! Yes, come join us in the forums…it’s so much fun!! And isn’t Jenelle fantastic with her styling and photos?? xoxo
There’s no day like today Heather!! Thanks for everything- it’s been so much fun working together with Kim. I’ve no doubt you and I will get together again soon. XO
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