After 13 years as a stay-at-home mom, I successfully launched an IDEA into a NEW PRODUCT.
The boxes are arriving from the manufacturer, the website is going up, and the online shop is open in a few days. The excitement of it all…The things I have learned…From making my own prototype to writing a patent.
And to think, it all started on a muddy soccer field one chilly fall day almost 2 years ago. My then 4-year-old boy was playing his first game as I watched, and waited for a text from my other two boys. Trying to juggle a camera, my precious iPhone, keys, and a lip balm proved unsuccessful. There they went in the mud. I thought, “There must be a way to carry around my stuff without wearing a fanny pack.” With all my standing and sitting, I definitely did not want ‘phone-butt’. As I was already wearing a scarf to keep warm, I believed maybe I could mesh the two.
So after thousands of hours of research, sewing, testing, and tweaking, I am thrilled this day has finally come…And just in time…My now 6-year-old is starting this fall season on the football field.
“Can humans and the big phones of today coexist?” I love this blog post from Sam Biddle on gizmodo.com, Giant Smartphones in Skinny Jeans: A Photoshoot
EXACTLY! That’s what I’m talking about. No Phone Butt… or anywhere else in jeans, for that matter!
Your solution to safeguard your expensive smartphone, so you can have instant access without risking dropping, sitting on, losing, OR stretching out your fabulous fashionable finds, is just months away. Peepsnake™, your smart accessory to help you ‘stay in-touch and be phone-butt free’, will be introduced Fall 2012…just in time for the cool weather when you will be breaking out your skinny jeans again.
“Fashion meets Touchology”
Dad to 5-year old: “I thought you were wearing your Superman shirt?”
5-year old to Dad: “I can’t reach it.”
5-year old: “It’s on top of that hill.”
**Film and Editing Cred: Will Walker, 13-year old**
Spending the weekend taking part in an unbelievable, eye (and ear)-opening, live-in-the-now educational experience was quite special. I have a new appreciation for the word ‘meaningful’ in the ‘Meaningful Easter Prayer and Meditation Activities’ and a new application. It is what you create it to be.
Mon, April 2nd 5. Burdens– I feel lightened of many of my burdens I have created a story around, and am re-teaching my children how to recognize their stories they are creating around any doubts, fears, and anxieties they feel from events in their past. “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19
Tues, April 3rd 6. The Caring Corner– Set out pictures of current events (tornado devastation, children of hunger, homeless families.) Pray for the needs of the people in the photos, or involved in the event. I will remind my kids that these only represent a few of the millions of people around the world who are in need of our prayers. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Wed, April 4th 7. Confession– Set up a paper shredder, paper, and pens. Write down what you feel are the strained places, attitudes, and relationships in your life and the world. Invite-in a silent time of reflection. Feel God’s mercy. Consider how you will work to repair these relationships and systems, possibly with opening up communication. Shred these confessions as an act of release and action. “For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight.” Proverbs 1:2
Thurs, April 5th 8. Water– Just get a large bowl of water. I’m going to use this activity to have my kids meditate on the here and now. To close their eyes, put their hands in the water, and be quiet and present in the moment to feel the water. Water is the source of life. It represents birth, baptism, and being thankful to God to be breathing in life.
Please feel free to share any revelations from your experiences in the comments below. Thanks for reading and sharing.
For the next few days, I will be out-of-contact all day, in a closed-off seminar room with no windows, listening to how to become a better me (maybe I need some prayers.) My awesome husband will continue the ‘Meaningful Easter Prayer and Meditation Activities’ over the weekend with the kids (maybe he needs some prayers.)
Fri, March 30th 2. Reflections– Gather together a collection of mirrors, one for each family member. Spend the quiet time ‘gazing into the mirror, and examining the reflection that stares back at you. Meditate on God’s abundant love for you.’ “Thank you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Sat, March 31st 3. Prayer Chain– ‘Prayer links us to God and to one another.’ Think about friends, family, and strangers that are in need of prayer. Write their names on strips of paper and tape ends together, forming a ring, linking to someone else’s ring, creating a continuous paper chain. ‘Joining your prayers with those of others can help link all of us more closely with God.’ Hang your paper chain up with your other Easter decorations, and add to it as the week moves along.
Sun, April 1st 4. Joyful Noise– String beads and bells onto thick thread to create a bracelet. ‘Wear your jewelry this week to remind you to make a joyful noise to the Lord wherever you go. Every time you hear the bells, thank God for someone or something in your life.’
The ‘text’ and prayers are replicated, with permission, from our youth minister, Robin. My comments on yesterday’s 1st activity: it was a little difficult for my 5-year-old to stay quiet at first, but after he got the intention, he drew-a-prayer for the dog, and my 10-year-old drew-a-prayer for the 5-year-old. Please share any revelations from your experiences in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
With bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and colored eggs around the corner, every year Easter seems to come up quickly after just recovering from the chaos of Christmas and Valentines Day with the kids. I scramble to dye some eggs with them, attend a few different egg hunts, and bam, Easter Sunday has come and gone. I end up feeling like I haven’t focused on the true Honor it deserves. Like a lot of families, we have some great Christmas traditions, but we seem to be lacking in purposeful Easter reminders.
This year, I started off the Lenten Season differently– instead of ‘giving-up’ something for Lent, I decided to ‘add-in’. One way was by choosing to help out more with the middle school at our church youth group. Wow, I didn’t expect to get as much, if not more, from them as they got from me. A few Sundays ago, I listened to our incredible youth minister, Robin, teach the youth a lesson series on Prayer and Meditation. I was immediately moved to share it with my own younger kids, and have decided to re-create these 8 Prayer and Meditation Activities at home.
Each day’s activity should take less than 15 minutes, and after an explanation, should be completed in silence. What I’m going to do is explain to my kids that prayer and meditation can be done anywhere, and through different experiences, not just thanking God for a nice day or a meal, or kneeling by a bed at night asking for things. I will remind them that God is always there for them to talk to, but also, God has a lot to tell us if we just stop and listen. Quiet our brain’s thoughts, and the noise around us, and listen for His direction.
I’ve mapped out my days and activities, and I’ve decided to share them with my readers if any of you want to come along with us in this time of conscientious prayer and meditation. I counted back starting from the day before Good Friday, every day, for 8 gatherings. Below, I have listed my dates, activities, and supplies needed:
Thurs, March 29th 1. Draw-A-Prayer– paper and markers
Fri, March 30th 2. Reflections– collection of mirrors
Sat, March 31st 3. Prayer Chain– strips of paper, markers, tape
Sun, April 1st 4. Joyful Noise– small beads and bracelet-making thread
Mon, April 2nd 5. Burdens– cross symbol, post-it notes, pens
Tues, April 3rd 6. The Caring Corner– pictures of others that need prayers
Wed, April 4th 7. Confession– paper, pens, and paper shredder
Thurs, April 5th 8. Water– large bowl of water
Later this evening, I will have the kids draw a picture of someone or something they want to lift up, and we will hang them as our Easter decorations. As the days progress, I will expound on the next activities, rotating between praying and praising God for others and then themselves. I would love to hear about your experiences, so please comment below.
“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.” That day I met with my 3rd manufacturer, a story that began a year before. It was the 9th American one I spoke with over the phone—the others: “We’re too busy.” “We don’t work with your fabric.” “We don’t have enough workers to take on another job.” Yes, I needed to stay flexible and carry on within an industrial conversion of my handmade prototype, but at the same time, I wanted the production outcome to be of a quality I would buy myself. It helped being able to speak intelligently about the product construction, stitch quality, and serge machinery. A year earlier, I didn’t know a pressure foot lifter from a drop feed dog lever…
I started down this road barely knowing how to sew on a button. After my initial ‘inconvenience’ on that muddy soccer field, I took out one of my only sewing needles and thread and started stabbing away at some fabric to flesh out my idea. It looked as bad as you can imagine, but it was good enough to confirm I was on to something. I was told, through a girl I bumped into along the way, that I had to journey to meet with The All-Knowing Pattern-Maker. It took months to get in to see him though, and after testing the first model he sewed up for me, I had some tweaks. It would be another month to get in to see him again. My husband said, “You just need to go out and buy your own sewing machine.” “WHHHAAAT?” Stitch Length, Tension, and Bobbins, Oh My… So there I sat, in-front of my new shiny apparatus. “OK, What next?” I said out loud to myself. My then 8-year old son, standing next to me, said matter-of-factly, “Umm, Mom, you have to turn it on,” as he pointed me to the power button.
Multiple months and mockups later, I had actually taught myself to expertly sew my own prototype. After positive market testing, it was time to produce it on a grander scale, to turn it over to a factory line to have them make it into a multitude. Lesson Learned– Engage in hands-on learning to understand what you are talking about in your particular field. If I would have relied on the pattern maker to do my prototype, I would not be so intimate with apparel construction. Because of this, I have been able to suggest streamlines to my own product’s production process.
This part of my path is long and winding, with lots of bumps. I’m the Queen of Questions and Research. As my husband reminds me along the way though, “Enjoy the journey.”
[If you’d like to receive a note when I publish my next post, leave your email address under “Follow me by email…” Thanks for reading!]