Take a Risk

Several months ago, I decided to make a durable tote bag designed to carry all of our family’s water bottles. Each child has a Camelbak water bottle in their chosen color, but it is quite a chore to keep track of them in the house, haul them back and forth to the van, and keep them organized while we’re out.

A couple of people asked where they could find one, and Shawn commented that I should sell some. I though it over for a couple of days but realized that I could never make bags fast enough and sell them for enough money to make it worth my time.

But…I could develop a sewing pattern to teach others how to sew them.

Water Bottle Tote | Radiant Home Studio

Around the same time, I had read an article saying that the #1 thing people regretted in their life was that they didn’t take more risks. Selling PDF sewing patterns isn’t a great financial risk, but there is a risk in putting your ideas, your work, and your art out for public consumption. It made me want to try it. So with Shawn’s encouragement, I began working on the pattern.

I have truly loved this whole project (well, maybe not the actual “business” tasks so much). I learned so many valuable skills in this process, and discovered some new ways to use my creativity to encourage other people.

In an effort to find a specific fabric for my tote bag, I came across Spoonflower (a print-on-demand fabric company) and learned to translate my own designs into digital files which could be printed directly on the fabric (or wallpaper, gift wrap, or decals) of my choice! I discovered that my years browsing fabric stores have given me a love for textile design as well.

Water Bottle Fabric Designs | Radiant Home Studio

The last few steps of this process are the (less fun for me) business tasks – setting up a merchant paypal account and configuring the website to accept payments. I hope to launch my business website in a 2-3 weeks.

It’s relief to share the “secret project” I’ve been working on for so long.

I’ll announce the launch when I finish up some administrative tasks and hear back from a couple more pattern testers!

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4 Responses to Take a Risk

  1. Jacqueline says:

    What a great idea, Sara! Good for you in stepping out and taking a chance (although I’m still trying to figure out ‘just where’ you found the time!). Just think of how many people you will benefit by your brilliant idea! We pray that your launch will go very well and we look forward to sharing your site when it is ready.

    • Sara says:

      Thanks! Well, I think you make time for what you love. And, though my goal was 3 months…it took closer to 7 months. We go to church activities, but other than that we really aren’t involved in much else. It’s a season of life where we are home a lot and kiddos still have naps and rest time. There’s still quite a bit of down time throughout the day. I’m sure it will get busier as the kids get older!

  2. Ronda says:

    We admired your water bottle tote when you and your faimly were here this summer! Will there be different versions of the tote? As a homeschool family we sometimes “drag” school books along with us or toys for Jaymie while we watch her sisters play soccer.

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Ronda! This pattern only has the tote with the dividers built in. I’m not sure you could fit books and toys in without leaving the divider out completely. Then you would lose the functionality of being able to keep bottles upright. It can be used as a shopping tote for wine bottles, olive oil, or other glass bottled goods though!