(Disclaimer: I realize this post is like a novel, sorry bout that! I just thought it was important to state the origins of BleuRoo, the hows and the whys of it all. Hope it's at least semi-interesting :) )
So we know where my crafty side came from, but what made me decide to use it for good and not evil (though I'm not sure what an "evil" craft would be)? Well, to put it simply, this.....
I had my son in May of 2007. At the time, both my husband and I worked full time and it had to be that way to pay the mortgage, feed us, keep us clothed, well you all know the routine. But it wasn't the routine I wanted. I'm not a career girl. There it is, I'm just not. I was working in an office job that was just draining the life out of me. I've had several jobs over the years, ranging from retail to call center to barista to even kennel assistant. While there may have been high points or good times had at all of them at some point, I would never consider any of them to be fulfilling for me in any way. Actually, I think the barista job would be the closest, I enjoyed making the drinks and trying to perfect the art of steaming and brewing, etc. Which obviously points to my love of creating.
When the time came for me to return to work after my maternity leave I was just devastated. But it had to be done. We found a daycare that we felt good about, that we could just barely afford on our barely middle class salaries. It killed me every time I had to swipe my card to pay them, to pay someone else to do the job that I wanted to do more than anything. There is nothing more messed up than having to work to pay someone to take care of your child because you have to work, to pay them, to watch your child, so you can work...... Well, it's a really vicious circle. And this is not a commentary on working/stay at home moms, only about my own journey, period. So anyways, I hated what was happening. And I tried and tried to come up with a solution that would work. At the time we lived in a city with absolutely no family around. It was only 4 hours away from our hometown, which was great for visiting but not close enough for everyday help. My friend had an Etsy shop, she makes and sells buttons ( Teenytinytantrums, check her out, she's super awesome!), and I thought, hmmm, I like to make stuff! Maybe I could turn it into some extra cash. At the time I knew I liked to embroider and I liked to make earrings. So I made a few things, listed them, and that was it. I didn't know at the time what direction my shop would go, but it was a start. Over time I realized that I really loved to embroider, I've always loved the look and feel of embroidery on clothing. And to realize I could create that myself, on anything I wanted, was a great discovery.
While working full time and having an infant did not allow me much time to focus on my shop, I did what I could. I got a few consignment contracts and that was really exciting. I was only making earrings and embroidered baby items at the time. During this time we also decided that we wanted to move back to our hometown, the place where both of us were born and raised until the day we moved away, together, almost 9 years before. We wanted our son to grow up around his family, and we really needed the support system. We went through a tough time with the house sale (of course we had to decide to do it right when the market was really crashing, go us), but we eventually got it sold and settled into our new life. One of the reasons we moved was so that I could be home with our son, and since we were lucky enough to move into my parents house (they don't live here full time, or else we'd all go insane!) I was able to finally make that dream come true.
I had put my shop on hold while going through the sell and move and took a while before I decided to try my hand at it again. But I wanted to do something different. While I really enjoyed making earrings, my heart just wasn't in it. I wanted to learn how to use the sewing machine that my husband had bought for me 3 Christmases before, and that I had not touched since. So I picked a project that I thought would be simple enough to learn, a small bag with a lining. And I did it. And I loved it! So I made more, and listed them in my shop. They flew out of the shop, people really liked them. I was shocked, but giddy with the renewed hope in my tiny business. Then inspiration struck; what if I embroider super awesome designs or even names on the bags?!? And really, the rest is history.
So, that's the official story of BleuRoo. Oh, the name, I suppose I should cover where the name came from, huh? Well, my favorite color is blue and I've always used the french spelling of it for online stuff forever. And when I was pregnant with my son, before we knew what gender he was, we needed a nickname, so we called him Roo. I combined the two and, presto!, BleuRoo Handcrafted Sweetness was born :)