Bambina Mia
Toddlers, Parties and a Day in the Life.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Love-Hate Relationship with Mr. T

Okay, so a little over a year ago I'd never heard of this thing called Etsy. It is now officially an obsession and this work-from-home-momma's only source of income!

When I was pregnant with sweet miss Abby I knew I wanted to stay home, but would need to bring in some additional income. I'd resigned myself to finding something brutally dull like data entry, but that would at least bring in a consistant paycheck. I never dreamed a year later I'd have a relatively successful career designing children's clothing that would allow me to be creative AND stay at home with my little one. And I owe it all to ETSY - and Mr. T. Allow me to explain.

It all began with a trip to the OC Swap Meet one fateful Sunday morning. My husband, the babe and I were just poking around when I found a booth selling some really cute onesies. I bought one, saw they were just flocked iron-on transfers, and thought - hey, I can do this. So I went on line, found some transfers and fired up the old iron. The downside to the transfers was having to be so limited to what was available in the market. I felt I had some rather novel ideas and whackadoo images I'd like to try, so I went ahead and made my own iron-ons from felt.

Now I had a bunch of stock - what to do with them? My sister recommended I try shilling them on this website featuring only hand-made items called Etsy-dot-who? I checked it out and thought... I dunno. But the price was right and I figured for such a small investment - what the hell, it beats schlepping all my stock and opening a booth at craft fairs around town (see below). Blockquote

Our humble beginnings - Naples Pancake Breakfast, May 2008

So March 6, 2008, I uploaded everything on Etsy ( and boom! My first sale in less than 24 hours! I was thrilled! Then another and another! And the funny thing was only my original designs were selling - not the mass produced iron-ons I'd planned on making my fortunes from. So those were quickly ditched as more original designs were added.

My very first sale: Orange Pop

Before I knew it I had a steady stream of sales - each one eliciting an ecstatic phone call to mom and sis (which have subsequently stopped, they're thrilled to report). So where does Mr. T come into the picture? I'll tell you.

I had a client request a custom order onesie of Mr. T as Clubber Lang from the Rocky III movie. I thought, oh that is gooood! So I made her the Rocky Mr. T and I was so inspired I made another version for my store.

Custom Mr. T as Clubber Lang from Rocky III

The second version of Mr. T - I Pity the Drool

Well, it immediately took off and has been a runaway best seller since the first day I posted him, garnering a lot of attention and leading to some phenomenal wholesale and media opportunities, like a feature in Long Beach Magazine (March 2009). For these reasons, I LOOOVE Mr. T. And for the 10,000 fucking tiny Mr. T eyebrows I've had to cut out, I HAAAATE Mr. T.

Long Beach Magazine - March, 2009

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