Monday, October 28, 2013

Setbacks, Frustrations, and Cupcakes

This weekend was rough. After a week in suspense over what the sellers of our house will and won't fix on our post-inspection requests, I got a call on Saturday from the lender to tell me that I was no longer approved for the loan he approved me for a month and a half ago.  Good For Ewe reported a loss last year- that's just what happens when you start a company halfway through the year with a ton of overhead- you don't break even.  And although they won't consider any income from Good For Ewe to be valid income for the mortgage, they will consider last year's loss to be a good enough reason to stop everything.  But they had to wait until after the sellers cashed the earnest check, I paid for 2 inspections (ouch!) and the sellers had started repairing what we requested to tell me they had changed their minds on the loan.  Less than 2 weeks from the closing date. Thanks, Huntington.  I'll be moving my 3 accounts to another bank within the next week.

Furious does not begin to cover what I'm feeling.

I knew that starting my own business would be slow and frustrating, but I wasn't prepared to put my life on hold for 3-5 years.  (I need 2 years of tax returns not showing a loss before I can be considered for a mortgage, and it will be a while before I make up for all that overhead- especially since any "profit" is reinvested into new colors and going to trade shows.) I also haven't really been paying myself much from Good For Ewe because I haven't had to.  I had savings, I sold cupcake hats and then I started working at the nursery.  So what was best for the company is bad for my mortgage.  There are days that I love owning a yarn company and everything is all butterflies and rainbows, but right now I'm regretting every decision I've made for the past 4 years.  Not a great time.

I'm meeting with yet another lender tomorrow that specializes mortgages for small business owners and people with inconsistent incomes. I really hopes this works out- otherwise I've blown months of savings on a house I can't buy. Once again, thanks Huntington.
Not a whole lot going on as far as knitting goes- trying to crank out as many cupcakes as possible before I drop my goodies off at the craft fair on Saturday.  I'll have a table there for a week and I'll probably spend the entire week it's there making more cupcakes and dropping them off- last year I took 15 (I think?) and came home with 1.  I currently have 2 finished- I've made 8 but sold the other 6 before I could finish them. Then back to a hired knitting project and then maybe some Christmas gifts.  I'm getting a little burnt out on cupcakes, but I'm considering sucking it up and trying to make them a year round thing- a little extra income wouldn't be a bad thing right now. The only question is how- etsy?  Boutique?  On the corner in a dark alley?  Facebook pimping?

And something that makes me smile- Party Girl in her ogre hat and pumpkin sweater.
Have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Chapters

I feel like I've been sprinting through the past few months.  It's been great, and busy, and emotional and a thousand other things but it makes my head spin a little to think of where I was three months ago and where I am and what I'm doing today.
I'm buying a house!  It's a rather plain little bungalow in south Broad Ripple that needs some serious landscaping and a little bit of color. But it's been time to move out on my own for a while now, and having a summer of a very intense long-distance relationship has been the straw that broke the camel's back.  Things with Tall/Dark & Handsome are great, but we are tired of driving an hour several times a week to see the other one.  So I'm buying a house that's halfway between our houses in a part of town that we both love.

Buying a house has been a frustrating process to say the least.  Since we are both small (and new) business owners, most bankers wouldn't even talk to us.  So I had to have the loans written up to work with my part-time job at the nursery because we can't look at any income through Good For Ewe or any knitting-for-hire/pattern sales income since it's not been registered with the state for more than 2 years. It took a lot of work and a stroke of luck and really good credit, but I finally got pre-approved for a very small mortgage.  So finding a house that's move-in ready in the area we like has been...challenging. 

We found a cute little 1920 bungalow right on the Monon trail that needed some love but had really great potential.  We put in an offer, went back and forth a few times and got it down to a comfortable price range.  Then we had it inspected and realized what the owner's rush to leave was- tons of water damage in the attic and subsequently, a ton of mold. The electrical was also on the fritz- it hadn't been updated since the early 50's and the inspector said he was surprised it hadn't caught fire.  So back to house hunting. We found another that was a smidge out of our price range but put in an offer anyway.  They said absolutely not and then came back a week later with a changed mind.  I'm not quite sure what deal T/D&H worked out with whom, and I'm not sure I want to know, but suddenly our offer was good enough.  We had it inspected and submitted our list of things that need fixed before we close.

The seller, however, is in no particular rush to get his end of the paperwork done, so our November 14th closing date is slipping away quickly.  We'll see when and if it happens. 
So that's that.  I'm still working a lot at the nursery and of course with Good For Ewe.  Most of the traveling shows are done for the fall, and while I'll miss the income, I'm enjoying not leaving the house at 4 am Saturday morning to get to a show. I'm also preparing for a craft fair that's the first full week of November, and that's coming right up.  Unfortunately it's boring knitting and even worse blogging.  It's a lot of big fluffy baby blankets and cupcake hats, but I need all the cash I can get to cover the ridiculous amounts of closing costs on the house.  If and when it happens.
I'm selling mostly baby blankets and hats but do have a few other items that I've made and not used- a couple lace shawls, some potholders, and even some jewelry from a beading phase a few years ago.  If you're needing something, let me know and I'll save it from the craft show box.
I'm trying not to get too excited about the house, because I got really excited for the last one and was absolutely crushed when the inspection came back with a list that we just couldn't afford to fix. That being said, I still find myself nesting and drifting off in would the kitchen look in yellow? Should I put the cross-stich sampler or the State Fair pig picture there?  Is Moulin Rouge an appropriate theme for a living room?  Does that spot get too much light for hydrangeas?
So my two nesting projects are...the quilt and the cross-stitching.  I've been working on the quilt since before T/D&H was in the picture but now that there's going to be a bed that needs a queen sized quilt, I find myself a little more motivated to get it done. It's even more exciting to work on it because he gets excited about quilts (I think it's a Southern thing.  When I went to his parents' house he took me on a tour of the quilts that had been made and passed down for generations- he seems to be excited about continuing the tradition).  But craft fair projects and projects that pay come first....most of the time.
And...the cross stitching.  I was on etsy a few months ago looking at cross stitching patterns for a friend's wedding and the hilarious pattern came up- a delicate script and flowers that said "Please don't do coke in the bathroom".  It was beautifully subversive and demanded a double take once you realized that it wasn't some inspirational quote or something surrounded in delicate petals.  I kept it in the back of my mind for my someday house.
I revisited the listing on etsy and realized that it wasn't a pattern for sale- it was a finished cross stitching, matted and framed and way out of my budget.  I mean...I've got fabric, threads and empty frames.  No reason I can't doodle something up on graph paper and have something done before we moved in. I'll probably go a little simpler on the floral motifs so that it goes better with the other cross stitchings I had planned for that room.
So that's my life right now.  I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to get the counter offer in by 5pm, and one more cupcake hat finished, and go through the closet and make a goodwill trip so I don't move a bunch of clothes that don't fit, and somehow work in 2 jobs around all that.  But things should settle down in a bit here, and I certainly won't miss the midnight drive home from the Westfield hockey game to be at work by 8. Fingers crossed that it's worth it!