often go awry." I'll say.
Back in December I volunteered to be the parent organizer for the annual Spring jazz festival at my daughter's high school. In addition, I was responsible for the fundraising raffle. The other parent committee leaders and volunteers were positively incredible and inspiring. So, the general organization work was not a huge time drain. But the raffle, and all of the prize solicitation and ticket sales that it entailed, certainly was.
The few weeks preceding the jazz fest were particularly hectic and activity filled. I looked forward to the weekend of the performances and then being able to focus much, much more of my time and effort on this clothing business and the blog. My intention - and mantra - was to transition "from jazz fest to blog fest!"
As Susie wrote, our mom's hospitalization turned that plan on its head. My plan went awry! I've been with her pretty steadily, sleeping in her room overnight (in the green Naugahyde recliner that I've claimed as my domain and office; I'm there now!), talking with the doctors and nurses (who are all wonderful), manning the phone, generally keeping an eye on her. She's stable now and my mind has calmed enough for me to turn more focus back to this.
I haven't been away from this initiative completely, though. It always occupies a part of my conscious, and subconscious, mind. And, there's been a good bit of forward movement as I continue to receive feedback from you and work to produce the first collection.
Before I end this post, I want to tempt fate by telling you my expectation for this blog. Kathleen Fasanella, the author of the invaluable book The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing and the equally invaluable blog fashion-incubator.com (F-I) mentioned this humble and budding down syndrome clothes blog on F-I. (Thanks Kathleen!) She pointed out, so accurately and perceptively, that Susie and I are still finding our voice in this blog. That is so. Here's our hope (yep, I really mean "plan".)
Susie will continue to write from a personal perspective. She will write about her life and motherhood, including issues she's faced with Helen, her daughter who has Down syndrome and who is the inspiration for this business. She's already mentioned hypothyroidism; there's so much more that leaps to mind - the challenges associated with her recently-diagnosed Celiac's disease, the joy and thrill of her learning to read this school year, of course clothing fit issues.
I will write most often about the clothes and the business. That's pretty fertile ground. I want to share what I've learned to date and ask for more thoughts and feedback. I want to talk about the first pieces of clothes that we'll produce for you, what their design features will be, when and how they'll be available, how the offering will expand over time - always based on your needs and your responses. I'll tell you about my dreams for this company and the good I hope to do as it grows. Just a couple of my plans are to contribute a percentage of profits to local and national support groups, and to employ (once we get big enough to have employees!) parents of children with Down syndrome as in-home customer service representatives. In many, many postings I expect to ask for feedback and opinions from you. The bottom line is that this company has been formed to produce and provide clothes that fit people with Down syndrome. Your voice - you people with Down syndrome and parents and family - is most important to me. You will guide me. I may be distracted occasionally by a jazz fest or the beeps and hums of medical equipment, but your voice will always be music to my ears. Know that I will recognize and respond to it through the din from the other aspects of my life.