With 2021 being a year of maddening stress while making decisions that would effect the future of Faire Treasures for the foreseeable future with the merge with Scarlett’s Corset, 2022 has been a year of finding a new normal, new schedules, and opening up my workshop to appointments with local customers. I had the first year of juggling selling at two events running at the same time–twice during the course of the year! This past year has included our final season at Sherwood Forest Faire as Iris Adornments & Apothecary and our first season at Texas Renaissance Festival as Iris Adornments & Corsetry. I’ve started transitioning our corset designs to have hip ties to allow for more comfortable corset wear, and have gotten incredibly positive feedback on the new designs. And my husband and I reworked the layout at the TRF shoppe while it was incredibly hot, and I’m not sure I’ve ever sweat that much in my life!
It’s not easy being a small business owner with a ridiculous list of chronic health issues. Add the lingering effects of Covid that I caught at the end of the Autumn season, and my body is cooperating less than I’d like for it to considering my grandiose plans to update the website with new hourglass corsets, outfit listings, and new chemise and skirt colors! Those updates are still in the works, they’re just taking me longer than I would like for them to. I’m not sure I’ll have all of them done before we start into the Spring festival season, but if that happens, then the plan is they’ll happen in the summer months.
Now, there’s the awful reality of the inflation of material costs and travel expenses of 2022. I take pride in keeping my prices from my jewelry to my corsets as reasonable as possible. I’ve seen the trickle effect of slow increases over the years, and made the decision to keep my prices relatively the same because I know what it’s like to live on an incredibly tight budget and have to save for any and all little luxuries. But costs went up drastically, and I now have to do price increases to keep this little business moving forward. Of course, I’ll still keep everything as reasonably priced as I can, and I’ll be adding more clearance and lower cost items. (shhh… it’s a secret, but I’ll be working to bring back the Pre-Loved item section!)
So what does 2023 have in store here at Faire Treasures / Scarlett’s Corset / Iris Adornments & Corsetry? Currently planned, we’ll be at our usual festivals including Sherwood Forest Faire, Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Texas Renaissance Festival, and Steampunk November! My workshop in Arlington, Texas is open for appointments for shopping and corset fittings until I pack up for the Spring festival season. And I’ll be looking into some local weekend events outside of faire seasons to set up a small selection of my wares. I have a few ideas to work on this summer to improve existing designs, as well as dabbling in some prototypes to see if they’ll be something to add to my offerings.
I hope you all had a wonderful end of 2022 holiday season, and that your 2023 is off to an optimistic start!
It’s a write-a-blog-post kinda day for me today. From photo editing, to filling out forms, to deciding on the next colors of fabric to order for the fall, I’m doing everything I can to work from home and not have to leave my house. You see, here in DFW, Texas, the average high temp is about 105F. Last week, while taking orders from my workshop to the post office, I ended up with a touch of heat exhaustion that wore me out for the next day and a half. Yes, that was with my car’s AC going as cool as its poor little heart could churn out. Even after the sun sets, it’s in the 90s well into the night.
My typical June/July routine is to set up my dressform in my backyard, bring new product from the workshop to my home to photograph in front of the hedges, and spent at least a few weeks photographing as much as I can to list online before the Halloween rush hits. Unfortunately, it’s extremely dangerous to do that this year. In previous years, I’d attempted to make indoor photo studio sets that inconveniently blockaded the front door to our house, and then I hated how the pictures turned out anyway. And now, with our household having become a cat colony, I don’t feel comfortable bringing product into a cat-hair-heavy location. So indoor shoots at my home are out.
Which now leaves me with shooting at my workshop if I’m to stay indoors. There are very few good spots in my workshop to take pictures. When I say few, I mean one. I only take corset pictures in that spot. The lighting elsewhere in the place is bad, there’s not enough space to bring in my studio lights, and I’m still working toward having the front area of the workshop as a by-appointment-only shopping space. So I’d prefer not bringing anything extra into there, when I’m desperately trying to remove things that don’t need to be there any longer so I can organize better.
As such, my plans for having beautiful outdoor pictures of coordinated outfits to list here and on Etsy, or to post onto social media, have mostly come to a standstill. Additionally, I’m only making once or twice a week trips to the post office to ship orders out. (And taking an electrolyte drink mostly filled with ice along with me each time!) So while I would normally do up to four post office trips per week to ship your items out as quickly as I can, I now have to contend with my health in the heat. Orders are still being shipped in their 1-3 business day window, but I’m taking fewer trips overall.
So, for now, I’m making plans. Doing the things I can do from home. Redoing my former sewing room into a dedicated home office for me to have separation from my husband’s office space. Hoping the power grid doesn’t go down. So I leave you with a picture of one of our kittens, Little Miss Callie, napping in my computer chair.
I am so incredibly excited to announce that Scarlett’s Corset is now part of Faire Treasures!! For those of you who came by Scarlett’s Corset at Scarborough Renaissance Festival this past season, thank you so much for your support and making us feel so welcomed as the new owners of the shoppe.
Scarlett’s Corset has been bringing high quality silk steel-boned corsetry to the Renaissance costuming and geekery communities for the past seventeen years. Of course, we will continue bringing these beautiful corsets to you! Over the course of the year, I’ll be working closely with the original owner to learn how SC has run, and I will be working toward merging the businesses together.
In the fall, we will be at Texas Renaissance Festival shoppe #44, Scarlett’s Corset. For the 2021 season, expect to only see Scarlett’s Corset items at TRF rather than our Rogue Capes, linen skirts, and hourglass corsets. Keep an eye here on our blog for updates, as well as on our posts to Facebook and Instagram!
It’s been some time since I’ve made an update, so as I try to get back to some kind of normal again, I thought I’d make a “normie” post. (Still in some of my handmade jewelry though!)
This year has already been hard. I lost a family member to Covid at the end of January, and then, just after the funeral, had to deal with the Texas snowpocalypse that knocked out our power for several days. Thankfully we had little to no damage, but we were lucky. I’m extremely thankful for those who were graciously patient while I could not fulfill orders in my normal fashion since I couldn’t print out shipping labels or go to the post office!
I’m now back in my sewing room, cutting out fabric, prepping new projects, and processing orders like normal. My Etsy shop is still ready to ship items only, while I’m accepting all of my current styles as made to order pieces through my website.
Now, with the pandemic ongoing and other obligations coming up soon, I will not be open at Sherwood Forest Faire this coming season. Iris Adornments & Apothecary will be back at Sherwood for the Sherwood Celtic Festival in September!
I’ll be posting more updates soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for those!
Let’s face it, 2020 was a garbage year. Few people will argue that. Every event I would typically sell at in person was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a health compromised individual, I’m extremely grateful to every event’s organizers for taking the continuing health crisis seriously. While of course this made it extremely difficult on my little business, I want to thank everyone who purchased online during the past year. It was the most successful online sales year I’ve ever experienced!! So THANK YOU!
Now here it is, 2021. It’s a year of potential change for me, with a significant expansion to what I do on the horizon. It isn’t quite a done deal, there are still more approvals to go through, so I’m keeping my lips sealed at the moment. Here in a few months, I should have quite an announcement, and it is KILLING me to not share. And I need to skip to the next paragraph before I change my mind and spill the beans everywhere.
One of the changes that this year is bringing is an update to how my website versus my Etsy shop will run. My husband and I have been working behind the scenes to do upgrades here on FaireTreasures.com but with those upgrades come side effects. Effective immediately, FT.com will only accept orders from North American addresses. If you are outside of North America (I’m looking at you Australia) and you want to purchase, send me a message through the contact form, and I can email you an invoice for your order. Select items will not be available outside of North America, and I will inform you if one of the items you request is one of them. Or, you can place your order for my handmade items through my Etsy shop. Faire Treasures on Etsy will remain open for international orders, aside from locations who have passed restrictive postal regulations.
An announcement I can make at the moment…
My current stock of Alchemy Gothic jewelry has been added to the website! For those who don’t recall, I became an authorized dealer of Alchemy jewelry in 2018. That was an extremely difficult year, as I lost my sister very suddenly in an accident, so online updates weren’t high on my priority list. Today, I’ve added every Alchemy item I currently have available to FT.com! Several of these pieces are last chance items, so don’t dwell on them for too long.
Aside from this, I know I’ve been promising for years to have a properly updated stock of corsetry available here at FT.com. Each and every time I think I’m closer to accomplishing that goal, it falls further and further away from me. (There’s an unfortunate amount of logistics involved in it that my brain likes to ignore.) Currently, I’m in the process of making custom dress forms to photograph the current inventory on. And of course, one of the materials I need to complete those forms is now missing in transit with no estimated delivery date. My current best estimate is late February for corsets to be available here again. I know, I know, I’m going to end up with my foot in my mouth again for saying that if/when it doesn’t happen.
Another item soon to come here at FaireTreasures.com are blouses by Dare to Wear! Made in California, DtW blouses are a great modern option for adding a bit of historical flare into your everyday wardrobe. With beautiful jewel toned fabrics and black lace accents, they’re a great option to wear with skirts and corsetry, or switch it up with jeans and a leather jacket! These blouses are created with an empire waist making them flatting on a wide variety of body types. Watch for an announcement on their availability!
As the pandemic continues, my husband and I are hunkering down in our home here in North Texas. I hope you all had a wonderful safe New Years, and hopefully we’ll get to see y’all at events again soon.
Back when I was going to school at Amarillo College (2004-2006 range), my Mom and I learned about a little Celtic festival in Amarillo. It didn’t have a lot at the festival, but we found a clan represented there that included last names of our extended family. I bought my first tartan accessory there, a sash in Thompson red. With my family’s general fascination with our heritage, I wanted to have an outfit that reflected some it, and well, I’ve never really liked the look of the other clan tartans we can identify with. So while I found patterns that were inspiration for my Celtic garb, every time I tried to find the Thompson tartan I wanted it was far more than I could afford.
Every now and again I’d search for sources and always come up with the answer that it wasn’t going to happen. But just a couple of weeks ago I searched again, and found an ebay listing for a handmade woman’s kilt in that tartan that was a little small for me, but I had never seen a ready-made women’s kilt in the Thompson tartan. The seller didn’t specify the clan tartan and didn’t know much about it, so I got an amazing deal. I always shy away from altering ready made pieces because I feel like I’ll be wasting a perfectly good thing if I screw it up. I was nervous about taking apart something I considered to be quite precious and putting it back together the way I wanted it. I got it, cleaned it carefully, and last night I reworked it into what I’d wanted for the last decade.
Before altering, the kilt was sized a little small for me and definitely would not be comfortable under a corset like I plan to wear it. After giving it a careful cleaning (soaking in the bathtub with no agitation, rinsing it with the shower-head, and allowing it to drip dry overnight), I started by taking off the buckles, removed its straps, and took the front panels out of the waistband. I didn’t need to pull the whole thing out from the waistband, since I just needed the fronts to be pleated down. The pleats are just about an inch wide, and opened up the front enough to let my linen skirt show underneath. After the buckles were removed, I needed to add on a closure. Thankfully I had one pair of hook and eye pieces left from some of the first Renaissance skirts I’d made. The waistband extends and overlaps the front and now stays on by the hook-and-eye clasp.
I’m excited to wear my new kilt/overskirt to this year’s Sherwood Forest Celtic Gathering outside of Austin, Texas! The gathering will be happening this coming Saturday, September 10.
I’m sad to say my time in Austin is over for now, and I’ve moved up to Grand Prairie, Texas. Of course one of my priorities is getting my sewing space set up, and it’s coming along nicely! It will still be another few days before I can really work in there to get a friend’s order for her trips to the Texas Renaissance Festival done. With Hallowe’en only a week away, I’m also doing what I can to decorate the house! My specifically Hallowe’en decor is on the minimal side since I’ve been in apartments for the last nine years, though I have a good amount of dark items that will be used as general decorating for the house for everyday.
Once I’m set up again, I’ll be reopening my Etsy Shop for ready to ship items, and afterward will be getting all the made to order items back up once my sewing room is fully functional. (For whatever crazy reason, I didn’t label the box that my thread ended up in. Whoops!) I will do my best to update this little ignored blog of mine again, which shall include a project I’ll be tackling next week! I’ll be building a computer desk for one of my work spaces that includes antique Singer brand treadle sewing machine legs. Just one of those little things that I’ve imagined doing for the last few years, though not until now did I have the space to do it.
As I get back to sorting through boxes (and making a huge mess), I’ll leave y’all with a picture of how my boyfriend proposed to me in August!
I have been so terrible at updating. D: Okay so, in quick review:
New Pintuck Taffeta Skirts! Well, okay, it was only one, it just sold, and I don’t have any more of the fabric. …yet. I’m planning on having several color options of this skirt, but so far the price of the fabric is a little out of my range at the moment. I want them to be as affordable as I can make them, and not have my price set over $200. It might be a couple of months before I have another one made.
Ama-Con 2013! Ama-Con takes place in Amarillo, Texas. For those who have no idea where that is, it’s the largest town in the panhandle of Texas. Yes, there are far more cows surrounding the area than there are people living in the city, but no, there are no cattle drives going on through the town. It definitely isn’t the old west. As for cool events going on within Amarillo, there really isn’t much.
This was Ama-Con’s second year, and it was another great one day event! People do drive in from all around the area, even some from Oklahoma, New Mexico, and I think a few from Kansas attended as well. Kansas is definitely closer to Amarillo than where I live in Austin. I had a lot of items that I haven’t vended with before, mostly of the Pre-Loved variety. I’ll be adding what I have left onto Kitty’s Closet Sale in the next few weeks. I’ll also soon have a page for the glass bottles with the labels I’ve created. They make for great displays for Hallowe’en!
Now what’s next? I’ll be restocking as much of my handmade items as I can, trying to balance item making with my day job. I also have been taking several custom orders, including a wedding dress for a friend! I’m really excited about creating this dress, and I’m also hoping I haven’t gotten myself in over my head with it! We’ll see, and I hope to post progress reports on the dress as I go along. As for the next event I’ll be vending at, Sherwood Celtic Festival will be taking place on September 21 & 22!
Last weekend, my sister and I went to the Wizard World Comic Con here in Austin for our first time! It’s the largest convention I’ve gotten to attend, while it was her first con to attend. I wore my gussied up Steampunk attire, although it leans more toward Gothic Victorian. I don’t really incorporate much leather or gears into my outfit. Stephanie dressed in her new Saffron (Firefly) costume, so she was on a hunt to take pictures with other Firefly characters, particularly any Mals out there!
There were so many awesome costumes attendees were wearing! Of course many superheros, villains, soldiers, Trekkies, and Stormtroopers with a mix of zombies, furries, Steampunks, Serenity crew, and random Rennies. My vote on favorite costumes has to go to the Klingons. Every one that I saw was so well done!
As far as attending panels, well, we didn’t. The few panels I was interested in came and went before we got into the convention. We did a lot of running around the vendors and artist alley sections, while also getting some glances at the celebrities signing autographs for those willing to spend the cash. Sir Patrick Stewart of course had the longest line of anyone, so I think I saw him for about 1/5 of a second. I did get to see Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Dean Cain, Norman Reedus, and Sean Patrick Flanery. I’d wanted to also see Paul McGillion, but he wasn’t ever at his table when we were nearby.
We spent so much of the day running around the vendors, but the only thing I bought for myself was a limited edition print by Jeena Pepersack! She has a presence on both DeviantArt (click the pic!) and on Etsy. Steph got a few sundries including an Aperture Science t-shirt and a hardcover Firefly comic book. We ran into a few friends, and Steph got her pictures with a Mal and a Jayne. And next time I go to a con, I need to remember to wear really comfortable shoes. I got a few giggles when people saw me walking around with no shoes on! I’m definitely looking forward to the next convention we get to go to, and maybe I’ll actually plan out an outfit for next time… >:3
July marks the fifth anniversary of Faire Treasures! I started with the intent of having small purses and cloaks for sale, actually opened with only twelve strands of Pirate Hair Jewels, and I’m happy to have grown to have a variety of my own handmade wearables as well as corsets by Timeless Trends and shoes by Hades Footwear!
In celebration, head over to Aquariann’s blog to enter to win a black Emily Elaine Lace Capelet! Entries are accepted from July 5 until July 25, with many different ways to increase your chance of winning.