Category Archives: Janery

Janery Update: Family first

Sometimes life really has a way of throwing up detours when you try to reach your goals. And this year’s many detours seem to be following a theme – cancer.  Can I just say how much I hate that one illness?

But let’s back up.  I’ve been feeling guilty lately that I had all this hype about the new Janery website and the Charlie Cushion dog beds launching in May, and then it didn’t happen.

Right now my family is my top priority, which is why it’s July and the new shop still hasn’t launched.

My mom is in the hospital and her cancer is out of control.  I’ve spent a lot of time up there and things are only going downhill it seems.  Today her oncologist told my dad and my brother that it’s most likely a matter of weeks.

Jane Mom

So. I’m not going to get into a lot about my feelings for now, but when your mom is dying of a terminal illness and you’re only 35, it really sucks. And seeing your dad’s heart breaking is the worst. Things like your blog and part-time handmade business just suddenly don’t take priority.

Oh, and as if that isn’t bad enough, my awesome little cat Doctor was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma, a type of cancer, about a month ago.  It’s in the lymph nodes and various parts of the intestines, so we’re not too hopeful.  However, we are meeting with the oncologist who treated Charlie next week. We’ve been cautioned that he may not do well with chemo, so this is just an exploratory visit to weigh our options.  Right now we’re looking at only 6 more months with him if we do nothing.


Before cancer decided to get all up in our lives again, I’d run into some other delays.  First I had  issues with my US suppliers – delays and incorrect orders. I’m still working to sort those out.  It’s also taken me and my graphic designer longer than I expected to get the look of the new website together.

Janery isn’t going away, though.  Behind the scenes I’m still chugging away when I can, although I have to admit my focus isn’t at its best right now.  Last night I sorted through a shipment of dog bed inserts, all made in the USA, and got them labeled and stored in the attic.  I think the UPS man may hate me. . . or maybe just my friend who was cat sitting when these arrived. :)

Janery Dog Bed Shipment

More boxes arrived the next day.  Fortunately Ryan was home to receive them.

So.  Our house is overflowing with dog beds and pillow inserts and supplies.  That means that eventually there will be a new Janery with new products.  Just maybe not as soon as I’d hoped, because family most definitely comes first.


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Janery Studio Chat, Episode 1: A peek at the Charlie Cushion process

Hello, hello! I’m excited because today I have my first Janery Studio Chat video blog for you.  So many times I’ve wanted to make a video to share something, because it’s easier to talk and demonstrate on film rather than to try and write it all out in a long post.

Well, I did it – Ryan helped me record my first video in the studio over a month ago, and this week I finally figured out how to edit the video segments and put them together. In the video I talk about my fabric cutting process, batch sewing, and how I prefer to sew invisible zippers without pinning them in place. I hope you enjoy it! If there’s something you’d like to see me cover in video form, please let me know in the comments!

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From the Studio: A Charlie Cushion Update

My Charlie Cushions are really, actually coming to Janery by the end of the month.  I am so very excited about this!

Merlin Aretha on Charlie Cushion

That’s why the blog has been a little quieter than usual.  Sometime this spring I finally accepted that the blog and my home DIY projects had to take a back stage to the business for a while, at least until I get the new branding finished, the new website ready to launch, and the product creation process streamlined.

The great news is that everything for Janery is falling into place.

I’m finishing up the first batch of pet beds now, so I feel confident that I will finally make this dream come true. It’s taken a lot longer to get to the launch date than I ever expected, because there are several hidden steps that require some time and effort before you get to the finished product.

Product design has been the biggest step where I underestimated the amount of time required.   The process is so much more than just picturing a product you want to create, and saying “I’m going to make that!” If it were that simple, my dog beds would have come to market years ago. I found the product design and pattern creation process to be the most challenging and slow-going.

Many of the designs I came up with looked great, but were complicated and time-intensive. If a design takes me 2 hours, it won’t bring best value to my customer (because production time is included in the price). The insertion of the zipper was the design aspect that I got most hung up on, and I felt amazing when I finally found a hidden zipper solution that I was happy with!

Once again, my lesson learned is that things always take longer than expected. I think knowing that should be the first rule of starting a business!

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