29th December 2016
Founder: Christina Poelzl-Huemer
Christina Poelzl-Huemer takes a look at her home business Christmas, sharing tips and celebrating her holidays at home
My idea of bliss this Christmas involves carol singing with friends, taking the kids to Santa’s grotto and curling up by the fire with a glass of mulled wine. Unfortunately, as we all know, this idealistic image is far from reality at this time of year. Whether I’m worrying over the appropriate amount to spend on a gift or comparing my decorations to friends’, there is almost constant pressure.
It is in the context of this almost ‘traditional’ anxiety about Christmas that I’d like to share some realisations about the season I’ve come to through my fashion up-cycling business, tinapoelzldesign.
I started my home business while still living in Austria and developed a specialism in up-cycling men’s apparel into wearable memories. If you’re like me, you hold on to the things that are precious to you, not because they cost a lot or because they are useful, but because they remind you of special moments. And these objects often take the form of items of clothing. In my case it’s my late grandfather’s neckties and my daughter’s first onesies. Whatever it is, it might just collect dust at the moment, waiting to be binned in a couple of years.
But by injecting a bit of creativity a dress shirt can become a cushion cover, an old tie a necklace, belt or headband. And those baby clothes you kept? You can turn them into cushion covers, quilts, or even wall art.
The aim of tinapoelzldesign is to do exactly that – to take treasured objects and turn them into something to bring the memories they hold alive again. I am lucky of course to be able to make this happen through running a home business. Instead of working my way up in fashion retail or design working long hours for low pay, I have been able to bring my ideas to fruition from day one. The Home Business 100 community are now making what I do better than ever by offering support and a network of like-minded individuals.
Bringing it back to Christmas, my work on people’s orders for gifts this year, including for a grandfather who wanted one of his shirts refashioned into a dress for his granddaughter, has made me realise that so often what we give and receive at Christmas is totally forgotten. It’s probably because we didn’t put much thought into the things we gave, nor did we use the things we received. One way to fix that this Christmas is by being creative, giving memorable gifts, or better still gifts that hold memories. I for one am saying ‘no’ to space filling presents destined to end up in the garbage.
The flexibility means I can make the most of the season and avoid most of the panic!
Creativity doesn’t apply exclusively to gifts; using old newspaper and homemade magazine paper bows to wrap presents is a beautiful, and eco-friendly alternative to unrecyclable and expensive wrapping paper. The only purpose of wrapping a present is to unwrap and destroy the paper within seconds after all, especially where kids are concerned!
Having said all of this, my second realisation is that in an age when most people can buy just about anything, anytime they want it, what is more valuable is the time we spend together and the memories we create doing so. This is especially pertinent during the festive period, when preparation stress threatens to overwhelm from November onwards. It is at this time of year that I’m most glad to be running a home business. The flexibility means I can make the most of the season and avoid most of the panic!
So whether up-cycling, crafting or digging out old board games, I expect families prepared to try something new this Christmas will notice a huge difference in the quality of their time spent together. After all, it is never the gifts we remember from Christmas anyway.