launching the doonyaya shop

October 25, 2015

doonyaya // pillow

It’s happening folks – I’m launching my online store! On Monday. As in the Monday that’s tomorrow. The opening coincides with a Remodelista feature about my home, my studio, my handmade housewares, which is really exciting, and also kind of scary. Truthfully, I’m completely freaking out. In a good way. And a bad way. Good because it’s forced me to get off my arse and take myself seriously enough to open a store. Bad because I don’t know how to do any of this – except design and screen print and play with clay. None of which has to do with starting and running a business.

And as with any deadline, it seems that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Let’s review: the studio lights for photographing my items decided to only work when they feel like working – which apparently was for three photos; my one employee decided to leave College and go home; my ink supplier is indefinitely out of black ink; I accidentally deleted an entire day of product shots; the emulsion on my screens is washing off in patches; the community studio where I screen print is booked through October so I’m printing at home and washing my screens with my garden hose, which has led to another list of problems too lengthy to list here (except the time when I almost broke my ankle falling into a hole near the hose because I was printing at night and rinsing the screens in the dark and couldn’t see where I was walking); the first batch of pillows had to be re-sewn a size smaller because the corners were too round; the thread I sourced for the napkin edging was the wrong color; the heat-resistent material for the pot-holders is crinkly and I don’t like it so there will be no pot-holders for sale; my conveyer dryer for setting the ink started overheating and smoking; I had a lingering sinus infection which made it close to impossible to breathe; and I’ve only had time to make one, single Cat Owl…and here it is.

doonyaya // cat owl

Suffice it to say that the learning curve has been big. Mostly this month has felt like climbing Mt. Everest after spending the majority of my life strolling around the neighborhood sipping lattes and talking about climbing Mt. Everest.

But amazingly, I’ve had every new challenge/obstacle/problem matched with an equally competent expert/friend/enthusiastic stranger give me the help/expertise/enthusiastic thumbs up just in time. In fact, I get weepy and sentimental about the amount of support, encouragement, practical advice and words of wisdom that has come my way these past few weeks. Like, “there will be bumps and setbacks along the way, but it will build character and make you stronger” or “what you are doing is brave” or “take care of your health first” or “expect the best but prepare for the worst” or “get a POS system” or “it’s gonna to be great” or “you are your own worst critic” or “you will be fine” or “no worries” or the best of all: “yes, I can help you with that.”

So here’s my big THANK YOU to everyone that has helped me – you know who you are. Now let’s open this store and sell a Cat Owl.


  • Nora Jean Petersen

    Hey Dunja, this is your fellow SLC alumnus Nora, I am such a huge fan of your work is is really amazing! I just had a photo shoot today for my floral design biz and last night when I was about to make all the arrangements for the shoot a transformer blew in my neighborhood, the electricity was out for 4 hours, and I ended up having to do all the work by candlelight! Insanity. In the end when the lights finally came on I was really happy with them. 🙂 Anyhoo LOVE the blog too….truly inspiring…

    • doonyaya

      Hi Nora! Great to hear from you! Don’t you love those moments when every minute counts and it all blows up around you?!?! Would love to see you in person sometime. Do you come to New York sometimes? I’m a quick ride into the city.

  • Leslie

    Dunja, it is wonderful and exciting that you are finally realizing your vision and that the process is excersizing so many parts of yourself. And best of all , we get to benefit from the outcome! Thank you for sharing your creative process. Can’t wait to SHOP!

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