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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How I Got Started with Paternoster Ladies

Hello!  Some of you may wonder how Paternoster Ladies got started - well, it all began with a little project I started for a group I belong to called the Society for Creative Anachronism.  This group has events all over the world for people interested in Medieval Re-enactment (kind of like Civil War re-enactment, but without the guns!)

During an event 2 years ago, (Val Day in Kalamazoo) I heard about something called the Arts and Sciences 50 Challenge!  This challenge is a personal one meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the SCA.  In it, you challenge yourself to make or do or learn 50 things before 2015 that relate to medieval life.  You could make 50 buttons for a garment, or make 50 garments!  Or 50 different types of garments - or medieval furniture, beads, etc.  You get the idea.

I had just started making paternosters for my group, and figured I would make 50.  Once I did, and everyone in my group had one (we do 14th century European reenactment, btw) I decided to sell them.  I loved making them so much, I needed to sell them to be able to buy more beads!  I was very keen on making sure I understood what a period paternoster was, so I spent several months studying everything I could lay my hands on, including my favorite source to date, Chris Lanings wonderful Paternoster Blog.  The study continues to this day - and so does my little business, which has merchanted 5 larger SCA events in the past year and a half, and has donated 19 paternosters to the Midrealm thus far (one of my sub goals is to donate a total of 50).

One thing I have to mention, is that I would not have the great jump off that I did were it not for Vista Print's awesome services.  I was able to get many of the basics, such as business cards, banners, and even a photo book of my work, made for free.  It is a great resource for a new business, or an old one looking to save some money.  If you wait for their big Mega Blowout Sale (which happens 1-2 times a year)  you can get most everything you need to start a new business in terms of advertising for a song.  I included the link, so you can get a jump start like I did!

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