Here is a peek at my new aprons I was finishing up today at the Saturday Market. I LOVE this new batch and I was having so much fun cutting out all the appliqué. I need to photograph these guys and put them in my store asap!
I was actually at the market today after taking a three week break. One weekend I woke up late, had the jitters and talked myself out of showing for sanity sake. The next weekend I was camping and the weekend after that I was helping a friend of mine with her puppet show over in Albany. I was facepainting all day and trying to be a helpful assistant. So with all those breaks I actually didn't get anything done but exhaust myself even more. I was busy all this week trying to catch up with some sewing so my aprons could at least be shown. Well last night I couldn't finish so I finally followed through on an idea I've had for a while. I brought my sewing machine with me! I had the most relaxing morning at the market because I felt productive, I was busy and I could entertain people! With my little desk I felt like like a real shop keeper and it was fun to greet people as they entered. The sewing machine even was in a good mood that day and didn't mess up one bit. I was a happy camper.
Things have been really stressful over here in lolly-tots studio. I've been struggling with my day job and finding enough time to make enough product to sell. I was a bit confused in the head this last month. I think I am still in denial of being a real business owner. It's hard to prioritize things like career, work and play. I had to sit down and have a long talk with myself about what I really wanted to do with this business and if I really wanted to take it seriously. In the end after I weighed all my options I decided that YES I do want to take this to the next level. I do want this to be my life. It's amazing how long this battle has been going on in my head even as I am encouraged by so many other vendors and artists. I was still feeling that it's not a "real" job and I need to stop wasting time, money and energy on something that's not going to take care of all my needs. My head kept telling me to shift focus on look to my career and find more design gigs instead of crafting gigs. But I've already been down the freelance route and didn't like it one bit. I like my current part-time job and it fits in well with what I'm doing. The problem was figuring out what was the most important thing in my life.
So I've switched over and I'm taking this for real. I have met with someone over at SCORE for some business advice, I'm still working on the tasks I was given. I'm looking into getting a business grant and that will be my primary focus for the next month or two as I research every avenue I can find. I have to have faith in myself. Do you know how hard that is? This is my future, this is my primary financial support, this is my passion and purpose. I HAVE To make this work. If I walk away now then I'll be stuck with the "what if?" for the rest of my life. What about all the work I've put into it? The money? The time? The energy? If I gave up my dream then I would be left with nothing because this gives my life PURPOSE and direction and focus. I am planning my life around this. Is it the right choice for me? I DON'T KNOW! I have to find out. And for me to find out I have to go for it BOTH FEET FIRST. No more half ass, no more holding back, no more back out plan.
I'm scared. I want to start saving money instead of just owing money. I want to buy a house someday. I want to have a retirement I've saving into. I want to be able to pay my bills and not live the life of a starving artist. I want to have my own company, employees and product line. I sometimes think I want too much out of life. But then I think about settling and I get sick to my stomach. I think I can do this, I KNOW I can do this.
I would also like to take a moment to thank all the AWESOME, WONDERFUL people that have given me warm words of encouragement over the past month. I can't believe how much support and friendship I have this year. I was so alone just a year ago and now look how much I am blessed! Thank you everyone! Thank you also to the customers that keep coming back and your stories and compliments feed me and keep me going.
I am struggling inside to accept all of this. I am struggling to realize that this is real and this is going to be BIG. I can feel it sinking in bit by bit and I am filled with such love and gratitude. Nothing I've ever done in my life has ever made me feel this fulfilled.
I shall keep on sewing, saving, researching and building for the future. I am learning a HUGE lesson of patience and diligence. I don't care if I have to give everything in my life to make this happen. I am in it for the long haul and this girl is NOT giving up.