2012 has been the most profoundly life changing year of my whole life. It is the year I got a grip on what matters to me, and jumped in. Starting on 29 December 2011 when I went to buy 5 zips, and bought the whole shop. Well, it was at least the beginning of the process which on 1 April had us take over the keys.
Our first artwork, starring Oobop's scissors!
So, what has this meant? It means working in partnership with David, MrC, which we love to do and which works really well. He is SO happy now, and that makes me happy too.
It means that every day magic happens. Yesterday, a young lady came in asking for a safety pin to stop her blouse gaping. We were not too busy so I offered her a kimono and a chair, and fixed it for her instead. While I reinforced her buttonhole, she told Madame O (who was visiting) and me about herself - she is an opera singer! We had a wonderful 20 minutes of sharing dreams and laughter, and made a new friend. This kind of thing happens every day, and I never tire of it :)
It means that I have only one day off, a Tuesday, and so I miss out on all kinds of social activities on the weekend. My friends have been amazingly supportive of this and have incorporated the shop into their regular visiting routines but it isn't the same and getting some time back for the people I care about is on my 2013 resolutions list.
It is the year I got invited to do a TV segment. This was a huge extra workload on top of a very busy Christmas rush, but so worth it. It was lots of fun too, and has inspired me on all kinds of creative levels.
And what have I made? Well, mostly crafty stuff for shop samples. However, lately I've been getting in some wardrobe makes - nothing like having to appear on national television to speed up the wardrobe replenishment process! :) (in fact, just now I put the netbook down and finished a top. Score one to FO ing UFOs!) I shall blog about these soon, promise!
Another big thing that happened was the Craft and Textile Lovers' Guide to Wellington. This was a major project and I have never blogged about it, sorry! I had the idea that maybe all of the groovy independent shops in Wellington could get together a map - and a quick ring around confirmed that there were takers. In three weeks, we went from an idea to 20,000 copies, just in time for the World of Wearable Arts show that brings thousands of textile fans into the area. It was great because now we all have a closer relationship than ever, and there is a healthy and happy attitude of co-opposition. And customers love it too. :)
So far, I am finding 2013 really creative. We are overhauling the shop - new fittings, paint etc, while still trading which is great actually as people enjoy seeing it happen and pitch in ideas. This means we are finally putting our own stamp on it - and this I find inspiring.
I am making new products and working on patterns, so finally some of our own product. Mostly this involves needle cases, pin cushions, knitting needle rolls and cases - that kind of thing. People want to buy them but noone supplies really nice ones so why not.
I am looking into other lines as well - it was always our intention to create our own products, but 2012 was too focussed on Keeping Calm and Carrying On. Now I have some headspace, and it feels wonderful.
I may have more TV to make, and now I have tasted it, I have a few ideas in that direction. More as this unfolds. It also broke the vlog ice for me and I want to look into more of that.
E-commerce is also on the cards. Oooh!
This all sounds like it's shop related, but we two are inseparable. It is an expression of myself and so it is the lynch pin for most of what I am doing in life. I hope that's OK!
Writing this reminds me how stingy I've been about sharing my makes and breakthroughs. Of course the paradox of blogging is that when there is plenty to blog about, there is less time to do so!
So, my resolutions for 2013 include:
- Make more stuff for me. Clothes, quilts - things I want to make for myself and others, including MrC, for whom I have ordered two delicious shirt lengths of fabric!
- Post about these makes. Catch up on the 2012 ones and keep up in 2013.
- Learn more about my camera. Its complexity defeat me so far. And/or, buy a simpler one. And use it to capture more moments.
Shirt fabrics for MrC
If you've kept reading this far, thank you for indulging me! And Happy New Year!