Handmade, homemade, made with love, make do and mend, whatever it is, it seems we’re all at it in some way or another.
Back in 2014 I took the plunge and headed out into the world of self employment, fulfilling my life long dream of being an artist. I was thinking canvases & galleries, but something wasn’t quite right. Once I dipped my toes into the water, my spirit left. I didn’t fit in that world.
Damn it I thought to myself. I’d worked so hard getting there but didn’t like it once I did…typical me!
With this though, came opportunity and chance meets. Gentle encouragement and people that could help me get to where I wanted to be. Slowly but surely I started to realise as long as I was being creative in some way, and as long as people wanted to buy my work then I still had a shot at being a self employed creative.
Over the last couple of years I’ve found my ‘style’ which was a real lightbulb moment for me and I’ve found the confidence to create what I want rather than what is popular or fashionable at that time. I’ve grown as a creative and I’ve come to realise the importance of being around other like minded folk. The importance of supporting other small businesses. My little creative world wouldn’t be what it is without the help and support I’ve had from some lovely folk in my life and that is why I believe in supporting & raising each other up where we can. If I could sit and list all the talent thats going through my Instagram feed I would, but I’d be here all night and I’d hate to miss someone out! These folk though, wether artists, photographers cooks or incredible mums making things as a hobby, inspire me daily. I tend to see things in images, that is why, along with Pinterest it is such an important part of my creative journey. The talent I see on my instagram feed is so uplifting and there isn’t a day goes by when I’m not pinning new ideas not only for my studio but for my home life too.
I do what I can to keep my studio space organised and its important for me to bring little bits of the outdoors in to calm me and inspire me but if you could step inside my head you’d be calling for the men in white coats! It’s full in there of the “Oh why did I paint that” to “Oh but I could paint that though” “If only I could knit I’d be making this…perhaps I could learn to knit, what about crochet? Oh but weaving, that looks easier why don’t I start weaving as a hobby, but when do I have time for a hobby? I must get outdoors with the proper camera, autumn is just so lovely, but then I must complete this commission and ooh look cake.” You see, its mad in there and thats not including all the mummy things I have to do too!!
I can’t be the only one out there who feels this way (she says hoping someone puts there hand up going “ooh me too!!”) and I know half the time the ‘important’ things I really MUST do that day aren’t actually that important at all. I continue to put more pressure on myself than is needed.
Since having my second daughter Zara this year, I’ve struggled to continue as I was prior to her arrival. I very much underestimated how hard it would be to run a business while running a family! I’ve so many things I want to make, so many new ideas floating around in my head yet finding the time is tough as I don’t want to miss a moment of her little life. My eldest Rosa is 6 (going on 16) and I know how fast it goes, I know how much you forget and I know the time will come when Zara, like her sister will start school and time will once again be mine but in the meantime I will continue to do the little bits I can, because I want to. I will always want to make, I will always have ideas to create things. I will always get excited around November time because its time to do the christmas crafting with my daughter and also for myself. I love making these little wooden christmas decorations and they proved popular last year so I’m making it my priority to get some in my etsy shop this year. There may not be many so lets call them limited edition!
To round this off though, even if its just one gift purchased or one treat for yourself, buying from a small independent business really does put more than a smile on someones face. It encourages them to continue with their dream and in my case filter out some of the ideas into a sellable reality, creating a little more space in my chaotic mind for more ideas to creep back in!
I will though, forever be overwhelmed at the thought that my creations are now dotted in far away places across the globe and I can’t thank people enough for all the support they’ve given me over the last couple of years.
Now if only I could find a way to hand deliver every purchase!