So, after a few Christmas craft shows and markets, I’m finally building up the confidence to widen my target market and branch out to sell my hand-made items beyond the borders of my small town. This is a big step for me. I’ve been a stay at home parent for the last 8 years, filling in my time with volunteering, creating and learning, and just, well, being a Mum.
The decision to stay at home was a pretty straight forward one for me and my partner: balancing a long commute to work with a toddler and a preschooler pretty much meant that we only spent weekends with our boys. We had to budget for the decreased income and one of us (this became me) had to switch focus from career to family. It was and is still a challenge, but, it was the best decision we’ve ever made for our family. The plan was initially to just stay home until my youngest was at school full time. This was 5 years ago. Trying to get back into the mindset to reenter the workforce and has been and is really tough; you get set in your ways and, honestly, come up with all sorts of excuses for why staying home is best: What about summer break? PA Days? Snow Days? Who stays home when someone gets sick? But, other families seem to manage work and family, and you realize what’s holding you back is that you don’t have a job you want to go back to and you are afraid that it will not give you the freedom to create and make and work at your own pace, while still being there for your family.
In my “previous life”, as I like to call it, I was a web manager: I organized and managed the websites for a couple of different organizations. I had also been a web applications instructor and a “creative lead”, aka I made the website look pretty. This is not a life a choose to go back to, and honestly, with the rise of the use of smartphones and the changes to the technology over the last 8 years, I don’t think that I could go back to it. Instead, I want to step back from technology and focus on creating with my hands, making something tactile and physical, not virtual. I have built on the basic knitting skills imparted on me by my Mum when I was a girl and further explored the fibre arts learning how to spin yarn, felt, and weave.
And now, as my children become more self-sufficient, I’m shifting my focus to starting up selling my wares. It is a true shift of attitude and approach, and for someone who has found it difficult to look beyond the world of her children, it can be extremely daunting. It’s like I have to grow up along with my children. As they start to do more for themselves, so do I. It’s taken me over a year of humming and ha-ing to get to this point. I’m starting to “adult” again.
I now have this blog. It’s not my first attempt, but I am so proud of myself for restarting one; I will have a selection of my hand woven scarves and other items on display and on sale at the historic Spencerville Mill shop, Barnard’s Emporium this summer; and my next step is to create an online retail presence. It’s all a beginning, and working through all of this will be tough, but I need to challenge myself and have faith that I will have some success in doing so.
So, I thank those of you who have taken the time to read this blog as I start out on this road. I haven’t really gotten into posting about my weaving or crafting directly yet (this is the true purpose of the blog after all), but I am sure this will come as long as I keep “adulting” and focus on my fibre arts not only as a pastime and passion, but also as a business.