Hello! It feels like forever since I've written, and a lot has been happening, so let's dig in.
Its been a little over a year since I had my knee surgery and a little less than a year since I closed the studio and showroom. I can't believe its been that long, but there you have it, I suppose. Naturally, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year and all the changes that have happened.
Closing the shop and taking time away from the never ending treadmill of production was so good for my mental and physical health. While I knew something wasn't right and it was what prompted me to make the change, I didn't realize just how badly I needed a break. There were so many things that had just worn me down, and I couldn't properly see it until there was some distance between me and the shop. From Covid and all that entailed, to simultaneous major road construction in front of my store, to employee issues, supply chain and equipment issues, and my own exhaustion and inability to bring the necessary leadership, there was so much that needed a serious resetting.
Now, nearly a year later, I feel like a new person. I finally was able to see how, over time, I started to let the business run me, instead of the other way around. Leading up to my decision to close I kept hearing from some folks I held close that I needed better time management and project management skills, and that if I could figure those out it would solve all the problems. According to this logic, I needed to be more efficient, among many other things that I was not properly doing, and everything would have run better and the business would have been thriving. It created a huge shame spiral for me, that I "should" be doing x, y, or z, but somehow I was inadequate and was failing. If I just kept going all would work itself out and my dreams would come true. But I struggled to see it, and was stuck on this treadmill of "if only".
This haunted me for a long time. If only I had been more efficient, if only I had been better at managing my time, if only I had kept the thing going that was doing well, but that I didn't enjoy...and on and on. It was a no-win situation that I didn't see until I was out of it. I mean, for the love of all that is good I know how to be efficient. I know how to get shit done. Hell, I started and ran this thing for years basically on my own, and I did a damn good job. So, not only was it incredibly upsetting that it was insinuated that I was the problem, but it basically made me feel like I was backed into a corner, and the only choice I could see to make was to close.
I had to really reflect on what was going on, because while I may not be the best manager of all time, I am no slacker. So, after literally months of some PTSD around making things I came to slowly, and finally unravel from my stress, and in that unravelling I was able to uncover the answer that was so simple: I needed better tasks.
It wasn't that I was bad at time management, it was that I had no interest in doing the tasks that were set before me. So, I balked at doing them. Duh.
So, I set out to give myself better tasks.
And now, after some time, I realize that at my core I am a maker of objects. I love process and exploration and experimentation. I love to try new things. I am a philosopher, a reflector, a processor. I am a teacher. I am multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary. I was outgrowing that cocoon.
I have a new space now, shared with like minded folks, and while its only 200 sq ft give or take, its like a fresh start. Its bringing me back to the beginning when everything was possible, only this time I have a TON of knowledge and have a MUCH better handle on what I do and do not want my business to look like.
SO! I'll write a little more later about the plans I have for holiday. The timing of the move into the studio wasn't the best for holiday preparations...alas my kiln is not even hooked up yet. But, I will have some sort of pre-order thing going on and will ship things later, probably February. Or, you can always order a gift card.
The offerings will definitely change, and I may or may not continue to make the things you have come to know me by and for (well...they may shift a little...I could probably never erase them altogether) but I hope you'll stick around for the rest of the show and see how it plays out. One thing I do know is there will be no more wholesale. I'm focused on retail only, one of a kinds and more sculpture, installation work, and lighting explorations.
Thanks as always for reading this far, and for your support!