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1 In Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes: start to finish

This week, I documented some processes from start to finish, or at least some parts of each process.

This has been a week of work and reflection. I know I’m good at what I do. I have a burning love for fiber arts, and an insatiable desire to know everything possible about my craft.
Is it enough? I don’t know. I get scared – I’m putting everything into what I do in an attempt to “live the dream” – that is, to make a living from my passion. I’m constantly looking for new ideas, concepts, offerings to feature in the shop/studio – my brain never stops.

I’m a burden to my loved ones. I am burning through my safety net of money and need to have something really happening by the end of the year, or I don’t know what will happen. Is it fair to the people who are helping me to pursue my dream and continue to have them help me? I want this, I want it so badly. I think I can make it happen. But it’s scary to be here, to be me in this moment. What happens if I fail?
I joke that this means that I *can’t* fail. I joke to relieve the anxiety a lot. It’s part of being an artist and small business owner. We have to just keep moving forward.

I'm spinning up the test batch of punis from the collab between Gourmet Stash and myself - an exclusive colorway. I love supported spindling, and this is the perfect prep for that sort of spinning.

I’m spinning up the test batch of punis from the collab between Gourmet Stash and myself – an exclusive colorway. I love supported spindling, and this is the perfect prep for that sort of spinning.

I believe in being uncomfortably honest in my business, because I know I’m not the only one out here facing this… and for my customers/patrons who read this, it makes things more real, knowing where my head is, what it’s like to be living this life.

I get afraid that I’ll spend all my social credit – that I’ll run out of goodwill and interest and people will say “well, we gave you that chance and you are just taking too long so we’re off to look at the next new thing…” – and there’s really always the chance of that happening, I realize that. I post about Community not only because I love the Community and want to support it, but because it helps me, and I feel that I owe BIG debts to it for that. It’s a little way that I try to pay it back/forward. I want to make the vlog for the same reason – to give back by showing more of behind the scenes things, techniques, tricks, and just offer support by being willing to put myself out there. I’m amazingly good at putting myself out there with no regard for being mocked or picked apart. THAT? I’m not concerned with.

A little series of photos showing the process of taking a batt to spinning it up.

A little series of photos showing the process of taking a batt to spinning it up.

What I’m concerned with is letting people down.

That’s what I’ve always been worried about. I want to Do Things Right, and Make People Happy. I want my customers, patrons, friends to love what I do and seek me out to get things that are fun and interesting to work with and make them feel good to be using. I want to offer the highest quality things that I can and make yarn and garments and dyed top and beautiful tools that make people want to shout about what I’m doing from the rooftops… because they LOVE them. Because using them was an amazing experience. Because wearing my scarves or working up my yarn into a project gave them a feeling of touching beauty.

And I don’t want people to walk away from me and say “what a disappointment.”

Alpaca fiber, from clean but full of grass, to picked and fluffy and mostly VM free.

Alpaca fiber, from clean but full of grass, to picked and fluffy and mostly VM free.

Maybe I lay it all out too openly. But that’s part of who I am, too. I think it’s important to say what’s on my mind, and I think it’s important to share these things, to be transparent. The Studio is doing okay, but things are slow – it’s coming into Summer, it’s warm and people are less likely to want to handle wool. I’ve been teaching more, which is excellent. I’ve got great stock in the shop. We have 427902740 handmade buttons – thank goats for Rob and his talented, crafty hands, he’s always got something new to stock. I’m listing yarn in the Etsy shop, and I’ll have some batts up as soon as the weather cooperates with lighting – I prefer natural lighting for the colors, for the least amount of adjustment.

Rob spun the singles for this on a drop spindle. I plied with a commercial yarn, then N-plied it and added tassels. It's pretty fun!

Rob spun the singles for this on a drop spindle. I plied with a commercial yarn, then N-plied it and added tassels. It’s pretty fun!

So there it is. Behind the scenes, your usually cheerful host is plodding on, but she’s a little scared and a lot introspective. And she’s definitely keeping busy. But you know what? It’ll be okay. It always is. It’s good to stop and reflect on what’s happening, both in business and in life, to make sure that things are going the right direction. It’ll be fine.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Karen Pardee
    May 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Reading this was like reading a post from my own journal! I am an artist/ Saori weaver, starting a small business. I’m in Year Three, and have totally exhausted my safety net, too. If I don’t “make” it by the end of the year, I’m not sure what will happen next either.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there, and for your honesty. I love your Community Thursdays. It will be okay.

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