January is a quiet time.
It is quiet both for business and for me personally. Though the weather is cold, which you might think is prime yarn/fiber/hygge-supplies-buying time, it’s also right after the holidays and all the shopping fatigue is still lingering. And the political climate in this country is also a bit cold and unforgiving as well, which I think makes people tend to be more cautious with their dollars, understandably.
Personally, January is a Review, Reset, Reassess, Reconfigure sort of time for me. Normally, I would use the slow time to look over my sales from last year and pull my figures together, then plan out my schedule and possible ideas for the year to come. I love the feel of the year laid out before me like a glorious map of possibilities.
And I have done those things, but because of that reinforced down time in December thanks to my fall down the stairs, things got a lot simpler in the reviewing aspect of my plans. Most of my business – like a majority of retail operations – usually happens in the last part of the year. Not being able to really sell things at the events I normally attend really hurt me, I have to admit. But setbacks like that are opportunities to learn and to see where the weak points and leaks are, and fix them if possible, and that’s exactly why doing a review is so important. What did I learn? Well, for one: if I am incapacitated, everything gets much more difficult. I can ship from home but I can’t get to the events where I both make more money in one swoop and get to interact with my beloved patrons and friends – something that brings me a lot of creative energy and renewal of purpose. So I need to come up with solutions for that.
One thing that I’ve been doing, and I think you might have noticed, is shifting what I create and sell. I talked about some of this in my Welcome 2017 post on January 1st, but I’ve had some questions and figured I’d give you the answers as best as I can.
Fiber and yarn sales have slowed WAY down. I think in part it’s due to a lot of competition and market saturation, as well as shifting demographics and interests, the economy, and the political climate. A lot of people are working with their stash, too. It’s all okay, it’s how things work – cyclical – as long as I stay clever and creative.
Enter the Arcanity line of jewelry and wearables, then my small weavings, podlets, and meditation bowls. They use my yarn – which no matter what, I can’t stop making! – and add things that I really love, like crystals and air plants, which makes my yarn more accessible to folks besides fiber artists. I love devising these new styles and products, and I hope that they find a place in your home like they do in mine.
And today I added something new: Project Bags. They are just the thing for small to medium knitting or crochet WIPS, or your spindle and fiber. They are REALLY nice, y’all – I use them all the time for my own traveling projects and could probably use 5 or 6 more.
I will be adding other new and fun things to the Fiber Work Accessories page soon – if there’s something you’d like to see me carry, please do send me a message or comment with your suggestions! I would very much like to have small looms and bead spindles, for sure.
Oh yeah, the personal stuff! I have been doing a LOT of meditating and journaling, going in deep to figure out my own path and for self-care in the New Year. I really enjoy using The Wild Unknown cards to delve into my inner mind and put together the pieces that might have eluded me before.
These cards always nail it for me. They are always drawing insightful connections for me that I might have missed previously, and I love artist Kim Krans’ imagery on them so very much. They speak to my heart.
Want to get your own deck? You can pick them up in a nice box set with the cards and a booklet via Amazon!
I’ve connected with cards before, but never like this. Highly recommended. I am looking forward to getting the Animal Oracle at some point, too. Other things I’ve been doing for self-care include lots of hot chocolate and hot tea with local honey and lemon… facial scrubs made from fine sugar and organic coconut oil… carnelian stone massages on my hurt ankle… fingernail polish with lots of confetti [currently blue snowflakes, purple sparkles, white dots]… gentle yoga… honeycrisp apples with peanut butter… and talking to my beloved plants…
What do you do for self-care? Do you have a favorite regimen for beauty or exercise, a go-to meal or beverage that makes you feel comforted, a routine that refreshes and uplifts? I would love to hear what you do to take care of you, too!
**Christiane Knight is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.