Well, Christmas came and went. It was so wonderful! Christmas with kids is THEE BEST. I do have to say, however, that having the end of the year immediately following is somewhat daunting. I realized that all my pottery sale hustling had come to a close, and because of not being as organized as I should, I planned to take two weeks off from the studio to catch up on housework, hang with family (practicing being present), but mainly to play catch up with the whole BUSINESS side of things.
The day after Christmas, the sicknesses started to hit us. One twin got pink eye, than the next. I got a nasty virus that lasted upwards of 14 days with extreme exhaustion, body aches, intense coughing, and sinus infection symptoms. One by one this same virus made its way through our family. Then, for 2 days we were all better, until the stomach flu hit. 2/4 of us got it, so when trying to stay positive, I would say that I was amazed it was just two of us. Then, about a week after that, my girls were both hit with what we think was THEE INFLUENZA…… Yikes. Doctor trips, sleepless nights, and feeling unlike ourselves for so long. It was the worst month of sickness we have had to date. Amidst all of this, my dear Grandma passed away so I had to travel for the funeral, and my 2 week break from making quickly turned into almost an entire month. I was feeling quite helpless and worn out. So many stresses intersecting all at once.
The end of January brought hope in the form of an amazing class I took called “Starting a Small Business.” There I learned so much more about building a successful business, being organized, and making the actual deduction counting and tracking priority. I wrote in my journal about who I think my audience is, and also documented important questions like “What do I want my business to convey? What is the most effective way to get my work out there? Why did I start this small business?” It really opened up my mind to how much work it is to have your own business, especially while raising a small family. So many thoughts were running through my head such as “I know I am doing the right business” and “There is more work to do here than there is time for.” I was struck that it takes many many hours just to make the art, many hours to sell the art, market the art, and many many hours to do the deductions and take forward reaching steps ahead for your business (ie. planning business trips visiting galleries, buying useful equipment etc etc.).
I realized, however, getting back into the studio after not making for what seemed like forever, that the MAKING/CREATING is so cathartic and therapeutic for me. Touching clay makes me feel so balanced, so focused, and so centered. You have to be right there with the clay present in every moment. You need to see and feel which ways its moving, and ride the line of just how much you can stretch it, carve it, and alter it. This art form is much more than a business to me. It is a way of life, and having the business allows me to give more time and thought into this art form I love so dearly. I am thankful and excited for what’s to come, and I am never taking a month off of making ever again! Ha!
Middle/End of January sales started to pick up again which I was thankful for, and I was able to do a POP UP SALE for the “HYGEE” Festival at our local brewery. Now I’m gearing up to be in a local Art Gallery show beginning of March, and applying to be in Juried Art Festivals close-ish to town (kids are still under 4 so we are slowly adding difficulty) this summer and fall. I will be a stop in the Art Along the Lake Fall Studio Tour this year, and I have decided to NOT do the farmers market this summer. Learning how to be a business woman is a challenge for me, but I am taking one step at a time, trying to make bold but smart moves. It’s quite the learning process.
In conlusion, I have to get more organized and play smarter if I want to get anywhere with my business, and that I am a better person when I make being in the studio a priority. Focusing only on the business is draining and unbalanced for me. One day at a time I hope to continue to build a brand that stands for all the things that are good that I am learning about. Balance, generousity, and intentional living.
Creators gonna create. We just have to. Simple as that.
Maker: Hannah Palma