Do you do New Year resolutions? Personally, I am not a big fan of them. I’ve never really understood why January over any other month would motivate you to make huge changes. In January, I like to hunker down and make a plan. Usually it is a small plan involving very small steps which means that I can’t fail or at least feel like I’m failing. But I read recently that rather than make resolutions at the start of the year, you could make a theme for your year. I like that. I like it a lot.
The theme for most years would probably be ‘winging it’ but I’d much rather give my year, my creating and this business a bit more focus. With that in mind, my theme for 2017 is ‘Learning’. I want to learn new skills, see how far I can stretch myself, leave the comfort zone behind. I want to learn new ways of working and juggling that work so that I don’t get burnt out. I want to learn to be better, do better, and plan better.
A friend of mine, Sandra Dieckmann, posted her first 2017 instagram of her work space and a made a call to arms for anyone still unsure of starting an Etsy shop to just do it. In the 5 years since her store launched she has gone from working part time in a clothes store to being full time at something that she loves. She was always an amazing illustrator but to watch her store grow into a business and career has been nothing short of awesome.
I found my interview with Karie Westerman so incredibly inspiring, which is why I keep reposting it. Telling us to get out there and do it, put ourselves out there in patterns and yarn and things we create because what we get back is more, so much more than money.
This is by no way a hobby business and we are doing so much behind the scenes to build it into something which is more than we ever imagined it to be at the start of 2016. But what I get back is more than money and that makes the late nights and weekends working so worthwhile. I get to meet wonderful knitters and crocheters, I chat to people who used to knit and want to take it back up, I talk to people who have done it for years without any fanfare in the privacy of their own home and are bemused by our constant need to share our work. These are all wonderful people.
Back in December Gina and I did our first market. It was very much a learning curve and by the end of the first day I had lost my voice and developed a pretty gnarly chest infection. The second day was beyond a struggle. I wanted nothing less than to be sat in freezing temperatures feeling dizzy with illness. I wanted to go home, hide under my duvet and cry. But then along walked someone who I’d only ever spoken to online, one of our regular subscribers. I got up and hugged her like I had known her for years. She perked up my day no end (and I’m sorry if this blog post is making her cringe at all), and made all the illness, early morning and pretty much all the self-doubt I had over the past year, every last single bit of it worthwhile.
This is what Karie was talking about. This moment when someone tells you that what you do makes their life happier. This is why, as humans, we need art and we need to make because we need to connect and we need to know that what we do matters.
So this will be my year of learning. What will your year be?