Foundations in Felt

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting to where I want to be

OK, a bit of background for those who may not know me. I am a full time fiber artist, trying to be successful in my current choice of career. My father always encouraged me during my years of trying to decide "what I wanted to be when I grew up". He said to keep in mind that whatever I picked, I would likely decide later on that I wanted to do something different. So I started out by getting an engineering degree, figuring that if I changed my mind later and decided that anthropology, music, or art were what I wanted to do, it would be more feasible to go back and get one of those degrees than it would be to start out in something else and then try to go back later and get an engineering degree, after all that math had leaked out of my head!

I did go on to get a masters degree in environmental engineering and worked as an engineer off and on for a total of 12 years or so, with time off in the middle to have and stay home with my two wonderful boys as long as feasible. I loved staying home, and never felt the need to go back to work, at least as a "professional". I also found during this time that I do have an uncommon talent and persistent love for fiber arts of all sorts. So I decided to make a go of officially being a "fiber artist", and have been working towards this goal for upwards of 8 years or more. I recall applying to my first juried guild (and being turned down!) back when I lived in Knoxville TN, which was more than 11 years ago.

My biggest challenges are turning out to be related to running my own business and managing my finances. This should not surprise me at all, since I have never in my life been able to apply a budget to my spending. Nor have I been particularly good at planning, organizing, decluttering, routines, or any of the other things that seem to be needed in business management. Plus there are the challenges of production, creative product design, pricing, marketing, and the other things that go into having a successful craft business. However, I have a feeling that I am not the only one out there who is facing (and overcoming) these challenges!

So, here is a chance for anyone who is also in the same boat with me to share my trials, tribulations, and successes, pitch in their suggestions or concerns, or just laugh at my crazy life!

Today: Having a "desk day", which I try to have once a week, to keep from falling behind on bills, missing call for entry deadlines, and losing track of my money situation. I think Sunday will have to be my official "desk day", since it is the one day that the studio space I rent is closed, and I can't get into the studio to do production felting anyway. I have several new scarves to tag, and I will photograph these as well, look for new photos later! I have 3 new potential spring scarf designs, and I need to look at the times I recorded in the studio this week and figure out prices for them as well. I promised my friend Pam Hall that I would bring new spring (i.e. lightweight mostly silk with a little bit of wool nuno scarves) stuff in for her to sell in her Cana Salon on Tuesday.

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