Seven Years of Sparklewren
It's our seven year business anniversary!
Or rather, it was yesterday. I always forget. But perhaps that's part of why I felt all excited yesterday, because September has, for a while now, always signalled the turn of another year.
As mentioned on facebook we are now closed for bespoke orders, for at least a year.
As you probably know, we'll be doing things differently during 2017. The idea is to take our work part-time and shrink down the number of projects we do (I expect we'll be producing less than a fifth of our current out-put), but maximise the artistic aspect of those projects. This is largely to have more time for hobbies and life (ponies, anyone?), but also to create a structure in which, for a while at least, I can focus exclusively on artist-led couture confections... my favourite niche within the corsetry world and the place where I feel I still have something to contribute.
A friend was asking about my plans the other day, in a way which made me think they might have thought I'd burned out or given up. Neither of those scenarios is the case, thankfully. I don't like thinking of a life as being in chapters, being a linear journey, or having a goal. I don't see things as failures or successes. It's just stuff that happens. But I do like to think of life being in almost disparate parts, I suppose, or moments. "I did this for a while, I did that for a while..." We're excessively lucky if we get to be playful like that. It comes at a cost (you don't have the type of financial security that most of us want or need), but no matter. Sparklewren wasn't always a thing. And for a while it was a hobby, then it was a shy home business, then it was a glossy boutique, then it was a private scruffy studio, and next it will be a confident, though very part-time, house-boat-based business.
It's just another thing on the list of possible things to do, and a change is as good as a rest, so they say. Change is interesting. Which is also why I'm enjoying learning equine anatomy and doing it despite having no plan to pursue a new career. I've not had much cause to engage the science-y (that's a technical term) part of my brain for years now, nor have I given myself much leave to enjoy hobbies. Which is silly, one should let curiosity take them.
At any rate, I don't think life should be too comfortable. Change things, try things, do things, whatever. Just let it be interesting.
Talking of not getting too comfortable, my back is rather sore tonight following a day of embellishing and emailing. Sitting down is so bad for you. I've also got a lot on my plate at the moment and am doing my best to maintain the required degree of hustle to push through. Doesn't always work. Today, for example, didn't feel productive enough as I still have emails waiting (for which I need to measure and photograph things before replying). But, I must remind myself, if you have ten things to do and you get five done you've still done better than if you'd gotten overwhelmed and sacked it off entirely! Step-by-step. And thankfully I have wonderful Holly to help get through the work. But that's another thing about 2017. Much as I love you all, I'm really looking forward to having fewer emails and admin and bills to deal with. I spend too much time doing those things when I would rather be working on something that I felt really invested in. Too much time sitting at my computer which is straining my back, when I could be out taking photographs, helping with ponies, walking along the canal, or generally being more active.
In short, the coming changes are all good and exciting and I cannot wait!