A year. A whole year. Half of small businesses fail in their first five years so there is a little distance to go but I’m 20% of the way there ; ).
I’m not sure I have the words for the last year. At times, it has felt like it was happening to someone else. However, a few days ago I saw the most perfect articulation of how I feel
“I love this industry because it’s the first time I knew I felt I was good at something” @TNNAORG
This. This is how I feel. I didn’t know it was how I really felt until I saw that post. Not in a ‘Hurrah, I’m the best business person / shop / knitter / etc’ but in a ‘I can deal with all the things that come up, good or bad, most days without feeling like I’m drowning’ way, a ‘I have reasonably good quality ideas that I am able to make happen without anyone criticising me unfairly, giving me double-edged feedback or secretly undermining me’ feeling of peace. It’s difficult to express that serenity fully but I imagine many more folk who have taken refuge in the yarn industry from the horror of corporate life feel the same.
I couldn’t ask for anything more. I get a tight emotional lump in my throat and chest when I think about how grateful I am to everyone who has been part of the last year.
Have I made mistakes? Have things gone wrong? Absolutely. A handful of orders have gone out with the wrong weight of yarn (honestly, Herriot & Herriot Fine Travertine will be the death of me), a few packages have not shown up as quickly as they should have and I’m still not convinced I made the right decision about how to make my free patterns available (I’m changing that!). However, one of the best thing about owning a small business is that I get to apologise when things go wrong. I get to hold my hands up and say ‘I am so sorry this hasn’t been what you would have liked, please let me fix it’.
There are times when sales are a little slow (what shop doesn’t have that problem!), I don’t always get into the shows I’d like & I can’t stock certain products as not all companies that offer wholesale allow their products to be sold by online only retailers but there is something great about not always getting what you want, it makes you do, try or find something else that often works out better.
It’s not always rosy & it’s easy to be circumspect sitting in the June sun, but when things aren’t rosy and the going is tough, I remember the last 4 years of my corporate life, in which I felt like the shock recipient in the Milgram experiments and well, give me cashflow worries over ‘feedback’ any day! ;)
The most unexpected benefit though is it hasn’t just changed how I feel about work, it has changed how I feel about life as well. I saw a dress recently for money I wouldn’t have even batted an eye lid at spending before and I briefly thought ‘Oh how I wish I …’ but I knew I didn’t need the dress, that it would be a fleeting happiness. In fact, I didn’t see that dress after a little while, I saw kilos of hand-dyed yarn for the shop. Something so much more rewarding and interesting, a beautiful privilege.
So thank you all. Thank you for taking in this corporate throwback and making me feel like a competent, creative human being!
Yep, soft hearted & probably soft headed so enough of that, let’s celebrate!
To celebrate there is 10% off of all Life In the Long Grass and The Knitting Goddess yarns (no code necessary) and using discount code TLYC1STBDAY you can get 15% off of all other full price items in your basket. Only one discount code can be used. Discount runs from Friday until Sunday June 25th 2017 11:59pm GMT.