Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm about to get real

If you're in a good mood, you may not want to read this entry.  This is for me to look back on.  I'm debating on whether or not to push that publish button.

I've received a lot of emails from customers stating how sad they are.  Trust me.  This was the hardest decision I've had to make.  It was like cutting off my own arm.

I will continue to say that this is a GOOD thing.  Why?

Because it will open so many doors for me.  When one door closes, another one opens.  Well, I closed this door and I'm looking at a row of doors that are available to me.  I just have to choose which ones to open.

Let me back track a little.  For the past 2 years, I've had this growing ball of something in the pit of my stomach.  It was almost like a depression.  I'd look at my supplies and my growing pile of pictures and dread their existence.

I thought it was just a sense of feeling behind in getting the memories scrapped and put in a book.  Then that feeling would pass and I'd scrap a few pages or make a few projects and feel like I was a master scrapper.  Occasionally that sense of dread would creep back over me and there were days I wanted to throw everything into a fire and burn it.  Or put a listing on Craigslist and dump it all on some local scrapper.

There was always something that brought me back to my craft desk.  A new picture.  CHA.  New product.  Friends.  But that ball of something never left the pit of my stomach.  I carried around this horrible thing and never knew what it was.

Until January 2011.  I realized I hated my supplies.  I hated my hobby.  This wonderful thing that I used to enjoy doing had become something I hated.  Owning this store, I forced myself to work with products but I had no desire.  I hated everything I made.  In the back of my mind, I kept thinking of my empty gallery sitting there on the site and wondered what everyone else thought of my empty gallery.  I've always had the best design team out there so its not like my customers weren't inspired right?  But the owner can't create something.

I realized my worst fears had come true.  There was no time or desire anymore.  I spent my days filling orders for everyone, answering emails, getting product in.  There are trends to follow and product to decide on.  Should I order this or not?  *I* like it but will my customers buy it?

You have to take that risk whenever you bring a line in.  I brought in a lot of lines that *I* didn't like or would never use because I know my customers wanted them.  So I would force myself to work with them and create projects I just wasn't happy with.  Why bother?

In the last month, I broke out of that mold.  I started making things with whatever I wanted.  I didn't care if it was something I sold in the store or not.  Truth be told, I love to shop for scrap supplies.  I have quite a collection after almost 12 years of buying so I have no shortage.  I started digging through my stuff.  I made cards and layouts with lines I'd had for 2 years but never touched.  It felt good.

I dug out some Studio Calico kits - because I am addicted to them.  For the first time, I killed a kit.  Its gone.  Just pieces left.  I'm working on another one now.  I took an entire weekend and just created using stuff I had and not caring where it came from.  My husband sat with me and we discussed the business.  What would I do when it was gone IF I got rid of it?  We talked about emotions, finances etc.  We talked about the impact it would have on our little family.

In the end, I got 14 layouts and 36 cards done.  The result of finding the happy in my craft again.  The fact that I've come to terms with what I had to do.  I promised myself that if I found I wasn't happy doing something anymore, I would let it go.  This has been my *job* since my layoff 6 years ago.  I had to come to terms with my job going to someone in another country and there was nothing I could do about it.  I was tired of answering to someone who held the fate of my job in their hand.  Honestly, going to work in pajamas every morning has its benefits.  Being home with my son for the first 4 years of his life has been amazing - something I never expected to have.

In the last month, I've let myself go and just created whatever I wanted and I found that I was starting to love the hobby again.

So while the manufacturer and product issues played a major part in my decision, so did this.  I want to find my love for this again.

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