I have to confess that I’ve had a difficult 2010 for a number of reasons. At one point a few months back things were looking quite bleak indeed. However, as the year draws to a close I’m finally feeling more on top of things and I’m full of ideas for moving my life and business forward.
It’s nice to be feeling positive about the next twelve months instead of just pondering how to keep my head above water!
It probably seems natural for most people to be thinking about a fresh start as a new year commences. But in my business the start of a new year really does feel like starting anew: business is flat out until Christmas and then suddenly comes to a stop (well, mostly) until a little way into the new year.
So I always feel that once the celebrations are over, I truly do have some headspace and time to so some serious planning and research and get new ideas moving along – as well as taking some much-needed personal time.
What do I expect I will be working towards as 2011 gets underway? Well, lots of things really! And here are a few of the business ideas I’ve got in mind as one year moves into the next:
Great Big Giant Top Secret Indie Project
Oh yes, that old thing! Well it seems old to me in some ways because it’s something that’s been bubbling away in my brain for years. But in other ways it seems shiny and new all over again!
As well as having lots of fresh ideas for it, I’m feeling like I’m ready to make serious progress on this project in 2011 to see where it takes me. And I also feel like lots of external factors are coming together to make it an idea whose time has come.
But it is BIG – it will require a lot of work, a lot of liaising with a partner or three and a lot of figuring out.
As for what it is, well if I tell you I would have to kill you! And then where would we be?
But it is indie design related and if I really am able to get it off the ground, then I’d say you’ll almost certainly know about it sooner or later. All I can say for now is: watch this space!
A new range in a new direction
One of the issues that crops up repeatedly in my working life is that my handmade jewellery business is limited in a major way by the amount of work I can physically manage to do myself.
Every piece I make is handmade by me personally, including most of the findings I use. Of course I love that this is the case and definitely have no interest in stopping making things in this way.
However, my business has to be sustainable – in terms of my physical and mental health, plus in terms of my financial well-being (especially as I get older!).
As a result I constantly come back to this catch 22: I cannot grow my business unless I personally work harder and I cannot possibly work harder than I do already!
Having thought about this for a few years now, I’ve come to realise that there is no solution unless I change the business in some way.
So in 2011 I’m planning on researching and hopefully launching a new range – perhaps under a new label or brand – which is a bit less reliant on me personally in terms of physical labour.
The range will be created using my own designs of course and at this stage I envisage hand finishing pieces. However, having a manufacturing process involved will enable me to increase my output and help to make my business more personally sustainable.
I intend to continue my existing range as it is – all handmade by me – whatever happens with this second range. And there will be a clear distinction between one and the other.
But for now the most exciting aspects for me are learning about new processes and materials. And I’m especially excited about getting started on some new design ideas which I can hopefully take in quite different directions.
So for this project, you’ll also need to watch this space!
More time to be creative
My hope is that the new range and a few other life changes will free me up a bit more so I can spend some quality time designing, experimenting and enjoying some different creative pursuits.
I’d really like to have the time to push my jewellery designs further and be able to work on acquiring some new skills (or refreshing some old ones I’ve not used in a long time!).
In addition I’m really itching to get back to drawing again! I’ve not done any serious drawing (other than design sketches) for years and I’ve been missing it. I’m hoping to be able to make some time for drawing on a regular basis – just for the sake of it!
Bring on 2011!
So those are my thoughts about projects for 2011. They’re a bit hazy in a lot of ways, but – trust me – they’re all bubbling away frantically in my brain and are filling up notebooks as I scribble down plans and ideas!
In the next few weeks I hope to be fleshing out one or more of them and making some good progress on some of these plans.
Here’s to a good new year for all of us! I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you (and sharing in your journeys in return).