Looking forward to 2011

This post is part of Epheriell Design’s blog hop: A Creative Odyssey. My blogging partner for the day is ReArtingDotNet.

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!

Handmade jewellery by Simone Walsh.

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.

Blossom patterns cut out in paper.
Thousands of little paper blossoms; the remaining patterns after having cut out thousands of blossoms in sterling silver, each one by hand.

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.

Rings, sterling silver jewellery and making notes on my bench.

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).

13 thoughts on “Looking forward to 2011

  1. Ohhh, I’m intrigued about this big indie project of yours! Can’t wait to hear what it is!

    I hear you on the limitations of handmade – I’m doing something similar with a new range/line this year – also looking forward to seeing yours :)

    Good luck!!

  2. I really appreciate not only your incessant creative urges but your willingness to share the process with your customers and fans. I look forward to your future!

  3. Hey, Simone! It’s your blogging partner for the day.

    I completely understand your need to make your business sustainable. Though my business just opened last month, I am very focused on creating a sustainable business from scratch. There must be a balance between painstakingly handcrafted and painfully handcrafted!

    I love your jewellry and will look out for you on Facebook and Twitter.

    Also, my business name is not ReArting, it is ReArtingDotNet – just FYI.

    *waves*

  4. Hi Jessa – I’ve just changed your business name in the post.

    Yes, sustainability is hard when it comes to looking after yourself as part of your own business. The mistake I’ve always made is thinking that I’m capable of making a lot more work than I actually am. If I was able to spend all of my business time at my bench making, I would get a huge amount made … but there’s so much other work to do: marketing, bookkeeping, order admin, buying stock, etc.. Being at the bench is just part of it.

  5. I like the idea of an Indie project. These things take work but are SO exciting!!

    Good luck in find that precious time to create. The results of your creative endeavours are what keep you going and without them the book keeping and promotion mean nothing. Find that precious time and enjoy it.

    Good Luck.

  6. Hi there, as a fellow blogger on this hop, I know how hard it is to put our goals together on the one page, especially when you clearly create beautiful things in other dimensions. So well done for this personal post with beautifully intimate photographs, which make me feel like I can almost touch the feast before my eyes. I’d love to hear about your new venture too when it all comes together

    :)Suzi (Vignettes de la vie)

  7. Great post! I know exactly what you mean as far as having your business be so entirely reliant upon YOU and YOUR TIME. I have the same problem. Best of luck with your plans to tackle this challenge and thanks for sharing!

  8. “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!”

    How true is that statement?! I’m very excited for you to be able to develop a new range that has your personal stamp and handiwork of course but, also allows for some manufacturing to help you produce more without killing yourself in the process. best wishes for a great 2011, and good luck with your top secret project! I’ll be reading along! :)

  9. “…my business has to be sustainable in terms of my physical and mental health….” I totally resonate with this statement! It is so important to find new ways to produce work while producing quality in your life – BEST OF LUCK AND JOY for the new year to come!

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