Being transparent is an essential part of my soul, so I am going share a bit of my own personal story to let you in on where I am and where I have been for the past year. I am hoping it might resonate with some of you and remind you of your gifts!
Happily Remarried with Bonus Kids
I’m still getting used to my new last name, but loving married life with Daniel and my two bonus kids. Caring for them every weekend makes it difficult to maintain my show schedule. This shift has played a significant role in feeling torn between my life as a maker and as the supportive parent I have chosen to be.
For those in nuclear families, you might be able to be with your little ones 24/7 so that idea of a weekend work doesn’t create issues of abandonment, but my sweethearts have begged me not to go and ask over and over why I can’t get the show coordinators to cancel. They are only 4 and 6 years old, but have to power to move mountains with just a few words.
A Very Sad Winter
I started to adjust to a slower rate of retails shows over the past few years, but the truth is that I need every one of them to be able to bolster my business and keep growing.
Risking it big this winter with my jewelry business, I bombed a national wholesale show for the first time. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the lack of sales or gallery rejections, it was the fear of how I was going to make a living if I wasn’t able to sustain my income. After I received a plethora of added rejections from retail show juries, depression set in hard. For the first time since I started this business in 2007, I found myself in tears and unable to move forward.
I am a Healer Making Jewelry
My dear friend Christine pulled me out on a cold winter evening to meet up with an amazing group of metalsmiths at Mechanic’s Hall connected to the Center for Maine Craft. It was inspiring to hear stories of the craftsmen of old and listen to everyone’s story of how they became metal workers.
I found myself feeling out of place and told the group that I was a healer making jewelry. My soul was speaking my truth. I have been an art teacher, clay artist, Reiki practitioner and healing arts movement instructor for years before I touched metal. I started my jewelry business focused on the energetic properties of every piece I made. I discovered the idea of casting as a way to create wholesale lines and get my creations out in the world in a bigger way and I have had some amazing success until a few years ago, but ultimately I think I lost my truest self in the process.
Missing My Coaching
I had stopped taking new clients last fall to make room for my jewelry and now I was at a loss. I was confused about not coaching anymore and knew in my heart my desire to help people was trumping my desire to be at the bench. I felt like I was letting others down and now I was feeling like I was letting my family down with not being the provider I wanted to be.
Scrambling to by paying into shows I wasn't drawn to do but felt obligated to make up for my lack didn't feel right in my heart. . I do not blame lack of talent or effort on my part, it’s par for the coarse. I was just tired of trying to smiling and pushing when so much in my life had changed drastically and I was truly scared.
Light At the End of the Tunnel (Kind Of)
A marketing job opened up over the summer that I jumped at without caution. This job would entail working for a non profit specializing in creating sustainable jobs through coaching. I was ecstatic about the possibility of not only working with a team, getting to see others succeed qne sharing their stories, but I was longing for the stability of a pay check, 401k and benefits that have alluded me pretty much my entire life.
In my initial interview, I began to realize that I had been pushing myself hard since my first husband died 6 years ago and really accomplished everything I wanted in my jewelry business by 2016. When I started coaching on the side the following year, I was hopeful I could manage both and make a smooth transition into full time consulting work. Everything takes time, effort, funds, energy, and motivation. Burning the candles at both ends would not work.
I had to look at the practical side and realize that my jewelry business should come first as it’s my main money maker, yet here I was in tears at my desk saying all I want to do is help others and feeling broken when received the call that I didn’t get the job.
Ready or Not Here I Come
Losing quite a bit of money in booth fees and possible sales from summer shows, I pulled out of everything for the past two months so that I could reassess my life. I recommitted to teaching healing arts movement and created my own form called Heart Dance. I took time off to read books, be with my family, enjoy the summer for the first time in twelve years without most weekends being consumed with show travel. I started to feel like myself again.
AND I started to make Love Bugs. I won't get side track my these beauties, but they are the newest work I have made that they infuse everything I love about being a maker. I stopped caring about what stores might want to sell and started to think of what I wanted to make to heal my heart and start owning what I was becoming.
So here I am. Taking on clients again. Still making jewelry, but with a new attitude.
I am a Healer Making Jewelry.
I am a Healer teaching dance.
I am a Healer helping other.
I am home.