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Shop Talk...

I thought maybe it would be nice to update you all on how things are going with my crafty shop project. Partially because I've received so many encouraging words since I let known my intentions and I've not been able to respond to everyone individually. (Sorry!!!) Partially because blogging about new adventures helps keep me accountable and make sense of all the random information flying through my head. (Didn't know your readership had such an important role in life, did ya?)

Where to begin?

As with any new undertaking, first things were all exciting and dreamy. I pictured myself dropping the kids off at school, grabbing a coffee at my favorite coffee shop, and spending my day at the shop surrounded by all things and people creatively inspiring. Quite a lovely picture of small town America bliss.

Then the reality of what it would REALLY take to get this adventure rolling set in and I started to feel MAJORLY overwhelmed. I've been up. I've been down. I've talked non-stop about my shop dreams at times...and kept completely quiet about where my thoughts were at others. I reached out to area resources (our Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development office, etc) and started networking with other small business owners. I've gone from thinking there's NO WAY IN HELL I could ever even consider opening shop to scaling back my dreams to more of (as my friend Monica tagged it) a garage business. And through the whole process I've tried to REALLY examine how I feel about all sorts of things that would/could be affected by such an undertaking.

I've thought A LOT about where exactly my passions lie. About what excites me creatively, professionally, personally. One of the realizations I've made (that I've almost been afraid to face) is that while I enjoy quilting/fabric/sewing, it doesn't excite me near as much as YARN! Admitting that almost feels as if I'm cheating on my fabric stash (and my growing pile of quilt blocks/tops in various stages of doneness) with a new, younger, very sexy lover. I feel like the black sheep in a flock of family and friends who are sewers/quilters...and who are WAY more productive with their quilt projects that I could ever see myself being. (And who are all super supportive of my knitting adventures so this is by no means a negative reflection on any of them! Kisses!) Really what I think I've come to realize is while I LOVE quilts, the process of quilting doesn't feed my soul the same way sitting down to knit has over the past year. Becoming a knitter has felt as natural to me as yoga did 11 years ago when I did my very first practice in my living room with the help of a VHS. (You know...those tape things that existed before DVD and Blue Ray.) And well, look where falling in love with yoga has taken my life. I find myself amassing a list of future knitting projects longer than any one person could ever tackle in a lifetime...only this new list somehow seems more "doable" than my quilting list EVER did.

All that to say, as I've looked at my potential new business plans what I've decided is that IF things ever move forward, it will be in the direction of opening a yarn shop. Period. No fabric or scrap booking supplies (as suggested to me by a local resource) or beads or embellishment products. Just yarn and knitting and crochet notions. A place for yarnies of all ages and years of experience. The one thing that hasn't changed through all of this exploration is knowing first and foremost that I want to create a space in which a community of creators can gather and grow together.

So where am I in the process right NOW? Well, things are on hold. Several parties have come forward to express interest in buying the quilt shop. For a variety of reasons I'm waiting to see what happens on that front. Financially right now is probably not really the right time for us to be thinking "new small business." As I do my research I'm still not sure HOW someone actually makes a living owning a small business. Right now I'm not sure I'm ready to devote the time that would be needed to get things up and running (and keep them running) which would take away from our already limited family time. We continue to examine how Scott's daily commute affects our lives (and the environment) and I think more than ever both of us are more open to accepting that a move closer to his employment may very well make more sense on a variety of levels. Moving forward with shop plans right now just doesn't feel right. So things are on hold.

That doesn't mean the dream is dead...or that I'm not going to continue to gather information and grow my small business knowledge base. Small business workshops will be attended. Networking will continue to happen. I will continue to broaden my understanding of the fiber world both for my own enjoyment and with a bit of an eye towards the business of it all. One never knows WHEN the right time will present itself in the coming years. When that time comes, I want to be ready to move forward.

And now you know the rest of the least for now.



JenB said…
Thanks for sharing--this topic is top on my list for us to chat about in March. (Hurray, only a month away!) So, I'm glad to know your thoughts/plans for the time being.
Thinking of you!
Hugs from your "quilter-not-yet-a-knitter" friend--Jen
Marie-Jolie said…
I totally love the analogy about cheating on your first love with the hot sexy younger lover... That's how I always felt about quilting (which came second, and knitting was first). Except that I'm not in a quilting phase anymore, so my first lover is back! :) I really think the yarn love wins out, though, no matter which comes first.

I totally understand the issues with starting a new small business! I just read a quote somewhere that said, "The only joy more overrated than natural childbirth is the joy of owning your own business." Which, I'm a big fan of natural childbirth and all, but still... they make a good point!
Jenny said…
Wow, a yarn shop! That sounds awesome (says the fiber geek :). But I totally understand that you've put it on hold for a while, and although "they" are saying that the economic crisis is starting to change, it seems like it's a bit too soon to tell yet.

I would love to work in a yarn store some day too, althoug I know absolutely nothing about either store management or economics and accounticng and stuff (I'm a biological researcher). And I don't really know that much about fiber yet either :)

But lots of good luck on all of your plans, and hope it works out in the end! If I was in your neighbourhood, I would absolutely become a returning customer!

/ Jenny

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