I feel in many ways like 2013 has been the Year of Exploration for me as I continue to figure out who I am, how I am growing as an Artist; and also as a Business Owner.
Many people do not realize that about 8 years ago, I had a small online business, called Po-Ka-Dot. I made crochet hook and knitting needle holders, selling them to people all over the country and a handful of people around the world. While my work made it into some magazines; which I was very proud of, the whole experience was really something I did, just to prove to myself that I could. There were no grand plans and honestly I didn’t have the confidence or drive to pursue it any longer, so as one would expect I quietly closed the business.
Fast forward a few years and I had hit rock-bottom in the day-job, I was burned out because honestly I was trying to fuel that "creative fire" with a job that was just NOT creative. What is that saying...
...“When one door closes, a window opens.”
It was about the time that I learned about the Modern Quilt Guild; which gave me new-found inspiration. I soon became engrossed in everything quilting (I had been quilting off and on for about 10 years prior to that). I pretty much donated my entire fabric stash, keeping only the basics that would transition into this new style; which resonated with me.
I can remember reading blog posts and online forums thinking that the people who remembered Fabric Designer names or collections were crazy; but I soon became one of those people without realizing it. The final and most important decision I made was starting the St. Louis chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, nearly overnight my world flipped upside down in the best way possible.
I had my Eureka! moment and realized that Quilting is truly what I was passionate about, it just took time to get me here. After a while I even started building a business around designing patterns, and in an alternate-universe this is what I would get paid to do every single day.
I know that I didn’t have my sh*t together back with Po-Ka-Dot, and while I'm still trying to figure out the building blocks of this new adventure.
I'm having fun Learning and Exploring:
• I’m building a support system of family, friends, and industry professionals.
• I'm putting myself out there in ways that I wouldn't have imagined years ago by going to events like QuiltCon.
• I'm challenging myself creatively by making things like this, and doing things like this.
• I've taken an enormous interest in social media and finding that not only is it a great marketing tool; but it’s a great way to build connections.
I still have A LOT of exploration to go, so hopefully you'll stick around while I figure some of it out...because of course you all are a part of it too. When you comment on my blog posts and send me emails, pin something to Pinterest that I've created, buy my patterns, try my tutorials...YOU ALL are part of my growing support system, so Thank You for that.
This post was written as part of Tara Swiger’s Exploration Party. She is just one of the many people I have connected with thanks to social media and one of many, who has helped me in this Exploration process. Follow along as she and several other artists, crafters and biz people share with you their Exploration.
And if you are like me and want to do a little more deep digging, Tara has created a new class called Explore You.