It’s bred into our very being this need to make. From earliest times human beings have been making, solving problems, manipulating their environment to meet their needs. This urge within us to make is strong. Making to make our lives more comfortable. Inventing the wheel to move faster or learning to spin to make clothes to keep us warm.
Making brings great satisfaction, a feeling of achievement. Making validates our self worth and gives us a place within our communities. The blacksmith, the cooper, the potter, the weaver all contributed to the growth of society and knowledge. The inventors and scientists before the emergence of science as a seperate discipline.
From weaving we have inventions that where the beginnings of computing. From blacksmiths we had discoveries of metals and techniques of moulding, beating them and manipulating them to meet our needs. Learning to dye fibre was the birth of chemistry.
I truely believe we all NEED to make. It’s a primal urge past down generations. It anchors us to the present moment. When times get uncertain, making brings a sense of certainty to our world.
As a stay at home parent, making gave me a feeling of achievement that wasn’t obtainable by the constant wiping of bottoms and cleaning of the house. Raising children never has an end and cleaning the house was never ending too. But casting off a jumper would fulfil that need for having something finished, accomplished.
I’ve fallen out of love with my shop. It’s almost five years since I started Knit Spin Weave and the initial passion and enthusiasm has gone. The day in and day out of maintaining and running a business is wearing on me. The 150 km round trip, the demands of retail it’s all become a chore rather than the pleasure and excitement I started Knit Spin Weave with. I’m at heart a maker and teacher, not a retailer. I miss being able to spend hours lost in creating.
Don’t get me wrong I do still love my little shop but I’m no longer ‘in love’ with it. Like any relationship time brings changes.
I am signing the lease for another year. I have a lot of thinking to do. Where do I want to be in two years time? I still have no idea what I want. I don’t want to be working five days a week and feeling trapped. I do want to be making and creating more. I do want to spend more time with my family. I feel like I have missed the last five years of my children growing, especially Heather and Michael.
Every decision I make has its pros and cons. The decision to open the shop had some great pros, the cons I really didn’t understand until I was committed. My lack of being able to set boundaries, resulted in phone calls and messages at all hours. My lack of being able to set goals for the business saw me reacting to those around me, rather than steering my own course. My fear of offending others had me not saying what needed to be said. My need to please others saw me let down the people that matter to me most.
Do I want to be running a business? That question I’m still not sure of. I like the teaching side. I like helping others who give back to me with appreciation and kindness. There’s a lot I am not enjoying. If I am to continue passed the next year, I need to create that big picture of what I want. Find a direction that suits me first and others second.
Five years is a huge milestone in a business. Do I really have a business or is it a hobby? What am I getting back from running a business? There has been minimal financial gain. It has probably cost me more in petrol than the shop has earned. I do feel resentful at times. The shop is the master and I am the servant. The amount of shop lifting too has been a source of great resentment. I feel resentful that I get asked to help with problems with yarn and patterns purchased elsewhere and get criticised when I say no. Any successful relationship needs to be a balance of give and take. I’ve let the shop take too much and my resentment of it has grown.
To continue I need to learn to set boundaries and accept that I will not and cannot please everyone. I need to accept that it is ok for others to be upset with me. That the opinion of others is their business, not mine.
I have started to make the changes I need to make. I have removed social media from my phone. I will still be posting to them via Hootsuite, but I won’t be scrolling and reading. Peter and I are talking and setting a personal plan of where we want to be in the next few years.
I have set my boundaries for contact. Email is my preferred contact. My phone is now set to do not disturb out of shop hours. I have turned off messenger in Facebook and Google. Unfortunately there seems to be no way to do it in instagram, I may need to remove the instagram account. Purchasing yarn is not a life and death matter and I can reply during shop hours to any email requests.
Going forward with the shop needs to be on my terms, not its. I need to be the master and it the servant. It may mean reduction in days open. More workshops and classes. A wider variety of crafts offered. Maybe more of a focus on the studio rather than the shop.
Covid could be an opportunity to bring change for the better. It’s had me questioning a lot of what I do and why. Examining what is important to me. Examining why be ‘bigger’ and thinking on the importance of being small. Making do and finding pleasure in what I already have.