Things are changing here at WeeGonza Bazaar! We’ve been busy making new things, participating at shows and Comicons, and lots of R & D!
you become a professional cat herder. Seriously. I kid you not.
I was having a conversation a few days ago with an acquaintance (a friend would have known better) when they said to me, “Man, it must be nice to work for yourself. No boss, all the vacation time you want, whenever you want….blah blah.”
I could go on. I won’t. What I will say is this:
- I do have a boss. She is a bitch. I know this because she is me. She is the most demanding boss I’ve ever had in my life. She is always whispering in my ear about my short comings and how I could work harder…..”Do you really need to take a break to eat lunch? You could eat at your desk….or you could just get a cup of coffee that way you could still work…” “It’s not that late, you’ve got a few more hours in you.” etc.
- While technically I do “have all the vacation time” I want, I can’t take any. If I don’t come up with new designs, or remake well selling pieces, I’m sunk. If I don’t have enough stock to get through any two shows at any given time, I’m sunk. If I don’t stay on top of my custom work, I’m sunk. It’s a fight to get me to take Sunday afternoons off for D&D with friends.
Yes, getting to travel for work is cool, but it’s still work. You start out a each day of a convention or fair with plans on how you’re going to spend the evening when in reality, when the con is over for the day, you end up eating take out and taking a face plant in your hotel room. Being on your feet for 14 hours straight, on a concrete floor, being “on” with people all day, while listening to people’s opinions of your artwork and craft (most good, some bad) all day is draining. Not “I’ve been out in the sun working all day” drained, but more “my brain is no longer working as it should and is going to make me unconscious shortly…oh but wait, let me tear apart every comment made today about my craft…”
The ability to keep a straight face when someone tells you that their “8 year old niece could do that” or “I could totally do that” should be taught in school so you’d not have to learn the skill as a cranky 40ish woman.
Now, I’m not complaining, mind you. I worked too long in retail, factories, and restaurants to really bitch about this. I will say it’s different. It’s like being emotionally exhausted all the time. It’s all you. Schedule, Accounting, Human Resources, Sales, Design, Manufacture, Distribution, Facilities, etc.
I’m sure when I get a couple of more years under my belt doing this, I will come up with better processes and things should be a bit smoother.
If I knew then what I know now….I’d not change a thing. It’s been a hell of a ride thus far, and I can’t wait for the rest of the trip!
I make lists all the time for Jonathan. Not to do lists, you understand, just lists. Mostly about how awesome he is or how much I love him, or all the things he does for me so that he knows how much I appreciate him.
We are doing a big clean out of the rooms in our house, getting rid of things that have been owning us. You know, the “I’m going to do something with this someday” kind of shit.
He came across one of my lists that he had kept in his studio. It is a “thank you” list for some of the things he does for me that I am thankful for. Among those items was an entry for “supporting me with my bead stuff”.
Now, this list is probably five or six years old by now. All these things on this list are still very relevant. Including that entry. What is different, however, is the “bead stuff” entry. He has successfully brow beat me so that my “bead stuff” is now Weegonza Bazaar. A legitimate avenue for us to pursue our creativity. My “bead stuff” now includes, paper craft, mixed media, silversmithing, lapidary, props, costuming, and metal work. Not to mention, more creativity in my daily life…..you should see my garden!
His support has made it possible for me to get up the guts to actually take the dive, and do this for real. We spent a long time watching our friends do what they loved to do while making money for themselves, working for themselves. For the longest time, I was to afraid of failing. What would I do if I failed. How would that change me in Jonathan’s eyes?
He gave me some good advice: “Fail faster. It’s the only way you’re going to learn.” I didn’t believe him at first. Now I do. I look at it like a piece of jewelry I’m designing. I spend hours designing, fiddling, and moving pieces. When I think it’s the way I want, I put it together. Then, the moment of truth…..sometimes, I hate it. So what do I do? Is there much gnashing of teeth? Tearing of hair? Wailing? Probably not. There is disappointment, yes. Frustration? Certainly. After all that, though, is relief. I can take that piece apart and either re-do it a different way or take out components that don’t work and try something different.
I look at what I’m doing now and I realize that I can apply that to everything I do everyday. I give it my best, work around problems or come up with solutions. The important part is that I love what I’m doing and I love who I’m doing it with. Me and him.
Running your own business is a good way to thicken your skin and boost your self-esteem for sure. You are responsible for what goes in and what comes out. There is no supervisor over your shoulder yammering at you about dead lines, or the company line.
Which is scary and freeing at the same time.
So, thank you Jonathan, for teaching me to fly.