To listen to your head or follow your heart?
When I started writing the ‘threads’ series back in November I said I would tell you more about Geoffrey and Grace. Since I am neither Geoffrey, nor Grace, I will fill you in on who they were; they were my grandparents on my mothers side. I have lovely nostalgic memories of them and the home they built together in Oxfordshire, where my mother and my uncle grew up. My Grandma Grace made clothes for us when we were little, she also made clothes for herself. It seemed only fitting that it became the name for my blog, as they have such a special place in my heart.
My mum caught the sewing bug from my Grandma Grace, and in turn made lots of her own clothes in the 60s and 70s – she even made her own wedding dress. It was no real surprise then that I was making, and altering charity shop finds from a young age. When my grandma passed away, about six years ago, I inherited her sewing box and all of her vintage patterns. This is when I first had the seed of an idea that I wanted to make to sell – specifically children’s clothes.
Initially they weren’t serious thoughts, but more of a; ‘wouldn’t it be nice if some day I might … ’ kind of thoughts. Plus, I have had other things to keep me busy, like having a baby, enjoying being a mother, and of course this ‘ere blog. However this little seed of an idea took root in my heart, and as time passed it has grown and taken a stronger hold. Making to sell is something I would like to do as a business and I want to contribute to our family’s earnings, so it is only right to give it some serious thought. It can not be a decision made only by my heart. I must use my head and it needs to be a ‘good’ viable idea.
One thing that has been stopping me from moving forward with the idea of making to sell, is there are lots of things I enjoy doing, and there are several things I could see myself doing in the future. I don’t want to commit myself to making to sell before I am ready. In my experience it’s never good to push or force a situation… it just doesn’t work. I’d much rather let something evolve organically. In the past I have jumped into things too quickly, and with hindsight more preparation might have been helpful.
There is no way anyone could say that I am rushing into this though. I have given making to sell a lot of thought. My last two ‘threads’ post are only some of the issues that I have considered. I have definitely listened to my head, and really thought this through.
From chatting to other artists and makers I know this is not everyones approach. Some people just jump into making to sell without debating it as much as I have. That is not a criticism of them, on the contrary, perhaps some people just run with that feeling and know they need to paint, make or draw – no matter what. Their heads don’t really have anything to do with the decision – they aren’t necessarily choosing what is sensible, but they are doing what will make them happy – what their hearts desire.
Recently an opportunity presented itself to do with selling my makes. It surprised me how much this possibility excited me. I have been thinking about making to sell for such along time now, sometimes I forget how much of a spark it ignites in me and how much joy I would get from doing it.
In the last ‘threads post – Is there enough pie for everyone? Finding your little slice of the making market’ – I talked about my motto for this year – ‘just do it’ (I know, I know, I’ve borrowed it… Nike don’t mind… I have an ‘in’). I am trying to take my own advice, and I really feel like I am on the cusp of something.
Without pushing or forcing anything, now is naturally the ‘right’ time, and even though this current idea might seem a little crazy to some, I know passing up the chance to do it is something I would regret for a long time to come. Whether this specific opportunity comes to pass or not, I have realised that making to sell is just something I have to try. The heart will not be ignored, and now that seed has taken root, the desire will only continue to grow. I guess the decision comes down to which would be harder to live with; to try – and it not really work – or to not try at all – and wish I had done something that might have been a real adventure.