I had a very interesting & quite timely conversation on the weekend with a fellow stall holder. She asked me a very “soul jolting” question. The question itself is not so important here. It is the fact that it was telling me that it was time to stop & take stock. I am usually mindful & grateful but it is impossible to not let things fall through the cracks.
The question was in regards to the support of my creativity. (Of which I am very blessed to say, has always been unwavering, & for that I am always grateful. Through things that happened to me in my childhood I learned that creating for me was as necessary as air.) But the question got me thinking about the little blue vintage caravan that was set up outside & my creative life as a whole.
In January I was just coasting, the business was going “ok” but it wasn’t great either. I was happy to just potter about with it, thinking that things will be the way they were meant to be. There was talk about downsizing the house to decrease the mortgage & to also move closer to the high school that the twins were going to next year.
In February the universe threw me a curve ball. I was on the right track, but what was going to be a casual slow sale become more urgent, & my slow, lazy, creative coasting came to a very abrupt end. The business continued but “life” started to get in the way. Markets were cancelled & all creativity just about stopped.
By the end of April with the house sold & a new one bought, I was thinking that maybe it was time to wind down the business & give the kids a cute little caravan-cubby out the back. Things were heading in different directions & starting to not work with the business partnership. It all just wasn’t feeling right.
In May with the difficult decision made to end the partnership I started to wind things down with the intention to end up breaking even. Selling the caravan was not an option, I knew I was meant to own her from the moment that I found her. I was just going to go back to my slow comfortable creative potter. Well, again the universe had different plans. I was attending the regular markets, making the odd thing to keep up some level of stock, not knowing how long it would take to break even. Then I would get an invite to another market, then another and another. Creativity and inspiration started to flow more freely with each new market, new customer, new compliment, new encouragement and so on.
A month or so later I was starting to have to source new stock. Find new creatives to help fill the van. With no spare money, it all had to be on consignment. Personally, I was by now also starting to get the point that I was on the right path all along I had just taken a few wrong turns and missed the exit so to speak. I had forgotten to believe in myself so I made the decision to just stop over analysing & let things be. People started to approach me to stock their wares, sell their personal treasures and even to write about me and my little van. The best thing, I was also having new ideas almost daily.
It’s now the end of October. WOW!!! Where did that time go? Things have gone from a slow crawl to 110km hour. (If only??? The van gets a wobble when you hit 95km. Hahaha!!!) But you know what I mean. It’s now almost six months later and I am now working full-time hours on the business. I am booked for almost every Saturday and Sunday till the end of the year at least. In the beginning I had always wanted to source stock that was vintage inspired, unique & even whimsical. I am now also doing just that. I love how my handmade items sit nestled among new stock & other creative people’s products. On the family front instead of just staying home and just hanging out on the weekend we are up most weekend mornings at five am and in-spite of what goes on through the week, the spats and bickering, school, homework, other activities and the paper run. (Yes my kids all work too!) We head off together to achieve a common purpose that benefits our family as whole. We all go off to new places, with new people and experiences, together!
What I can see clearly now, through the ups and downs of life and even through the tantrums of tired children on a Sunday night, is that my creative life is the glue that holds it all together. For that I am the most grateful.