Is It Living the Dream, Being your Own Boss?

March 7, 2022by Anita

Is It Living the Dream, Being your Own Boss?

Over the years I have had many people tell me I am living the dream, being my own boss. What does that mean?

Well for me its a lot of hard work. Luckily I love my job. But let’s look at this in some depth.

I have always worked long hours and put everything I can into my job. Working for the NHS and private companies has not always been easy but it does give you a certain amount of security.

Making the decision to move from security to insecurity is a hard one. No more guaranteed pay at the end of the month. No more customers, clients or patients coming through in a continuous stream. No more paid days off. And no more long distance travel at the end of a long day. That one was an easy one to give up.

But living the dream? Working for yourself means , in reality, that you never switch off. The trouble is you have to succeed or go back to paid employment. For me that is not an option .

PoppyCreating lovely art works, teaching techniques and experimenting are the things I love to do. Fabrics, threads and embellishments are a constant joy to me and if I can share that I will.  This is the easy part of what I and many others do.

The hard part is keeping it interesting, affordable and introducing it to new customers.  After being here for 6 years there are still people coming to me and saying “I never knew you were here”. Advertising in local papers does not appear to make a difference, local magazines again has had no impact. Social media campaigns can be hit and miss. Leaflets, booklets, emails many other ways have all been used.  Is there an answer to this?

Most of you know that my days are long. My choice I know. But staying in bed when awake is not for me. I like to get up and start my day. It can go long into the evenings and occasionally into the night. Again my choice.

The downside of all of this is that holidays are not very forthcoming. The family roll their eyes at many of my ideas.  Usually because they need to help me with something. Days out with family take planning weeks in advance and have to be worked around the business. And business can be disruptive to the household at times too. Good job they are tolerant really. There are times when I am totally exhausted but the brain still comes out with ideas. It is not easy to switch off. The computer and phone are in constant use  as well as the sewing needles. And one big thing that I have not heard anyone talk about is loneliness.

Loneliness can be many things. sitting all day in your studio without speaking to anyone. I have a Angel painting on my wall and I do talk to her at times. Very helpful she is.  Loneliness is often said to be a state of mind. That can escalate to feeling empty, unwanted perhaps feeling inadequate. As humans we are a social species and need contact with others. Don’t get me wrong, it is not the same as solitude. Solitude is being on your own by choice. And there are times when I like that and need it. But there are also times when I just want someone with me to bounce ideas off. To just be in the room creating with me. I love it when the studio is full and everyone is creating their own piece. Never are they the same. Even when given kits we always manage to change a few things to make them our own.

I do wonder if others feel at times lonely. A crazy thought when we are so busy in our lives but a reality I think.

To combat some of the negative side of running your own business you have to put things in place to help you. Like a cleaner to help in the home. A real godsend that one. Making sure that the family  have at least one meal together daily without interruption.  This is usually our evening meal but at times we can also get together for lunch too. Planning is my go to thing. I plan every day. Lists that can be ticked off as they are completed or added to when an idea pops into my head. Though that is not too popular at 3am.

At the moment my head if full of exhibitions. Today Ruth and I set up a small exhibition for Progression in Textiles, in The Forum, as part of Makers Festival.  Go and take a look and if your there next Tuesday we have a make and take with Sharon Osborne and Chris Hadfield. Should be a fun day.

Now that is up and running we move onto the NEC where both Eau Brink Studio and Progression in Textiles have stands. A double amount of work but luckily the members of the  Progression group are organised and almost ready to go.

Now all I have to do is  get the Eau Brink Studio stand sorted out.  The lovely Alison Hulme is going to be demonstrating on this stand which will be fun. I will also be stitching little birds. A new kit is in the making to replace the older one to make it easier for beginners to the most experience to use. I hope to have them on the stand with me.  The kits include a plastic template for the bird, fabric, ribbon, Bosal and full instructions in a sturdy click box. All you need is your sewing kit and a bit of stuffing. You can sew them by hand or machine and let your imagination run wild with them.

We would love to see you at one of our events. Progression in Textiles have events running throughout the year as well as Eau brink Studio.  Just come and see what we are up and and say hello.





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