As I sit and write this post, I find myself at a crossroads. As I sit and write the word "crossroads", I find myself fixating on the word's definition and thinking about how truly relevant it is right now.
a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences.
I certainly have to make a crucial decision. I've been stretching myself too thin. I've always been a "yes" person when it comes to how much of a work load I can pile on. I consistently agree to take on yet another project for reasons I can't always explain. Maybe it's just me trying to prove that I can do everything. Maybe it's the fact that, as my boyfriend likes to point out, I have career ADD. I want to get my hands on every medium possible. I want to work, to be busy, to have a full schedule, and perhaps most of all- to feel successful and accomplished. I truly can't sit still, relaxing is not one of my strengths. One thing I do and do well is work and work HARD. But, I have to simplify my life. I have to start focusing on (I can't believe I'm writing this because of how seriously cheesy and clichéd it seems) ME. One fear I have is being a "jack of all trades, master of none." And, with my aforementioned knack for diving into every project imaginable, it's worrisome how accurate that quote seems.
Something that has given me more focus is leather work. When I started this journey into a craft I knew very little about, I wasn't imagining that I would launch an entire brand of leather goods. This began with me wanting to make some leather products but feeling intimidated by the cost of getting started and the fact that I really knew nothing. Then, because I'm the "crafty friend," someone commissioned me to create a custom baldric for their Game of Thrones replica sword (Ice). I of course said yes (note the previous paragraph).
I did a little research. I drew my design. Then I went to Tandy Leather to pick up all of my supplies. I walked in there simultaneously thinking, "I'm good, I did my research (thank you Youtube and the magical land of the internet)" and "SHIT. I feel so stupid right now. OK, Just pretend you know what you're doing." I gathered up some hardware and a few tools that I knew I would definitely need and then headed for the leather. Needless to say, I was there forever just trying to decide what weight of leather I should get. Someone came to see if I needed any assistance and I immediately admitted that I wasn't a leather worker and ultimately had no clue what to select. The store employee passed no judgement and instead made it seem like she was excited to help a fledgling leather crafter along. She helped me pick out a few additional things that would be helpful in my project and set me at ease to the point where I wouldn't have to avoid that place and this craft for all eternity out of sheer embarrassment. Needless to say, I'm very grateful for that. That was about two years ago and I of course still have a lot I'd like to learn.
After that project I figured I already had many supplies and tools so I should just keep on going. I made a terrible (I'm really not being humble- it's terrible) bifold wallet for my boyfriend. Someday when he's ready to part with it, I'll put it in a glass case in my studio with a little sign that reads "Remember how far you've come." After that came the little leather key toppers, and after those came a few personal masks including one in the cutout design which went on to birth the entire hand cut series that I feel defines my brand.
That's a fairly thorough introduction. Perhaps a little too much so (sorry). But back to my crucial decision- how do I go about simplifying my life? I think I may have figured it out but then comes the next part: it will have far-reaching consequences. Consequences is always such a scary word. I'm not sure I'm entirely ready to take that leap. Money. Loyalty. Fear. Those three words sum it all up. Though I think that may be how every entrepreneurial journey begins. So I suppose the best sign off is- "Stay tuned."