what Modern Botanics stands for

what Modern Botanics stands for

 

Modern Botanics values

what does this little brand of mine stand for? which in this case can also be formulated like this: “what do I stand for?” Yes because even if I know that to get to attach to something one makes it’s wrong, I cant’ do otherwise.

I’m asking myself this a lot lately because I’ve got asked to answer interviews on different blogs recently and some of those questions made me think of this big one. In some way I’m realizing that I’m not sure my values and ethics at the base of what I make everyday are so clear. Maybe it’s because I live and breathe this everyday so somehow I take it for granted that it’s clear and understandable to people. I create sustainable handmade goods

My business evolved a lot during the years, but I can pin point the moment when I took a sharp turn with it. It was a couple of years ago when I wasn’t happy with lots of things (personal and work like) and I almost decided to quit my handmade business. My main problem with it? It didn’t feel like mine anymore. I felt detached from it, both from my process and from the final products. So many people would tell you that when you believe in your products you would be successful. And so many other people would tell you that you have to understand what your “target” wants and then make those products. I felt trapped. I didn’t believe in many of the products I was making and selling and I’ve never really understood what even my “target” was. The bottom of it? I wasn’t happy, my creativity stalled and I was keep making things I was selling, but almost without joy (but they helped me pay the bills).

After a long time feeling like that something happened. In the space of a couple of months I took lots of difficult decisions about my life. Every aspect of my life changed almost simultaneously. It was very scary, but also very liberating. From my work point of view I concentrated on making things that I really love making, I learnt new skills (like sewing) and I took risks (and I’m still taking them almost daily). Most of my products got more expensive and I was very concern about that, but I knew that it couldn’t be otherwise. My materials are now more expensive than before because I only pick the best natural fabrics and the best paper and inks for the environment. My process takes much more time, because in many cases I naturally dye myself the fabric I then print and sew. Everything is made by myself, alone in my studio, from the idea that starts it all to the final product.

block printing on glass

I only make products I’m proud of, trying to be gentle with the environment. I love what I do. I really do, but sometimes it’s not easy. I worry about so many things and I try to fit some many things that need to be done in such a small amount of time. I feel I’m always on the roll. Right now I know that I need to expand what I do to try to reach more people, to try to feel a bit more comfortable. Lately I’ve read many makers saying that their goal is to reach one sale a day. My goal? I would love to be able one day to not feel any worries about not being able to pay my basic bills.

If you got until here, thank you for reading my ramblings.red onion dye on block printed organic cotton

 

6 Comments

  1. You’re not alone, Mirta. So many of us worry about being able to pay just the basic bills and I for one would love my little business to be able to do that for me one day very soon.

    I think you’ve started in the right place though. With products that you’re proud of, doing it your own way and making sure that you are living and working by your values.

    Thanks once again for sharing your thoughts about life and small business :-)

    Reply
    • I know I’m not alone in this and that’s what makes this community of makers such a good one. Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment here

      Reply
  2. I completely understand, Mirta. Some days I wonder if it’s just that we simply chose the worst time for having a handmade business … I really hope things will get better for you, and for us all actually. I’m not trying to make a living, and thankfully, otherwise I’d be in huge trouble …
    Keep strong, and keep on doing what you love, it will pay.
    xoxo much love

    Reply
    • thank you so much for your encouragement. I know I’m not the only one feeling apprehensive about this, I think it’s good to share these kind of things too. love xx

      Reply
  3. I love to read you. I love what you do. It’s hard, not perfect, but it’s ok. And we manage to pay the bills in the end**

    Reply
    • yes we do! thank you so much Inez xx

      Reply

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