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.
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.