imogenwilsonjewellery

Walk with me, every step of the way as i try to grow my teeny craft business into something sustainable… watch this space!

Internalising a really difficult situation in my head

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It’s funny how cathartic blog writing can be. Although this is only my third one I already feel it is incredibly good for self evaluation, for looking at yourself from the outside. Last week’s blog was quite eye opening for me, although I wrote it… and of course, lived it… I didn’t quite realise how I had spent my week till I read about it. It’s easy, at the time, getting up at 9.30am and convincing yourself that you are your own boss and you’ll work late (yeah right)… or spending the whole week doing behind the scenes stuff and not creating anything ‘for the good of the business’. Reading about it is a great way to metaphorically kick yourself into action- I highly recommend it.

Writing the blog is another challenge in itself, although i have used wordpress before, each Monday (blog day) brings with it several hours of tinkering, fighting and googling as I try to get my head around tasks others would find reasonably simple. Things like hyperlinking font, hyperlinking photos or re-sizing & adding text to banner’s, I am so un computer savy that it all takes much, much longer than it should. I keep telling myself that I will need to use the skill again in the future and (hopefully) will only need to learn it that once, but only time will tell!

But that isn’t what this week’s post is about…

This week was a total roller-coaster in every sense of the word. I had another whole day reading the internet, this time focussing on Infographics (who knew the same boring information could be so much more interesting if it is presented with beautiful font and layout in a jpg format?). Most of them are only digestible online of course, as soon as you save aforementioned jpg good luck ever reading it again, it will be so long you’ll never be able to zoom enough to read the text again.

Some of the Infographics are interesting, yet totally pointless. Especially if you are trying to learn e-marketing. Fascinating, yet useless.

Some of the infographics are interesting, yet on closer inspection are totally useless, especially if you are learning e-marketing!

I also spent a full day creating, and have FINALLY started two different projects that I have had ‘on the go’ in my head for some time.  But most of the week was spent thinking, fretting and self evaluating- the ol’ ‘can I do this?’ going around in my head. Now that isn’t as procrastinatey as it sounds, I think best when my hands are busy, so I spent most of the week folding cranes. Lots and lots of cranes.

Cranes half way through the folding process

Cranes half way through the folding process

I hear you ask ‘what brought on the sudden self doubt?’ well, I was made an offer, the offer of a lifetime. I contacted what i mistakenly thought was a shop, asking is they would stock my wares, the ‘shop’ ended up actually being a company who represented several brands, a sales agent/ distributor. She was interested in me… she called, you know on the phone (quite novel for me as i do nearly everything via email these days) she wanted to have control of my brand, to a certain degree… She would market it and sell it, it would be part of her seasonal ‘look book’ and i would be represented at THE gift fair. She would pitch to shops (of which she had relationships with over 200), deal with buyers and ship. ‘Gosh’ I can hear you think ‘It’s all Pro’s, what’s to think about?’ I would have to make things in this season’s colours (seems like a great idea), sell them to her at slightly less than my normal wholesale price (umm?) and create like crazy (win!). She also wanted me to say goodbye to the shops i already stocked, people I have formed relationships with over the years… as the shops I would stock under her would need to be ‘on her books’.

It sounded like a dream, my dream, being handed to me on a platter – well kind of. I had butterflies in my tummy, a huge sense of self doubt and bucket’s full of fear. Talking to her felt like i’d been blindfolded and turned in circles, it was so out of the blue and not something i had ever considered as an option- I was so confused. There were so many amazing advantages but so many negatives too…

I called my husband and immediately burst into tears before I could say anything. When I had calmed myself down (gosh i was overwhelmed) I explained the offer. The awesome, awesome offer with many, many pro’s and also the many con’s. After some comforting words of support, his opinion, and the underlying theme of “it doesn’t matter what i think, it’s your decision, I support you whatever you choose” I emailed my parents, two best friends and several fellow makers to get their takes.

The main two things weighing on my mind, as they have been all week…

–It could be huge exposure!                                             -Would i be putting all my eggs in one basket?

I’d love your opinion on the matter, if you are a maker, have experience or just want to share your two cents. All opinions welcome- if you were me, what would you do? Please leave something in the comments if you want to! More on my decision making and amazing support network (the people who i literally would be in the loony bin without the help and support of) next week!

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2 thoughts on “Internalising a really difficult situation in my head

  1. Interesting dilemma, and congratulations on being asked…. I understand the hesitancy and am interested to read about your decision and the decision making process. My initial reaction is it seems like you may loose too much control of your brand and that it would be too bad to have to say goodbye to your current loyal stockists. Is there anyway you can negotiate and keep your existing stores stocked, perhaps with a slightly different product? Can you supply required quantities and how much less than normal wholesale?? of course don’t expect answer to the latter but it is an interesting thing, why should you produce more for less?

  2. Helllooooo my lovely! I think you just need to look at it from as many different perspectives as you can. Mostly think of it in relation to how you imagined YOUR business. Remember why you started your business, was it to have control? to be able to work from home? to be creative? to make things?. Think of what you eventually want your business to be and where you imagine yourself in that. In this case, you have become her commodity… or would you rather keep working for yourself and when things get bigger, hire your own business manager under YOUR terms? It is normal to feel very overwhelmed by new ideas, just make sure that as much as they offer change and development, which are great things to be open minded about, they also might distract you from your original dreams and outlook. Sometimes this is good, but sometimes it might mean you end up in a spot of “how did I get here? This isn’t where I want to be!” later down the track. Think realistically about what it would involve: If you were to not be in control of business and marketing, would you end up just being your own folding machine? Not really being creative (she would be dictating a large portion of that depending on what the market wants – which is a pro/con) but just producing what she wants. What balance do you want to strike between being commercially marketable($$$), and being a new creative force that brings new ideas to the world? Just a few of my thoughts 🙂 I love reading this, when I read it I hear your voice and we are in midnight espresso eating cake (even though I’m really in my office 10,000kms away)

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