Hi Makers, Kelly here with a brand new Question of the Week and we are keeping with that positive, new year theme!
Alright, so we've talked about what we accomplished last year. What we did wrong, what we did right, the lessons we've learned coming out the other side of 2016. For better or worse, we made it into the new year, and now we can start pushing forward. Now we can talk about goals, goals, goals.
All of us are at different stages in our businesses (or hobbies), different places personally, feeling different mentally and emotionally when it comes to our creative journeys. You could have one goal this year, or you could have 27. I thought five was a nice round number when I was reflecting on what I wanted to accomplish this year as a maker; not too intimidating that I wouldn't want to look at my goals list, but a number that would also make me push myself.
Ready to talk about those goals? Let's go!
1. Purge the ungodly hoard of yarn that has accumulated in my possession over the last couple of years. Yes, I need a lot of yarn for what I'm doing right now. But if someone had hypothetically been carting around four skeins of wool (and by four skeins I mean several bags and tubs and containers) for the last six years and still didn't know what to do with it...well, chances are there's probably no harm in saying goodbye. I'm guilty of holding onto things I don't even really like that much, so when it comes to yarn I'm sure you can imagine the heartache that accompanies a de-stashing session. To make things easier on my heavy, yarn-obsessed ,soul, I'm putting my purging efforts towards good causes. It makes me feel better gifting my yarn to friends (you're welcome, Sip and Stitch ladies), or preparing to donate to a cause like Keep Hamilton Warm. With the softest yarn in my to-go pile(s), I'll be making baby blankets for the McMaster Hospital NICU, a great project headed by fellow local maker Made by Marlee (you can contribute here). Let the stash downsizing begin!
2. Design, create and launch an official Fall/Winter knitbrooks collection. I half-did this in 2015 with a John Muir inspired collection around the same time I launched by independent website, but it was disorganized to say the least. The collection, if you can call it that, wasn't thought out to the extent it should have been, and the launch was not well planned or advertised. This year, I'm hoping to start my design process early (now!), the make process in a timely manner (next week!), the advertising efforts at an appropriate time (hello late summer), and the launch on time...(aka not in late October).
3. Take the time to give weaving a proper try. I bought myself a loom from Loom and Spindle in 2015 (and actually found a second smaller loom at Value Village), but haven't allotted time for a true exploration of the craft. It's something I've always wanted to try my hand at - maybe that's one of the reasons I'm clutching desperately to all my unused yarn - and I think 2017 is the year.
4. Find the best way to keep myself organized. Now, that's a broad term, but the further I delve into the handmade business world, the more important it becomes to keep on top of those "adult responsibilities" like receipts, business budgets, profits, orders. You know, all the things my creative brain runs screaming from, or tries to stash aggressively under the rug so I don't have to look at them anymore. Whether it's coming up with an easy spreadsheet I can plug those numbers to, or assigning shelves and baskets for everything, something has to be done to dig myself out of of the black hole of disorganization.
5. Sell my knitwear in a store (or stores). I was approached by several independent / local shops and boutiques last year that were interested in carrying my knitwear. Was I excited? Heck yes! Was I prepared enough to actually to accept the offer? Heck no! The venture of selling in a store brings with it many additional challenges, from properly pricing your items, to having a collection of knitwear you're happy with, to actually having the time and energy to make and display everything. This is another case of starting early in the year to accomplish something in the cozy season.
So, there they are, officially written down. Five goals I am working towards as a maker in this brand new year. I encourage you to make your own list; won't it be interesting to look back on it when January 2018 rolls around?
Here's what M from @minimyarnism, Jenna of @jennaashburn, Maria of @tuskenknits, and Ksenia of @life_is_cozy are working towards accomplishing this year.
What are five things you want to accomplish in 2017?
What are five things you want to accomplish this year as a maker? Tell us in the comments below, or tag us on our @ourmakerlife with #ourmakerlife with a picture of your maker life for a chance to be featured on our feed!
If you have a question in mind you would like to see answered by fellow makers, just send us a quick 'OML QOTW' email - we'd love to put together a QOTW with you.
Kelly, OML dream team
Kelly is the mind, body and soul behind @knitbrooks: handmade modern knitwear inspired by nature’s endless beauty. After completing a photojournalism program, Kelly used both knitting and crocheting as a way to relax after a long day working as a reporter/photographer. This hobby has since transformed into a way to combine her love of creating fashionable knitwear, with her passion for photography, a cozy lifestyle, and her awe and admiration of the untouched wilderness.