Here’s a guest post from Danie, the woman who is a yarn dyer at One Twisted Tree and one half of The Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast. She’s pretty fantastic, and I thought it might be interesting for the two of us to reflect on our first year in the fibre business. She’s up first and I’ll post tomorrow.
As the snow is flying past my window, I am huddled up in my warm cozy house under a blanket reflecting on the last year. I left my job in the accounting field and pointed myself down a scary new path. I decided to stay home to manage the house and while my children were at school, I would work on my tiny shop, One Twisted Tree, selling my hand dyed yarns. With a business background I was aware of the hard work I would have to put in and how little I would get in return the first year. I knew the areas that would come naturally to me and I mapped out learning opportunities for areas where I needed to grow. To be honest, the kids scared me more than the shop did. The emotional rollercoasters of everyday life that are projected by my twin girls is enough to frighten the most hardened of warriors.
As I started to think on the things that I learned this year while getting my business off the ground, I noted how true these things are in my personal life as well.
I think to really be successful in life you need to know who you are and be that person unapologetically. Not everyone will like you. Not everything that you say will connect with a vast audience. Not every product that you put out will be an instant success. You must continue on being you and the people who do connect with what you say will start to find you in this big world and the products you talk to them about will be appreciated more by them than a faceless community. Be true to your voice, your vision, and your level of quality and your tribe will find you.
Invest in the future you want to build.
You should have an idea of what happiness looks like in the future. I always say that happiness isn’t found, it is built by the decisions we make every day. In order to find that happiness, you have to be able to invest in the future. You have to construct a platform that will support the growth you envision. Constructing a platform for growth may be outsourcing tasks that you don’t have time for, reaching out to network with likeminded people in the industry for support, or taking an online class in an area of business you could use help on (social media marketing, photography, or even learning more about the tools available to you on your website or sales platform).
It is easy to get so busy that you go on autopilot. You work until lunch before you really start to think about what you did that day. While that kind of routine is good for getting things done, it is not conducive to learning new techniques, being inspired, or recharging your creative self. When I take a quick walk in the park, my mind is allowed to wander creatively. I think of new blog post topics, I see flowers that inspire new colorways, and I think about new ways to use the different products I have. When I allow myself to play around with new colors and applications for dyeing yarn, I learn how new techniques can be applied and color combinations start to flow naturally. Not all of my experiments turn out as I was expecting. I have learned much more from allowing myself to focus on the exploration of a new idea than the pressure of creating a successful product every time.
This time of year is a great time to reflect on the year past and plan for the year ahead. Were you happy about the year you had? By picking out the pieces that made you happy and working on ways to increase the frequency of those pieces, you are building a better year. Me? I like a hot cup of tea first thing in the morning. I make sure I always take the morning to sit and reflect on the day ahead and what I hope to accomplish. In the coming year, I plan on making a firm tea time during my work day to give my body and my mind a chance to relax. It’s a small thing to change but a little bit of happiness can add up to a lot at the end of a lifetime.