A year ago I wrote a post hinting at changes (Changing Into Something Different). Not many of the changes since are what I had planned, though. Now I'm figuring out how to weave together my new way of living with the way I want to live my life — both in the physical and philosophical sense. It'll probably prove to be more challenging than patting my head and tweeting at the same time, but I'm going to give it a go.
One of the more surprising, satisfyingly changes has been to my sleep schedule. It's not so much "going to bed" as it is "taking random naps throughout a 24-hour cycle." I now wake up between 3:30AM and 4:30AM — and I LOVE it. I turn on the reality TV sitcom that is morning programming over at CNN and start my day slow. When the sun starts to come up, I make my coffee and open the windows, letting in the cool air and sunlight into the craft studio.
The lack of fanfare doesn't mean to imply that I'm not proud and excited to finally get The Stix Shop up and running. I am super stoked! But I don't want to overwhelm myself by overselling it. This isn't going to be easy for me. I need to do as much as my body allows me to do every day and not beat myself up over it when I cannot — even though my family desperately needs the income. I also desperately need to be creative. And desperately need coffee.
My prices will be affordable (without underselling my time and talent). You know why? Because I'm poor and I know how it feels to want to buy something special for yourself or someone else. When I first started selling my signature accessories, I lived in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country and I targeted a clientèle that had disposable income at their beacon call. And my prices reflected those factors. I can't do that anymore, even though it would, let's be honest, be in my favor. I'm going to get real: my family needs a roof over its head and you deserve to buy something fun even in financially hard times. I'm shooting for a win-win situation.
There will be some high-end independent designers who'll huff and puff about how they feel my low prices devalue handmade. My values are a bit different. Mine doesn't include having to go to Starbucks every morning. Mine doesn't believe one-of-a-kind should be off limits to those living paycheck-to-paycheck. Being content with having extra cash to put food on our table and knowing my creations are being enjoyed by someone who may otherwise could not afford something handcrafted means I happily have a whole different value system than those other crafty business owners.
There should be a few things in the shop next week. Because of my daughter's seniority at Disney California Adventure, she's getting early morning opening shifts (great for beating the summer heat!), and since I drive her to work I'll be up and at 'em in the craft studio when I get home!