"How much of human life is lost in waiting." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Navigating the changing landscape of life during the Coronavirus is something that we all have in common. It may look different in shape, form, or size, but the roots are the same.
Inside my shop life has become quieter than usual and given me more time (perhaps more than I’d like) to think about what was and what I can shift to create the kind of future for my business that I want. Just as it’s easy to get lost in the hustle of busy days, it’s easy to get lost in thought waiting for things to change. So instead of waiting for the “old days” to return, I’m looking at each day anew and taking smaller steps towards a new kind of future for my business.
In solidarity with the May Day Strike for essential workers, I made the decision to remove every product from my Amazon Handmade store that was held at a fulfillment warehouse and relist in on my Instagram stories for sale. I want to bring beautiful pieces into the world without undue negative impact. I love knowing my customers support that with each piece they purchase.
I opened the Amazon shop hoping to reach a broader audience but soon realized it is not worth tasking pickers and packers in the warehouses who are given average or below-average pay for grueling work. More than ever as we all are faced with the realities of COVID-19, its time to stand up for ourselves and for one another.
I’m beyond lucky that my studio space Custom Deluxe is standalone inside a larger commercial building and not under extra regulations. Although I was not forced to close the shop under Oregon’s Stay Home Stay Safe orders, I had to cease in-person client meetings and pause all classes until future notice.
I’m limiting my days in the studio as much as possible to avoid unnecessary contact with my surrounding tenants and working efficiently to make orders and get them in the mail. The world is changing, but mankind has been making and loving jewelry since it was just animal teeth and flowers. There is no way I’m stopping now.
Despite a clear calendar, I still face ongoing monthly rent, fees, and payments to keep the business alive. With this new reality in mind, I’ve applied for grants through Prosper Portland and tried to get in the long line of applicants for federal funding for small businesses. I know I’m just one woman in this big world and not being selected for funding is hard, but that I made the right choice by putting my cards in the game.
When I’m at the shop filling orders I’m giving myself time to make fun, new pieces that keep me smiling. Know what’s crazy? This ring I made this week is one of my favorite EVER. I’m honestly surprised! Thanks to everyone who DM’d about it and if you want to get on the list to preorder just shoot me an email.
Great things can happen when you let go and focus on what you enjoy doing. Doing something creative with what you have sitting around your space is challenging and incredibly rewarding. It could be cooking, organizing, gardening, or anything that gets you into a flow. I assure you it’s worth doing. Know what else? Waiting is overrated. Stay healthy and be well everyone :)
More posts on jewelry history, tips for care, and updates coming soon.