It’s not an easy thing to be open these days.
COVID has been pretty ragey in Barton County the last couple months.
And…My kids don’t think the studio is so cool anymore. I remember when Creek thought it was THE coolest thing that we had a store in town. Then I got told this fall to stop being so boring…I mean, I think we live a pretty exciting life, and my followers think we’re living the dream, but my kids think I’m boring. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “I wanna go home” when I was open at the studio in December. Talk about a buzz kill.
I WANT to be open every Thurs-Sat.
It’s not as simple as all that.
I have to be in KC on First Friday weekends, which rules that weekend out.
I tried being open every 2nd and 4th weekend back in the fall, but fall is my busiest time for production and sales, so that didn’t work well, then Barton County became a chart-topper amongst top Missouri counties with COVID hotspots, and I closed back up until after December’s First Friday weekend, then was open the following two weeks.
And guess what? I rocked it. I had great business. However, I don’t think I can be open that much every month.
Well, because I want to do more of several things in 2021, and the big one is to travel with my plasma cutter, doing Live Art Workshops. I did one in early October in a tiny Iowa town and that’s it, folks…I’ve found my passion. It was SO much fun doing my art right there in front of people. It was so fulfilling to talk with customers who just watched me make the products in their arms. I need more of that in my life. I have my eye on Silver Dollar City’s Music Days and Harvest Festival next fall. The app is in my inbox. And I needed to look that far forward before making a decision on my studio hours.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to be open one day a week. Every week. Thursdays. That’s when I’ll be there. It fits. 11:00-6:00. I can get my chores done, maybe leave the girls off on a playdate, then head to town.
That way, I have Mon-Wed at the homestead with the kids, doing our school/workshop/farm thang. Our BORING life.
That should allow plenty of other time during the week for keeping my website in order (I’ve just redone the whole thing, putting the focus on my metal art), keeping my space in Kansas City stocked, and for a little down time each week, which is also on my list of things to do more of in 2021. My girls are growing so fast. I don’t want to miss it. Is it possible to miss it when you’re around them every day? Absolutely. Being present isn’t just being there.
I want to be at the studio more too. But this is a difficult time span for us. I don’t know if it’s just the age gap between the kids, but it’s not easy at all to teach and maintain order right now. It was SO much easier when Cale was a babe wrapped up on my torso. In the future, it will be easier to be at the studio more. Like, when I can put time into my product displays and not have them destroyed.
For example, the week before Christmas, I was in the studio, and I had made this really pretty display of my funky junky snow globes on the table just inside the door. Good thing I had taken a pic and posted to social media, because while I was working on a custom jewelry order, my back turned to the snow globe display, Cale (she’s 4) put finger tracks in ALL that pretty, perfectly placed fake snow and bent EVERY bottlebrush tree so that it looked like they had been in 90mph sustained winds.
I did not flip my mom stuff. My customers thought it was adorable (or did they?). I just rolled with it, and luckily, I sold several of the snow globes off of my social media ad! It’s a good thing she is super cute.
So I have been really grinding my brain gears on when I can be there consistently, with minimal stress on our routine and our relationship. It makes me sad when I am having the time of my life in my studio space and they don’t want to be there.
I need the time early in the week, Mon-Wed, to teach the girls. I need the weekends for my family (not just to goof off; it’s the only time I have Mom and Casey here to help me with projects hahahahaha) and our farm. So Thursday is a good fit for me. I feel it’s sustainable. It’s taking care of my family, but not putting my dreams aside for later.
If you see the OPEN sign on at other times, well, don’t be surprised. I’ve got a business incubator going…
Suzanne with Southern Magnolia will be there at her leisure, painting her furniture. She does an AMAZING job putting a French Country twist on regular ol furniture. It’s not something everyone who grabs a paint brush can do. People say I have a “special touch” with my junk art. Well, Suzanne has that special touch with painting furniture and doing just the right amount of shabbing it out. I adore her stuff! She has been using the studio since December 1, and I’m thrilled to have her in there, as she is a truly positive influence on me and my girls. She’ll be flipping on the open sign and allowing customers to shop when she’s there, so please stop in and meet her sometime. She has a space at Finicky Fox in Carthage, so check out her booth there as well!
I’m manifesting other creators for my incubator to use the creative space to develop and produce inventory and to provide a store space for customers to pick up items. We shall see.
I’ll be snagging studio time on those 3 “off-KC” weekends too, so don’t hesitate to drive past and see if I’m there. I do love my space in town! And I love seeing YOU.
One thing I hear every time I’m there is “I drove past just to see if you’re open and you ARE!!!” I say “Well I’m glad you caught me!” And I’m totes sincere. But I’m pretty unapologetic these days about not being there. I’ll figure out how to make it all work seamlessly one of these days! If you say it like “You’re never open,” well, sorry not sorry, I do try to do it all, but I have my limits. I’m trying my best to keep on making cuz Makers Gonna Make! And I’m trying to not be so boring.
See you on Thursday! Be wild. Create!