I do love the depths of summer. It goes without saying the longer days, warmer weather, feelings of rest and relaxation alongside travel and adventure, make for a super fun time of year. What I am enjoying most in The Chunky Needle’s second summer season is the opportunity to CREATE! I must admit, I’m picking up this blog post more than a month after I started it on July 22nd. I got so caught up in the summer with kids off from school, travel and the daily grind that this blog post quickly ended up on the bottom of the ‘to-do” list. What was meant to be an inspiring summer blog post talking about all the cool new things I’d been developing, has now turned into a reflective piece on what I created several weeks ago, and how I’m spending my time now hustling on the phone and computer. More on that later.
So the summer started off so promising. I spent the first couple of weeks developing and creating new Chunky home decor accessories and was super excited with the finished results. The Haida and Cowichan wall hangings came first, followed by the chunky bowls afterward. I was so pleased with the results and got wonderful feedback from everyone. They’ve been selling nicely too, so that’s always encouraging.
Summer Makes 2019
The summer had such promise. I was going to CREATE, CREATE, CREATE! I intentionally took 8 weeks off from workshopping, not only to spend time with the family, but to regenerate my creative energies into making new products. WELL….. that lasted for all about 2 weeks. Seriously, having two, five year old boys at home for six weeks over the summer, can really dampen one’s best intentions. So the summer saw me take a nice break away from the needles, workshops, (ahem, blogging) and all other Chunky biz, and focus on other priorities for awhile at least. Okay, to be fair, I did have orders come through over the summer weeks. I was amazed really, that the frequency of scarf, blanket and cushion orders coming in kept me busy enough over the hot days. I really thought things would go cricket screeching silent over June, July, August, but just enough work came through to keep my Chunky toe in the game.
I did have my act together enough that I created a whole Secret Society. Yes that’s right. The Chunky Junky Secret Society has been launched, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you very much about it. Attend a future workshop and I will tell all. Shhhhh.
Blog writing every two months perhaps is maybe a good thing. You have time to take stock and see what you’ve actually achieved over the last 8-10 weeks when upon first glance you think you’ve done nothing!
So that leads me into the start of a new season - the busiest for businesses such as mine. It starts relatively slow and gradual, the odd workshop here/there, orders pop through the inbox, but hit mid October, a frenzy kicks off. CHRISTMAS!!! Mid October I begin making about 500 Mink related objects over the weeks up to Christmas Eve. I say Mink, as that is by far the most popular colour. See photo collage.
Over the next four months I hustle. I’m hustling to market and promote workshops. I hustle to actually physically get to said workshops (I can travel up to 6 hours round trip for one workshop! Kill me now!!) I hustle to keep up with the orders coming through and complete projects with excellent quality and attention to detail. I hustle to create new Ready Made stock, so that the shop isn’t empty (which I think it now is. Yikes. Again, had plans to make new blankets over the summer. Ooops. ) I hustle to market the brand and try to generate new business, contacts and heighten the brand’s profile. I hustle to make, chunky knit Santa hats, chunky knit stockings, chunky knit Santa hat tree toppers, chunky knit garlands, chunky knit etc. etc. etc. It goes on and on.
I feel refreshed to be honest. I had a good break away from it all, and am now sinking back into the fold. My first workshop for the season kicks off at a new venue in Somerset on Saturday. I kid you not, nearly every Saturday between now and Christmas, I’m running a workshop - SOMEWHERE. It’s all good. I love teaching and get a real thrill teaching these workshops. Stay tuned for my Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival spam coming up in two weeks and then everything else.
Oh yeah… Lakefest by the way was awesome! Loved it. Great energy, students and atmosphere. Was really chuffed to be included. Do check it out for next year.
Okay well that’s it for now. A quick recap of Summer 2019 and a look ahead to the Autumn. It’ll be fun. It’ll be good.
Stay tuned for more. I promise I’ll write before November. ;-)