Spring 2023 Updates from Ali
As some of you know, 2023 has been a weird year for me personally. An unexpected cancer diagnosis right before the holidays and now the whirlwind of navigating treatment options, doctor appointments, and my mental health has been a challenge.
This health news has been a pretty huge wake up call. I'm not sure I can go so far as to call it a "blessing" but it has helped me gain clarity and make some decisions that I've been putting off. I'm leaning into hiring folks within my business instead of working every hour of every day. I'm learning that pausing wholesale orders or sitting out a few markets is perfectly ok. I'm getting away from my overachiever mentality and settling for good enough.
After I got my diagnosis, I reached out to a business friend and asked her what I should do. How could I possibly handle my business and a day job and everything else? And she gave me the most powerful thing: a permission slip. She said "You have a stable day job. You have a spouse with income. The shop can wait." It sounds silly but having someone tell me it's ok to take a step back from doing ALL THE THINGS was mind blowing.
For about a month, I really had no answers, no prognosis, no plan. And that was hard. The shop stayed closed, I put my head down, and just pushed through as best I could. I pushed pause on some big goals and waited. I've slowly stepped back into things as I've figured out what each step of my medical journey entails. There are a lot of unknowns and it still annoys me that I can't fully plan my summer because I won't know my next steps until mid-May.
We're now closing in on April and the 9th year my shop has been in business. Things look a lot different now. Those of you who know me from the early days might be confused why the hand-dyed dog leashes and custom crate covers aren't featured anywhere in my shop. Well, I've discontinued them. Maybe they'll come back someday but for now, I really enjoy dish covers, the fun fabrics, and the simplified construction process. I now have the ability to hire production help if I want and can build a more sustainable business where I'm not working every waking hour of the day. It's a bit scary and I'd be lying if I said cash flow wasn't a concern but these changes were long overdue. I want to look back on my shop in a few years time and see the jobs I'll provide to home sewists and the improved quality of my own life by gaining back some of my time.
A few more shop achievements I want to celebrate:
- I officially filed a trademark application for Wild Clementine Co.
- I got a new shop logo (longggg overdue)
- I attended my first market of the year, Making Local Markets in Bothell, WA
- Two new prints hit shop shelves (with three more coming in April!)
I wanted to wrap up this life update with a reminder for us all to slow down a bit. Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go still but I'm learning to take a step back and make time for the things I enjoy. The garden is prepped and ready for spring planting. The kale sprouts are putting on their first set of true leaves. I'm getting better at making sourdough by taking the time to watch the dough and learn from my experience. I've even blocked off time on the calendar for several vacations this year (which normally I wait until last minute and can't fit them in because I've overbooked myself).
Thank you everyone for supporting me and my business over the years. This chapter of my life would be so much more difficult without you. So thanks. ❤️