We will be sharing our blog on a regular basis with people who have been strengthened, nurtured, encouraged and brought to a new level through the textile arts. I hope you will be uplifted by their stories.
Crafting really saved my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it did. I had the same kind of boring, ho-hum life that I think a lot of people have, the kind that makes you want to pull the covers back over your head and just stay there in bed. Right about then is when my second crafting business lifted me out of the doldrums.
Now you know knitting and crocheting have a reputation for being just for little old ladies, but I don’t see it that way. I love funky stylish handmade pieces of any kind, and I love it more that I can add my creative voice to what’s out there already. It makes my juices flow to come up with something different than anything I see in fashion and to know it has my stamp on it. It makes me feel REALLY good that someone would reach in their pocket and give up their hard earned cash for something I created. And it makes me feel REALLY, REALLY good to know that other artists see me as an artist too.
So when my family business finally closed its doors after 35 years, I figured I would use my business, which was then a side hustle, to bide my time until I could get a “good job” with benefits. Suddenly a little voice spoke to me and told me that I could make a go of this full time. I was 48 years old and had about 15 years or so to go before I could retire and get social security. So I sat down right on the spot and thought about what I was willing to sacrifice to make this dream happen.
I had never had a car, but was I willing to go through life without one?
The answer was yes.
How about owning a home or a luxurious apartment? Was I willing to not have those things? Yes.
How about tropical paradise vacations and cruises? When my friends go on those things would it be ok for me not to go with them? Once again, the answer was yes.
So I began to build.
And suddenly, everything was different.
The stuff I used to take off of men – no more.
Friends that had stepped to me with thinly veiled cattiness in the past – was I willing to “be patient” with them? Nope. I just wasn’t having any of the old stuff anymore. Why? Because I was now on a mission, one all my own…and I had better things to do.
Suddenly, I was getting more respect. I couldn’t boast a whole lot of money. As a matter of fact, I had less…for now. But I was becoming accomplished even if it was late in the game. I was manifesting the talents that I always knew were in there somewhere. Now others knew it too. And I could see that my business was growing, sometimes even being a little more than I could handle.
But that’s not all.
On Facebook, I became a member of a brand new group called The Handmade Collective. This group has people of all races, nationalities, both genders etc. But the magic of the group is that they are willing to share. They share the tips of how to be successful at what we do. So now my pictures are crisper, I have a blog, several online stores, I am vending and expanding my product lines. I’ve never been a part of anything where everyone was so willing to help each other like that. It was just what I needed to take my business to the next level, and I’m beginning to enjoy the benefits of all that hard work.
So when others talk about how knitting and crocheting are so relaxing, I agree with them. Sometimes I don’t take the time to say that it’s actually exhilarating to me though, and that it has given me new life and a new lease on life.
And that it’s not just for little old ladies
PS – here is a tutorial i did on how to make fingerless mittens – Enjoy!