Happy International Women’s Day!

It’s different this  year, isn’t it? Last year I was giggling at Deadpool’s take on the holiday, and today it has become something bigger. In some ways, something more serious, and dark-seeming, but to me, it’s more full of light, because it’s full of activism and awareness and awakening.

There’s good news for women who have their own businesses in the world. This data is a couple years old, but According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) most recent Women’s Report, there are an estimated 126 million women starting or running businesses all around the world. That’s a 17-percent increase since the prior GEM Women’s Report in 2010. As the number of women in business and leadership roles continues to climb, it’s important to continue to inspire new leaders and celebrate their achievements.

That is overall good news!

Where I live, in America, there is definitely a discord between rights here, as I know them, and rights in other places in the rest of the world. The movement for equality that falls into the domain of women’s rights is larger, and is linked deeply now to rights for those of color, or other groups that have been marginalized in the past.  Communication pleases me, so any conversation and sharing of inertia, passion, and active effort between groups that are working to spread equality and inclusiveness seems a good thing.

I am thankful for the men in the world who support women in their efforts, and their strength. We can’t do this alone. Women need men to help support them them in their loves and challenges and battles against oppression,  and vice versa. We need each other to stand against those who would belittle our standing and dreams, whomever we are.

So, today, when I am to strike to show the world what things are like without me, I  am fortunate that I can bow out of public labor and service today, and work on my own business, my own future, and the future for my son and family.  I do so with love, and as terrifying as love seems to be for many in the world, it’s still just that… love. I hope we all can be as open to it as possible, even when history and family pressure tries to block us off. We all deserve it. All of us.

SO. In other news, I am working on love for myself and my own business by working ever on new things, new ways to create and new ways to share what I can offer to the world, to help people express themselves.

One of my dearest friends was in town on Monday, for one day. I decided to make him something, which was a challenge on a few levels. I don’t really have much experience (yet!) with jewelry for men, and I wanted to try something new to me: hollow forms. So, I went for it!

He once wrote a song called “Windpower,” and while that makes a wind turbine a fairly obvious piece of subject matter for him, the turbine has a deeper connection for us from earlier in our friendship. I’ve loved their shape for years, even before I ever met him.

In 2006, he went on a tour across America, his first in many years, performing his music to old fans and new. I went along as his tour manager. As we crossed the nation, we ran across a few wind farms, and pointed them out to each other, each geeking out their own way at the giant machines, spinning like happy daisies in rows in the distance. It sounds silly, but it’s a happy memory for me of our friendship, and a shared feeling about something in the world that ordinarily doesn’t perhaps invoke fondness on an aesthetic level.

It’s the smallest thing I have ever tried to saw into being, and I think I did well. The turbine is maybe an inch high. And the hollow form was fun! It’s light and was a great soldering exercise, using my new soldering station.

The piece came out wonderfully, and I am so happy for the experience, and he loved it! It was the first piece with my new maker’s mark, as well, so there were a lot of firsts for this one.

And now, it’s time to go make more! Would you like one of your own? Let’s make you one! In today’s political climate it’s a statement piece I never expected it would be.

Business Meltdown (and melting down is good)

Oh my goodness, friends.
I’m adrift. I’m all over the map. I’m not sure what I am doing.

 

That means I am onto something.

I took this free marketing class for a week about a month ago. It was one of those things where you get a little bit of information, free, and then they offer you their full-blown workshop, for hundreds. You get some good info to make a few changes, learn a little, but then you need to commit to get the whole tamale.

I have no issue with this, it’s how seminars and info works, you exchange money for the goods. I knew I would be marketed to, and so I was ok with it. I don’t like being marketed to, even though I recognize the irony that I need to be on the other side of that hustle for my own work, exchanged for money. I knew I needed something in my business, to make a full go of it, to really get in there and try to do it right, instead of feeling my way along in the dark with no flashlight the way I have been.

So I did the week to see what I would learn, and I did learn some new things. It all culminated with a live presentation/webcast to pull things together, and give them ample time to discuss the eight-week workshop that would be starting in a week or so after the free bootcamp wrapped up.

They were offering three scholarships to people who showed up for the bootcamp. You had to write in a FB thread post about why you thought you’d be a good candidate for the scholarship to the 2 month intensive.

Derek had a delayed start school day due to ice that day. So he was home, I was making breakfast for him, after days of snow days. I had gotten so little done that week with a kiddo home from school. So I had the laptop on the kitchen counter, cooking up eggs and toast and sausage, listening to the live webcast, and typing in my answer as to why I would be a good candidate at the same time as everything else. Not very focused arena to really write something well-worded, but I did my best.

At the end of the webcast, after answering lots of questions, they announced the three winners. And, wouldn’t you know it……

I was one of them. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I felt that morning, and still do.

So now I am deep in week two of this class, and I am so deep into chaos. I am rethinking everything with the information being thrown at me. It’s wonderful.

But I am totally flailing right now in what I make, how I make it, how I present it.  How to connect better to you, and serve you with my business. I literally don’t know what to make next, but I am working how to bring more connection and joy to everyone my business touches.  How to put it all together and offer it to the world, because of what I am learning. And the information keeps on coming, relentless, each piece working to further tear down everything so I can build it back again, correctly.

I’ve spent almost no time in the studio these past two weeks. At first, it was ok cause I was learning so much. Now it’s kind of ok because I don’t really know what to make.

There’s larger commitments on the horizon, with the Gathering of the Guilds show in April. Worst case, I will take some of what I am learning and make what I make, what I have made, with some alterations and expansions, mild ones, to get me through. Or, I may have time for the changes to move through my work, and what shows up at my booth is evolved in ways I can’t even think of right now.

I just don’t know. As John Taylor and AA say, “trust the process.”

I’ll just keep going.