Saturday, January 26, 2008

what's next

My poor neglected blog. I don't want anyone to think I've given up on blogging-- far from it-- but there is so much happening right now I'm having a difficult time figuring out what to write about. I don't want to be tedious or boring about the cascade of details I'm having to cope with at the moment.

Basically, I'm getting ready for the Buyer's Market of America trade show in Philadelphia. This is the show I was wavering about going to last fall, but after speaking with the director of the show I realized I've simply invested too much money in my wholesale business in the past two years to just drop it. I've been working to adjust my attitude about... everything. Meditation and yoga have been helping me to cope with my usual demons of fear, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

The biggest obstacle I'm facing at the moment is new items for wholesale. I made the pledge to myself to only wholesale items that have been made into molds. That way I can avoid being chained to my wheel throwing batches of 100 pods, 100 vases, etc etc. Did I ever tell the story about the first time I went to the New York Gift show, took all my orders, went home and threw everything on the wheel? I had blood blisters on the tips of my fingers from throwing so much. I'm willing to suffer for my art as much as the next artist but I draw the line at literally putting my blood into the work.

Getting back to new items: I want to add my poppy bowl, poppy plate, and three sizes of cake plates. Those cake plates... I feel like that's all I've been throwing for the past 6 months. The poppy bowl, everyone just loves them but I don't really make them anymore. And the poppy plate is another crowd favorite, but for the past two years I can't make one without it cracking. This used to never be a problem, I made them for years, but I had to stop making them because they never come out anymore.

Talking to Hector about the cost of making these molds was a little scary. A well-made mold is so dang expensive. I could possibly train Sara to throw some of it, i.e. the cake stands, but then I'd have to buy another wheel... I could just commit one day a week to making wholesale items... but I know that's not what I want to do with my time... Trying to balance everything is difficult. I'm optimistic about the growth of my business but I also have to be realistic about how much debt I want to carry. It's hard to feel successful when all your profits go straight to the bank! But I'm grateful to be wrestling with my business rather than dreading getting up and going to work for someone else tomorrow morning