I've always felt stressed as school is about to end for the year. Because I've always wondered what to do with them over the long summer. And it's really never been a problem, because we've always found things to do, and then by the time school starts again, I'm usually complaining about that! (I'm such a broken record!)
This summer will be a little different. I really do wonder what to do with them, because this summer I won't be around. I have a little announcement: I got a job. A real, get-up-in-the-morning-and-get-dressed-8:30-5pm job. It's so weird.
The whole concept has been in the works for a while. I just realized it was time to switch gears and do something different. I've been in business now for 11 years - 6 of which I've been peddling my wares. It gets old. You get tired. And when the economy tanked, it just felt like I was spinning my wheels. I've been itching to do something else for about a year - since this time last year when I finished my spring shows, took a break, and never really got the mojo going again. I gave it lots of time, still added to my inventory, but started to distance myself from the business. That was perhaps the best thing I did, because a year ago, I wasn't ready to let go. Now, I totally am.
So, job hunting began in January. Let me just say, what you've heard about the job market out there is entirely true. It's mayhem. But one day last month, I answered a listing on Craigslist (I know, right?) for an administrative assistant/office support position for a local furniture manufacturer. I had three interviews with this company, but knew the moment I walked through the door that I wanted the job. This company designs and manufactures modern custom furniture, wall & window treatments for high end interior designers, as well as restoration of modern classic pieces - think, Eames and van der Rohe. They have their own line in the works, and everything is manufactured at their facility. Which means, it's all handcrafted. On the premises, they have a wood shop, a paint booth area, a foam cutting area, rolls and rolls of fabric (oh, joy!) enormous work tables, and a line of industrial sewing machines, just like mine, whirring along. The only thing that is outsourced is the metalwork. I just about died.
So perfect. So in tune with my own philosophies about handmade and not outsourcing overseas. It's similar to what I've done, but different. I'll be learning a whole new industry, but I can still fondle fabric if I need to. I'll get to be involved in the debut of a new line, but I won't have to sew a stitch.
(I gave myself some homework this weekend & went to the library. I've been browsing the fascinating and amazing history of modern furniture design. Wow. Just wow.)
So what does this mean for Sommer Designs? I don't know right now. I feel like I don't really have to think about it right now either. I still have inventory, and I still have at least one street fair scheduled. I know I'll for sure keep the business going, on a part time basis, through the rest of the year. Beyond that is a big question mark. The thing about this business was that it was flexible for me - it worked because I was able to mold it around my lifestyle and schedule. I don't really need that flexibility anymore, and I'm ready to move on. It's so nice to be in a place like that.
So, that's what's going on! I don't know what will happen in this space, I am not sure how much time I'll have for blogging, but I am going to try to pop in periodically with posts. But, if I don't answer an email immediately (as I usually do), you'll know why.
It's almost like a reinvention: I have to pinch myself - I'm very excited.