Spurts of brilliance but mostly a big 'ol mess of this = 2020
I looked at my wall of fabric and realized it was in such a disarray. I thought, hmm, that sorta sums up 2020, doesn't it? While reflecting on my year and the idea of a blog post I googled synonyms for disarray and you can imagine the options: disorder chaos mix-up confusion clutter jumble disorganize disarrange unsettle dishevel tousle....in other words: EXACTLY 2020...and really the last 4 years. I could add soooo many more distressing and alarming adjectives but let's not and say we did. This is a reflect-on-the-the-year-past and focus-on-how-to better-myself-and-my-company kind of blog post so, here goes....
For most of my 30+ year newspaper/advertising career I had a great habit of reflecting on the previous year and putting a lot of thought into my goals for the following year, I sorta wish I had all those old Franklin Covey planner books so I could reflect over the years but really I just try to stick to that end-of-year/new-year goals format. After I left the media world I continued my annual goal setting and this year during my initial thoughts on 2020/2021 my very first thought -- actually, the very first word I thought while looking at this wall of fabric was: disarray. Then my head swirled around that idea looking at it from a bigger and bigger picture. Our planet is in disarray, not just our government but our PLANET. I surely hope humankind (what's left, anyway) takes a good hard look at how they can do better for their communities, their countries, and their planet. At the beginning of 2020, this wall of fabric was all organized and hopeful and ready for me to take on the world!
And take on the world, I DID!
Unfortunately, not in exactly the way I was expecting, or the rest of the world was expecting, either. The Corona virus waged war out in the world and the world needed masks. My online shop kicked off its debut year with masks...lots and lots of masks. And still lots of masks but now with a lot of other useful upcycled merch, too.
My spouse works in banquets at a very large hotel, the hotel shut down so no banquets have happened since early March. She got another job working for a really great non-profit however our income dropped to less than half of what it was in banquets.
Last year, before the virus/before her job shuddered, one of my main goals was to move my sales from mostly in-person at festivals and farmer's markets to more virtual and online. I started building my website in January and by the time it went live Covid-19 shutdowns were in full swing. At that moment things were so up in the air, we didn't know if we were going to have to pack-up and move to family (?) or if we would be able to stay in our home in California. Between Spouse getting the new job and all of you...well, you folks helped take up that slack that we were so worried about in the beginning. And you well, YOU. STILL. DO. Every purchase you make from my shop helps pay a bill, or buy supplies, or cover groceries. In this online shopping scenario there is no paying a big corporation and wondering how much actually gets to the workers because here it all goes right straight to help support our family AND of course most importantly the idea of us, the collective us, having to change things for the better for our community and our environment, and exactly why you're in my sphere: you support the upcycling and slow fashion movement -- so thank you!
So back to goals. The main ones last year were 1) set up the Dragonfish Handmade Goods studio (because I'd been working in our living room!) 2) website (domain, sales platform, populate) and then 3) create and build inventory, of which I accomplished all pretty much in spades. The big bonus of the year however, was to get back in touch with my exe -- we hadn't really talked in 10ish years so that was a welcome fence to mend. I'd tell you what her biz title is but I don't know (?!) What I CAN tell you is that her resume is huge. She's won all sorts of awards and basically she's a creative director/graphic designer type person. A negotiation of trade was made between us and I got an updated and professionally designed logo and a stockpile of professional files in a variety of file types (GOLD!). This was a blessing I did not expect at all but am super appreciative of because I've been hobbling along in that arena for quite some time on my own.
There was a health component in there somewhere last year and I was actually on track until covid hit -- exercising and tracking steps and all... but I'm at-risk for multiple reasons and even though we now know more about how the virus travels and how to protect ourselves and those around us, there are so many people out there who just don't. Sigh. I do not feel like dying at the moment so I'm just cocooned here in our bunker waiting for the zombie apocalypse to do whatever it plans on doing....and I'll just keep on making things and keep on accepting your clothing donations in order TO keep on making things. Y'all just let me know when it's over, ok?
Ok so, goals for THIS year - I have a few....1) Get my biz stuff in order. There are a few things I've been slow to learn or deal with but this is changing in 2021. You know the stuff creatives don't like to deal with... first appointment is on Monday (look at me looking like I'm all on top of things!).
2) Fill Inventory: on my website there are a few categories that are low in inventory (messenger and tote bags, oven mitts, coasters, etc.) these are categories I plan on working on in 2021.
3) Add 2 new pattern designs. This is a biggie because there's a lot of work between "hey, why don't you make a _____?" to actually having a working pattern and then, even more time to actually produce inventory using that pattern.
4) Lose 20 lbs. (I really want to lose more but I like carbs.)
5) Continue to be kind to myself and those around me during these trying times. This is a time like no other, right? I feel like, because of that, we all deserve an extra moment/dose/handful of grace. I will continue to take deep breaths and think before I speak because I never know what the other person is going through...especially right now.
6) Produce 1-2 big giveaways. Definitely Halloween again, and one other.
7) Donate double to APAIT, a charity I care about. In 2020, thanks to all of you and #thebighauntedgiveaway, we were able to donate $52 to APAIT to help homeless trans folx with food and housing. It's not a lot so in 2021 I'd like to double that because trans folx are the most at-risk population in our country and because I believe in helping those who need it most. Hopefully giveaway events will help me accomplish this goal.
8) Spend quality down time with my spouse because we are a great team. <3
Ok, that's it for now.
These types of goal-setting documents always end up becoming "working documents" so I may come back and amend this to add or change things based on accomplishments. I consider it a way to hold myself accountable and so now you all can too. Plus, you can see what I "sort of" have planned for in 2021.
Oh and I do have a super special Willy Wonka 50th year anniversary collaboration coming up but that's already in the works so get ready -- it's going to be EPIC!!!
Btw, I just added some new things to the shop so be sure to check them out!
your friendly virtual neighborhood upcycler