I have always dreamed of turning my creative ventures into a business but up till now it has been a very cloudy picture.
While studying art at Oklahoma Baptist University I found clarity in where my passion lies by feeling so much joy from sitting at a loom and weaving for hours upon hours or throwing some clay around on a pottery wheel until my skin started to dry.
I knew specifically my heart was drawn to the mediums that involved working with my hands. I feel connected to generations of women who came before me and those around the world who work with their hands perfecting their craft. I feel so privileged and honored to explore the techniques of these crafts as my creative outlet.
After college I started saving and searching for a 4 harness floor loom to call my own. With the help of family and friends, and a random ad on Craigslist, I brought one home about a year later. During that time I worked a few different jobs but all the while I wasn’t even considering developing my passion into the dream business I wanted someday.
Someday, I didn’t stop to think about how I’d ever get to someday. I just knew I needed to get a job and work and make money and to start figuring out a “real job” path.
I fortunately landed into a job working with my hands making wooden bow ties and getting in on the ground floor to watch a small business get started. I went from making to managing to marketing and all along the way was mentored by an enthusiastic entrepreneur and a brand and product designer.
Looking back I sometimes get frustrated at myself for not trying to figure out my dream business sooner. I still can’t really nail down what was holding me back but I think the majority of it was not knowing what I really wanted.
We’ve been conditioned to think of careers linearly. You go to school, you get your degree, then you find a job in your field. But what if the job you dream of is working for yourself, setting your own schedule, and literally being excited to wake up and get started on your day? Where is the school that teaches you that?
I was so skeptical when people would say, “love what you do” or “do what you love” because I believe there are seasons where you might not be loving everything you do or the resources are not there to do what you love in that moment. But as I started asking myself hard questions I realized even though these circumstances may be true at times, I was using them as excuses.
I had a wall up in my own heart because I was afraid. I was afraid that if I tried to do the thing that I love, I would fail. I also have a competitive spirit and if I thought I couldn’t be the best then that was a form of failure as well. It was a lot easier for me to call it laziness or be too tired than to take small steps forward.
Then I had a perspective wake up call: my baby boy, Gavin entered this world with an entirely too long labor and a face that only belonged to the son of his father. They are basically twins. Everyone tells you your world will change when you have kids and they weren’t lying. After about 3 or 4 months of some extreme newborn, new mom, no sleep, tongue tie surviving (you mommas that have tongue tied babies know what I mean) emotional rollercoaster, it was like coming out of a cocoon to our new world.
I had to push back the fear and create. I had to do it for myself because I now had a son who would be watching me every single day. He is my accountability baby. I look at him and wonder and dream about the person he will grow up to be. I have big dreams for him but how will they ever come to fruition if he is never shown what it means to dream and to chase after it. Who will teach him that he can do anything he wants, live any life he dreams of, owns the seasons as they come, recognizes the fears and doubts that inevitably come but searches for understanding and leans into faith in those moments --- I will do my best to live my life in a way that will teach him these things.
It’s been 18 months today since those blue eyes looked at me for the first time and even though I’ve made many small steps forward toward my creative dreams, there are many more to go.
The cloudiness is still there but it’s a lot less dense. This creative journey I am on is an adventure I’m open to sharing. I may not know all the answers but I do know it can be lonely to have so much to say whether it be through art, design, words, photos, etc. but not know where or how to start.
My few tidbits of advice if you’re just getting started: take a deep breath, get off social media, and create something for yourself today.