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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I lost something.


It happened sometime between my last post and this one that I lost something and started looking for it, not really knowing what "it" was.

In my process of discovery, I found this article where Thomas Keller describes his thoughts about Drive vs. Passion:
"It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook. If it’s only about passion, sometimes you’ll be good and sometimes you won’t. You’ve got to come in every day with a strong desire. With passion, if you see the first asparagus of the springtime and you become passionate about it, so much the better, but three weeks later, when you’ve seen that asparagus every day now, passions have subsided. What’s going to make you treat the asparagus the same? It’s the desire."

At some point, I wasn't making what I wanted to make;  I became an over-worked manufacturer and the daily grind slowly leached away my identity of a blossoming artist and designer.  I lost the whimsy that was once prevalent in my business.   

I lost my ability to dream.  I lost my drive to create.

Recently, Shay and I had a conversation about the things we appreciate about one another.   I love his logical, business mind; he makes tough decisions based on analysis of data and facts.  He told me that he loves my creative spirit and my heart-on-my-sleeve approach to my business.  He said he would never want me to become him.

However, I became the person obsessing about increasing profit margins, maximizing inventory turnover, minimizing overstocking and all the things I never worried about in the past.  I was focused on running a highly-efficient business -- my leather hides and sewing machine no longer looked like tools and materials to play and experiment with, but employees on the clock to make product and move inventory.  I started to lose motivation to even enter the studio to deal with my "employees".

Then, everything came to a screeching halt. 

Finally, Shay sat me down and told me to let go of all the business think and snap back to the original Jenny who started this business.  That was the Jenny who would wake up in the middle of the night to sketch a design she dreamed about, then wake up her husband to tell him about it.  That was the Jenny who confidently flirted with colors and shapes to make a beautiful product that she loved, knowing that someone else would love it, too.  That was the Jenny who was passionate about just doing, making and creating.  That Jenny, whom Shay was referring to, was not this Jenny.

So I dug deep to find her again, and I finally did.  I rediscovered my drive to dream, flirt, create and make.

Finding a balance between running a successful business while being the creative force behind that business is very difficult.  It's no wonder they are usually not the same person. 

I am finding that balance and working to keep it.

The result of my rediscovery is coming along now in my shop.  I will have something that represents 100% of me in the coming weeks.  I hope you'll stay tuned to see what I have coming --I'm really proud of what is starting to unfold. 

Love,
Jenny

3 comments:

  1. Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you for being open to your audience. As I read it I could only think that I have felt the exact. same. way. Especially with how fast things are today and how quickly things progress... online and off-line. I always think of 'starving artists'-- finding creativity inside yourself, being able to express it and all while maintaining a business seem to indeed clash. For me, I have really found value in taking time off. It is so easy for me to work and work and work because it seems like that is what everyone else is doing and what is required! But, after some rest of my mind and body... giving myself time to think of other things, enjoy myself, I can happily get back to my creative self. I wish you all the best - I think your work is beautiful. Best, Katie (owner of http://mydarlingvintage.com)

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  2. I think there is no person in the world who never felt the same way, and there are still many who close their eyes and lose the actual "me". I´m happy that you come back to your real yourself. As there is nothing better than feeling you are at the right place and follow your heart decisions. Wish you all the best :)

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  3. Congratulations on stepping back and having the courage to examine yourself in this business. I think that this new focus is going to have a great impact on your business and your blog. When I first found your shop I felt drawn to your designs and you seemed to be a person I really wanted to know. I have found myself lately checking in less often because I don't seem as drawn to you as a couple years ago when I started following. I look forward to seeing your progression and I am more than curious about how your shop may transform. You have a great amount of courage to put yourself out there - both on this blog and through the designs in your shop. You are a very talented individual and I wish you the very best for your business. I will be sure to check in more often now!!

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