Thursday, November 8, 2007

Never Say Never

Never and Always are dangerous words. There is no wiggle room. And in life we need wiggle room. Room to learn, to adapt, to change our minds a bit if we want. But with absolutes like never and always, there is no room for change.

Back when I decided to make my passion for polymer clay into a business of some sort, I knew I had something with my polymer clay cranes. I knew they were unique, and the political environment of the war helped fuel a demand for them.

But I had this fear. I didn't want to be making cranes all the time. I would go crazy. I could "never" do that. Or so I thought.

Fast forward a few years and now the cranes are a mainstay of my business. They are a good source of cashflow at a time that the craft market is very tight. I have gotten better at folding them, but there are still more rejects and seconds than I would like. I have developed packaging and a product insert that have increased sales significantly. But there still is a certain ambivalence.

Even so, I am getting ready to make a commitment to produce cranes for a catalog. There are no guarantees of the volume this will represent. If they take off, I could be making an awful lot of cranes. And, I will be making them in a few set patterns, not each one different than the last. A few years ago, I would have been horrified at the idea of this. Now, when I look at it, the benefits outweigh any potential tedium.

First, more studio time. As much as I love being in business for myself, what I love even more is being in the studio, working with the clay. Even if it is going to be making a design repeatedly, it will help fund the continued growth of my business. And having less worries about money always does good things for the creative spirit!

Efficiency. I would rather sell a carton of 27 cranes, all in one shot, ....or three cartons, or five......than spend time, money and energy trying to sell those cranes myself at a retail show. Somebody else sells and promotes the work, and I just have to make it and ship it to them to distribute. One large sale, rather than 20, 50 or more small sales.

The window of opportunity does not stay open forever. Eventually the political tide will shift, and the demand for peace cranes will fade. Someone else will copy what I am doing. This is my chance to take advantage of a unique product at a unique time.

Once again, I am about to make a leap of faith. Into the unknown. I don't know if this will be a blip, a boon or a burden. It may be a bust. Or it may lead to me hiring someone to take on some simple tasks. Only time will tell, and I know I will learn alot! Stay tuned.......

1 comment:

Tina T. said...

It's so admirable to see/hear someone taking the "Leap of Faith" - just close your eyes and enjoy the ride... I am sure that there will be some bumps, but in the end, you will look back and be so happy that you had the courage to jump!

Best of luck... and I will "stay tuned" to see what life brings you!