I have learned so much this past year, about many different things. Not because I was "seeking knowledge", but because I made some life changes that teach you alot about yourself…or should I say, REVEAL alot about who you are (who I am)…..and it has been good for me.
My goal for 2009 is to be real. I have been thinking about how this will impact all the different areas of my life (i don't even think I could begin to post about how it will impact other areas of my life) and I have really been thinking about it in terms of my small paper business. I learned in '08 that:
*I enjoy custom work.
*I am not cut out for (nor enjoy) large/mass orders.
*I appreciate paper products that are one of a kind and not available in large quantities.
*Creating the actual paper products I want to put "out there" is going to take more time, more money and more effort….therefore yielding less profit (in the near future, at least)….
*I really love vintage paper products more than anything.
I think that I realized the last line item in the past 2 months. When I set out to start making paper fabulousness, I thought it was a fun pastime, but as I have been working, talking to people, selling, researching and creating…I have learned that I wasn't making things that I was in love with and adored. I was simply making things that were cute "enough" and were quick, simple and things I had "mastered".
FUNNY…because I was making things that OTHER PEOPLE liked and asked for/bought. I was turning decent profit and making stuff that was "cute".
But I wasn't IN LOVE with what I was making, therefore defeating the entire REASON why I have Cherry Tree Lane. To CREATE things that I LOVE and want to give to others.
So….I sat down with a pen and paper and decided to come clean with what it is that I enjoy making and thrive off of. I noticed that there was a common theme flowing between all the things I was writing down.
I love vintage.
Mainly the 1940's and 1950's, but really, anytime pre-1970's will do. It is sprinkled in my home decor/fashion/dvd collections/music and many times, my speech. I love ALL things that are from the past. Like I am holding a piece of history.
I began thinking to myself…."if I love it so much, why am I letting the design of today dictate what I create?" I have found myself looking at current paper designers and longing to be "modern" and "cutting edge" like them. All of there clean looking cards with precise and angular fonts. Lovely colors and geometric shapes. I would compare my work to theirs and ALWAYS come up short. My best attempts at being "avant garde" where nowhere close to them.
And then I realized that is because I am NOT modern in my design thinking (or really any way of thinking) and I don't necessarily desire to be. It doesn't appeal to me. And that is ok.
I always pick vintage.
Give me a O'Keefe & Merritt stove over a VIKING.
A vintage Chanel suit over Marc Jacobs.
June Cleaver over Real Housewives of OC.
Doctor Zhivago over Harry Potter.
Betty Crocker over Racheal Ray.
Doris Day over Sarah Jessica.
Its just in me. I sway towards the past and I love it…so why NOT incorporate that into my work and be true to myself?
I thought about this when I started creating for CTL, but went against my feelings because I didn't feel confident "enough" that people would appreciate the uniqueness of vintage re-made. However, the other night I realized it doesn't matter if I make less or don't have the same customer base, because really….I just want to be making what I love. And that is bringing some of the past to the current. I ALREADY feel better.
So…there it is….Rachel is keeping it real in 09.