Today will be my anniversary. Today I received the postcards I designed as my new business card and now it feels real: As of August 26, 2013 Fiber Associations is my textile business as a weaving and knitting teacher; a coach and assistant for people working on textile projects.
I love to coach and teach and for as long as I’ve done crafts, I have helped others with their crafts. From guild demos and teaching weaving in local schools and parks, to helping people who are stuck in a project, to teaching a friend to knit and then designing simple projects for her, I have always freely taught whatever I know how to do.
In June I decided to give textiles their proper place in my life. First I started this blog and then developed a plan for my new venture. While I don’t really expect this to be a lucrative career, it would be nice to be cost neutral. Can I earn enough from my textiles to pay for workshops and yarns and dyes and books and magazines? Now that’s an exciting concept!
Then I put together a 50 page book documenting the variety of my textile work over the past 30 years. It was such a trip down memory lane to look at hundreds of photos and choose the most representative sample. Most of my early works were given as gifts, so looking at the photos brought back memories of the weddings and births and birthdays that were celebrated in handwoven cloth. It was also a sharp reminder that I need to learn photography if I am seriously going to display my work. (Note to self: actually read all those articles you have about how to photograph textiles). The photo book is due in the mail this week. It will be wonderful to have something to show prospective clients and students.
The next step was to design and order the postcards. I am just so pleased by them that I had to run around the neighborhood this afternoon telling friends and neighbors of my new career. My marketing plan included posting a couple of the postcards on a bulletin board at my LYS K2Tog in Albany, CA and I expect that business will primarily be word of mouth. I already have one student who is a neighbor of a friend and another client who was referred by my friend and wonderful teacher Lou Grantham of San Francisco Fiber (now in Oakland). A bio and artist’s statement and setting up accounting software are next. It feels good to be taking my fiber work seriously.
While I am willing to do commissioned weaving, I have tried production weaving a few times and found that I really lost the joy of the process when weaving the same thing over and over. Those scarves and baby blankets became gifts. If I ever catch up on my current queue of gifts for friends and family, maybe I will again try simple weaving for sale. For now though, it’s the idea of teaching that brings me joy.
After years of half hearted ideas about a textile business, today it’s real. In the past three months I have jumped feet first into this business. Welcome to Fibers Associations!