Saturday, 7 June 2014

Making money from your passion

A couple of conversations this week and reading a blog post by Andrea at Four Square Walls got me thinking how many of us are lucky enough to make a living by following our dreams or hobbies.  I really admire people who do, who stick to what they want and don't give up no matter how long it takes.  I never really knew what I wanted to do when I was at school and it was sort of expected I would leave and get a job, any job and that is what I did.  I have never been out of work from leaving School at 16 and I am grateful for that but I do envy those who have a true passion, one that is unwavering over time.  I returned to education later, and studied part-time while working from home when the children were younger, I did this  to improve my options and it did. I changed my job from working in a sewing factory which was killing my love of sewing to becoming a teaching assistant.  I do enjoy my work but there are days when I feel I am missing something.  I suppose a lot of us feel that way sometimes, I have done a few  alteration jobs for people this week and I really enjoy these jobs, just me, the sewing machine and some loud music.  I sort of need the stability of a regular income too though, very brave the people who own their own businesses and may not know how the next month will pan out income wise.
I have a few bits listed at my Folksy shop and I did sell another bag this week, only a small profit but such a wonderful feeling that someone wants to own something I made.
When I see fabric I am full of ideas what I could do but the thought of items sitting unsold in the cupboards puts the breaks on a lot of the time.  Fabric is expensive which is why I choose to use recycled mostly  but how gorgeous are those prints below?
 I want to do more of this  but working full time and having a family means I sew when I can. I know that is not very brave or daring and maybe I should be taking more risks with it.  In Andrea's post she confessed to having given up her job and taken a job in a sewing studio to learn more and follow her dream.  How brave is she and although I would not want to go back to working as a jobbing machinist in a factory by choice  (don't get me wrong I would if I was out of work and needed to) I love the way she has just gone for it to see if this is for her.   I spoke to friend last night who's daughter is at college doing performing arts, she wants to sing and that is all she has ever thought of doing, her parents are very supportive and she is working on songs for an album and is always out doing performances.  I just thought wow! If she is going to give it her every best shot I'm sure she will get somewhere with it.
I think sometimes we compromise because we need some stability, of course more so when you have a family you are not just thinking of yourself when you make choices. Working for some one else means you have to bite your tongue quite a lot, you feel your life is not your own at times and there are things you just don't agree with but what can you do?  We make this trade for the comfort of having a pay cheque each month and someone else having the worry of how that comes about, I just think sometimes are all those hours that we will never get back well spent if we are not truly happy?  I just want to say to every one out there who is following their dream and working doing what they love most, good on you, I want to join your club one day.  I just need to figure it out...

6 comments:

  1. I love the bags you have for sale. They are so creative and cheerful that you obviously have incredible talent for design. Good luck!

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  2. Really interesting post, it is really difficult to follow your dreams when you have to put food on the table and a roof over your head. It is very difficult running your own business as I know from experience, when my OH left his job to start on his own, there were many times when we had no money coming in at all. It's not that you are not being brave, you are just being realistic. Many people have the dream of making a living with their craft skills, but very few manage to make enough money from it to live on. People are reluctant to pay the money to cover the hours it takes to make things. I have thought about selling my quilts but wouldn't be able to charge enough to cover the hours they take to make. Don't give up on the dream, things change, children get older, you may one day be able to manage on one wage while you build your business. I live by the saying ' you work to live, not live to work' Use this time to plan your business, find what sells, profit margins ect, then when the time is right you will be ready xx

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    1. Thank you for your comment. You are right people do not want to pay for the hours put into handmade items and there is the problem.Your quilts are wonderful and should fetch a high price but I understand that if items are priced true to their hourly labour equivalent people generally don't want to pay it. Cheap goods from over seas have made people accustomed to very low prices which do not reflect the time worked on them. I think views are changing though and there are those out there who appreciate handmade one off items. You have given me something to think about. xx

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  3. I asked my Dad once why he didn't turn his passion (for heavy horses and horse-drawn wagons etc) into his job and make some money from them, and he said he didn't want to ruin his enjoyment of them and preferred to keep it as his hobby. I've always remembered that and it makes me feel content to do my day job but enjoy my craft-work and blog as hobbies. I no longer feel pressure to 'be more' and it's really relaxing! I agree that it would be hard to charge out the hours spent on a handmade item. The baby blankets I am knitting for my cousin's twin babies to be born soon would have an astronomical price if the hours were tallied up, but I just enjoy knitting in front of the fire and tv each night. His wife, the mum-to-be is from Sheffield too!

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    1. I completely understand what you are saying, and I have thought that maybe what I need a few years down the line maybe is to work part time so that I have more hours to sew but still have the stability of a part time income. I do think I pressure myself sometimes that I have not done enough to change things when really I am very fortunate to be employed! I will take your advice I think and try and relax a little about it, but still try and develop it as a sideline.

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