Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meaningful Weekend

I recently had a light-bulb moment that has given a deeper meaning to the sometimes frivolous activity of playing around, dabbling in a business. My etsy shop Knees and Paws is my creative outlet, but one day soon I want to pay bills and be successful at it. Within a week of reading Emilie's Wapnick's Renaissance Business manifesto, I was able to construct an over arching theme: Building on the
Theater of Childhood Imagination. I was so excited when this rose to the surface, because it helped to smoosh together and make sense of the various items I create. But I still needed a name change (this is still a hoped for dream), and a more concrete explanation. I still have no idea how to squeeze what I do into a concise phrase that would be worthy of a vehicle decal and have people immediately understand it.

What I really mean to share is that suddenly I realized the deeper meaning behind all of this silly creative stuff that ends up in my shop. I am not a foolish ding-bat lady who makes cat ears for a living. Here's what I REALLY do in my shop:

Almost every item in Knees and Paws was first an idea in the mind of a child. The process begins with the child, in the place within their imagined desires. The resulting product is a manifestation of their wishing.

I create things for play that children dream into reality. "Building on the Theater of Childhood Imagination" means that my shop is an ever-evolving collaboration between the playful-artist child who longs to experience what their imaginations feel like, and the skilled, constructivist creative person with tools and resources (parent-buyers + me).

The resulting products stimulate new or more expressive forms of live action role play and deeper conscious dreaming.
On the flip side of this exciting revelation, the season of Halloween is my bread and butter.  I could spend 365 days a year making black cat ears, paws and tails and sell out in the first few weeks of October.  But I did not do that this year.  I wonder if I will be financially intelligent and forecast for success next year, making cat ears and pink unicorns every day.
Instead of working all weekend transforming two yards of black faux fur into paws, ears and tails, we took a road trip with our friends to the mountains for an apple festival.  This morning, instead of sitting down at my sewing machine, I made Amish Apple Cake, which is loaded with sugar but absolutely delicious.

The pace of my business success slows as my experience of family, friends and nature becomes deeper and more appreciated.  I savored the hike we took yesterday morning in the woods with our dog, even though we had to walk amidst the racing runners of a trail marathon.  Later that day, I enjoyed the mountain views and cooler fresh air, people wandering, and the scent of food cooked in the open air.


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