Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit with me for a while. This is one of those rambling, nonsensicle, figure-it-out-as-I-go-along-sort-of-posts.
Like so many of us, I have been trying to find a way forward for a while now. I have found that sales in my handmade things were starting to lag just before I got sick last year. At the time I felt it was due to our dismal economy, and lack of the right places to showcase my kind of work. With a year of doctors visits and waiting for test results and having less energy for my business, and now the effects of the pandemic on our society both psychologically and economically, I’m just not sure that hand bags and key rings is what the world needs right now. It just doesn’t seem that important. Or maybe I’m wrong, maybe handmade, with love, is exactly what the world needs right now.
There will be so many changes in the way we live in the coming months. In lockdown, only essential services are running and I am acutely aware of how non essential my work is. Will people have money for pretty things, will they even be thinking about anything other than what they need just to get by for a while. All the big markets and festivals have been cancelled or put on hold until we know more about how long the virus will be around. Gift and craft shops are closed for now - who knows what the future holds for them. There will be no travelling for some time, so no tourists to visit our City.
The worst part is I’m not so sure it’s such a bad thing that people may start to think much more seriously about what they need and what they can actually use, rather than simply acquiring things just because they can. It’s how I try to live. But maybe, just maybe people need one beautiful handbag, something that really speaks to them. Made by hand, with love, and will last a really long time. Maybe people will choose quality and the story of the person who made the item, over factory produced soulless items?
I wish I didn’t have to think about these things, but I do need to make some sort of income. I don’t need to be rich, just have enough to pay my bills and feed my cats. I am willing to put a bartering system in place, a large chunk of my income would go on food and services anyway. Maybe there are other people like me in our community who would be happy to trade their work for mine in the future. I will always need a little, actual money to pay for things that can’t be bartered though. Things in our world are changing so fast I think we need to think outside the box and work together in order to get by. Is that such a bad thing?
I must try to focus on making things that people need, but make them carefully, make them well, make them pretty. If we have to use things everyday they may as well make us happy. I’m not sure what to make though. I prefer things I use to be handmade if possible and preferably by someone in our community. I feel it spreads the love and I am spending my money with other people like me. We can keep it all in the family. If nothing else maybe this pandemic will make us all a little more aware of the people around us, closest to us. We take so much for granted.
After lockdown, will we realize that all the things we have in our homes aren't nearly as important as the people and small business around us, in our community. We must do everything we can to keep these people going, or our lives will be so boring and corporate. We need the dreamers, the artists, the musicians and the makers.