Re-branding and Rebuilding
I have been avoiding blog posts about my health, because I cannot find the words to describe the past year without writing a novel (see my brief health update below). All I can say is that I am working a million times harder to rebuild our shop the best way I can and move past the struggles. It does say a lot to know that our brick and mortar shop has survived what I have termed, “The year from hell”.
And yes, I’m involving followers, family and friends in the process. I operate the business alone, so being able to bounce ideas off of people is part that I miss out on by not having a business partner.
I want to thank everyone who responded to our survey about the re-branding ideas I’m playing around with.
I’m considering keeping the old logo, but maybe changing the pink paint blob to that sheep silhouette that I like (and leave her pink, of course), or considering one of the few ideas that I posted to our Facebook page a few days ago. I also named the sheep, Ellie.
Made in the Midwest is the byline. That way I have something to tie in Midwest Yarn, and also to tie in the fact that all of our base yarns are made in America. That’s right, I have a continued commitment to support American made products and local businesses where possible. And I’m a bit of a yarn snob, so I’m very discerning about what I sell in the shop that’s not my own yarn, but want to keep it affordable for the bulk of our customers.
I love recommending projects that will suit all budgets. My goal is to design projects that are 1-, 2-, or 3-skein projects for the new yarns so that people with tighter yarn budgets have patterns for our hand dyed yarn that make for more affordable projects. At the same time, I am looking at creating larger projects like sweaters and wearable patterns for those who throw caution to the wind when it comes to yarn. And fund-raising efforts to get in as much yarn as possible so that we can do custom orders for everyone in between. *squeal*
The plan is also to start blogging a lot more, posting either Monday or Thursday (or both) every week. Even if it is to post gratuitous pictures of my gorgeous boys playing with yarn. 🙂
100 Happy Days in Yarn – 20 days down, 80 more to go
If you’ve been following my 100 happy days challenge, I’ve been working to continue finding the joy in my craft. Having been ill, I could not always knit, crochet, or spin when I wanted to because my blood pressure was so low that I could not even sit upright. I hated that existence and began to resent my decision to keep our shop open as I got weaker and weaker. The inner demons of self-doubt and low confidence took hold and I wanted to get that back.
The high of being a new mom again brought back a lot of the happiness, but still I struggle with the confidence. Putting out there that rebuilding of myself and my business is a way for me to quantify all the things I have to be thankful for and have something to show my boys about hard work.
The new normal for us does have time built in the day for each of them and myself, usually in the mornings before Peanut has to go to summer camp. I get up and work on a project (usually knitting, but I have some crochet work coming up too) until The Shark (new baby) wakes up. If he didn’t sleep 10 hours each night, none of this would be possible.
Eventually I make it to the shop around 11am or noon and do some work there. And now that I’m able to do that daily, I’ll be able to open the shop to the public 5 days a week, beginning August 18, after a much needed vacation (we won’t need to close the shop doors during the week of vacation either).
Health update: Feeling better these days
POTS. No, not dye pots. Postural orthostatic tachychardia syndrome. It’s been determined that is what took me away from the shop during the several months leading up to the arrival of our new little guy. Officially, it means that when I change positions (from laying down to sitting or sitting to standing), that my heart races to compensate and blood pressure drops. If it drops too low, I could experience dizziness or fainting, which is what had been happening rather frequently while operating the shop. It’s scary if you have no idea what’s going on. I would never have been diagnosed if it weren’t for being pregnant, I would have just thought I was tired.
Overall, I’m working smarter and, now that I’m no longer pregnant, I don’t have to worry about closing the shop on bad days, because the joy I feel with working is bringing my blood pressure up to normal levels. And even on bad days, I am content teaching lessons, I just may be a little slower moving.
Treatment options right now are remaining hydrated or over-hydrated (hence all the Gatorade and water that I keep with me at the shop) and increasing salt intake. Sometimes they do add medications to bring up blood pressure, but fortunately, I’m not at that point. All this means that I can continue to focus on expanding the shop and yarn dyeing.
Whew, you made it this far! Thus ends my pity party, I’m gonna go dance to Pharrell’s “Happy”!