January 24, 2014:
I swear to god I really do plan to be less introspective come February. Mercury is almost in retrograde so it can stop spinning my head the wrong way any time now.
Thank you for all your wonderful feedback the last week on the blog it's been great and I am truly enjoying the conversations we are having here, fb and twitter. After being in this business for almost 20 years, it is easy to become jaded and so you have to push beyond and try on a different viewpoint.
I came across this quote - is it even a quote I can't really say. It's a truth and it struck a chord so I wanted to share it.
It's why I am frustrated with popular media's rush to designate the status of expert at will. I think of my son who at the age of 4 is already trying to be perfect at things he's just been introduced. What sort of benchmark are we setting if he must achieve expert status in order to be considered worthy of attention or to get ahead in life at the outset of acquiring a new skill? When I go to trade shows and people want to talk to me about how I got into TV because they think that THAT will set them on the road to success in their business and then I deal them the blow of a life time - I get more work from my efforts in Social Media than I ever got from being on TV.
There IS a gap. I look back to the work I was doing when I transitioned from teacher to full time designer.
Oh my sweet Jesus it was bad. Okay I cringe about some of the work I did because I made stupid mistakes. The clients were thrilled and I'm being overly critical of myself but HOLY HELL I put DACRON FILLS in silk pillows for Shizzle! I tried to cut corners and upholstered squares to be hung on the wall to create a backboard of sorts - MYSELF - I hang my head in shame for all the things I did to try and save a few bucks for the clients because it WASN'T WORTH IT. I venetian plastered an entire great room and kitchen/breakfast room in TERRACOTTA ORANGE plaster and then I hand painted grapevines....
YES. I JUST OUTED MYSELF.
That GAP was rather large.
I am in impatient person. I had a disagreement with my husband the other night because I was being irrational and he forced me to really take stock of how far we have come in the last 7-8 years. All the mistakes we have corrected in our process and how we've overcome some rather catastrophic setbacks. The danger of believing your own hype sometimes is much like a sugar high. It feels so good to get acclaim and recognition but then when you compare it to your own reality, your own bank account, your client roster and work load sometimes they don't jive which causes you to crash a bit. I remember the first time our store was published in a magazine and I was asked to appear on their tv show. I was so busy high fiving myself and certain that this was going to be the wind our sails needed to really get going and it was AWESOME and then nothing happened. Sure a few people would tell us they saw us in this magazine or that one but did it make a huge difference to our business - no it didn't. What did however, hard work, introspection, asking ourselves the truly hard questions and facing the answers. A commitment to doing the work it would take to get better, work smarter and an openness to learn.
We are still not to where I want us to be but my new focus is on enjoying the journey and celebrating the small accomplishments. Getting love letters from clients who find pictures of their befores and are blown away all over again by the transformation almost two years later. Having dinner in the homes we've helped to create and seeing how much the owner is truly reflected in the design we fashioned after them. Celebrating a new addition to their family be it a puppy or a baby or attending their wedding. These are rich and soulful connections we are forging here. I think we've closed the gap and there is still a lot of work ahead but there is a lot of love and laughter and beauty here too.