For Emma. This took a while for me to write this. Someone reminded me of what was important.
Every other weekend, I attend a local market and sell my products. Over the last weekend, an older lady asked me a question about the metals the earrings were made out of. I explained to her that I only make items with surgical steel.
She looked legitimately surprised at my comment and said ‘Oh wow, you made all of these? Wow! Aren’t you clever?!’
I was a little bugged by this comment. I know that this was meant to be a compliment but it felt a little off to me- so I Googled the word. Loosely, the word ‘clever’ means superficially skilful.
I realise this older lady meant no harm and was lovely about it and I do appreciate that. Please do not confuse my blog post to be criticising somebody. After all, it is always lovely to have you work recognised. It was the inference that I was superficially skilful and that I have the ability to make all of these shiny things on a table.
I am a jewellery designer, I am a silversmith and I am a small business owner.
I have spent hours learning a skill that few people have. I work extremely hard. I’ve learned the complexity of running a business. I am emotionally invested in my business- I’ve cried over it, invested time away from my friends and family and poured my soul into it. I’ve obsessed over it. I’ve imagined what it is going to look like in the coming years. I’ve treated it like a child that I want to grow. I’ve imagined what my life will look like in years to come because of it. I threw myself willingly into a creative profession where I have zero job security.
Small business owners generally all have this in common. We throw ourselves into our passion and love and we try to make something that can support our lives.
So I know that what we do may appear to be a little superficial to the general public but for a small business owner- there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. We are more than the one pair of earrings, clothing items or perfume that you are eyeing off on a table. Hours of work, sweat and quite probably tears have gone into everything that you see in front of you.
So dear reader, support small business owners and our crazy businesses. You will be guaranteed to make someone’s day.