Focussing full time

So, I think its about time to write another post, if not for any readers then for myself so that I can look back in a years time and see how things have moved on and to see if I’ve kept my resolution of keeping on top of the books and doing my tax return early. With 4 days to go I have just filed my return for 2012/13, actually quite enjoyed it but I would have enjoyed it more and been able to relax and do some forecasting at the same time if I had not been under so much pressure to get it in quick!

Since dropping the part time jobs in October last year I have been focussing full, full time on the jewellery business, as apposed to the equivalent of full time hours on the jewellery but being knackered because of the part time waitressing, receptionist and bookshop jobs. Now its full time jewellery business with time to relax and sleep between stints in the studio, allowing me to start work everyday with a clear head and the energy to focus fully on the task at hand! It isn’t all plain sailing relying on the business for an income as sales fluctuate and you never really know how things are going to go from week to week, but so far I am happy to say that I can still do my weekly food shop, keep the car running and pay the vet bills (keeping chickens is turning out to be much more expensive than I ever thought possible, seriously, chicken autopsy! Think I might train as a vet next).

A big thanks goes to Emergents and the former HI-Arts, as without their support I most certainly would have had to move to the central belt, their support through mentoring, networking events and bursaries has been essential to my business so far. Knowing that there is someone there at the end of the phone whenever the doubt and “impostor syndrome” set in and having the reassurance that I’m on the right track as well as feeling part of a jewellery community and not in a little bubble of my own. It would be all too easy, working away on my own in the woods, to get stuck in a rut and feel isolated, but due to all the opportunities and trips away I treasure the place I live and work and never feel resentment towards being tied down and settled here on the wild west coast, instead every time I come home over the hills and see the view down the loch I’m itching to get the stove lit in the studio and relax back into work full of ideas and motivation from the trips away.

My plans for 2014 include getting to know the chickens better (the more you watch them the easier it is to spot early signs of illness or other problems, becoming a bit of a smallholder and wannabe chicken expert!) and when not hanging with the chicks I want to focus on finding some more stockists across the country for my new collection. The new work has yet to be professionally photographed, my skills are not up to it, but they are heading to Shannon Tofts studio next week for their shoot and I’ll be launching the collection some time next month. The new collection consists of 10 designs in sterling silver with playful lockets and hidden catches at more purse friendly prices! The first confirmed new stockists are the Diana Porter Gallery in Bristol and the Tayberry Gallery in Perth. It was a pleasure to meet Diana when I was exhibiting with Emergents at the recent CRAFT in London and she picked out the pieces she wanted for her gallery herself, a great compliment from a great jeweller. The collection will be having its Scottish premier at the Tayberry’s 5th anniversary on the 7th of March, Sarah awarded me the Tayberry Gallery prize for my degree show collection back in 2011 and has been stocking my work ever since!

So, no pictures for now, but there may be more instagram pics heading to FB and Twitter, I’m going to try a little experiment, not only for the jewellery side of things but mainly for Isle Martin Trust, to try a tweet a day for a month. They say it takes a couple of weeks for good habits to form so here goes!

You can also follow the twitter feed for Isle Martin Trust to check I’ve been keeping on top of things.