Our NEWEST pattern- The Quattro
My name’s Kat Southern, head creator at StudioKat Designs, and today I’d like to share a little bit about how I got started as an independent pattern designer. Then hop on over to my Blogto enter our special giveaway in honor of Sew I Quilt! (There'll be a special link at the bottom of this post.)
I get a lot of questions from folks who are interested in how I went about starting this pattern business. And it's when people find out that prior to the start-up, I spent 29 years managing a wastewater lab for a municipality, that the inevitable questions about 're-invention' comes up...
What made you think you could succeed?...
How did you know where to start?...
Weren't you scared of taking such a big chance or by doing something so different from anything you'd done before?...
And that’s when the term reinvention comes up. Now I know that reinvention is often spoke of nowadays as a desirable thing, after all, they say Cher reinvents herself every 10 years right? But somehow, the term ‘reinvention just feels wrong to me. It seems to hint that in some way I was broken before. Reinvention sounds like maybe I just wasn't good enough as I was.
But what if we just look at this another way? What if our goal was instead, to use our time in our 20s, 30s and 40s, to collect skills and knowledge, and gain experience, expertise and wisdom. Things like job changes, failures, disappointments, layoffs, hobbies and evening classes would simply be viewed as a means of clarifying what we really want and love to do… a means of discovering our natural gifts, inclinations and strengths.
I once read an article that described this type of progression as a means of 'defining your reach'. The basic premise was that when we reach our 40s, 50s and 60s and beyond, we’ll be prepared to combine all these various life experiences and be ready to do the work that we've always been destined to do. I like this. It feels right to me somehow. Maybe that's because I'm in my 50s now, but maybe it's not...
In my case, the 29 years I spent in an analytical lab was very heavily left-brained, and for the most part, I enjoyed it, but maybe that's why my off-time was filled with right-brained activities. I learned to play a clarinet in my 30s and joined an orchestra.
I became obcessed with sewing and all types of needle-work, designing window treatments and various home décor items for my house and my friends. I secretly dreamed of starting a home-based business, and 'tried on' several possibilities while I still had the safety net of a fulltime job, before finally developing my vision for handbag design.
So did I reinvent myself? I think not. Rather, I like to think that I created a plan that allowed me to learn all the things I needed to learn, so that when the time was right, (at age 51), I’d finally be able to do what I loved. I learned HTML, and read every book I could find (seriously, I really did!) about small home-based businesses in general and the crafting businesses in particular.
But here’s the deal, it all happened so slowly and gradually that I don't recall feeling like I was taking a leap at all. Rather, it felt more like I was FINALLY pulling together all my interests and AT LAST getting to do what I was always destined to do. And I’m pleased to say that 6 years and 24 patterns later, I’m STILL learning new things, and the release of my very first eBook this week is just one more little course adjustment in our progression.
So what about you? Are you intentionally developing your natural abilities? Are you using your occasional disappointments and setbacks to fine tune your vision for your future? And what steps can you take today, to get you further your growth?
So how's about leave me a comment here and then...
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What would YOUR dream job be?
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