Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This n' That







Second warp for ABQ - this is a silk gimp set very loosely, woven in plain weave. Yes, that's the apron you can see through the cloth....









Close up - the breast beam is clearly visible through the open weave....

As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm weaving some additional samples for the workshop in Alburquerque so that the participants have a larger range of options at the end of the workshop.

With just 6 or 7 people, I worried that they weren't going to have a broad enough experience so I decided to weave 3 warps and include other fabrics I had in the studio that had not yet been wet finished.

They want to focus on fibres other than wool - not a lot of call for wool stuff in ABQ, apparently - but there will be a couple just in case someone gets the urge to make a blanket and full it. :)

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about the business end of being a weaver. A number of things have brought this to my conscious thought - spending 3 hours with Mizz B on Saturday discussing business details, reading a couple of posts from instructors who taught at Knit Camp in the UK and the stack of bills beginning to arrive this month.

This is a heavy debt month for me. I did it this way on purpose. Usually by October I start to see some significant cash flow as the fall shows begin in September. But I'm going to be away for 12 days at the end of the month - leaving before the bills are actually due but more importantly, before the income comes in. Which means I don't have sufficient funds to pay the bills before I leave.

My option is to go for some expensive short term financing (VISA card), raid our personal finances, or seek a 'real' loan from the bank. None of which I really want to do. I'm already in debt due to having to cancel a number of income generating events because of my health issues this year.

People who have never run a business have never experienced the challenge of being a very small business with a cyclical income (but all too steady outgo). You need a huge amount of faith to go into debt during the trough part of the cycle, hoping that there will be sufficient income during the peak part of the cycle.

People with small businesses such as myself (or any other weaver trying to earn their income through teaching/writing/selling stuff) rely heavily on word of mouth of satisfied customers. Buying advertising that does not result in business becomes an option that just doesn't make economic sense. But if you don't advertise, how will people know about you?

And so my presence on Twitter, FaceBook, and social networking sites such as Weavolution and Ravelry.

I just told Claudia that I could not renew my ad on Weavolution. I cannot track a single sale from the ads that I had running on the site. And while I would love to be more directly supportive of their efforts, the bottom line is that my toes are currently dipping into the red.

So why am I telling you all this? If you are a happy customer of someone like me, spread your happiness by word of mouth. Let people know when you have attended a fabulous workshop, received a terrific book, or bought some glorious fibre from a vendor.

Speaking of which I want to tell you about Mizz B. Her name is Bizz and she is a new weaver who has taken to weaving like the proverbial duck to water. Her grasp of concepts and execution of them amazes and delights me. She has started her own business selling her weaving as well as other products that she makes herself. Her personal approach to life is to reuse, reduce and recycle and she includes upcycled materials in her products.


Find her here:

http://www.artfire.com/users/earthloom

3 comments:

pirtti.com said...

I would LOVE to take one of your workshops! I wish more weaving instructors made their way to NYC.

Laura said...

I'll be teaching at NEWS next June - not exactly NY, but close?

Cheers,
Laura

pirtti.com said...

I have never heard of that before. Please post additional info! I would love to be able to go.