Sunday, September 30, 2007

On lace, running a business, and raising a child

It has become so much the fashion to worship all things ancient that most lovers of fine lace would prefer to have it a century old; and yet there never was a time when laces were more beautiful, more artistic, and more unique in design than just at the present day; for modern laces preserve the best features of the laces that have gone before them, and have added so many new inspirations that except for the sentiment, the romance, or the history connecting this scrap with a title, that with a famous beauty, and another with some cathedral's sacred treasure, the palm would certainly be given to the gauze-like production of the poor flax thread spinner of the present day.

-The Art of Modern Lace-Making (Butterick Publishing Co, 1891)

I came across a scrap of the lace I used to make a wedding gown last year, and decided to give it new life as part of the design for my new pillows...

It looked too new, pristine, and precious, so I gently tea-dyed it to give it some maturity, and to make it blend in with my color scheme. The subtlety might be lost in these photos, but now it has a golden hue.

The aging of this peice was completely artificial, and, although it serves my purpose, I will always be aware of this fact. As I tea-dyed this lace, I thought about my own maturity, and how glad I am to be able to look back on yesterday, last month, last year, fully appreciate how much I am learning and changing.

If running a business is like raising a child, my business is a teenager.

The past year for As You Wish, and for myself, as its sole proprietor, has been characterised by great successes, happy clients, crazy outbursts, fitful tantrums, delusions of grandeur, lapses of judgement, long peaceful flows of projects, boundless energy, quickly followed by miserable fatigue. I am now emerging from it, having learned some painful lessons about who I am, who I am not, and who I want to be... and my business is better for it, although three of the past year's twenty-four clients' projects, unfortunately, were casuaties of my own inner conflicts.

"Sure, you can, but you'll have to eat your young..."

Is what one very wise client said to me, when I lamented that I wanted to be able to endlessly produce perfect and beautiful garments. To pretend that I could just work myself ragged and produce happy result after happy result with no errors was a ridiculous prospect, especially on no sleep and full-time mothering. My superwoman complex is winding down... thank goodness. Today, I am spending two hours (TOTAL) peacefully working on a project for a client with a long deadline, and very clear and straightforward instructions. I feel rested and happy.

1 comment:

  1. Mimi, you are so insightful. It's a hard way to be, really, but worth it in that you may see things in life that others miss.