Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Last couple of weeks seem to resemble a long mountainous road to some destination, yet unknown to me. So many things happened in such a short time, all appear to be connected in a cycle of Up- Down - Down - Up. Here is a load-down of the past three weeks...

Thursday, The Break-down
It began with my sewing machine going out of commission for 10 days. With the One Of A Kind show approaching fast, that was not a good time for a machine to break down. All my stock building was suspended for over 10 full days, as the thing sat in the mechanics workshop, waiting to be treated and released.

Friday, The Website
I certainly was not happy about having to go without a machine for this long, but the concerns were shortly overridden by more exciting news of my Web-site finally coming to a completion and going live. I am hugely thankful for all your sharing, re-tweeting and support. It took us many months of late nights and hard work, but now it is done...

Tuesday, The Spotting
I have written about it in this post, with all emotions poured out! To make a long story short - for the very first time I spotted a complete stranger wearing a bag I designed and made on a city train I ride to my day-job.
Grand and rewarding...

Thursday again, The snowy ride
We do not get a lot of snow in Vancouver, but when we do, our daily lives change. The snow came the night before I was going to go get my sewing machine back from the mechanics. It fell beautifully for many hours during the night, and into the morning, and then into the afternoon. Traffic was scarce on the roads, some streets were just purely white, with no trace of footsteps or tires.The Nordic in me prevailed, and in the early afternoon I rode out to get my main "sewing buddy" back home. It was perhaps the most scenic ride I had in a long time, while living in BC. Will never forget the snowed-in cemetery I saw on the way to the shop - the grave monuments were peeking out from underneath the snow. Very serene, and a kind of almost holy.
Most importantly, the machine was back home, safe and working.

Saturday, The Market
One of my two winter markets happened a weekend ago. I have forgotten how rusty I can get while setting up my booth, stuffing bags with shape supporting plastic, arranging storage and for the first time using my credit card processing device! It must have been the "rustiness" that cased my back to go out of commission for many days afterwards. I wish I was a bit more careful with all the lifting, dragging, stacking, bending and stretching. That was just the start of my health issues....

Monday, More health hazards
On the night of that Monday I suddenly felt sick. I always had little issues here and there, and aging definitely has proven to me that our bodies are not limitless in their stamina. Working two jobs - day and night - certainly took a toll on my energy levels and eliminated time to exercise.... For me though, that night was such a sudden deterioration, I, in fact, got quite worried that I might actually have something more serious. I had stomach cramping, chills, fatigue and dizziness, followed by other tell-tale signs of an internal infection. With some attention from a great doctor I met the next morning and some tough doses of antibiotics he prescribed, I was able to stay on my feet for the rest of the week. But, surely - no work got done...

Tuesday, The Job-Share
On Tuesday I was absent from my office day-job, as I was trying to battle my newly set-in infection. As I returned on the next day, I found a response from a colleague of mine, I was waiting for all week. She agreed to a proposal to share my current full time day-job at 50/50. More time to spend on my business and less at the office - on days like this you forget you've even been sick! Or sad! We are going to propose our plan to the employer shortly, and who knows, maybe this will be my lucky attempt.

Thursday, The Complaint
Back to the dumps! A knock on my door surprised me, as I just have finished hammering the rivets, connecting the strap on one of my Sarah bags. One in the Jewel Purple colour, that I love. I opened my door to a young red haired man standing in front of me. Apparently, he came to complain about the hammering and stone carving noises I was allegedly making. He also told me that he was a member of the Strata Council in my building, and that there are quite a few complaints racking up against stone carving (again!) related noises. Thursday would not be the day I am usually home, so I was not familiar with any such noises, so none of what he was saying made sense to me. I do not carve stone, nor make continuous hammering noises, so at first I thought this man was joking. But then.... as soon as he left the noises began! Right in the upstairs from me - hammering, grinding, vacuuming, followed by more hammering. I have never heard these noises before, as I would be off to the day-job on weekdays. I got really enraged about now being accused of causing this noise chaos, so I contacted the Strata, just to find out that my friend from this morning had already written me up! Now I am NOT used to be treated like this by a man... I wrote my lengthy explanation to the Strata, hoping the finger - pointing will cease. I now think, my "friend" really owes me an apology.

Thursday, The Wonderful Hanukkah dinner
Same Thursday - different world. The strange encounter with my accuser was scratched of the surface of Earth by a fantastic Hanukkah dinner thrown by my good friend, Ayala. Thank you again, dear. It takes a person like you to help a crummy day regain its balance.

Friday, My Back Strikes Again!
Compiling stock for the upcoming biggest show in my designer career takes many hours of steady work. I have been consistently taking time off from the day-job to build somewhat decent inventory to show off at my booth. I was faithfully kneeling on the floor in front of a leather hide, one hand on the floor, scissors in the other, when a sharp pain across my back startled me. For a second I tried to ignore it, carry on with the cut, but it was not possible. Next two minutes found me sobbing flat on the bed, as my body could not be placed in any other position, without going into complete agony. And, just like that lost another half day of production. I swore to myself that as soon as all the vending is done, I WILL restart that bloody yoga course I have conveniently abandoned...

Saturday, The Retail
Life goes on. Even if you are sick, tired, upset or merry. 2 new retailers approached me, who are willing to carry my line. Very excited and pleased about it, yet anxious, as this will require more production during an already bad week for this poor ol' body of mine...
It is great to be loved!

The Preparations Of Forever...
Finally, one night to go, till it is time to set up my booth for the biggest show I have done so far. Very excited and curious, but I also aware of the long hours of pure energy, that this work requires. Currently my inventory counts at 47 bags and 17 belts, a dozen of small SWAG! goodies; 4 liters of sparkling water, a pack of Antacids, cash box, gift bags, mini bottle of wine, tube of hand-cream and a lunch planner. I love what I do and my work is rewarding and draining me every day. The past three weeks have been extraordinary, and strange, and I hope the show will bring the finale I am needing right now.

I should be in bed. As a small business owner, you are the only driving force for your venture. Save it and nurture it. Goodnight and good luck.


  1. OMG! It really is a difficult time for you - that are some serious extremes you are going through.
    I hope your health improves, everything seems more easy to deal with once your energy level is normal.
    And I was really glad to hear about you spotting your bag. :)

  2. Thank you, Ines -
    the preparations are behind now, and the stall is up. We're starting the real fun at the show tomorrow. It will be fun, but I also would not turn down just a simple hibernation...

    How is the winter treating you?

  3. We are having snow today! And it wasn't supposed to be snowing until Saturday. :) I'm really happy - I love snow.
    But, honestly, I can't wait for this year to end because it's really been very difficult for me.
    Btw, I don't know if you remember I ordered one of your swag ball bags for a friend - she loved it! :) She said that she hadn't received a gift that made her so happy in quite some time. Just wanted to let you know.

  4. Thank you, Ines - feedback like this really makes my day!