Around this time every year, I think about my business: what has sold well, what have I enjoyed making, what do I want to do for the next year. At the beginning of 2012, I decided to focus my efforts on making rugs and even more specifically than that, custom rugs for people to match their decor. It was going great, I was busy all year long, lots of orders and interest. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bad idea. I was too busy, working my arm and body too hard. In early November, I went to the doctor because my arm hurt so bad I couldn’t do anything, much less crochet. She sent me to get an x-ray, a nerve conduction test, and occupational therapy. The x-ray showed nothing broken, but the nerve conduction test showed nerve damage. The occupational therapy wasn’t really helping and I wasn’t able to crochet without a lot of pain. The doctors and therapists suggested that I take a real break from crocheting so that my nerves could heal. I cried and cried, cancelled my pending orders, and stopped taking custom orders. I felt lost because I had basically just lost my job. And I did it to myself!
Every crisis is just another opportunity, right? So, with all this time on my hands, I bought a few looms to try my hand at weaving rugs, I think this might be a way for me to make rugs in a way that is less stressful on my body. Also, I’m revisiting making mosaics. I left it by the wayside once we moved to Carbondale because it was really difficult to find supplies and I was not really interested in photographing them for my etsy store. Well, in the 3.5 years we have been here, I have become better at finding other sources of second hand supplies and also have become a better photographer. Mosaicking uses different muscles than crocheting, so I’m back to it. I’m also working on rebuilding my crocheting muscles. I need to go very slowly, for example, crochet 5 minutes a day for a few days, then 6, then 7, all the while taking breaks and maintaining good posture.
My year end business review came early this year, and forced me to recognize that I won’t be able to make anything if I’m not healthy and taking care of myself. I’m going to reintroduce mosaics and maybe some other things depending on what clicks. I hope you are ready!