Thursday, May 13, 2010

Creative Sense vs. Business Cents

I've been feeling rather chatty lately so you may get a few new posts over the next couple days. Or day. :-) While I've been sewing and glueing and decorating my butt off, it's been a great week. Work has been sort of peaceful and relaxed, something I haven't been used to lately when you supervise 10+ students. I've reorganized my office space and now it feels calmer, more organized, and MUCH roomier. I finally have the rest of my desk!

And even though I've been stressing about creating enough items (enough GOOD items) for the craft show, I've also been feeling very creative. Being organized helps me think clearly and destress so I've been making lists galore (I have a lot of lists. Everywhere. G-d forbid you see my desk, laptop, notebooks, etc. It's just full of lists and Post-its.). It's helped me feel like I have all the time in the world and the creative thoughts are coming! What's often hard to balance (for me anyway) is the creating vs. putting it out there for a business. Usually I put a lot of thought and effort into creating one item, a very unique object. Once it's complete, I'm ready to move onto something else. With this endeavor, I want each item to be unique, but I have to be able to create things in an assembly-line fashion. It must be stream-lined and simple to maximize productivity. So far I've been...succeeding (said in a rather surprised tone). This little pic to the side is an example of one of my simpler bindings. I'm just using decorative cardstock as the covers (which will be sewn on) and I'm exposing the stitching of the signatures to keep it interesting. And quick. I may use more strips of the cardstock to slip under the sewing (like tapes) and tuck into slits on the cover. I suppose I could've made a pamphlet binding (except I want to show more sewing) or make it thicker (but I was running low on paper). Plus, I'd like to have some things priced very reasonably for customers that would like a handmade book but can't afford a leather-bound journal. Understandable considering some of the craft shows I've been to. This item will be priced under $10, probably $8.

I've also received my order of Kaduna and Katsina leathers from Talas (in a claret and tan colors) and I'm excited to experiment with new book bindings. To start with, I think I will simply sew the signatures through the leather itself, keep it simple. But I also have a burning tool that I plan to use to create simple designs on the leather. Since I've never worked with leather (the simple things we've done in lab don't really count, I think), it's both scary and exhilarating.
Coming soon: my thoughts on marketing. Scary! Really hoping my brother goes to college for business like he's considered, I could use all the advice!

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