Monday, October 22, 2007

The Glass is a Go

Heya! I sell glass. I've turned a corner and decided to commit to it on a slightly bigger scale than just word of mouth. Now it's word of mouth pointing to my website:

I've been eating my dinner in front of "The Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch for the last few weeks. Thanks to friend Janet for pointing it out when Alden Mills of Perfect Pushup fame, and occasional blog commenter here. I love this show. I has everything I want in my news - what's going on now, what's coming up, and what good things are people doing in their lives. It showcases success stories large and small, smart and ridiculous. But everyone is moving forward with something they want to do. And I've been farting around with something I want to do.

I've got a collection of scattered thoughts that relate to this and me, personally, that I'm going to try to make coherent. I think I'm afraid of success. Either that, or I have some lingering depression and fear not having enough energy to sustain success. Probably a combination of the two. Also, I don't have a great example of making a business work for me. My parents in particular seem adamantly opposed to the idea of taking responsibility for a business. Any time they get a great idea they could totally run with and make successful, they crawl back to their nickel-and-dime paycheck jobs and say "oh, I couldn't". It's extremely frustrating for me to watch such capable people get passed by because they won't do things they are both capable of and enjoy doing. Fortunately, I learn better from bad examples than from good. As inspiring as the good examples are, I can't seem to deconstruct them for lessons as easily.

I'm still very much their child in that I prefer to pass up the million dollar risky deal to take the hundred thousand dollar mostly-sure thing that comes with a steady paycheck. (And true to form, my brother is their and my antithesis.) I can take risks, but not with financial security. But the thing I don't want to do is pass up the hundred thousand dollar deal because I'm not willing to put in a little investment. The trick is sorting out which things will be an investment which will pay off, and what are just expenses.

MIT was an investment. I was not willing to go to a cheaper school that would give me an education, no matter how great, because I had the choice to reach up to MIT and I felt at home there. I think both then investment factor and the feeling-at-home factor were equally important to me. And I worked like crazy (although my roommate will tell you what a slacker I was :) to make sure I graduated. I met plenty of people who didn't. I was a solid B+ MIT student and I learned a lot and I met a lot of friends and I graduated.

Thanks to the educational investment, I now I have my day job that gives me a regular paycheck. I can make ends meet even if I bitch about how hard it can be. But I'm getting tempted by the lure of being in control of my business. I'm a little stymied by how I could grow my glass art hobby as a business, but I think I'm going to focus on the here and now of making enough money to keep funding the hobby. Even making that decision was tough though. By committing to the glassblowing, I'm saying I won't be doing other things. And I had to dig deep and decide to go all out for this hobby because it's not a cheap one and I had to invest in both the hobby and commit myself to reaping the rewards of that investment.

I had to buy tools. I have to keep a supply of color. I have to raid the cardboard dumpster at work for gently used boxes for shipping. I have to schedule and rent studio time. For anything but ornaments, I need to find teammates to blow with. But I feel so good about doing it that I know it's the right choice. And I have some wonderful friends helping me out with the stuff I don't do as well - namely the website! and business cards/ graphical tags and spreading the word. So now, ready or not, I'm selling my glass to the great wide world, ready or not.

This totally didn't go the way I meant for it to go, but I think I said what I needed to say nonetheless. Ask me later how I was influenced by Stephanie Plum, fictional bounty hunter.

And speaking of ready or not, one of my new friends is evacuating San Diego to come here. Guess I get to clean the dining guest room up now.

Edited to add: Scratch that. Friend has cats and found a more cat friendly venue. I like cats, my immune system - not so much. At least I was able to give him a driving destination and hope of a bed while he scrambled to get in touch with other friends.


PSA said...

Website looks great :) and go for it, if you don't you'll just regret it (listen to me, someone who would love to do something with photograpy but doesn't have the guts)


CrankyOtter said...

PSA.. What is the "something" you want to do with photography?

I've decided that I'm not going to be the next Chihuly with the glass. Other people are doing that. I'm going to do what I do and see how it goes. A couple years ago, I thought a dozen ornaments was a great run. Last year, I did 6 dozen. This year, I'm hoping for about that, maybe more, since I already have orders for 4 dozen or so. I expect in a few years I'll look back and laugh at my piddly 6 dozen that feels like a ginormous order now.

Up My Mind said...

Love the website! Seriously want one of those pushup vases. :) I can see you're going to be bad for my pocket book. Ornaments, pumpkins and now vases. [g]

PSA - I have a friend that wanted to do something with her photography. She is great with pictures of people, etc. She started doing senior portraits for her kids friends for free, then they started paying, she moved on to coworkers kids and families, etc, and they referred her to their friends/family...She just earned another $100 for a photo shoot.

PSA said...

I would love to do this

At the moment I have this

Anonymous said...

Erika! This is what it's all about - your first step - isn't that cool - totally FIRES ME UP!! Like taking control of your body, building a business is a journey, it won't happen overnight, but everyday if you take a babystep toward your journey, momentum will build and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

I'm thrilled for you - GO FOR IT - RUN LIKE YOU STOLE SOMETHING, and never, ever look back!


Trudy said...

I'm so excited for you!!!

I love just looking at your work...the colors touch me somehow and I'm looking forward to getting some glass.....after all, Christmas is just around the corner.

Best of luck...I know you'll do well.