They tell you not to talk about negative or hard things on your blog. When you’re in business, you’re supposed to present this strong, optimistic front all the time. People need to see your highlights reel, they say.
But I don’t know that that is necessarily me, or authentic to me, and really, right now things are not so much a highlights reel as they are “just slogging through a very difficult time.”
One of the things I said when I started this business is that I wanted to support other artists. That I wanted people to see the process, to learn, to take heart, to know that all things are possible. But I think that honestly you can’t show people that unless you show them the darkness, the struggle and the failures. The thing about being who you are and okay with who you are RIGHT NOW is that sometimes, that’s not pretty. Sometimes, it’s ugly and tear streaked and angry. Sometimes it’s just damn hard. Over the last year and change, I feel like I’ve gotten pretty far from that place where I started. I’d really like to get back there, hasta pronto. Refocus my vision. Be real.
What’s real is, we are closing our shop at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles.
Oof. I’m sitting with this and working it out for myself.
We are closing our shop at Crafted. Our beautiful little curated store and bead shop.
Closing. I just keep having to sit with that one. Really. No more driving to San Pedro in the mornings. No more food truck mysteries. No more dubious PA system, weird bands, or hilarity in the halls. No more dancing with Captain Sexypants in the bead shop. I’ll miss my community, the group of folks there who have been such a part of my life for the last year and change. I’ll miss them all so much. It feels a lot like a crashing, fiery failure. We went in to this with so much optimism and it has been hard and sometimes ugly. There has been drama and there has been struggle and the market is STILL struggling so hard to survive. I want it to survive so much. I believe so much in the project. But Honey&Ollie cannot stay, and survive.
Our last day at Crafted will be May 26th. I’ll be taking an extended hiatus, hanging on to the space (unless someone wants to lease it) and the shop may or may not re-open again in the fall. That part is up in the air. I will be re-evaluating a September re-opening as things move forward. I won’t be going that part alone, because while it is my company, I have a wonderful partner who is a huge part of my business. He is my touchstone and often the voice of reason and hard truths. He’s the person I bounce everything off of. He’s been there since this started and the store is as much his baby as it is mine. So no, it is not a sure thing that we’ll go back, but it is on the table. I have a list of things that, if checked off, will open the door to considering a “yes.” If not, well, at the end of the summer, we’ll gather our fittings and fixtures, and turn off the lights, go home one last time.
I really do not know what direction that’s gonna go in.
I’m really clear about this decision, and yet it’s a little bittersweet. I have poured so much into the last year. So much has gone in to this project. A lot of my life, so much heart, so much work, so much money. Turning around on that and saying, “No this isn’t working for me.” is somewhat devastating. Not even somewhat. It is hugely devastating. I anticipate a few weeks of grieving our breakup. And once that is done, well I will need to regroup. And the truth is, the store as it has been is permanently closed. If we do re-open, it will be in a very different capacity. It will be a very different store.
I have three months to decide if I want to go there, or if I want to go in an entirely different direction.
Three months. It seems like such a long time but three months is really a blink of an eye.
I’m taking the month of June entirely off to regroup. It’s gonna be the break of all breaks. The online shops will be closed for a month – we will be officially on vacation as of May 29th. You’ll want to follow me on Instagram in June (rainhannah) because aside from a few pre-programmed Tweets and FB updates, I’ll be on a social media break and Instagram will be the only exception to that rule.
July 1 through August, the online shops will be open with the inventory on hand, and I will be taking custom orders, just like normal. But otherwise, that’s slated as some serious development time. I will be rethinking a lot of aspects of my business. I’ll be busy developing new product lines, cleaning up old messes, setting up new systems and figuring out what it’s all going to look like going forward. That’s a bit scary, but kind of exciting all at once. I get to scrap it all and then rebuild from the ground up. I’ll be rebuilding that with some other folks on board, because I have learned that I really cannot do this alone. I can’t be a CEO, a designer, the maker, the technician, the bookkeeper, the photographer, the marketing expert, all by myself. I need some help. It’s scary to think of giving up control of every little thing but it’s time.
September is really going to be the rebirth of it all. Honey&Ollie 2.0. Yes, I am still going to be making amazing jewelry. But I’ll be doing a lot more. And I’ll be doing it BETTER. And I won’t be doing it alone.
The really cool thing about a crucible is that there’s rebirth on the other side. It’s just that it’s really hot and uncomfortable while you are in it.
Would you believe I’d planned to write this post as something about art journaling? Yeah. I know. Best laid plans.
Art journaling tomorrow. Raw truth today.
Sometimes it’s like that.