Crafted… it’s really been a crucible of sorts.

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.

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About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
This entry was posted in Crafted at the Port of LA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Crafted… it’s really been a crucible of sorts.

  1. I’m excited to see where the next road takes you. I know that it’s all uncertain, and scary, and a little painful, but you’re very talented and you have a great support team and a good head on your shoulders. You’ll do what’s best for you and for H&O. Enjoy your break, and I’ll see you back here soon 🙂

  2. May the best for you find you soonest, and vice versa. *hugs*

  3. Merchimerch says:

    I know this must have been an excruciating decision. Best of luck as Honey and Ollie transforms into a Phoenix.

    • Rainy says:

      thank you! I am excited for what the future holds and so grateful for everything that’s brought H&O to this moment.

  4. Shana says:

    I have been going through struggles myself… figuring out how I want to do things, trying things that haven’t worked, and finding myself so far from where I started and wanted to be… and not in a good way. I think that sometimes things shouldn’t be considered failures, but rebirths. Paths leading you back to yourself, to where you should be. Best wishes for you as you cocoon over the next few months ready to emerge fresh.

    • Rainy says:

      Shana, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I love your jewelry so much, just so you know, your designs are really inspiring to me and the quality and care they so obviously show. I am definitely regarding this as ultimately a rebirth. I don’t regret trying our hand at Crafted or the failure of what we’ve been doing there one bit – because we have learned SO much from it. I’m going to be a better designer and business woman because of it. Thanks for the good wishes.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Just Hugs….for now….but can’t wait to see what you create on the other side of now…..Have a blessed rest.

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you Rhonda. ❤ Your support and wisdom have been so amazingly important to me in the last few months of this journey!

  6. Ruchika says:

    Hello Rain,
    I really like your designs and admire everything you do. But Life always knows better for us, so is my belief. So I am sure you will shine out of all this. It is a difficult time for so many of us. I have had my own struggles, but all I can say is as long as you believe in yourself; you can do it. Staying positive for you and sending warm wishes. 🙂

    Rest and Peace
    Ruchika

  7. Bjo Trimble says:

    As a fellow small (no, tiny) business person, I understand your agony at having to throw in the towel on this facet of your business growth. We’ve had to back-track and decide to drop what looked like a promising direction. It hurts very much to have put as much work as you did into Crafting and then realize that it just isn’t going to work for you at this time. So many people would hang on because they had “so much invested” and crash permanently. You have made a very hard decision here, yet given yourself more room to breathe. Realization is sometimes a bear! Good luck in your future work. I always look forward to reading your cogent viewpoints. — Bjo

  8. Marilyn says:

    I do believe being an artist that you are this is the way things go. You will rise from the ashes and shine in new adventures. Just reading this made me more than ever proud of you. I see kelly rae’s ad there on your sidebar and she was exactly who I was thinking of as I read your post. I am always amazed at how her business flies and thought that your business can fly like this. Just thinking here, but I know you will fly.

  9. Sharon says:

    Wow, what a hard decision that must have been. Still, from your words it sounds like it’s a really good choice for you. Looking forward to see what comes from you next.
    I only have 7 (is that right? – scratching head) of your pieces but I reach for them frequently.
    Have a great June!

    • Rainy says:

      Thank you! Well we aren’t stopping the jewelry. In fact, I’m unveiling a shiny new website soon. It’s just the brick and mortar aspect that is closing. I’m so glad you reach for my designs frequently. It makes me happy to think of you wearing them!

  10. Denise says:

    Best of luck to you, Rainy. I know this must have been a hard decision. I’m sorry I never got to visit you at Crafted (due to the distance from Alameda to San Pedro). I’m glad that Honey&Ollie will still be around. I wear one of your necklaces every single day.

    Enjoy your time off to regroup. (Oh, and I hope you’ll crosspost from Instagram to facebook since I don’t have an Instagram account anymore.)

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