I've been looking back through some of my blog posts and very few lately have been about dots and spots but about the garden, holidays, family life, more a diary rather than a design blog. My blog was always a 'mish mash' of the two, the work/life balance etc. Because I've decided to take a step back for a year from exhibiting at shows and designing, I feel I haven't as much to share on the dots and spots front - nothing new, 'wow' or exciting. It's just a routine of orders 'pinging' in, being picked and packed and sent out.
I recently read an article Jane Lindsey of 'Snapdragon Online Ltd' had been asked to write about work/life balance for Totally 4 Women, you can read it HERE so much of what she writes, rings home to me too.
Christmas 2012 was a tipping point for me too, I had already decided changes needed to be made after a stupidly busy trading period and when Jeff received his redundancy news a few months later, something had to give. We were already signed up to two London Trade Shows and had committed ourselves to a new product range for 2013 but my love affair with dots and spots had changed. We decided in 2014 not to exhibit at Trade Shows, not bring out a new product range or glossy catalogue - I'm enjoying my time more now I'm off the work treadmill. I'm not panicked about design deadlines and people's expectations of me, keeping up with other's, always having to come up with the next big thing.
This year I'm enjoying going over to the unit and making up the orders, I'm enjoying doing the odd day in my friend's shop - meeting and actually talking to other people. I'm enjoying looking at what other people are doing without feeling any pressure to compete and come up with the next new idea. I'm enjoying having the time to spend at home or meet up with friends and I'm enjoying a little bit of 'ME' time, focusing on my health and fitness a little more now I have the time.
I want dots and spots to continue but not in the crazy way it had become. It needs to bring in an income or I'll have to do something else. I still want to do new things but without the pressure and expectation. I don't want to grow bigger, take on staff etc so it needs to work for me and family life. Jeff's new job means he doesn't have the time to support the business in the way he did. The children as they get older I find, need you around more so whilst I continue to enjoy my 'year off' I am also thinking ahead to how dots and spots will develop into the future.