Have you ever had a job to do that you just don’t know where to start? I’ve got one of those, it’s called The Eternal Maker…
I have spent the last week or so (inbetween my buttoning duties) reading up on crafts. Looking up websites, books, magazines, everything I can think of to try and teach myself. At the same time I am trying to teach my mum what I am learning. This is not quite an impossible job, but it is close. Before you all start thinking I am being rude about my mum, let me set you straight. It’s not an impossible job because she is unable to learn it, it is an impossible job because I am unable to learn it or teach it to her. There is just SO much. Because we want to cover a wide range of crafts in the shop, it is not just a matter of learning about scrapbooking, or patchworking (although, each of these is a degree in itself I suspect). And I am being scared off I think, by the mountain that just seems to grow every day. I know once I get started it’ll get easier, but figuring out where to start is taking its toll on me, believe me. The worry of it all is invading my dreams. Where once I used to dream about buttons, (sad I know) now I am dreaming about this beautiful shop, with it’s beautiful workshop space, and lots of beautiful customers (aren’t I nice). But there is nothing to sell, no products to try, nothing. Oh dear I think I am working myself up into a state. And because mum is at a show, and everyone else has Fridays off, there is no one to tell my woes to but Big Cat (even Little Cat has better things to do) and she just looks at me blinking, as if to say, what do you expect me to do about it? Well, Big Cat, at the moment, let’s just say that you would probably do a better job than me.
So, the point of this self-pitying rant is that if anyone has any good ideas they would like to help out Big Cat with, let her know, I know she would be very grateful.
So, with a background selling buttons to garment makers, and then latterly to craft and haberdashery shops, this has been our only link to the craft world.
The other day my mum (Sarah) was looking for premises in which to run the button business ( www.buttoncompany.co.uk) and came across this shop front in Chichester. It was perfect for a craft shop. I went along a day later to have a look, and you know when you walk into somewhere and think, this just fits? Looking beyond the kitchen showroom that it is now you can see the bright lights and the workroom area, and you can feel the buzz and excitement of walking into it and seeing loads of bright colours and things you want to do.
To explain a little more about us, Sarah is my mum, I am her daughter (Anna). We are not alike at all except in one way: we both enthusiastically embrace a craft for about a week, and then lose patience with all the fiddly bits and put it away to be found a few years later festering in some dark deserting corner. What distresses me about this most is that I’d like to think I was just a little bit original. I mean, the knitting machine I just bought on ebay, that must be a new move, right? No. Not only did my mother go through this faze, but so did my grandmother. They looked at each other and tutted, muttering that after making a few mis-shapen jumpers it too would languish in a dark corner of my grandma’s garage. So I guess the trick is this, with this craft shop: as long as it keeps the two of us amused – and lets face it, there are a lot of crafts out there to keep us entertained for quite some time – we will probably make a decent go of it. My fingers are crossed.
Back to the shop front. It’s quite obviously another toy for me and my mum to play with for a while. I have quit my job in london and rented out my flat and we will be living a frugal life in her 1930’s bungalow in Chichester. Which is, quite literally splitting at the seams with buttons.
We get the lease on 1st July 2007, and hopefully we will open a month later.
This blog is hopefully going to detail our progress… or lack thereof.