My spring collection is now complete and I hope you will agree that the bags are beautiful! I’d love for you to be the judge – please visit me at https://www.facebook.com/kitschychiccouture for lots of pictures or my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/KitschyChicCouture. Your comments and feedback are most welcome.
So now I sit amongst close to 100 gorgeous, meticulously constructed, designed by me bags, on the precipice of launching myself to the world, frozen. In my mind, I am completely aware of what I need to do next. I understand the process. In fact, I was psyched to take the big step towards boutique distribution. However, there was always just one more thing to finish first. Initially, I had to complete that last bag for the spring/summer collection. Then, I thought of introducing a new product. That is what I was working on that when THE Saturday arrived. That was to be the day I had to start hitting the pavement. It was a sunny, bright day, too. Not a cloud in the sky to supply me with an excuse to stay comfortably nestled in my studio designing more bags. And, given it is still early May, the boutiques I am supposed to visit should not have been too busy to engage with me.
Despite the fact that the stars outside had aligned to pave the way for me, my inner voice was not yet there. Frankly, it was brutally uncooperative. Suddenly, my usually hopeful, expectant mind was flooded with negativity and excuses. It felt as though the dam had opened and the flood of dread just rushed in. I hadn’t done a price sheet for them; I didn’t have a professional brochure to leave behind; what if they wanted me to cut my prices by more than I wanted to; how would I even present my bags to them; how would I accept payment; what if I couldn’t adequately supply them …? I was suddenly overcome with so many doubts…and, the worst of it all, I was overcome with fear.
I feel disappointed in myself because I am not afraid of anything. In fact, I thrive in the face of challenge, I am intelligent, and very much a self-starter. However, there is something about the vulnerability of asking to be paid for something I have created, that leaves me feeling hopeless. The practical part of me tells me that I should know who and what I am; I am a lawyer. Stick with what I know. So what business do I have to be holding myself out as an entrepreneur, much less as a designer? Does it matter how good I am or how beautiful the bags are? I’ve trained in couture arts to be as good as I can get, but what if I’ve missed something? I haven’t apprenticed with a fashion house. Why do I feel like an imposter? Why do I feel like this small step is so impossible? Why would a real store want something made by me?
There is the business side to this entrepreneurial venture: the side that the thinking part of my brain can grasp with relative ease. There is also the creative aspect which satisfies the other part of my brain which craves the freedom to invent beautiful, unique art for the pure joy of it. And then, there is a Spirit housed within this body that doesn’t respond to the brain. It simply feels; but, let’s be honest – the innocence of those feelings is impacted by the negative self talk the mind learned along the way. This Spirit requires nurturing and patience; passion and love. It is time to free my Spirit and unlearn that I must always follow the rules. I no longer accept that I need external validation in order to believe in myself. I have witnessed all that I am capable of. It is time to keep that momentum growing.
I think it is time to ask my friends if they would mind walking with me? Not for validation, but for loving support. From there, we’ll take it forward one step at a time.
I struggled with this post and have deleted 3 different versions of it. I want to populate this blog with positive hopeful messages, but right now, this is what feels authentic. Thank you for reading.