If technology gives us all the tools to set up shop with the click of a button, and social media gives us access to the world and everyone in it, and with networking groups, teams and forums to connect like minded souls then why do I feel so disconnected? I know I can’t be alone. Sometimes it gets a little isolating growing a dream. …Or maybe it is that the need for validation entrepreneurs need to let go of?
First, I’d like to show off one of my proudest moments to date – I am mastering some really unique closures for my bags. I’ve been trying to isolate a few design elements to give my creations a signature style – like the CoCo Chanel quilting; the Louis Vuitton printed coated canvas; and those designers you could name the moment you feast your eyes on their fabulously unique works. For me, I have decided these elements to include flaps, unique closures and funky interiors. Closures are a finicky thing. There is fine balance between styling a design element and creating something functional. At once, it has been a labor of love and a work in progress, but I think that I have come up with some really cool ideas. How do I know? Because I love them!
And that brings me to another topic. My litmus test for deciding the value of my designs has become my feelings towards them. I know I’ve got a keeper when I absolutely love what I see before me. It’s funny how much effort can go into a design but my response is not in any way related to that. There always seems to be that something else about it – that thing I really don not have words for.
Now, that brings me back full circle to where I began – about designing in a vacuum. I have studied all the start up books, and my collection is growing as I write. There are endless wells of wisdom out there (especially in print). However, when it comes to KitschyChic®, a matter of the heart, I continue with my quest to break (or bend) the rules.
According to traditional entrepreneurial wisdom, I need a business plan with a clearly devised marketing strategy, followed by market research to determine the viability of my product. And if that is not working out, I should consider pivoting. After all, what is the point in designing gorgeous bags if no one is interested in buying them? That would just result in an enormous collection of unnecessary bags (and a very large investment in leather) – not a business. What would be the fun in that?
Consider my dilemma for a moment. What is my purpose for KitschyChic®? The business’s raison d`etre has always been about designing myself a life to play outside the lines. Along the way, it morphed into the creation of artisan and bespoke bags. How do I reconcile that with more rules, among which is a marketing strategy? That sounds like more work… or another form of a job?
Maybe my confusion has more to do with the fact that this blissfully creative outlet is simply an act of joy and the entrepreneurial business end is just a fortunate bonus. Right now, that is just as well and entirely acceptable because there is still that day job and I am enjoying the freedom to perfect my craft without the pressure of having to make it into anything. I also have this belief – this feeling of knowing, that it is something which is becoming more with every moment I spend living and loving it. Eventually, I’ll get serious about what they teach us in business school.
Until then, I’m loving the journey; and, for once in my life, living happily in a moment disconnected from all the rules.