Friday, November 6, 2015

Scratching the Niche

I just read over my last post and wow, that was sad. I'm not that sad anymore. I still don't love it here, but I am at least looking for things to like. There are worse things than being a lonely housewife in a foreign land. I need to embrace this newness and slowly find my niche.

I keep looking in shop windows and envisioning kokoleo. It's like when I looked in the empty rec building and saw Club Teasdale. There's just something about an empty space that makes me want to fill it. I have enough inventory amassed in my more creative days when I was actively doing craft shows and selling in shops. Maybe if I had the space to create I would start up again. I miss the energy and excitement that comes from making things. My new studio is so suffocatingly small I can't even stand to be in it for more than a few minutes. There are too many reminders of things I used to make and do and projects I never finished. There are too many supplies that need to be turned into something new and rather than feeling inspired, I'm overwhelmed.

Clearly my situational depression is linked to not making anything beyond school lunches and piles of laundry. When I think back to the times when I was a manic thing-making machine it was when I was inspired by my environment - working toward craft shows, having kokoleo in neighborhood shops, answering calls for artists and participating in group shows, working on community projects and events. This is the niche I need to carve for myself again. Right now the only niche I'm carving is a divot in the couch. I can't force it. But I can get up and go for a walk.

... which is where I keep encountering empty storefronts. It's not that this area is a ghost town (like downtown Renton was becoming). The empty ones are randomly spaced between established shops and galleries and restaurants. I've made it a point to visit some of these shops and am getting to know the owners, trying to see if and where I could fit in. Next week I'm taking some of the kokoleo items currently crowding my studio to a few shops on Kingston Rd who have expressed an interest. The conversations I have with these people are my therapy. I am learning what this neighborhood likes and needs and would love to see. I am starting to write a business plan for the space I want to create. It's just a pipe dream for now, but it's a better thing to focus on than how sad I am. It's the first glimmer of excitement I've felt since we moved and I'm going with it.