It is with sadness but many precious memories, that Tanglefrost bids adieu to this much-loved blog home. We have journeyed together long here and in many different guises! But the time has come to move to a new sacred space.
Blogging my creative journey, as I have emerged then evolved as an artist, has always been dear to my heart. It has cataloged the inspiration for my work plus my hand-sculpted leather creations and developing skills. It allowed me to share the struggles and stresses, joys and achievements, as I took flight into becoming a professional leather sculptor.
I remain incredibly grateful to those of you who have cheered me on along this journey, be it by purchasing my shimmering treasures, whispering gentle encouragements or giving regular social media shouts-outs! Without the regular flow of support and kindness, plus oodles of hugs ‘n love, my creative biz would never have flourished as it has. So huge thank yous and lots of kisses!
I very much hope that we will continue to journey together. My brand-new, sparkling website has its own blog attached, hence the reason that I am signing off now. Simply follow this link to my new Tanglefrost home!
But, before I leave, I feel compelled to share some words of caution, particularly with those of you embarking on your own creative adventures. These are related to being wise when partnering up with other enterprises, particularly when we feel naive and inexperienced yet bubbling with enthusiasm and energy. Our creative and professional integrity is incredibly precious. Our uniqueness is beautiful and a vibrant gift. We need be diligent in treasuring and guarding it well!
When I made my first tentative steps into establishing my creative biz, I gifted and sold my work to friends and family. As my confidence grew, I opened both an Etsy and Folksy shop online. It was then, with much excitement and a certain amount of trepidation, that I accepted an invitation from a large and established gift corporation to become one of their Partners. At the time I was struggling with those ‘who do you think you are’- gremlins, so was somewhat overwhelmed and ‘starry eyed’ by this offer; the wonderful exposure and the opportunities such a partnership offered seemed like a dream come true. So I became a Partner. It was a whirlwind of an experience, especially during the busy periods leading up to Christmas, and I am deeply appreciative of the business-development training I received in those early days plus having my work seen by new eyes. Yet, over the years, amidst all the busy-ness and the pressure to meet ever-spiralling marketing agendas, I felt my creative energy and enthusiasm leaching out from me. I lost touch not only with who I was as an artist but the direction my creative biz needed to go in order for it (not the company I was linked to) to grow and develop. I also missed the on-going interactions with my customers and the freedom to establish my own unique brand identity.
A year ago, I took the momentous decision to review and evaluate; I took a step away from focusing solely on my Partnership and instead began to reconnect once more with Tanglefrost. I had struggled at times to meet demand and time-scales, so I sought solutions and purchased new equipment to improve productivity and profitability. I was weary of tailoring designs to satisfy the marketing campaigns of another business, and instead returned to designing and creating unique products that lit up my own soul.
I do not regret accepting the invitation to join that company; I have learnt so much by being part of a large corporation and the opportunity to work alongside other artists. Its just that now I am ready to take back Tanglefrost, to reconnect with my own creativity and to journey onwards into new adventures. I wholeheartedly believe that consumers want something more these days: they want something original, something with soul, something that cannot be automated or mass-produced. They want independent. They want small. So here is me returning to just that!
So, once again, humungous thank yous to those who have stuck with me since my early days. I could never have got this far without you.