Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hidden Things

There's No Place Like Here: Brazenhead Books from Etsy on Vimeo.

This is how I started my day.  Watching this little film.  It made me smile a knowing smile.  The smile you smile when you identify with something.  A shared sentiment or experience.

I feel a little hidden away here, on the west coast of France.  After the neighbour on my home's southern edge there are a few fields, a forest and then you hit the coast.  Keep going straight on and eventually you'll hit Canada!

Like Michael in the film, I find my circumstances surprising.  It was not particularly planned.  I think this fact still catches me unawares because much of my young adult life was full of carefully planned and considered options and decisions.

This was not my ideal. It was never my dream to live in France - to some extent I feel like I've hijacked someone else's daydream; and here I am!

The move to France was in part accidental.  As weeks turned into months it became a logical place to hide from the recession.  London is an expensive city if all the projects your relied on for your income go cold.

And then there was Hybrid Handmade.  One of the best lines in this film is "if it's all about money there's just better things to sell."  Michael talks about his familiarity with failure and how he seems to manage somehow without his hidden bookshop being successful.

I'll be honest with you - the idea of bespoke, one of a kind, crafted, couture jewellery is kind of a crazy idea in a world where shops are saturated with mass produced, cheap products.  I'm feeling Michael's familiarity with failure.  And this is a tough thing to admit when I feel I'm surrounded on Etsy and the blogosphere by people who have made a success of their handmade businesses.

That said, I will find a way.  When I fish a finished piece out of my barrel polisher I hold pure beauty in my hands.  I just know I have to keep going.  One day I'll be able to turn over this expanse of random loose ends and knots and see a glorious pattern that was unfolding all the time.


  1. Cari,
    Don't for a second be fooled.....we try to keep "cheerful" over there on Etsy, but the fact is, there's thousands of us really struggling! You can read the forums and hear the cries for help.

    You have a lovely lovely blog and I love the black and white picture of you at your work table. To me it looks like an old Time Magazine front page cover! To me it says, YOU. ARE. A. TRUE. ARTIST. And to me it says you have dedication, you have tenacity, you have purpose, and you have many different ways of expressing yourself. You also have diversity and can adapt. I believe that.

    Thank you for sharing your heart; it is the heart and soul of so many of us!

    I wish you success, and joy, and to be found!
    Hugs to you,
    Kelly Taylor blog is

    Come on over and we can cry together!
    I'll even make you a virtual cup of tea...;)

    Oh, and what country do you hail from?

  2. By the way, I have been wanting to blog my Pinterest finds too.

    How did you get yours on here? I never saw a social blogging widget to click to paste.....

    Can you advise me>
    I'd be much obliged!

  3. You know, I was just thinking......sales have been really slow. But in the end, it's more than sales that I want. Thanks for the reminder.

    Lovely blog. Just started one too.Stop by and say hi.

    LOVE the photo of you at work. It's awesome!



  4. "One day I'll be able to turn over this expanse of random loose ends and knots and see a glorious pattern that was unfolding all the time."

    Just lovely. Thank you for this post.

  5. I agree with Zam... so lovely you gave me goosebumps. cx

  6. Kelly Ann - Ohhh I love the idea of a virtual cup of tea! Sounds fabulous! I am from Glasgow, Scotland originally. To blog your Pinterest finds, click on your pin and then click on the <>Embed to get the code. Switch to HTML on your blog post and copy and paste this code in! Easy Peasy! And it's good as the link is there already for other people to find the source of the image.

  7. Dear Pamela - I'm really glad the post gave you a little reminder of why we all do what we do.

  8. Zam and C - thank you. I think its important to show the holes in your armour every now and again. I think we probably learn more from the slumps than the high flying successful times. I am grateful for both.

  9. I will be constantly singing your praises as I have two beautiful beautiful pieces of proof as to the quality and inginuity of what you do! Don't court with the idea of failure - court with the idea that a good quality business takes time to build - and remind yourself that we are in an unstable economic long as you can ride it out, i predict great things at the other side.

  10. Thanks for this post - my feelings from top to toe :)
    I've had same thoughts while watching Michael's story. And I too know that life just isn't about the money. Despite how much you've got or lack. Etsy is a nice place despite the fact I don't have a clue how to make it profitable.
    And now, reading your post and the comments, I can see that there're a few of us. Welcome to the club :)

  11. See, Bonzena, it kind of helps just know that, doesn't it? Things are always more bearable if you know your not the only one!

    Andrea - yes, it takes time, I'm only one year and a bit in. I'm going to give it 3 at least :)

  12. I'm a HUGE fan of your work. Everything is so beautiful and special.
    I wish you all the success you deserve.
    Sooner rather than later.

  13. I like your blog, I will be following it once I finish this comment. I also identify with your feeling, I am an herbalist and I went into the business knowing that sometimes (many lol) I will be paid with chickens so to speak. But I love my job. I get the opportunity to help people feel better, so I think it evens out. :-)

  14. Hopping over from VB. I added you to my circle on etsy ( bewellgifts) Hugs!

  15. Thank you 'one perfect day' - and Heather's teas, I have yet to be paid in chickens, but I wouldn't say no!! And 'Gifts by Katherine', I'm still getting to grips with the whole VB thing...will check you out on Etsy!


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