Wednesday, 18 May 2011

What's This all About Then?

If you know me already you may well be wondering "Mel? A third Blog? Really? You know you don't blog on Inkmeup often enough and, well, Feltmeup has been a bit neglected of late!" And I would say to you "Yes, yes I know but..."

If you don't know me then we wouldn't have this conversation and you would be left baffled by my blithering on... but trust me I am getting there.

The purpose of this blog is different from the others, I wanted a place to keep all my random thoughts, musings and the stuff that just doesn't fit in to Ink and Felt... and I don't keep a diary, I start one every year with great plans and abandon it by mid January. So this is kind of an online journal about my experience of being a full time self employed craft worker.

Let me begin at the beginning...

In 2007 I set up as a feltmaker on etsy and registered as self employed, I was miserable, stuck in a dead end job, bored, depressed and tired. The realisation dawned on me that the job I wanted, the job which would make me happy didn't exist so I set out to make it happen and Feltmeup was born. But it's never that simple... I still had to eat, I still had to pay rent so I kept working in part-time jobs and slowly building my business.

Cut to present day... well cut to last month. I had managed to cut down my working hours to 3 days a week, a mere 18 hours as a bookslave, but the headspace they took up was massive. Every night I went to bed I would turn to my boyfriend and say "I don't want to go to work tomorrow" and he would smile and tell me he knew... problem being I was doing what should have been a full time job in part time hours, and frankly it was killing me.

I realised I just wasn't enjoying my days off because I felt I had to work on my business and if I took an actual day off I felt guilty for not working but if I did work I was a wee bit half arsed and uninspired... not a place you wanna be. So one night I turned to John and told him I was handing in my notice tomorrow, he was supportive but I don't think he actually thought I would do it. I had a little cry because for all it's amassive pain in the arse I really did love that job.

The following day I went to work and snuck my resignation letter on to the assistant manager's desk and ran away. A few minutes later she called down "Do you want to come up to the ofice and talk about it?" Me: "do I have to?" Boss: "Not if you don't want to, I was hoping I could talk you out of it" Me: "No, it's ok, I don't want to be talked out of it and I'm a huge wuss so if you try I'll cave" Silence... "Ok, but if you want to talk I'm here" Me: runs off and has a blub in the stock cupboard for 5 mins.

It's probably one of the hardest things I've had to do, kind of on a par with breaking up with a boyfriend you still love but you know you have to because while you still love him really you know it's going no where and if you carry on you'll just end up hurting each other. So I broke up with my job... sorry I mean resigned.

Now don't think that this was a spur of the moment thing. You can't be dumb about this stuff, so don't go quitting you're day job tomorrow without a little forward planning. Quitting had been on my mind for a long time, I'd even tried to quit way back in September and bottled it, I have a back up plan... in fact back in September the back up plan was there in a little savings account which had 3 months worth of rent and bill money hidden away in it... just in case... you know... I quit my job and then don't sell anything for 3 months. Plus I keep detailed accounts (oh yes... my dad would be proud!) so I know how much I make each month and I know it covers my living costs and then some for at least 10 out of every 12 months and to be honest I mostly spent the money from my day job on treats for myself and John... but a gal only needs so many pairs of shoes!

I finished my notice period just under a week ago... so here I am at the start of my self employed adventure with a big old list of things I need to do. Right now I am just enjoying the freedom and not having to say "I don't wanna go to work".

I did plan to take a couple of weeks off just to de-pressurise but in the last 3 days I have been more productive than I have been in ages... I have felt like a weight has lifted and I want to work so I'm riding that feeling for now.

And if you have made it to the end of this very long and waffley post then thankyou... I promise they won't all be this long, I'm aiming for a post a day but we'll see how that one goes. I look forward to scrolling back to this post in a year's time to find out how I felt back here... so I'll just wave to future Mel and get on with some work now!


  1. Wishing you every success - I know it's a huge decision but you've got to give it a go! Looking forward to seeing felt tweet world domination ;-)

  2. Hooray for feeling better, motivated and happy!

    I'm sure it must have been awfully scary to do the jump and leave the security of working for others behind, but I'm sure working for yourself is gonna be super successful!! All the best!!

  3. congrats on your new adventure :)

  4. Well done felt! Scary but oh so worth it in the end - well Im hoping anyway! Let us know how you get on xx

  5. Such a familiar sounding story... Huge congratulations on taking the plunge and I hope it all works out well for you. I look forward to reading about it here...

  6. I really admire your courage and planning; leaving a permanent job to work for yourself is not an easy decision, nor an easy option. I think you have done well to get to this point. I am also sure you won't go nuts and overdo the work, or understimate the effort involved. In fact, I am pretty sure you're going to make a brilliant job of "Giving up the Day Job" and turning full-time felter/inky-fingered/monster maker!
    I wish you much success - you certainly deserve it!

  7. You sound just like me in many ways. I'm stuck at a dead end part time job that leaves me exhausted and uninspired. Every day off I have is spent dreading having to go back. I really want to quit and craft full time. My friends and family are supportive of this decision, but my husband isn't, so I'm stuck for now. Congrats to you, though! I hope everything works out wonderfully.

  8. Was just about to object to the thought of having worked with you in a dead end job, where you were bored, depressed and tired. Then I realised it was true...

    Been a pleasure watching the worlds of Felt and Ink grow up in front of my very eyes - keep it up, I want to see how far this can go!!! Oh, and more monsters, please! :p

  9. Well done & good luck! You are in a potentially scary but very awe inspiring position & a lot of crafters (including me) will be watching you through a little jealous glow keeping their fingers crossed that you make an even more massive success than you have already! We all want you to succeed! Congrats on taking the plunge!

  10. I love your new site felt. I'm looking forward to seeing loads of exciting woolly things on here!!!!