Writing these weekly inspirations is something I keep telling myself that I'm going to do. Like so many other things in life that you want to do, but don't have to do, they fall to the bottom of the list. And, the list is long. I recently wrote "exfoliate" on my to-do list and I took it as sign to chill the fuck out. If I can't even remember to exfoliate without writing it down, something is wrong.
Running a small business, you are pulled in so many directions. I personally love it, because I'm never bored. But, as someone who is very driven to accomplish things, it can leave me feeling like I am never getting ahead. All those directions rarely get the attention they deserve and each thing can feel a little open ended and undone. It is a constant struggle for me mentally.
Seaworthy has a solid foundation now and I have a clearer vision of what I want it to be. We had some growing pains taking on accounts and orders that were too big for us. It stretched our seams and it was difficult to get everything to fit perfectly again. I went in to this business not really knowing how or why I was doing any of it. That lack of vision led me to a "dodge and weave" reaction to the opportunities that were coming at us. Rather than taking steps forward with intention.
This year, we are taking a step back. We are streamlining things to truly focus in on who we want to be as a business. We are going back to a made-to-order model to reduce waste. Not only material waste but time waste. Our lead times might get a little longer but the trade is that we are being thoughtful about each piece that we make and how we use our materials. We will still maintain a small inventory for our showroom and retail but we won't be making big runs of pieces until they are sold. This fits in with our plans to reduce our waste in the studio and to keep our daily jobs varied and interesting. We currently have a low waste policy for production, all metals are recycled and unused parts are donated and resold. We are working to extend this to all aspects of the studio.
In 2016, we had open hours 6 days of the week. I like to have alone time in the studio to work on new ideas. So with 6 days staffed, I was at the studio 7 days most weeks in order to get in that one alone day. In the interest of creating a better work/life balance for everyone at Seaworthy, the team now works four ten-hour days and gets a three-day weekend every week. The longer production days actually help us get pieces farther along in their process and the three day weekends allow us time to rest and recover our bodies. Jewelry production is hard, physical work.
So, this week in inspiration, I'm inspired to give us all a little break. Work smarter, not harder. Exfoliate, sleep in, read a book, go for a walk, make a nice meal, hug a friend (or a fur-friend), write a letter or just do nothing. Ignore your to-do list. Place value on accomplishing happiness and doing something nice for yourself. (But, still call your Senator and reps!! And maybe read this)
And here a couple moments of happiness for me.