One of the crafters there talked about how it was the difference between something like Handmade in South Bay and something like the Torrance Craftsman’s Guild. On the ride home from the retreat, though, we decided it was more than that though. For us in Handmade in South Bay, it’s our business, our income, our livelihood or what we’d like our livelihood to be, but it’s also our passion. There is a flame that refuses to die. Yes, we get frustrated and walk away for a bit. We put down the needle and thread and paint and brushes, but we always come back. We walk around with idea books stuffed in our bags and purses. We have our planners as our brains. And we never stop thinking about our business. Even when it’s something as simple as spying all the trees that would be perfect for a fairy door, or dreaming up a new design. We are our business and we take it with us, in our purses, in our notebooks and phones, in our brains, and in our soul. You can hear it in our voices and see it on our faces when we talk about it. We live and breathe not only our businesses, but what our businesses can do for the world at large.
And we bleed for it. We cry for it. We try for it. We risk for it. And we work for it. From the moment we wake, to the moment we rest our heads on our pillow. We do not work a nine-to-five. I don’t think we know how. Sometimes dinner, when we remember it through our painting pallets and sewing machines, is at 9 o’clock at night. Lunches are optional and breakfast is accompanied by updating social media and scheduling posts. When Degas was going blind, he switched to sculpting, because there is no such thing as idle hands for a passionate artist. Again, we don’t know how.
We are disciplined enough to accomplish it amidst the mind-sucking everyday distractions that come with working from home. We are brave enough to bare our souls to an often unkind world, sometimes even in the circles where we should feel the most safe in doing so and who should be able to understand the most. We push ourselves further than we ever thought we could go. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Passionate handmade entrepreneurs do hundreds on a daily basis. Larger events. Events out of state. More events. Different events. New products. And we do it with very little respect, sometimes even from our fellow crafters who use air quotes whenever they refer to their work as a business. Because while to them they fail to see it for themsevles, us who are businesspeople, who are passionate, who do what we love and love what we do, it is an insult to us.
We are crazy. Crazy to think we can do it and put ourselves through it. To be this passionate. But as Jack Kerouac said, “The only people for me are the mad ones.”
So, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Apple Inc.)