Having a creative side project taught me a lot about business and more importantly, how to live a life where imagination plays a larger role. When I started Stitch and Saw in January of 2012 there were a variety of contributing factors that gave me the momentum necessary to take on the endeavor. The most important were location, access to resources and flexibility. As my wife (Monet) and I recently moved home, I am trying to continue to pursue Stitch and Saw while balancing work, family, building a new community and adjusting to new surroundings.
Living in Austin, TX during a time when it ranked as the fastest growing American city for three years in a row had it’s advantages creatively; there was never a shortage of new talent and ideas pushing everyone to produce something unique. Everyone had their side projects and seeing what others were doing inspired me to push my boundaries of what I thought I was capable of making. One of things about Austin being home to so many talented individuals meant that their were great resources available. With classes at places like Creative Side and social enterprises like Hour School around, there was always the opportunity to continue to learn and develop. Learning new skills is imperative when taking on creative projects. If you aren’t pushing your self and learning about the world around you, there are fewer opportunities to make new connections. Making these connections of ideas enriched my life in ways I did not know was possible. Not only was I in the right city at the right time but I had a job perfect for pursuing side interests. It was low pressure with a flexible schedule. I knew exactly what was expected of me and I outperformed expectations which opened up even more flexibility. If I had to sand and stain the wood backings of my embroidery hoop pendants and it required being at home in the middle of the day, I could work from home and take care of it in between phone calls and emails. When I took a silver smithing class in the morning, I could go into work late and extend the work day into the evening. Once I realized that anything was possible I tried to make it happen. It was challenging but it was also fun and rewarding.
This past December we left Austin and returned to Colorado Springs, CO and moving home meant my new found ambitions would have to transition somehow. Entering into a new part of life (new job, new house, new baby on the way) meant that I had to discover where all of this creative energy would fit in. In the midst of moving, living out of boxes, working a new higher pressure job and looking for our new home I still found time to play guitar, cross stitch every now and then and even sent a handful of necklaces to a small shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas called Four-Legged Bird which had its grand opening on April 12th. We closed on our house just about three weeks ago and I can see an opportunity to pick up where I left off in Austin. We are connecting with a young and vibrant creative community. The garage has a workspace that is the perfect size for my studio and the access to the mountains is unbeatable. I am looking forward to a creative life with my wife and daughter and being more connected to nature. And to help keep the momentum I have started a new project that I will be able to share in the next few weeks.