Djcnor’s Weblog

Jump and a Net Will Appear

Posted on: April 4, 2009

A few days ago, I watched a rerun of one of my favorite shows, Monk. Monk had learned to swim…from a book. He’d never taken the risk of actually doing it, of course. Natalie quoted a relative as saying “Jump and a net will appear.” Eventually, of course, Monk was forced to do just that, and there was no net.

Over the last five months, I’ve been blogging from time to time on my hunt of a new job. (Some of these will be under job hunt, some under jobhunt, maybe even under jobhunting. Whatever. I attempt to write “perfect” thoughts. Editing comes later if at all. I learned that from NaNoWriMo.) I haven’t found a job yet, and I will not give up the search. There are things I want to do before leaving the UK, among them some more exploring of the continent, that will not be possible otherwise.

None-the-less, I think I’ve made it clear that what I really would love to be able to do is to make a living from all my various textile skills, preferably all of them at once, something I thought beyond the realm of possibility in the city I live in.

And that not withstanding, I decided to investigate establishing a business using all these skills. I made up a card. I enquired at a department store that sells fabrics and found that they DO get enquiries about having things sewn for customers. I let a tailoring business know I was open to dressmaking commissions. I posted the card on a sort of bulletin board at a local store. I did some research on what local repair and alteration businesses were charging. I enquired about the rental cost for a room in  a community building thinking about offering classes.

Perhaps that’s when there began to be signs that this could work. The room rental was affordable. Considering what is affordable in our present situation, that’s amazing. 

But strangely enough, the best thing I did was to get back in touch with a local organization, WEETU, that I first became involved with when I first got here. They hold courses for women  who are thinking of setting up businesses, and after a spring and summer of not finding a market on my own, I took the course. Things did not get better, and the course materials lie hidden away in a box somewhere on the premises.

Anyhow, I looked them up with the intention of talking about what support might be available and never got a call back, but in looking up their number on the web, I saw an announcement for the establishment of a local textile centre in one of the many unused churches in the area. It had happened in the middle of last month, just about the time I got sick of doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results and decided to do something different, however impractical, based on past experience.

Wow! I researched the person establishing it. I asked WEETU to help me contact her. I arranged to visit the centre today.

I didn’t see many visits from the public. But the people there were my kind of people, designers, inventive folks who do more than one thing,  who make things that don’t really fit well into local prosaic demand. Lovely folks.

I made a deal to donate my time in exchange for having a space there. I’m in. Such an amazing opportunity with such a low monetary investment.

I was wishing I had more space to work with the new-old sewing machine at home. I’ve got it. I can take a lot of what is in my studio and use it to  “decorate” my space there, thus making more space. I can teach there. I can work there in ways that are chancy here at home. I can collaborate and help other members. But the very best of all is:

I have a reason to do what I do.

No, better than that, there’s another best thing of all. In a few weeks, with considerable publicity, the organizer is going to inviter her clients to come and see the place and what we’re doing. I jumped, and a net appeared. It may not be a net that will support me, but just like Monk, I may not sink.

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