Friday, October 16, 2009

My New Co-Workers

When I first went full time with my soap business, one of the things that I worried about was lack of social interaction on a regular basis. At first, this fear proved itself out. I was getting a little stir crazy, but since I have been working the local markets every week, I have found that I have new co-workers. You don't become friendly with other business people overnight, but when it does happen, you start to feel like you belong to a new family. And the cool thing is that everyone has a deep passion for what they do and has taken the same financial risk. As a bonus, you get to trade your goods for other goods and wares - all handcrafted and local. So, I usually leave the farmer's market with rice and fried plantains, fresh bread and scrumptious pie or pecan rolls. At the open market, I can zip across the park and say hello to my friend, Mary, who runs a local, organic herb farm in the middle of the city. I buy my lavender and calendula from her and her local products gets put right into my local products. It's a beautiful thing to help support each other.

I have joined forces with a group of local crafters to form a small coop called, Rhody Craft 100. We are 100% local, 100% handmade and all within 100 miles of Pawtucket Artiste Village where we will be setting up a small retail shop from November to January. It's going to rule.

Finding these new folks has been such a comfort, but also very exciting. My friend, Jenn, makes these really cool, sarcastic greeting cards. She and I have lunch at a local coffee house on a now regular basis. We talk about our businesses, the things that scare us and the stuff we love.

Some weeks, I make my numbers. Some weeks, I don't. But I am now on my 2nd month free of unemployment benefits and though I am not living big, I can proudly say that I am able to pay my share of our bills with money I have made from my little soap business. I know that my business will grow and that soon I will have a little extra cash, but in the meantime, I am trying to focus on the positive and remain excited about the future. I would rather do what I love and eke by than continue to work in a job that I've lost interest in.

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3 Comments:

Blogger bless_cyborgs said...

When I was in the process of quitting my big job for the city to go work with animals for little more than minimum wage, I sort of spewed it all out at Brian in a parking garage, and he said, "Do you want to be remembered for doing something awesome or for having a lot of money?"

I haven't looked back, and I hope you don't either!

October 17, 2009 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Caitlin!

October 18, 2009 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Karen Meirs said...

I am holding on to the hope of being self (and family) sustaining when my boys go to school. You're on the road - terrific job. It's no small accomplishment, especially in scary times.

October 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM  

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