Around the first of the year, I felt completely overwhelmed by the thought of setting goals. With 2020 still looming, the unpredictability of 2021 felt heavy. So I pushed the ideas of goals aside, and focused on things I wanted to remember more in 2021. Like breathing deeper, exploring more, and setting better boundaries. With a few weeks of 2021 under our belts, I can’t say this year seems any better, but I do feel ready to make some goals. However, I’m working on changing to narrative about goals. Last week I started writing out my 2021 to-do list, and I quickly learned that this was not only a to-do list, but it was also a goals list. These goals or things I want to accomplish in 2021, feel more concrete, smaller, and much more do-able for me. They are easier for me to wrap my head around, and easier for me to think about going forward. Plus, some are just easy. I’ll complete them within a few weeks (or maybe already have), and then I get to do my favorite thing, cross the item off my list. Ahhh...so satisfying for a concrete, type A person like myself :)
Anyway, let’s get to that to-do list shall we? These are things that I want to get done in 2021. I’m sure this list will change as the year ebbs and flows, but right now it helps me to get organized and look toward something fun to do.
2021 To-Do List
This list isn't exhaustive and I have left some things off, but you get the idea. It feels like a good list of things that I can cross off, and if not, oh well! I’m not too strict on sticking to my goals/to-do lists because as we all know, the years can be quite unpredictable :)
Cheers to a new year!
It's been a challenging few months to say the least, and although I have been active on my Instagram, I wanted to share some of the same messages here.
Black Lives Matter.
As a weaver and human being, I am committed to doing better in my business and everyday life to fight for racial justice. I support racial and social justice, and I will continue to learn and grow and fight for justice for all.
I am committed to doing daily anti-racism work to educate myself around the racial disparities we see and how to fight for a more equitable and inclusive society.
I am also always thinking about how my own white privilege has played a role within this system, and how it has allowed me to become a weaver. Engaging in craft has become a privileged and expensive endeavor, and I want to do my best to work toward eliminating barriers for others. As I grow my business, I will offer free or reduced class for BIPOC, as well as free or reduced tools and supplies for BIPOC. I will also continue donating money or raising money for Black led organizations that are creating change.
Please know that I will continue to fight for justice, equity and inclusion while also doing my own internal anti-racism work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Being a product based business is hard for me for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is that I have a very hard time putting more “stuff” into our already over-stuffed world. We have a lot already, don’t we? So why would I add more to the pile? Honestly, I struggle with this answer all the time. I want to create beautiful things that can be used by you daily. I want to continue the art of weaving, and I want to educate people on the weaving process. I also believe that creating is needed. That we need to make and do and create as much as we need to run and move and stretch. I don’t want to be adding more “stuff” to your house. I want to add beautiful handmade goods that have a story and have meaning. I want to add something that will remind you to exercise your creativity. I want to add something that you know how and where it was made.
As a product based business, I also want to encourage mindful consumption. I worry about my pieces. What will people do with them when they’re sick of them? Will they fill the landfill? Will they end up in the donation pile? I don’t know, and I can’t control this (although it is something I worry about a lot). So I want to encourage you to think hard before you buy. Is this something that you’ve been wanting for a long time? Is it something you have saved for? Mindful consumption is about thinking and knowing what you’re buying. It’s saving and buying one scarf for the season instead of seven. It’s asking yourself, do I really need this. Mindful consumption is being mindful about where you spend your money and how you spend your money. It’s not impulse buying. It’s not over consuming. It’s not buying something just because it's on sale or just because it's a good deal. It’s thinking hard about what you’re buying and why.
So yes, of course I want you to buy my pieces. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. But I want you to love them. To connect with them. To connect with me and my story. I want them to be something special to you, and not just another thing you buy. These are handmade pieces that I pour my heart and soul into. I want you to feel empowered by that. I want you to love what you purchased for years to come.
Thank you for being here, for supporting me, and for being thoughtful about what and how you buy :)
A few days ago my husband, Scott, said to me, “How many 30 year olds do you think know what a tea towel actually is?”. I sat there thinking as he told me he didn’t know what a tea towel was until I started weaving them (despite the many we have gotten over the years). However, I know what he was getting at. The term ‘tea towel’ may not be as common as it used to be. So I did a quick Google search, and found out that “The tea towel, by any other name, is still a tea towel, and it derives its name from Victorian Era England where the tradition of serving tea in the social setting took off. Teatime went from the simple service of tea and perhaps biscuits to eventually becoming the late afternoon/early evening High Tea, or supper time.” If you’re just dying to know more, you can click the rest of the information here.
Today, tea towels are more often seen as not-so-absorbent towels with cute sayings or pictures. Such as, “I’m outdoorsy in that I like to drink on patios”. I may own that one. They are often used the same as a dish towel because all in all they are seen as regular towels. The tea towels I weave and sell aren’t like the non-absorbent ones with cute sayings. The ones I make are made with 100% cotton, super absorbent, and can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, wherever!
I realize the term tea towel can seem dated (maybe that's why my husband thinks it’s weird I use that term), but I think it sets it apart from your average dish towel. Tea towels have more sophistication, and if you’re spending $45 on a towel, you better be getting something sophisticated, am I right?
In the end, the term ‘tea towel’ is another name for a regular towel. You can have tea while you use you. You can dry dishes with it. You can use it as a table decoration. You can use it as a hand towel in the bathroom. You can stuff it in your drawer never to be seen again. The possibility are endless.
Wow, what a year 2018 was! First, thank you all for all of your support in 2018! Every like, comment, purchase, it all means so much to me! This weaving business is still so new to me, but it is still very fun to see how far I have come in one year.
Here are some of my favorite highlights of 2018:
I started teaching workshops! The amazing women of Gathered Goods Company, Tara and Nicole, reached out about teaching workshops. This has been such a great way to connect with the community, spread my love of weaving, and help spark creativity in others.
I did more markets! Six markets total. Thanks to all who came out and supported me in-person!
I learned how to use a floor loom! I took the Intro to Floor Loom Weaving class at the Weavers Guild of MN in July. I learned so much! Highly recommend the class!
I made some really great connections in the maker community! Markets are great to meet new and existing customers, but I also love getting to meet other makers. It is one of the best parts of markets!
What's in store for 2019:
More markets! I have some big markets that I am gearing up to apply for!
New products! Along with what I already offer, I will be adding to the lineup. I am planning on woven tote bags, napkins, tea towels, and possibly even clothing. I'm also going to be changing the bags I currently offer. I will be making them more structured, and I will be adding a wristlet strap so you can have your hands free. The sizes may change as well. That is something I am currently trying out. Oh and I'll be making a wall hanging or two as well :) Can't wait for you to see all that is offered in 2019!
More workshops! I’m going to continue to spread the weaving love!
More stockists! I’m really hoping to get my products in more store or do pop-ups in some stores. Due to working outside the home, being a mom and a human who likes to have a some sort of life, I haven’t had the time or energy to reach out to stores yet. I am really hoping to change that this year!
I have some big plans and dreams and goals for 2019! It’s going to be an exciting year, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!
My passion for creating runs deep. I dabbled in different mediums for years, but nothing ever stuck. For years before I found weaving, I craved a creative outlet. Daily. I can still feel that urge to find a creative outlet in my chest. It was a yearning, it was a desire, it was a void.
For years I had known about weaving, but honestly I thought it was a fad, so I never tried it. Then one day in May of 2017, I walked into my neighborhood artisan made shop, and saw a weaving in the flesh (or more accurately, in the fiber). It was way more beautiful and intricate than I imagined weavings could be. I was fascinated. I walked right home and bought a weaving kit on Etsy. Then after my 14 inch BEKA loom and kit arrived, I used free tutorials online to teach myself how to weave.
I was hooked. The meditative nature of under, over, under, over calmed my somewhat anxious personality. The convenience of the small loom allowed me to keep my hands busy while I binged watched Netflix at night. And the joy and therapeutic aspect of creating and making again gave me a high like nothing before. I had found my creative outlet. I had found my thing.
Here is the part where I should say to you, “And the rest is history”. But alas, life is not like the movies. In my case, there have been the highest highs and the lowest lows. There have been fears, tears, and constant worries. There have been amazing opportunities, testimonials, and many new friends made. Weaving has been one of the greatest gifts for me, and I am forever grateful that I stumbled upon it that one day in May.
photos by www.sarahhrudka.com