Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ch-ch-ch-changes

 studio keys.

Well, hello there! It's been a bit quiet on the blogging end for me lately--this has been a hard winter here in Maine, and that, combined with a lot of projects in progress, has meant that my energy has had to go elsewhere.  I'm planning a big, three month retrospective for the Stockinette Market, so don't worry! I'm still crunching numbers! But today, I wanted to check in about some big transitions that have been and will be going on in the background.

So, as most of you know, my day job is working behind the scenes at Brooklyn Tweed.  I've been here for about three and a half years, and I will honestly say that it has been three and a half years of one of the best educations a knitter and designer could ask for.  I've learned so much and made some of the most amazing friends and comrades in this crazy industry, and it's been an absolute privilege to work for such a thoughtful and intentional company.  Words can't express how much this job has helped me grow and understand who I am as a designer and a maker.

In the next few months, Brooklyn Tweed will be moving to a new location, and consolidating the offices into one.  The story of where the business will be moving to isn't mine to tell, so I'll wait for Jared to fill you in on that.  But when Brooklyn Tweed moves to its new location, I will not be moving with it.

This has been an incredibly hard decision--being a part of the Brooklyn Tweed team has been such a huge part of my life over the last few years.  But at the same time that I've been delving deeper and deeper into the company here, I've been building my own business.  Designing, teaching, writing, statistical analysis--all of this was building in parallel to working full-time at Brooklyn Tweed.  And, to be blunt, I'm tired.  It's been an amazing and adrenaline-filled couple of years as I've juggled everything, but I've gradually come to realize that I can't keep juggling without crashing and burning.

In addition, I've built the most lovely life for myself here in Portland; my family and friends are here, all of whom give me such energy and joy.  My home, at least for where I currently am in my life, is here.  There is no place else in the world that gives me such happiness (okay, maybe I could do without a few feet of the snow on the ground).  So I knew, when it came time to make the decision about moving with Brooklyn Tweed, that it was time to go off on my own.

What does that look like for the next little bit? Our warehouse and offices here in Portland will be closing March 20th.  I've signed a lease on a wee tiny studio/office space in the same building where Quince has their offices, and I'll be moving all my Brooklyn Tweed operations into there.  I'll be continuing remotely full time with Brooklyn Tweed up until around May, and then part time until probably July or August as they hire on new staff in their new location.  After that. . . . ?

The studio is mine, and I'll keep it for my own workspace after Brooklyn Tweed is done.  I've got some cool projects lined up for the next year or so, and while part of me wants to make sure I have other stuff lined up so that I'll be busy and have that safety net, I'm going to try to take it easy, or at least easier.  There's been a lot of me missing in the last few years; emotion, self-care, and care for the other people in my life has kind of taken a back seat to pursuing my two separate careers.  So now that I'm transitioning down to one career (-ish--people in the knitting industry never have just one career!), I want to make sure I don't fill that gap with more work.  I want to have a life.  I want to catch up with me.  I want to catch up with people.  This may be a bit of a pipe dream, but I'm hoping to regain a little bit more of who I am--the girl who spends all weekend in bed reading, the girl who bakes cookies at 10:30 at night, the girl who goes out for margaritas and ice cream with friends, the girl who spends the day at the beach, the girl who goes running in the summer twilight. I've kind of lost her in the last couple years, and I want to get her back.

So, there we go.  By around fall of 2015, I will be completely freelance as a knitting designer, teacher, writer, and stats analyst.  This is more than mildly terrifying, but I am so excited to make it work.  So whatcha got going, world? Let's talk, and let's do this.

33 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I wish you all the best & may your life settle into something wonderful! :)

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  2. Wow! Big news! Congratulations and I can't wait to see what you do. And what you don't do - I highly recommend extra beach time for the do-nothing days.

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  3. You're my favorite designer (seriously, Svalbard, genius), and I know you're going to do brilliantly in whatever endeavors you undertake. Self-care is so, so important. You're going to be great!

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  4. Ohmygosh! I'm so proud for you! :D I am writing that like we know one another, but oh to see someone (even a stranger) take this leap is exciting. That idea of finding the girl who bakes cookies at 10:30 at night, that is one worth keeping. I did a lot of finding myself last year, and man has life gotten more interesting since I did that. I think that's the most exciting thing about saying no, losing something, or putting your feet on a new (if uncertain path). Anything can happen now. And for that reason alone, I am so excited to see how you grow and explore. [Man, nothing I did to edit that made it less weird to say to a stranger that I follow on Instagram. Whatevs. Go with it. haha]

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  5. How wonderfully exciting! Can't wait to see where your new journey takes you.. congratulations!

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  6. Congrats! It is a huge scary leap and a fun awesome one too! Enjoy in health and happiness. :)

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  7. Congratulations! I've been a freelancer for more than 20 years, and it is very, very doable. And while it can be very challenging, and not every minute of every day is yours to do with as you will, it's an excellent way to build a full life that is, ultimately, your own. Good luck!

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  8. Very cool - congratulations! I love your description of the woman you're ready to find again. She is who brings us so much creativity and artistic inspiration, and I am excited to see what finding her unleashes. :)

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  9. Very cool - congratulations! I love your description of the woman you're ready to find again. She is who brings us so much creativity and artistic inspiration, and I am excited to see what finding her unleashes. :)

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  10. It's March Forth Day, perfect for your announcement!
    Congratulations!
    Wishing you great success!
    Love your designs, discovered some new (to me) ones at the indigodragonfly/Yarnover Truck booth at Stitches West, delightful!!!
    Your brain is as fascinating as Kims! (& Rons!)!

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  11. Wow, this will be such an exciting time for you! And nerve wracking too, but making time and space for yourself will be so wonderful!

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  12. Oh Bristol, that's exciting!

    I know what you mean with getting lost within too many careers. I've juggled being a mom, and IT specialist and a knitwear designer. It felt so good when I let go of the IT part.

    Wishing you good luck for your future. :)

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  13. Congrats! I can't wait to see where your work goes from here!

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  14. A decision I know you did not make lightly. Kudos. Remember, there is always a seat at the table here at In The Loop and yes, when you are ready, we will take you up on that class or two. Best wishes from all your Knitting Weekend friends.

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  15. Oh I am so happy for you! "till by turning, turning we come round right"! You'll be so happy, and I know just how you feel! I didn't see this dye house / going wholesale but my husband has found a way to make it happen! And we are having such a great time! So blessed to have both him and my mom by my side! Now I just have to prove to myself that people truly do want the yarns we make! Excited/terrified, yet it feels like the "real" me! A little farther along in life than you- you are amazing! Be sure to keep in touch and let me know when you need some more yarn to play with! Margaret (aka Little Gidding Farm Suris)

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  16. Congrats! I am very excited to see what's next!

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  17. How exciting! So glad to see you following your heart! Hope to see you in July!

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  18. Terrific Bristol, go for it! I only wish I took that leap years ago. I'm thrilled for you!

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  19. Awesome! It is going to be great! Welcome back girl!

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  20. congratulations! life is short, do what you love!!

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  21. wow, big news and a big change, but it's going to be so amazing for you!! What an exciting new beginning, you are going to totally rock it.

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  22. Congratulations! This is big news and a really great step forward. I've been freelance writing for about eight months. At first it was terrifying to be without a full-time gig, but I've found that being freelance has opened me up to new opportunities I never would have heard about otherwise. I can't wait to see what you have in store next! -Huelo

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  23. Good for You! One giant leap! I wish you all the success you clearly deserve.

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  25. How very exciting! Please know that you inspire this middle-aged mom who, on the surface looks nothing like you, but can relate to taking a leap of faith and relying on your resources. Thanks for bringing us along on your wild ride.

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  26. Some day I'll write you a poem about how happy I am you're staying. [I tried, but I only got as far as a limerick with Bristol blablabla design pistol]. Three cheers!

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  27. So happy to hear about your very wise decision. Our careers are supposed to serve and support us ... not the other way around! Although for someone with your brains and talent I can see how the opportunites could easily snowball out control. I'd wondered how you managed to do it all! But sometimes less is more, and you'll certainly succeed at whatever you work at, that much is obvious. All best wishes for lots of time for what really matters!

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  28. It takes courage to make these type of life decisions. I wish you all the best. I agree with other posts: with your mind, talent and energy you will be successful in achieving your goals. All the more so because you are taking time for yourself and family. I'll be along for the ride, cheering you on.

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  29. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I bake at 10:30 at night, thought I was the only one.

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  30. I saw the G+T shawl collection, followed some links, and here I am.
    Congratulations.
    You will be just fine, because you are brilliant and wonderful.

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