Here's my very technical drawing of the space. It's a corner unit with a chunk out of one corner for the main door, full height windows to two sides, and a internal door to a tiny bathroom on the back wall. The total dimensions are roughly the same as my current space but the available wall space is a whole lot smaller. To store my fabric in its current shelving would take up most of the wall space, which would leave me to work in one of the windows like a very boring parody of Amsterdam's red light district.
And here's my current working space. One door, one half-height window (so I can work in front of it), a whole lotta wall and work space. Looking at it like that, it would have been madness to cut into my profit margin by £400/m. But it was something I was seriously considering doing for two reasons:
- The sewing room is the land of misfit furniture
- I have trouble staying 'on task' in my house
Which moves me onto point two, which is harder to overcome.
When I am very busy, I work at my best. But by 'busy' I mean I have orders to fulfil, when there are already expectations on me by customers. What I struggle with is creating more business, be that through promoting, marketing, working on new patterns or designs, actively seeking opportunities, etc. Truth be told, it's the fear of putting myself out there. I've been talking with a good friend a lot recently about holding myself and my business back through fear of failure and how this is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. Getting a physical shop would force me to work really, really hard to cover its expenses but more than that, I'd be telling myself that it's okay to take this seriously as a business. To do many businessy things because I absolutely had to and should do as a legitimate business. The number of people who've asked, 'What are you going to do now that your kids are both at school?' with the undertone of you should go back to proper work definitely sows seeds of doubt in what you're doing. And that doubt is multiplied if you are the one holding yourself back.
Long story short, the shop was not to be but it made me analyse where I'm at.
- There are definitely less expensive ways to feel legitimate
- If I was willing to invest in the shop, it's okay to invest in things that are not the shop
- I need to structure my time better