OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Saturday, September 12

Striking a Balance

'Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.'
Albert Schweitzer

Striking a balance (and finding happiness on the way)

I am often asked how I balance working, running a (very) small business, raise a family and find time to create. The answer? I don’t. But I try my best and sometimes, and only sometimes it just all comes together. And life rocks.

We each have different backgrounds, different responsibilities and different passions. Some of us may be studying, working, raising a family, running a business, caring for someone or looking to make changes in our life (or all of the above – don’t laugh - I did this last year).

So........ How does this relate to craft? It appears from attending markets, selling online and chatting on various craft forums that crafters are predominantly female. I hesitate to quote but many (myself included) are utilising their creative skills as a self funding hobby/ separate source of personal income. There are broader reasons but I want to stay personal - I thought I would share my own experiences in finding the right mix.
I am a mother to two sweet boys aged 4, and 8. In 2008, I ran into difficulty securing stable ongoing childcare for my sons and decided to return to shiftwork. I am fortunate my employer has been supportive of my priorities.
Around the same time I discovered the whole handmade scene on etsy and a whole range of possibilities opened up. I began creating simple pieces for myself, and then decided to open up a store. Since then, my jewellery has been thrust into the work-life balance as it has become a little business generating a self supporting income. Here are the things I feel are important when searching for the right balance.

*** Establish a basic routine ***

I use Flylady as a tool – establishing routines that allow things to run efficiently when I am on shift. This means everyone in the household (children included) have a role to play – the boys have tasks allocated to them, my husband steps in when I go to work and takes over the homework/dinner/mad evening rush… whatever works for you. I also created a 100 Day Action Plan for myself (based on Empire of Delight founder Jacquie's idea to implement structured change to her life and business venture)
Jot down a quick mudmap of your life – are you happy with the direction your life is taking? What do you wish to change? Are these changes realistic? Achieveable? What will it take to improve or re-direct yourself? And more importantly, what are you willing to do? Kate James Director of the Total Balance Group writes in her recent newsletter that even today, many young people are steered towards career decisions that are the wrong fit. Though it’s never too late, why not lay the foundations now for the life you want to lead?

*** Find a support network ***

I have a strong supportive family who respect and encourage me to continue my dreams. My husband is my number one support, my mother my number one fan. I have friends who accept I am often late, miss get togethers or get completely overwhelmed by it all and become a hermit. They are also great at being honest and realistic when they think I am going too hard. Surround yourself with likeminded people, or with people you know will help and not hinder you.

*** Make Downtime ***

There are always times when present circumstances require a different mix. Leading up to the birth of a new child, final exams, sudden unemployment..... life just happens. Accept this and you are halfway there. Sometimes you may lose your mojo. Perfect break time. Do something different! I picked up my papercrafting this week after a two year break and it was so much fun!

*** Give ***

Now you may think I am crazy for adding this to the mix, but I strongly believe that by giving back to your community, you are strengthening the bonds that keep society together and enriching your life in the process. Giving should be encouraged from early on, supported in schools, and widely implemented in workplaces. I want my children to see this as part of their social obligations. How? Money isn’t always the answer. Perhaps you have a skill that a local school group or nursing home would love you to share. You could donate your handmade pieces for a fundraiser at your local school. Donate blood, volunteer on a committee with similar interests to you…..you are limited only by your creative imaginations.

Happy Crafting!

No comments: