I'm blessed to have what I call my 'craft brains trust'. Three creatively clever ladies running their own businesses who I catch up with on a monthly basis. Their support and input has proven invaluable from our very first impromptu meeting on the pavement after the Big Hearted Business morning tea. It was there that these ladies, Nic, Jennie and Kylie, encouraged me to overcome my self doubt and apply for Finders Keepers. And it was at our last meeting that they encouraged me to take on an intern.
January was such a busy month for me business wise, which I hadn't really been expecting. I mused over tea and cake with the girls that I would need to hire someone in the future to help me keep on top of orders, so I could focus more on hand making one off pieces. However, as I have been reinvesting the profits back in to the business in the form of logo design, advertising, packaging, stock etc, I really couldn't afford it yet. Nic suggested I look for someone interested in learning what I could teach them, in exchange for their help. It sounded a little too good to be true. An intern? I held on to the thought and pondered on it.
Self doubt is a funny creature. I couldn't help but wonder who would want to work for me, for free, and what I could offer them. The more I thought about it though, the more I realised how much I could have learnt at the beginning of my career if I had been offered the same opportunity, and how, rather than paying around $90 for a lesson at a jewellery school, I would have preferred to work for free and learn from someone actually doing what I wanted to do.
I bit the bullet. I wrote a post on instagram, and posted it to facebook and my blog too. I figured the worst that could happen was no one would respond. Nic cleverly shared my instagram post with BrisStyle, who re-posted the details to their larger audience. Over the next day or two I received seven responses.
The strongest candidate, Didi, responded with an overview of her work and study history and images of her completed jewellery pieces. After a positive phone conversation and then a meeting in the workshop, Didi has started working with me twice a week. I'm searching for a sturdy old wooden table we can up-cycle in to a bench for her, and in the meantime she is using my bench while she is here. She's now been twice now and while she's learning and practicing, I have been able to work on making new displays, sort out stock, write applications etc. I'm really excited about the process and so glad I took my brain trusts advice. After an initial training period I'm hoping to be able to step away more and leave a few things to Didi, as the birth draws closer and again after the birth.
And should I get accepted in to Brisbane Finders Keepers in July, you might just get a chance to meet Didi there.