Opening the studio doors

Opening my studio doors to the public was a big milestone! Last month I took part in the Open Studios event at Wimbledon Art Studios where I've had a room of my own for just over a year. 

A note about my branding: I work under my own name, Kelly Harcus, and under the business name, Everyday Joy. I started using Everyday Joy 8 years ago as a collective name for selling crafts and like a publisher's name for my artist books. It continues to feel like a good fit, although I do use my own name more than I did in the past. 

I'm sure I'll be reflecting on the lessons of that weekend over the coming months, but some first thoughts:

  • You might feel vulnerable and that's okay. Your work and your space feels very personal. Some of my happiest moments were with people who were interested, even if they didn't buy a thing.
  • The room: tidy and welcoming, but show signs of work in progress. People have come to see studios, rather than going to a shop or gallery. Seeing a working is part of the interest I think.
  • Display: it depends on you and your work. I had more out, but it seemed to confuse people, and I think it can look a little jumble sale-y. Lots of space and clear labels so people know what they're looking at, especially if you do a lot of different work.
  • Keep in touch: have cards ready to give out, and be brave and actually give them out! I think it's better if they show the type of work you have out, so that people can remember what they saw and liked. Make it easy to sign up for a mailing list - I used Mailchimp's app because I find it easy to use and they are clear about what is okay and what is spammy.
  • It is tiring, even if it's quiet. Have some work you can do, it's more welcoming than playing on your phone or even reading and I find it draws people in. Be prepared to be exhausted afterwards, but also be prepared for feeling super hyped up and inspired.

What stops you blogging

I know for me, it can be a number of things:

  • maybe I'm feeling brave and putting a lot of things in motion, but I'm not ready to tell the world
  • maybe I've had a period of expansion, and now I'm contracting - this one is big, I invite you to notice if this appears in your life too. In my life, this usually looks like hibernation and I tend to be very non-verbal
  • maybe I know what I want to post, but I want it to be perfect and I'm waiting until I have enough time to sit down and write an awesome in-depth post. (Clue: there's never enough time!)
  • maybe I know what I want to post, but I need to get the photos taken, edited, etc
  • maybe I just got busy
  • maybe I got out of the habit

What is it for you?

Don't you just love vintage fabrics?

You'll have to wait until the autumn to get your hands on these, so I wanted to give you a peek at what I'm working on. I was lucky enough to get a beautiful stash of vintage cotton sari fabric and I'm busy sewing, wrapping and tying it into a range of similar-but-each-unique loveliness for you.

Big zipper pouch from vintage sari cotton and velvety soft denim notebook with woodblock print

Big zipper pouch from vintage sari cotton and velvety soft denim notebook with woodblock print

Boho fabric garlands from vintage cotton saris

Boho fabric garlands from vintage cotton saris

Hand-bound books from aged denim and vintage cotton saris

Hand-bound books from aged denim and vintage cotton saris

Beach stones flat zip pouch

Beach stones flat zip pouch

I just remembered I haven't finished that apple!