I can’t help but notice the number of the entry to my blog here today. If someone had told me that one day I would be writing a 500 (+) part blog I think I would have thought they were crazy. (Maybe I’m the one who is a little crazy for actually doing it!)
A year and a half ago, I was told about this site from Steve Good, who has a sizable scroll sawing forum. It was at a time when I was looking to expand my business and he thought that I may like it here. I remember him telling me that it was a large forum, but there was not a large scroll sawing presence here, and it may not be what I was looking for. I thought I would take a look anyway.
The first thing that I noticed when I got here was the incredible quality of the projects that were posted. I found myself spending a lot of time browsing through the project pages and looking in awe at page after page of wonderful things made of wood. I must admit that it was a bit intimidating because many of the projects were of beautiful furniture and wood turnings and cutting boards made of exotic wood and I wondered if I would even fit in with the group here.
I looked around some more and decided to sign up for an account and I quietly did so, entering all the necessary information. When signing up, I noticed that we were each given a blog page. I hadn’t really ever thought about doing a blog before. The thought had never even crossed my mind. But something happened on the previous day that made me think that perhaps I would start one.
A customer had called me with a question about one of my patterns. I don’t remember at all now what the question was, but that doesn’t really matter. What struck me as funny was how shocked he was that I answered my own phone. He seemed quite amazed that it was ‘me’ he was talking to. He said he thought I had a staff to do that for me and never expected to be able to talk to me directly.
I, myself was shocked at all the fussing he made over me. At the time, I had about $6 in my checking account and was struggling to make ends meet. There had been some circumstances in my life that had changed recently and it was a time of ‘sink of swim’ for me as far as my business was concerned. Here I was wondering if I would be living on the street (with my three cats) and this customer had the impression that I was doing well enough to hire a staff.
At the time, I kind of laughed it off. But later on I got to thinking. It is funny how we look at others around us. We see the part of them that they want us to see without having any knowledge whatsoever what is going on under the surface. I have used the analogy that people are like icebergs many times before and this is one of the examples why I think that way.
We see people on the surface and sometimes we are quick to judge and make an assessment on what we observe. More often than not that judgment is incorrect. I am guilty of it myself and have done the same thing many times. There is so much more to people than what we see on the surface and sometimes the more we get to know about them, the more we realize that our initial impression wasn’t quite correct.
So perhaps it was the way the sun and the moon and the stars aligned up that day, but after that call and seeing the tools that were offered to me through this site, I decided to begin a blog. This wasn’t the first time that someone had that type of impression about me and it probably won’t be the last, but I felt that so many people had little idea as to what it entailed to run a pattern making business – and survive in it. I had several letters over the years that asked the simple question “how can I start my own pattern business?” as if the question could be answered in a paragraph or two. I may as well have been asked how to perform brain surgery.
And so I began my story here.
I look back on this past year and a half or so as one of great growth for both my business and myself personally. Along the way I have not only met wonderful friends from all over the world (and you are my friends!) but I also feel that I have helped others to have a better understanding of what having a small business in this economic climate is all about. Whether you are involved in scroll sawing or not, I hope that I have perhaps given you some ideas of the day to day things that having a small business (any small business) entails.
On the other side of the coin, I have come to value your friendships and input and daily discussions that you have offered to me. So many of you have been supportive and caring and have offered your advice and ideas in order to help me through some times that were difficult for me to figure out on my own. Your daily input in my life as friends and as colleagues is something that I have come to look forward to each day.
Not all days here are filled with lively discussions. Some are quiet. Many times it seems that on the days when I don’t get many responses here on the forum for my post, I usually get several personal messages that offer private discussions or advice or even just a pat on the back or a cheer. That to me is what defines friendship and I have certainly felt a closeness with so many of you as ‘real friends’ that I can’t even begin to name you. You all know who you are anyway. :)
So thanks so much for being a part of my life. Thank you for allowing me to be here every morning and talk about the good things and the not so good things that are going on in my life. I know that sometimes I wander off the ‘woodworking’ subject, but I think that you all know that woodworking is such a huge part of my life that I can always seem to find some way to justify just about anything that I do throughout the day as being related to my work in one way or the other.
One thing I am sure of – you will always help keep me grounded.
I look forward very much to the next 500! So far the journey has been wonderful!
Have a great Sunday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"