2020 was a big year. It was hard. And good. And hard. And scary. And weird. And overwhelming. And hard. It was nothing like the year I thought it would be.
I finished writing my book, Creative Woodburning, after 9 continuous months of dedication in early March- exactly one week before the first lockdowns happened. I remember the feeling of relief and accomplishment when I had submitted my final revisions to my editor, and a sense of excitement for all the projects I would now have time to pour myself into which had been waiting in the wings during my writing months. Those feelings were quickly overshadowed by what was to be a long, confusing several months. Once my book was released in August, I was unable to have in-person book signings. Despite the many ways my expectations were dissolved and reconfigured, I am proud to have bookmarked that career highlight into this drawn out novel of a year.
I had big ideas for 2020. Following the completion of my book in the first quarter, I had planned to ramp up production to do more craft shows than ever before. Every last one of them was cancelled or sabotaged by covid. I lost a $250 deposit for one that was rescheduled 3 times. The hardest part was constantly pivoting to meet an uncertain future, while distancing from my in-person social network and parenting 24/7. Those of you business owners who work from home and have kids… you know oh so deeply the sacrifices that 2020 brought. Time spent on stress management, multitasking, mental health self care, parenting without breaks, worrying about things you can’t control, homeschooling, all the extra cooking and cleaning… it all displaces creativity and productivity. We are beings of finite resources, and 2020 made that abundantly clear.
I can say that I am very grateful and privileged that I was able to work from home and that I was able to stay connected to a degree with my online community of supporters and friends who have kept my business afloat this year. My heart goes out to the endless restaurants, small businesses, and gathering places that were unable to safely remain open for business, and I know the ramifications of what has happened in 2020 will continue to ripple forward into the future. I hope we can continue to fortify each other and lift small businesses up now and in times to come.
For this coming year in 2021, I am pivoting once again to find new ways to be sustainable in a world where we still may be unable to gather. For those of you loyal customers who have enjoyed my offerings, I will be catering more to you in the coming year with more releases of limited edition jewelry and artwork. I will be launching a Patreon page on February 1st for those of you who wish to support my work, have consistent access to discounts, behind the scenes content, and I’ll also be doing monthly giveaways for all my patrons. More to come about that later on. This is my way of drumming up some reliable monthly income while providing you all with incentives and more personal connection with me and my work. Social media algorithms have been making it harder and harder to actually connect with my audience and though I will still be updating and posting on FB, IG and Pinterest, I will be putting a special effort into my Patreon account.
I’m also going to be creating more batches of items in a release-style format. So, once per month, I will make the listings live that I have created and it will be a first come, first serve basis for those items. My first release this year will be a gorgeous new collection of jewelry, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Keep an eye out for that. Patrons and folks on my email list will get early access to all releases before they become available to the public, so please sign up for those email notifications if you’d like to be the first to know. You can sign up here (no spam ever!): www.beesymmetry.com/contact
My booth at Art Garden AVL is still going strong into 2021, so if you’re an Asheville local, check out this beautiful River Arts District gallery.
Most of all, I want to thank everyone who has made a point to support small businesses in 2020. You all have made the difference in my life and the lives of many others who would not have been able to go on without the support of the customers who put their money where their values are this past year. So, thank you. I see you. I appreciate you. I hope I’ve helped you give really special gifts and added some beauty and inspiration to your lives in return.
Best wishes to everyone for a prosperous, happy, healthy, sane, creative New Year ahead!
All good things.
P.S. If you’d like a signed copy of my book, you can find them here: www.etsy.com/shop/beesymmetry