Being self employed is like being on a roller- coaster, and I don’t even like roller-coasters. They make me sick.
I love what I do, but with every job there are advantages as well as disadvantages. I find it so hard to make my brain stop thinking about Tea with Jud after I’ve left the workshop. There always seems to be so much else to do behind the scenes, and it’s all just as important as the pottery production.
A huge contributing factor to my lack of motivation at the minute is because I recently spent approximately 2 months getting an order ready for one of my stockists. It was a big order. I spent hours and hours packing it up. Upon delivery there was £646.50 worth of damage. One box even burst open implying that it had been dropped.
61 pieces that I wedged, threw, fettled, stamped, fired, sanded, glazed and fired again all in smithereens and now in pottery heaven. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooo annoyed and angry and sad. I cried. I felt frustrated and total rage at how incompetent a delivery service can be. I was annoyed at all the time I wasted. As a small business it is such a huge loss and will take me months to recover from.
If you have any fragile goods that need posting I do NOT recommend UPS – Utterly Poor Service. I really think there is a market for a “Fragile Courier Service”. So many artists and makers need a reliable service for their hand crafted goods. It can’t be that hard to transport, lift and set down 10 boxes labelled “fragile”, gently.
So, last week I took a much needed break from production. My dad was over for a visit and also to help me with some workshop maintenance. It was so great, we got a lot done (early prep for Perthshire Open Studios!), including things we didn’t plan to do, like building a (small) stone wall and a new window box! We tiled the step into my workshop to make it look a bit more fancy. We insulated the ceiling, so now I will only have to wear one set of thermals, and also added more shelves for extra storage. Papa Pollock did a great job.
The weekend before that, at the Makers Market I taught my first hand building workshop! I was pretty nervous and I think I talked really fast, but upon reflection I think it went ok! All my students were so good and their work is looking great whilst is dries in the workshop. I can’t wait to see the results after glazing.
In other news, I have been working on some exciting projects, soon to be announced. As well as creating some new designs for the John Muir Trust, and pots for a new stockist in Edinburgh, I have restocked at Sunshine no:1 in Glasgow. It’s all go!
It is hard to balance everything when you work for yourself. I am Tea with Jud, The CEO, The Manager, The Owner, The Maker, The Tea Maker, The Everything….and I am so hard on myself and feel bad if I waste any time. It is definitely something I need to work on, balancing pottery production, admin and time off. My batteries are draining a bit and a little more rest to recharge them could help a lot. That would benefit you too, more rest = less moany blogs!
However, to finish on a more positive note another tax year is complete and after many calculations adding up the same set of numbers four times and getting four different answers, I think my business can survive. With some more determination I CAN actually succeed doing this!
Consider yourself officially updated about all things Tea with Jud.
PS: my Pasta Bowls are now available on my online shop!