Handmade business: A Day in the Life (…of a fashion designer, sewing machinist, pattern-maker, cosplayer, miniature artist, tarot card reader, crystal – hoarder & all-round witchy woman…)
I’ve been wanting to do a blog post like this for a while – I just love reading about what other people’s creative lifestyles look like, and I thought I’d share my experience too! I find getting a sneaky peek into other folks’ handmade business (and how they live their lives around it) super inspirational.
So, here’s hoping my little preview gives you some idea of what it’s like to own + run your own creative business, and maybe a little inspiration to take the leap too (if you haven’t already!) 🙂
I will warn you, it’s not conventional – and sometimes (a lot of the time), it ain’t pretty! Think lop-sided messy bun (not the cute type…), pyjama pants and a stack of dirty dishes on more than one surface.
7:00am – Still in bed.
7:30am – Still in bed.
7:45am – STILL in bed.
8:00am – Probably roll out by about now! Wash face. Tie hair. Chat to my parrot. Chat to my dog. Make the bed.
8:30am – Make my morning breakfast smoothie (usually 1 ripe banana, 1/2 cup soy milk, 1/2 cup oat milk, handful of baby spinach/kale + 1/2 weetbix if I’m feeling sassy). Sit on couch, thinking about the day, drink my smoothie. Chuck on the TV to see what the outside world is up to.
9:00am – (Maybe) Change into a pair of “day” leggings and a (not gonna lie, Harry Potter) t-shirt. Lightly tidy up my workspace – either the coffee table or my cutting table in my sewing studio. Parrot cuddles and coo’s.
9:30am – Check my notes/planner to see what I need to work on today. Quickly check online shops (3 Etsy stores, with #4 in the works 😉 ) Collate my orders into an orderly list. Rate my tasks in order of urgency. A bit of day-dreaming, and time for my coffee. Chuck a load of washing or dishes on.
10:00am – Finally start work! Depending on what needs doing – this could be anything from making miniatures, creating cosplays for my clients, drafting patterns for custom garments, doing alterations for local peeps, sewing small production runs for local designers, or meeting with my clients in person at my home studio.
12:00noon – Yay. It’s lunch time, y’all! Usually I’ll have leftovers (nutmeat + lentil pasta or satay veg and tofu, anyone?). Or if I’m being boring I’ll have a PB sandwich. Chuck on some good ol’ Dr. Phil! Kick feet up and chow down.
1:00pm – Peel myself away from the tv and continue work in studio, or put a movie on and bring my work on to the coffee table 🙂 Coffee table especially grand for embroidery, miniatures, fiddly things or paperwork.
2:00pm – Parrot cuddles. Talk to dog. Make a cuppa.Go out to the garden if I have time and look at all my planter boxes. Marvel at what I have grown. Pity the plants that I have slowly but surely sentenced to death. Check for any e-mails or Etsy convo’s.
3:30pm – Package up any orders due to ship or take dog for a walk up to the park.
4:00pm – Head to the post office on foot to lodge parcels and pick up tonight’s dinner supplies at the mini supermarket next door.
4:30pm – Do a set of weights in the living room. Make another smoothie. Put parrot to bed while saying “night night” approximately 1 million times.
5:00pm – Take a shower. Get in comfy clothes or back in pyjamas. Yay! Tidy up the house a little. Maybe do a tarot/oracle card reading for myself or a friend via messenger.
6:00pm – Dinner prep + cook. Or if I’m lazy, a trip up to Loving Hut. 🙂
6:30pm – Neighbours is on y’all! Dinner… yassss!
7:00pm – Finish any miniature orders, flick through planner schedule and jot down anything that needs doing or finishing for the next day.
7:30 – A bit more sub-par tv. Small bits of work follow me into the lounge again and I continue to work away. Cup of tea time. If I haven’t showered yet, I’ll take a nice hot bath with a LUSH bathbomb.
8:00pm – Sometimes still working. Or still watching some doco or program on tv. Or reading a good book. My faves are dystopian/post-apocalyptic teen/young adult, sci-fi, fantasy/adventure + heart-wrenching shit like this:
9:00pm – Sometimes STILL working. This can go on until 11, 12, and worst case 3 or 6am if I need to meet a deadline.
10:30 – Usually bed time 🙂 Phew.
Weekdays I generally catch up with friends over a coffee or trip to the mall/local spiritual shop. Wednesdays I do a shift at a local boutique – Sad Jane – where I sew and run the shop. Come visit!
Weekends: Usually a mix of work and regular stuff. Weekends are when I do my fabric shopping and sourcing, visit local handmade artisan markets (or attend and sell at them!), complete any orders ready for Monday, go out for breakfast, go for a hike in nature or walk on the beach, explore new vegan places for lunch, go see a new movie, walk around Fremantle, have a beer, watch a band, go to a cosplay/comic/pop-culture convention and do some gardening. Tidy the house, play with the animals, relax at home.
Now that I have actually written it out, it doesn’t actually sound all that inspirational to me. But that’s life. Maybe if I was still working at the sewing factories of 5 years ago, it would sound amazing! Now I’m living it… well, it sounds kind of hectic, and like I haven’t heard of the word “boundaries”.
Looking back on this and examining my daily life, I realise it can be super hard sometimes… but I also get to choose what I do – and when I do it… I guess when it comes down to it, I am really grateful and happy I am able to do what I do 🙂
I hope if you’re thinking about maybe taking a leap and starting your own enterprise, or if you already have but it’s not what you envisioned.. that maybe you can stop, slow down, and start thinking about what your ideal lifestyle is. And then of course, how to go about changing your habits and schedules, so you can turn it into one that you enjoy living!
Anyway, it’s going to be much more relaxed when I’m a millionaire! ….Right?? >.>