Holy Smokes! I leave for Surtex next Friday, and that kinda blows my mind. I'm pretty much done with prep, but before you congratulate me on being a super productive and organized artist, the truth is that I'm done because I kinda HAVE to be.
It's good news, really. I happen to have a handful of fun freelance projects to wrap up before I leave- which is always great, obviously-and have to move on from Surtex to some degree. Many people have asked me what it's like to be preparing in 2015 now that I (somewhat) know the ropes, and really all I can say is that I'm calmer. Maybe it's because I know the sky won't fall if I don't get that one last collection done. Maybe it's because I have an agent and I feel like I have a wonderful support system helping me through this. Maybe it's because after getting married, house hunting, and moving I kinda have a perspective on what it's like to simply go with the flow and not stress over big events you can't control 100%. Whatever it is, it feels pretty good.
In addition, my birthday was this past Saturday! Last year I happily entered my 30's and predicted that this decade was going to be an exciting new chapter of my life. Boy, was I ever right! It's not that I look back and regret my 20's at all. Instead, I just prefer to look forward. It's been roughly a little under a year and a half since I left my full-time design job, and I couldn't be happier. In the last year, I have also experienced a flurry of emotions and new scenarios. I debuted at Surtex, signed some deals- some successful, some sadly not- planned huge personal milestones, got an amazing agent...and in the end, I think the best advice I can give you is simply this:
There is never a "perfect time" for anything to happen in life.
Last year I thought I was nuts on paper: "Girl quits job, goes to expensive trade show, all while planning wedding". I felt panic and guilt over the decision. This isn't what a responsible person is supposed to do; The money towards Surtex should really be spent on your wedding. Luckily, those thoughts were countered by the overwhelming support of my (now) husband and family. Obviously, one year later I'm still here and doing fine! But I have to admit, probably the most important thing I took away this past year wasn't some business tip or inside industry knowledge. It was the experience of learning that I am stronger than I thought and can do A LOT when needed. It's just a fact of life that sometimes your personal life gets in the way of your business life...and your business life gets in the way of your personal life. Yet, somehow it all works out.
So, dear reader, if you are waiting for the perfect time to do something- have a baby, quit your job, move to a new city- be smart about it, but don't wait forever until the stars align. You will sit there forever if you do.
Thanks for reading! If you are going to Surtex, please say hello. I'll be there at Booth #559 waiting to meet you and your awesomeness!