This post is unapologetically filed in the 'life' category. It contains nothing directly sewing or refashioning related, so if that is exclusively what you like to pop by for (and who could blame you!), you might wish to come back on Friday. Today I need to write an update about my personal circumstances, although that will have an inevitable effect on this blog and my involvement in the areas I'm most passionate about (sewing and sustainability).
As a little background, I'd like to explain that for the last couple of years Pat (Mr So Zo) and I have joked about 'living the dream', i.e, where we both work for ourselves. I'm sure most couples have a similar on-going fantasy/conversation about changing some aspect of their lives to conform to their ideal, however vague or specific that may be. Well, I guess Pat and I have both felt a growing desire to put all the time, energy and effort we exert during the working week into our own goals, passions and endeavours, rather than trying to balance all the things we are trying to achieve alongside our full-time jobs. The idea of complete autonomy and freedom to plan your time as you seen fit is an alluringly idyllic one.
But like most dreams, ours didn't feel like a particularly achievable one. There seemed no clear path towards making that leap; it just didn't seem to be within our sights so it was always a joke. And then in May, Pat got made redundant totally out of the blue. He was working at a soul-destroying telephone-based job so leaving it caused little heart-ache, but his temporary contract meant he was literally at home the very next day. It was a massive shock, and made things financially very tricky, but we decided to ride with it and see if Pat really could make a go of it as a freelance writer (and whatever else he needed to be to make ends meet).
Carving out a freelance career takes time, and things were scary-tight but we were making it work by almost solely relying on my small wage. Then a couple of months later, BOOM! I was told the studio where I work was to close down. What can I say? I guess the financial crisis hits every sector and charities need to tighten their belts as much as every other business. Friday will be my last day.
In so many ways it is sad and frustrating, both on a personal level and more broadly in terms of the state of sustainable fashion. And if I let it, it could also send me into a state of blind panic with our wedding planned for next month our honeymoon the month after. But as sad as it is, I am also seeing it as the major opportunity I need to try to become self-employed. Since I found out the news about the studio closing, a couple of full-time jobs have floated my way, but I decided they weren't for me as this is my chance to carve out my own self-employed reality.
So what form will that take? How am I going to support myself? The way I've realised I work best: with my fingers in several pies. The focus of all my endeavours will be the things I am most passionate about: sewing, sharing skills and knowledge, supporting and promoting handmade and craft above mass-produced. You, my friends, will most certainly be kept in the loop if you watch this space...