Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

2018 Wrap Up

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, December 31, 2018

This is much like 2017's wrap up. I didn't lose money, and it was just a bad year. Not a really bad year, which makes it an improvement!

It was just really, really difficult for me to push through on some things this year. I'm still waiting outstanding issues on the trust, and here comes tax season once again! Once this last thing on the trust goes through, then I can finally close out my mom's estate.

I hate making resolutions for the new year, but an unstated goal for this year was to reduce my stress level. I pretty much took a month off after FenCon this year, and was very glad I did so. I see myself taking baby steps in the direction of getting my business back on track. There's a part of me that's tired of banging my head against the wall and wants things to turn around instantly, but that's not going to happen.

On that front, I'm looking for more cons to attend and more shows I can do, and maybe more art shows that I can send things to. I'm losing two conventions that I've attended in the past. One just isn't profitable. Another is holding their last event in about six weeks. I'm really sad about that one. It's not a huge moneymaker, but it's close and the people are wonderful, which makes it worth my while. A four hour drive to pull in $40 when I'm not also on programming...not so much.

Which brings me to my high and low points from last year. I'll hit the low point first. It was at the con I'm not going back to. The dealer room was dead all weekend, and some kid walked up to my table and told me (probably was repeating his mom) that my stuff was too pricey. Yet, he hung out at the table all weekend. Since he insisted on hanging around my table, I gave him a lesson in what it costs to run a business. I don't think it set in. But I was bummed all weekend. Is this what people really think about my work? Am I just beating my head against the wall?

The high point was at the very next con. A kid about the same age pulled me aside after a panel and said he'd sat in on a panel I'd done last year about wearable electronics, and I had inspired him to get interested in electronics. Wow, that was really cool, and a great way to end the con season. 

I guess I'm somewhat optimistic about next year, but I'm still finding my way back to getting my business going, not to mention getting my self-esteem back. After the last few years, I'm feeling very worn down. 

I'll finish on a high note. I *almost* finished the last bit on my new studio today. Last week we finally brought in Paul's mom's old sewing machine, a post-war behemoth that sounds like a one cylinder lawn mower, but sews like a dream. I used it to make a new cover for the cabinet it lives in, and a skirt for my cutting table. Sadly, I ran out of fabric before I could get to a matching curtain to cover the closet. Guess I'll have to buy one, but it would probably be less expensive than buying more fabric. And hey, I used up some serious bits of my stash of twill on this. One goal I have for next year is to reduce my stash as much as possible by creating products I can sell. I hope I can do that.

That's it for this year. I hope for a better next year, and I hope you have a wonderful 2019.

Filed under: Life            


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