Here we are 2021 - I've decided to start a blog mostly to keep you up to date on my business as well as my thoughts regarding being in business. This won't be just what's new but how I got to where I am today and where I hope my journey takes me. My personal thoughts about running my own business and how I feel about the business in real time.
I don't remember who told me this (probably my mom) long ago. She said -"If it's on your mind, say it out loud or it will rattle around in there taking up space. Once you say it - you can let it go." In certain situations I believe this to be true. So in that case maybe I'll sleep better if I empty my mind a bit more. I know many of you struggle with sleep - that was never the case for me years ago - I slept like a rock. Then I had kids and my sleep "lightened" up like I was tuned into a radio station for their sound - but I still could fall back asleep. Now - Oy Vey (my current favorite expression) it's like a spotlight on my mind the minute I close my eyes. Though this truly is where some of my best designs come from! When I close my eyes (day or night) I can visualize what I want to create. The feel of the piece, color, texture, design - the "happy" of it. I seriously do some of my best work with my eyes closed!
Hence - the blog. I have so much running around in my mind I thought getting some of it out might be helpful. On a side note - I'm not a writer and my punctuation skills are so so. But I'm going to give this a go to see if it gives me more clarity and you a chance to get to know me better (I like to know a bit about the person whose art I buy and thought you might too).
A little backstory - I've been creating art for as long as I remember. It's just what I do! Binki Creations actually started with hand painted greeting cards many years ago. Let's go back to January 2018. My first appearance at AmericasMart (ignorance is bliss) it did not go well in regard to sales - not a one. My husband and I sat there for 5 days and we took it all in. Believe me when I say that buyers will give you their honest opinion. The good and the bad. I guess I really shouldn't say bad as it has allowed me to grow to where I am now. The key is to take it all in - I was learning (still am) - and oh there is SO much to learn. I wasn't defeated I was actually more determined than ever to make a go of this business in a big way! The artwork that I had brought to AmericasMart in 2018 were large originals and giclee prints which were mounted on wood and framed by me (also large pieces). Though everyone thought my work was original and fun the price point was not right for many of their customers. In addition to the fact that at the time I did not want to make more than the one original piece.
Time for a redesign of my business. Yes, I still do larger pieces but I also do small ones. Let's jump to July 2019 AmericasMart - Emerging Artist Category in the temporaries. What a different show! Though my husband could not attend he was there in spirit (he literally built my booth)! I was SO excited - They Like Me! I'm going to be in shops! WOW - this was a moment. I felt like I'd made it. I had orders that would be shipped to shops in Florida, Indiana, South Dakota, Missouri, Delaware, North Carolina, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Minnesota! Just to be clear - this did not happen for me in a couple of years. This is 30 years of working this business at all different levels to get here. Ok, great - I've sold all this product and now I need to make it all and get it delivered! I was busy from July to November just from the July show and had January AmericasMart 2020 just around the corner. It was mid November and I still had product to ship and designs to be made for Mart when my mom's health took a turn. She became a Christmas Angel in 2019. I miss talking to her everyday.
January AmericasMart - I was not ready, there is no refund, I just had to go. I was literally making product at night and bringing pieces in with me each day to add to my booth. Between grief, lack of sleep and long days it was a wild ride. Mart went very well - I added shops in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana and Alabama. Tired but confident, I had work to do. We headed back to NY (where I'm from) for my mom's funeral.
Back in Georgia - it's February and I've got orders to fill. Even with the nightmare of Covid I only had one shop ask to cancel their order - for this I was very thankful! I filled orders until the first week of July. I tell you this because it was crazy! I can't tell you how many nights I stayed up till 1,2,3 in the morning to be back at it at 7am just trying to get orders out on time! Some did not make the timeline I had given - NOT a good feeling.
What July 2019 and January 2020 AmericasMart taught me is that I must know my limits as a person. Binki had taken over my home (literally) and my life (but not in a joyful way). We all need balance! Which brings me to this - I have stated on my website, IG and FB that my Spring/Summer line will debut on 1/21/21. That's 8 days from now. I have come to the realization that all my pieces may not be ready --- and it's OK.
You see this all takes me back to the beginning of this blog post and sleep. Each night I say my prayers and then I lay awake and think about everything. Last night at 2am I decided that I need to let the pressure go of the 1/21/21 (deadline) and just go with what I have and add new pieces as they are done. Art takes time and the development of new product takes a huge amount of time. You would not believe the amount of trial and error that goes into each piece.
My work is my heart and soul - it is who I am - each piece is a part of me! Though you may purchase a piece based on a picture on my website do know you are getting an original piece of art! For no matter how many flowers, fish or whatever it may be - no two will ever be exactly alike! I tend to feel the pieces as I go and may add color to an edge or add extra whimsical feathers - the piece tells me when it's done. Each piece I make is sketched, hand cut, sanded, primed, painted, sanded again, varnished, assembled, glued, varnished again, stamped, signed and shipped by me.
When you have a "Binki" in your home - large or small - I want you to feel Joy and smile when you look at it - the way I did when I made it for you!
Be well my friends-
Wishing you Peace, Love & Joy
Until next time - MB "Binki"