Did you know I have owned the same umbrella for just a few months shy of ten years? It’s true. My French teacher gave me a beautiful umbrella just before I headed off to live in France for a year. She knew how much it rained there!
One of the first exercises we did for the Indie Biz 2.0 course was to design our “business umbrella”. In short, this umbrella is the theme under which all of my products and services fall. So for me, “combining function and beauty” is what I want to be the common thread that runs through all of my work. Under the umbrella of function and beauty rests not only the products I already have but those I want to include at some point.
This concept of having a business umbrella has helped me not only bring some definition to what I want as I move forward with Irene Design, but it has also liberated me from the idea that I should only “do one thing and do it well.” That model just doesn’t work for me; I like to explore far too much to just do one thing.
Along with sewing, I would love to incorporate photography as I get a little better. At some point, I may bring in some paintings as well. This umbrella is big enough to fit all of that but strong enough to keep some sort of consistency even with the variety.
The umbrella exercise has also been a great reference point. I had some free time tonight and was able to look at that before deciding what to make. Rather than starting one of the many random projects I have though about over the week, I was able to pick one that I knew fit within the umbrella.
I am hoping that this will help me to stay somewhat focused rather than having fifteen projects going at once that do not really fit together. It’s fine to have some variety, but I really want to keep it well within the reaches of my umbrella.