Can we recall 2020?
We all know how it went down. It was like a major car crash that you want to cover your eyes from, but you can't look away. So can we phone in a do over? There was some real loss in 2020 and GRAMMAR needs a clean slate and new path. There are some different things to look forward to and part of that is letting you see more of the story. Hear me out...
Moving Forward Together.
One of the biggest take-aways from Covid has been a deeper awareness in our need for one another. Community and connection is crucial to our collective mental and physical health. This goes for work life as well. A huge part of the reason we work at all is the connection and sense of community we gain. Being cut off from the way things were, allowed for the mental space to realize and confirm the need for meaningful connection with my customers and other small business owners.
photo credit - Khalid Ibrahim of Eat Pomegranate.
Connecting You to My/Our World.
After lots of covid conversations with other makers and small business owners, we realized the importance of connecting and sharing our stories and methods of survival. It helped us to not feel as alone and desperate. A recent chat with a close friend/colleague, Meaghan Keck, prop stylist and event planner, revealed that it might be helpful to share more about our world with you. An awareness of the intricacies of what we do (for better or worse) would only help grow your appreciation and feel more connected. So why not?!
Here's the Plan...
First, this blog, GRAMMAR SCHOOL, will be a place to share the journey, including relevant topics related to the design, fashion and jewelry industry as a community and craft tradition, in an ever changing world. The goal is to share and communicate topics, ideas and conversations that you should be aware of and included in. Have a question or topic idea? Send it!
Second, interviews with other creatives. Another way to let you into the world of an independent designer is to bring you into the conversation among friends and colleagues. I'll 'meet up' with other indie jewelers, artists and designers. We'll chat about all sorts of fun stuff, like what inspires their work, how they got started and what makes us tick. These talks will happen live on Instagram and be archived under the IGTV section on Instagram. Want a heads up before the live? Be sure to follow GRAMMAR on instagram, view stories there and/or sign up for emails on the website.
Demanding a Difference.
... A difference for all of us. How has pandemic changed your life & daily life? I don't know about you, but I'd rather not go back to the way things were before. The constant hustle, the running around, balancing between production, customer service, order fulfillment, social media/marketing, research, bookkeeping, finding shows, applying for shows, getting ready for shows... the list goes on and on AND ON! What's the harm in slowing down, getting more time for family, friends and ourselves? I'm working to find that balance and survive financially. The world, our jobs and economy demand too much of us. Time to demand something different. Something better. Can I call your boss and tell them you need more time off and a raise?
(As if being a self-employed artist, primarily working from home, wasn’t hard or isolating enough… covid strikes…)
Personally, I (and GRAMMAR) had major set backs, including closing down a tiny 10’x10’ shop at the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, Michigan (open less than a year) and uprooting my personal life (AGAIN) with a move from Detroit to Lansing. With events canceling, I had to lower my cost of living and both of my siblings are now in the Lansing area, so it was easy to chose the destination. Hey, I cut the cost of rent in half!
I need to be honest. It’s been hard to care about jewelry… getting caught up in the feeling like our creative jobs don’t matter. BUT THEY DO … it’s up to our culture to blow up this idea and stop marginalizing artists, stop cutting the arts when sh#t hits the fan. What would our world be like without art & design??? IT IS EVERYWHERE. It is essential. IT. IS. HUMAN.
I've been taking time to adjust, settle and heal. Meanwhile, thinking about how I'd like to move forward with GRAMMAR and what might be interesting and important to implement in order to keep it alive, keep you interested & keep me sane. To that end... I am DOING a DO OVER. 2020 felt lost. I didn't, I couldn't live up to my potential due to drained out exhaustion. So I wiped out my 2020 instagram posts (didn't even come close to sharing all the content I had teed up) and I'm starting fresh. Don't call it a come back ... ; )
I'm ready to grow. Steady and steadfast. So let's do things differently, intentionally & have fun celebrating ourselves and what connects us while we're at it. Are you with me?
In Thoughtful Solidarity, Sarah Abend (owner/designer/maker)