Next year DebBee’s Designs will be 10 years old! So much has happened in the first ten years, and I wish I could say that I had planned it all. We have met many of our goals, most of them set on those long drives to trade shows. Where do we want to be next year? In two years? In five years? One huge marker on the path that I did not plan was to the Counted Thread and Embroidery Group Chair for The National Needle Arts Association. As my term draws to a close in 2013, I can focus more on DebBee’s Designs, and that leads to this ambitious plan.
My designing up to now has been somewhat random. I know when trade shows are coming up and try to always have new designs for the shows; I know that I always have a new ornament for the Just Cross Stitch annual ornament issue, and I always have my part of the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat annual project. But beyond that loose framework, I’ve kind of stumbled around with my designing, with no real structure. The result is sometimes a few days (or weeks) of down time after a show, then a couple of ramp up weeks getting ready for a show, then three or four weeks of absolute panic leading up to show time. It’s not healthy, and a lot of added stress on me (and Rod). And sometimes opportunities for other design work come up that I have to turn down, because I’m in that panic mode rather than being disciplined in my work.
I have almost 6 months before the next show, so I decided to do something I should have been doing all along – prepare a design calendar, to keep me focused and working throughout the year, so I can take advantage of other opportunities and work toward a new goal (more about that later). So here’s what I’ve put on my design plate leading up to the Winter Show the first weekend of February 2013.
Design three new Bon Bons between now and Oct. 18
Design three new Glitz & Glamours (Gold, Silver & Copper) before Jan. 15
Design two new pieces in the beginner counted canvas series by Jan. 3
Design two large counted canvas pieces by Dec. 10
Design JCS Ornament issue ornament by Jan. 28
Design NAMR Retreat 2013 design by Oct. 4
If you haven’t counted, I have – that’s 12 designs by the end of January. That’s not threads pulled and stitched, just designed. And I think it’s doable. It will help to keep me on track, not frittering away my time on social media (and my Facebook friends know who you are!). Thank goodness I haven’t fallen into the Pinterest timesink yet!
The main reason I want to be more intentional in my designing, is to allow myself time to develop class proposals for American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar. Yes, I’m finally ready to think about that leap. The process of developing classes for seminar is wholly different from that of a wholesale design business. There are similarities, but the places where they intersect are very few. Being intentional in my designing for my business will hopefully free up some time to develop teaching projects, still release 3 or 4 new projects at each trade show AND contribute designs as magazines ask for them.
An ambitious plan, I know. I’m making my New Year’s resolution early this year, and with some discipline I think I can manage it.