In January 2016, I was determined I would maintain a routine with the virtual world; I’d get a grip on Instagram (check!) keep up with Facebook (ummmm) and write regular blog posts (#fail). What actually happened is that a flood at my studio set off a practical crisis and a subsequent crisis of confidence, all of which dragged on for many months. I didn’t feel like writing, let alone designing, and I buried myself in the production and orders I had, ignoring the looking necessity to move forward.
Briefly, a botched maintenance job at my old studio resulted in a fairly serious flood, that damaged a lot of my equipment and materials. Luckily, my finished pieces were higher up and they were unaffected. But the subsequent battle (ongoing) to extract compensation has been draining, and it’s been a lesson in naivety on my part. I was left feeling soured, badly treated and unable to feel happy working in that environment any more. Thankfully, I have friends with their ears to the ground, and someone told me about a little studio that was about to become available in Muswell Hill, right where we live. It’s on a tiny mews street that houses some very cool little vintage shops, and is something of a hidden gem in the area. The studio was housed above one of the vintage shops, and is let by actual lovely human beings, rather than a corporation. I went to see it straight away, and although it’s tiny, it felt absolutely right, like home. I knew other people had viewed it, and were about to view it, so I had to move fast, and also might not be chosen as the new occupant.
Then, after chatting with the shop proprietor, I discovered I knew the previous tenant a little. So that made it feel even more right. But THEN, when I was lucky enough to be offered the lease, the landlady told me that she’d looked at this blog and realised that many years ago, an old friend of hers (who is an old work colleague of mine!) had bought her one of my little pixie hats for her son. So she had seen that I still made them, and felt it was meant to be. How serendipitous is that?
Fast forward to now. I spent 4 months extricating myself from my previous studio, but am now happily settled in Avenue Mews. I had a purge of stuff I didn’t need, stuck the excess in the garden shed, and set up my machine knitting kit and my shop stock. Edna has her little spot on her blanket, there’s a cute roof terrace to sit out on and have a cuppa, and jolly bunting waves at me from all along the street. The bakery opposite wafts in tempting smells, I have my favourite radio station on all day, and at some point in the afternoon, Edna and I stroll along to La Dinette for a canele or a financier. Plus, every time I come in, there are new fabulous things in the shop downstairs, inspiring me onwards!
I’m going to pretend it’s January now, and reset my intentions. I’ve got new designs to share with you, events to invite you to, and endless silly dog photos. If you’ve had the patience to read this far, it’s the least I owe you to try and make this worth a visit! A bientot, mes amis!