Purpose-driven making, growing, and feeling less shitty

Leading a weaving workshop at My Social Heirloom in Montclair, NJ

Leading a weaving workshop at My Social Heirloom in Montclair, NJ

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how much to share.

It started when I began to get emails and Instagram DMs asking me about leading workshops and where I get my rope and string.  And my first reaction was:  Why would I teach other people to do what I do and give away all my secrets?  So, I'd be vague and secretive or just unresponsive, as if this information was something I needed to keep close because this work is my livelihood.  It's how I make a living, and I'd be damned if someone was going to try to copy me or steal trade secrets I've spent so much time developing, researching and learning.  And while part of that is true, here's the bigger part:

When I reacted that way, it did not feel good.

It feels shitty to be defensive or protective or closed off to the world.  And so I thought, why do I feel this way and how do I change it?  How can I be open without sacrificing the business side of this art that I've been working so hard to build?  And it dawned on me.  It's currently 4:38 am and I've been laying in bed awake for the last two hours needing to get this in writing before I forget why I'm doing all of this (besides the flexible schedule and modest income).  So here it is.

There is a very unique feeling I get every time I finish a piece.  After I made my very first woven wall hanging, I had this feeling of accomplishment that I've never felt before, and it's what hooked me.  Now, I get it every time I finish a weave or macrame.  Seeing tangible results from the hours toiled with one's hands is truly one of the most fulfilling sensory experiences.  It gives me this sense of pride that nothing else has given me before.  I played sports in high school, and even winning didn't feel as good because that fleeting feeling didn't last, and I didn't actually have something tangible to show for it except for those hideous plastic gold painted trophies that I'm sure my parents were proud to put on the mantle, but ugh.  Sorry, those things are a design nightmare. And can we get a little gaudier with the boastfulness?   Yuck.  (Don't be mistaken, if my kids start bringing home trophies, I'm sure as hell going to find a place to display them!)

I've mentioned before that I worked in PR for a decade, and the measure of accomplishment for the majority of that job is making a media placement.  Placements always felt good for a day or so, but so often the client would barely blink an eye or even take two seconds in an email to say thank you.  And that's because you're expected to deliver.  They're paying you to do your job.  Fair enough, I get it.  But just because they're paying, doesn't guarantee you can get them that big print feature they want.  You can work and work and work and pitch your heart out, but sometimes it just doesn't happen.  Or maybe, I was just a crappy publicist?  Maybe.  All I know is that toward the end, it just didn't make me feel very good about myself.

It wasn't until I found macrame, and weaving, and fiber art that I felt accomplished and creative and purposeful.  But here's the thing,I want to live with purpose beyond making pretty things. Recently, macrame has given me an avenue to be able to make other people feel good.

Now, that's pretty awesome!

I want to share that feeling of accomplishment with other people. I want you guys to be able to feel good about the things you're able to make with your hands, to discover the creative person inside you who's filled with imagination, because I truly believe we are all capable of it.  We just have to tap into it.

In the end, can we create a chain reaction of good?   If more people decide to stop doing things that make them feel shitty and end up feeling better about themselves, won't more people put that good back out into the world?  Even just by accident?  I think so!

So for me, there's no better way to do this than to share my love of macrame with you.  I'm aiming to lead more macrame workshops in New Jersey (and beyond?) this year and give private macrame lessons, and of course, give you that coveted string!  I'm working with a U.S. based cotton mill to create my very own Niroma Studio macrame string / macrame cord in two sizes and will be offering it in bulk spools at a reasonable price.  Why the heck is it so hard for us to get bulk cotton string?  Trust me, I've been dealing with this issue for a long time and my solution is to get the damn stuff made!   In order to do that, I had to buy a ton of it, so I hope you guys like it!  And getting the larger gauge was not easy.  I'll have it in about a month, so I'll tell you more about it then.  The 3 mm is now available in my shop if you want it. :-)

(Click image to get yourself some of that stringy goodness - yes frinnnnnge!)

(Click image to get yourself some of that stringy goodness - yes frinnnnnge!)

In the meantime, feel free to email me if you have any questions about macrame, are interested in a private lesson or having me lead a workshop in your area!