Clarris and co. sit to attention!
Clarris and co. sit to attention!

The last few months have been transition months. Like a child learning to walk I have been falling and then picking myself up. Frustrated, compelled to move on but at the same time fearful of entering new territory and leaving familiar zones. I have had to accept some stark truths about my business and how I run it and I am embarking on real, raw changes in order to make it work, and I mean REALLY work.

Firstly: Getting to grips with cash flow. After an enlightening session with Roger I now know how to create formulas in Excel. This has enabled me to draw up sheets detailing every expense, income, accurate costings, time sheets and charts and I am attending to them daily (brownie points overflowing). These charts make the business of assessing whether I can, could or can’t make a purchase so much easier because the answer is staring me in the face in black and white. Example: I realised with horror that my agent’s commission was eating up pretty much all profit on the tweedies. I either do without or reduce the commission. Phone call was made, agent understood and commission was reduced. Result! Now had I not written up the chart I would have been blissfully unaware that I was making Tweedies purely for charity.

Secondly: I need to sell LOTS, and I mean lots of tweedies in order to make a living which means I need to sell, market and design my products… not make! Enter…..Tina. Wey Hey I have acquired a fabulous sewer who has moved on to the island into a house which once was my studio and spends hours making tweedies in an exacting and methodical way, which I like. She also makes a great cup of tea and has reminded me how enjoyable company can be.

Levinias lounging
Levinias lounging

So all this change and structure seems to be, in a manifesting through thought kind of way, encouraging orders. I have just received an order from the…wait for it (drum roll…….) Scottish National Gallery !

Chuffed to bits

x Sarah

Posted by:mogwaii

Born: 13th March 1969 in Edinburgh Star sign: Pisces Where do I live? An beautiful island called Lismore Who with? I live with my gorgeous man - Yorick, and my beautiful boys Ruben (currently 14) and Tom (10) and we also have cat poppy, cat Bashy and cat Spyro. What do I do there? Water veggies in the polytunnel, loads of mopping up, picking up clothes, cooking and washing dishes. The rest of the time I'm in a blissfull state in my studio making things out of wool and designing the next must have (in my head!) and a lot of cycling to and fro My favourite Books: Right now...empowerment books like "The power of now" and "The Secret", but also John Fowles "The Magus" and "The kite runner" and I love the "Tao of Poo" My Favourite films: Babettes feast, Wings of desire and The colour of Pomegranites. My favourite music: Bach cello suites for designing, Dolly parton for making (especially her album Little Sparrow), Teddy Thompson and loads of other stuff! What did I do before moving to Lismore? * Went to school in Edinburgh (South Morningside primary then St. Mary's music school and then George Watson's) * Went to Brazil for a year, fell in love, learnt Portuguese and spun a lot of wool * Studied foundation in visual arts in Manchester poly and then went on to study BA Hons in textiles at Goldsmith's college * Made felt hats, sold them at Camden market and then eventualy Liberties and had Ruben in the midst of it all - moved to Pathhead * Tom came along and I stopped making hats. sung lots of Jazz, taught Brazilian and samba singing, recorded an album and started singing with La Boum * Tom went to school and I set up Mogwaii * Moved here in 2006 There you go!! xx Sarah (from left) Ruben, me and Tom (from left) Ruben, me and Tom

10 replies on “‘Getting real’

  1. Hi Sarah. Love the line up! Interesting what you say here about getting more ‘professional’ in your approach. I have found a need to do the same as three wholesale orders rolled in together and I realised how disorganised my approach is. Panic? Moi? x

  2. Hello Sarah!!!i hope you remember me from Harrogate. Anyway i found very interesting your post and very appropriate for business in development. I hope Levinia and friends are selling lots! a big hug.

  3. Just to let you know that major building works are under way at Tigh Na Lochan (doorway widening) to make sure Tinas head will fit in the house!
    Well done folks,im glad its working out.

  4. Wow, sounds like you’ve been up to a lot. I’m happy to hear you’ve been getting more organized and on track. And what a bit of fate to have Tina moving to the island, in your old studio, right when you need someone. This is a very big, important step in your career, and it sounds like you’re happy with it. I’m glad to see you’re growing so much! Hope to read more posts in the future, I’ve missed my Scottish friend 🙂

  5. Hi Sarah,
    just a quick note,if you receive an Email from the Department of Environment and Health warning you not to eat tinned pork because of swine flu,ignore it,Its Spam.
    Speak to you soon,

  6. Hi Sarah – New Zealand was a Clarice and Lavinia free zone but I talked you up massive there. And talking up tweedies isn’t easy for anyone who’s never seen them.

  7. I love your line up and your honest heatfelt frustration.
    is our brand new boutique… and the hardest part I have found is in the marketing. My daughter who is the other half of this adventure is our business guru…I just like to quilt and sew. I lost my job the week before thanksgiving and find money is the first thing that disapeared, so here we are trying something new…. Any suggestions on how to get our internet boutique name out there?

  8. Hi Sarah,

    We’ve not met, but I know your dad and I understand you helped Lois with a quilt square or two. (Thank you, they were beautiful!) I absolutely love your work and blog – but nowhere do I see (in my quick search) how I might lay my hands on a tweedie or two here in Canada…I suspect they’d be a big hit with friends, so if there’s a way to buy them retail or order them online, let me know. Thanks!

    Looking very much forward to following your words from afar…

    Surya (Linda’s daughter)
    Vancouver, BC

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