What is it all about?
Parade Handmade is, a start up eCommerce business promoting selling handcraft from Ireland, specialising in one off pieces, limited editions and short production runs in craft and local art. Having pivoted from it's original incarnation as a bricks and mortar shop, called 'Parade', in Newport, Co, Mayo, on the Wild Atlantic Way, Parade Handmade forges ahead.
The Nurturing Of Positive Energy
The whole project of Parade and now Parade Handmade has been a labour of love. A shot in the dark, so to speak in terms of a done deal and roaring financial success. It is the result of learning as much as possible, as quickly as possible and of putting all of what has been learned in life, into action. Throw lots of soul, enthusiasm, friendship, support, the nurturing of positive energy and innovation, as much as a body can muster, all into the hat. Then while stirring, hope against hope that, considering all that is going on around us and in the world at large that could thwart the progress, that somehow, if we have anything to do with it,
this niche business might fly.
It Represents The Indomitable Spirit
Parade Handmade not only represents and hosts the work of varied and individual producers of authentic, artistic and creative endeavor, mostly in Ireland, it represents the indomitable spirit that permeates creative life and those that dare to live it. Some are people with a business and lots of work to show for it. Some are creators in much quieter ways who would never really assume to call themselves artists or craftsmen and women. From quirky felt hats by Parade to traditional irish craft such as Aran knitwear by Bridie Murray and Jo's Knits and the latest styles in knitting by Shoreline we have soft accessories covered. Lapanda Designs Jewellery offers a taste of vintage chic with gemstones, pearls and crystals and if it's something humorous and whimsical you need then Ditsy Designs will have a cute flying mouse or a colourful sheep bookmark for you. There is much more to choose from of course, from innovative pottery by Kurilla Pottery, wood turned pens by Frank Mc Neela, intricate patchwork by Bernadette Walshe and not to forget the much sought after Mindfulness Matters cd collections for children and adults, by Derval Dunford.
Creativity is often unappreciated if it is not wrapped in PR, a business, a title and lots of money. Nonetheless, there is a wealth of happiness and life energy to be achieved and enjoyed by appreciating and celebrating the tiniest show of creativity, whether it is for sale or not. We have a lot of fun at Parade Handmade and really enjoy the gifting experience from showing all the fabulous options to wrapping and sending. We take our customers needs very seriously, however. We aim to treat each customer and each order with care and attention, just as though they were the only customer with the only order and the most important thing happening on a given day.
How Does It Feel?
The sense of personal empowerment and confidence is palpable when an item is sold on behalf of another, however. I mean, by the supplier and the seller. The encouragement is enormous and we feel that our input is valued as a creative entity, far beyond our families, jobs and other duties that keep our worlds ticking. How does it feel to be committed to the growth of a creative business for yourself and for others? It is exciting, creative and very interesting but it is also deeply scary and often overwhelming. There is always much more to do and to learn than you can possibly achieve and someone else is always doing it better and more successfully, not to mention quicker. This is especially true, if like me you are chiefly a creative person. There is a stand off between the introverted nature and the extroverted side of the personality. Many creative people find it a job to get the balance.
As I see it
As I see it, part of the job of becoming or developing in a creative business is to face each day, each emotional barrier and each challenge with the intention of, putting one foot in front of the other and getting to the other side. Challenging your fears. In the end this business may only be starting off, but it will always be developing, scary and somewhat overwhelming. That said, as long as there remains creative opportunity and room to grow and develop every day, it should remain exciting and worthwhile. That is creativity in action.
I Have Changed My Mind
I have to date, shied away from grant agencies. However, I have changed my mind since last week. Actually, it is really only since doing some marketing courses during 2019 and 2020, offered by the Local Enterprise Office, Co. Mayo, that I have come to realise and accept more and more as a fact of life, that 'self-made' people are rarely 'self-made'. They often simply do not apportion thanks to where it is due. I read that this week and of the benefit of accepting help for whatever you need in order to get the job done. That would be, physical help, expertise, donations or grants and then you pass on the help to others as and when you can, possibly later on. Otherwise you can just get stuck.
The Book I Am Reading
The book I am reading is called, 'Organising Your Creative Career', By Sheila Chandra. It is about 'taming creative chaos'. (I wish I could have read it and more like it, thirty years ago!) It covers everything from organising your work space, admin, your home and your time to dealing with officials, authorities and everything else you might find bothersome and challenging g when trying to 'make it' in a creative business, be it the music, art,
writing or whichever creative business you choose to work in.
I like to read uplifting, supportive books and articles as it helps with maintaining a positive mindset when trying to attain your goals. Good luck with yours!
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