Thanks for popping in. Leading on from yesterday’s blog, we’re in Jackanory-story mode this week. It occurs to me that the Orla Kiely Card I made years ago popped into my top 2 favourite cards ever, because it is particularly pertinent again. Not the card – not even Orla – but the business predicament.
When a piece of artwork is created out of a situation or event, there is a story behind it, it had significance, meaning at the time of making. So there is an association with a memory. I blogged the OK story years ago, and have added it below, to accompany the artwork, which really isn’t that special, but it holds a place in my heart. Now why is that? Read on…
Once again, I used the wonderful and original artwork by our Mel, because Orla started out life as – yep you guessed it – a hat designer.
I love these stamps. All I need is a piece of inky scrap copy paper. You can see that this is just a brayer scrap.
So whilst we stamp …
…build our picture
and add appropriate words…
just 2 – Beauty and Strength.
then inject a little colour with brushes
and pencils, let me tell you what is going through my head.
I remember many years ago, sitting in an accountant’s office. I remember it as if it were yesterday, because he said to me, “The best thing you can do is go into voluntary liquidation”. Gulp.
I remember my response too: “What kind of a bloody solution is that? That does NOT work for me.”
And he shrugged his shoulders. I remember that so well. He didn’t give a shit.
So I got rid of that accountant, told nobody – and started pedalling harder than ever. With the help of a few good people, I worked through that nightmare, one day at a time. But WORK was the operative word. I didn’t have as much to lose as Orla, of course. But our home was on the line, and our livelihood.
I guess that situation, even though we worked our way through it and out of it, it stays with you, like a little pebble in your shoe. I don’t talk about it, but it defines me as a businesswoman, it really does. Keeps me on my toes, makes me work hard. Never want to get in that arena again.
And whilst there are no guarantees, hard work, a good team, calculated risks combined with a prudent reserve and a comparatively modest lifestyle all contribute to staying away from that cliff edge.
When I read that the staff couldn’t be paid at Orla Kiely’s company, that’s the one. That’s the death knell. When it went wrong in my world, there were only 3 of us. But even that was excruciating.
I have added OK here. Ironically, those are Orla Kiely’s initials. She doesn’t know me. We have never met and I cannot assume that things will be OK for her. My God! Look what happened to Kate Spade!
But one thing I do know for sure: it is not the event, but how you react to it which will ultimately affect you.
And I speak from experience.
Three years on….How ironic this is. Covid threw hundreds of thousands of little businesses just like ours straight back into that awful arena. We had – correction, HAVE, a real fight on, to keep going. But Clarity is still here, one day at a time, and we’re still operational. That’s quite something actually. Thousands of little businesses – and huge businesses – are going under.
Anyway, my point is that art, when attached to a story, a narrative, packs a much more memorable and powerful punch.
I shall dig deeper and see what else I can find this week. Why don’t you too? Have a look in your library of artwork, and look at the stories behind the work. You will get me. It isn’t necessarily the brilliant execution that will highlight the work to you, but an emotional link. Tell us about it.
Love & Hugs,