In case you’ve never heard the term WiP, it stands for Work in Progress. In this week’s post I want to share with you a little of my personal ‘P’rogress and tell you about my brand new weekly bulletin, the WiP TiP.
During June I took part in the ‘Indie Roller digital boot camp’, aimed at helping creatives with their digital marketing efforts. It sounds icky I know, but it’s not like that. It’s not about selling, it’s about understanding what makes you (or in my case, me) tick.
It’s run by the amazing Leona from Indie Roller. She’s run lots of creative businesses and really understands what an overwhelming rollercoaster of a journey it can be.
The course helps you to uncover what you, as a unique individual, with your own experience and knowledge and motivations, have to offer. It allows you to carve your own path, to share what matters to you, in order to find your people amidst the noise of the internet.
Running a creative business is, in my experience, never motivated just by making money, it’s much more likely to just be about making and sharing your passions. It was for me anyway. But we also all have bills to pay!
When you run a creative business, you are the business.
For that reason, the course centred around examining and understanding your own motivations. Leona asks you to look at yourself, at your values and beliefs and at why you want to do what it is you’re doing.
I’d love to share a little about what it brought into focus for me. A lot of it I knew instinctively in my gut but had never really had the words to explain it before.
It was more therapy than a marketing course!
Love crafts are also running a competition for indie designer asking them to share how they express themselves through craft. This post is definitely a tribute to how the ethos of Dora Does reflects who I am!
My ‘Why’ and Dora Does’ Mission
You can read Dora Does’ origin story, and little of my mission in the About page of my website so I won’t repeat that here.
What I will do is to drill down into Why it is I do what I do now, what I want to achieve in the future and how I’m taking steps towards it.
Dora Does’ Mission
I don’t have a snazzy tag line for it (yet, I’m still working on that), but the mission I’m on with Dora Does has two main priorities.
Firstly it’s about learning. Helping you to learn new stitches or techniques or patterns as well as sharing my own discoveries with you as they happen. (I am still learning so much as a designer and crocheter!)
I want to explain things in a simple, inclusive way without assumptions of prior knowledge (or at least stating those assumptions if I make them!).
I’m not a fan of language that intimidates, confuses or alienates people. You can read more about my thoughts on the importance of language in this post from early 2019. It’s interesting, reading it back today, how it’s still relevant to the current political climate and the Black Lives Matter movement. Language matters.
Sometimes I will use more formal or traditional terms because there are no other words, but this is why I put together the Jargon Buster.
The second part of my mission is about building confidence. I believe that when you get more confident trying new things with a crochet hook, that confidence spreads to other parts of your life.
I believe this because it was my journey.
From a practical perspective, I want to help you to create crochet items (you know I love a garment but it can be anything) which you can feel a sense of achievement from.
Whether that is a wash cloth or a cardigan, I want to help you on your crochet journey, which will be different to mine and anyone else’s.
The WiP Tip, which I will talk about more in a bit, will play an important part in connecting with you to achieve this.
Gosh, I hope this doesn’t all sound too grand! I just get excited about it!
The Why part. Why I want to achieve my mission, is all based on my values.
The work on understanding and defining my values as a business (and human) has been going on for longer than just this past month, but now seems like a good time to share it with you.
Here’s a little Venn diagram I put together… before I realised the Venn diagrams only really work with 3 circles! But I’ll share it nonetheless because I think it gets the point across!
These are the four values I’ve highlighted that I aim to bring into all parts of my business (as well as my everyday life).
I’m here to help you through the ‘wtf?’ and ‘huh?’ moments.
When I was learning to crochet, I had YouYube. It’s amazing but it doesn’t talk back when you have a question!
I was lucky to find a couple of awesome mentors who have helped my on my design journey and feel that the best way to repay their generosity is to pay it forward.
This is why I set up the My Crochet Wardrobe group on facebook. You can read more about it here, but there are no silly questions and lots of big hearted kind crocheters of all levels! Come and join us!
This is a big one for me. I hate the feeling of discomfort that comes with dishonesty. It just doesn’t sit right.
Although speaking the truth can sometimes be hard, it allows you to look yourself in the eye in the mirror every morning, to be at peace internally.
When I thought about writing this post, my main aim was to introduce the WiP Tip. I wondered if I needed to tell you that I’d just been on a marketing course. Would that make it all just seem cynical?
The importance I place on honesty and transparency meant that I would not have felt comfortable leaving it out. It would have seemed a bit disingenuous. That’s why I’ve ended up taking such a scenic route to get to the point!!!
More broadly, honesty means that you can be assured that I’m never going to endorse a product I don’t really like or haven’t used. There are no sneaky spammy agendas or underhand quick-buck tactics here – that’s just not my cup of tea!
This isn’t about perfection.
I’m not perfect and never will be. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to kick my perfectionist tendencies to the curb.
“Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good” as the saying goes.
Quality is about doing my best, whether that is in design or researching a blog post, with what tools and information I have available to me at the time.
It’s also about digging deeper, asking all the questions. Engaging in critical thinking instead of doing something because everyone else does. It’s understanding how things work to a level that I feel satisfied with. I bloody love problem solving!
The message in my brain from my childhood still rings loud…
If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properlyMy Mum, or Dad… probably both
This is another one where my gut tells me if I can do better. I’m learning to listen to it, but also to learn when good enough is enough!
Because play is not just for kids.
Experimenting, failing, getting curious, falling over, trying stuff out is how we learn and grow.
Play lets us do this in a fun way because, and here’s the important thing, there is no end goal. We do it for the fun. For shits and giggles. For the process.
I firmly believe that as adults we all need to play more. I wrote a blog post about it back in 2018 about this exact thing. Play has been a loyal friend through my design journey, and life actually!
It sparks new ideas and fuels inspiration. It helps our brains to keep learning and stay fresh.
Habits run so much of our daily lives that sometimes it’s important to shake things up and look at them from a different angle. Playing around with ideas is something that can really help this.
Remember, the results of play do not matter. Leave your ego behind!
So, to get to the point of all this reflection…
Digging into this stuff, understanding what sets me alight (and why) has been an opportunity to really have a look and think about what I offer you as crocheters and experimenters, whatever your level.
One of the things I learned is that I want to spend more time serving, helping and encouraging you. You who have shown an interest by signing up to my email, reading my blog, joining the My Crochet Wardrobe Facebook group or following me on Instagram or Pinterest.
Or maybe you just stumbled on me through google and stuck around. Welcome!
You are my people!
You gave me the idea for The WiP TiP!
What is The WiP TiP?
For about 18 months, I have been sending out a monthly newsletter.
I always felt that I packed it too full of stuff, and probably too full of stuff just about me.
I realised that I could break my monthly essay up and provide a bunch of quick wins and info on a weekly basis rather than saving it up for one epic email.
If you’ve read any of my blogs, hell, if you’ve read this far into this one, you know I love to write!
We may finish the blanket, hat or sweater but we are always learning and growing, and eyeing up more yarn… so let’s forget trying to be a finished product and embrace the process as it’s own reward!
I’ve got so many ideas for this newsletter that I cannot wait to share with you. It’s all about giving you lots of crochet advice, tricks and designer secrets along side news from the Dorasphere!
Each week I’ll share a new ‘WiP TiP’; something trivial, tongue in cheek or significant that will, I hope, help you on your crochet way or give you a knowing smile!
My desire to support and encourage has been coming through more and more over the past year. Ever since I set up My Crochet Wardrobe I think.
That sparked something in me. As I touched on earlier, crochet has helped me to develop my confidence in ways I never expected and I really want to share some of that magic dust with you.
The WiP TiP is really a culmination of a lot of ideas, realisations and a nagging feeling that I can do better (it’s that quality thing again!).
It’s definitely going to be a WiP in itself. I’ll probably try a bunch of different things before I learn what works, so I would really appreciate hearing your feedback.
I hope you enjoy it!
If you’re not already on my mailing list, you can sign up here to get the weekly WiP Tip.
I know this post has been a long one, but I hope you found it useful, or at least interesting to understand where I’m coming from.
Thanks for sticking with me through this journey 🙂
I’ll see you in your inbox!