I worked for Remington West for what felt like years. I learned so much, but being young and cocky, I thought I could do it better myself. I had learned how to use the industrial sewing machines on leather and I saved my money. Finally, with the help of The Bank of Frank, (my daddy) I bought an industrial sewing machine. I had it all figured out. I was thrilled to be working on my own time, on my own schedule, and my schedule tended to be, sleep in, hang out awhile, then bust my butt sewing into the wee hours. I was free! I was college age, remember? I listened to Bob Dylan, my idol, The Allman Brothers, Lynard Skynard, Little Feat and Bonnie Raitt. (I still believe she sang her songs just for me!) while I made leather vests, lots of backpacks, and of course, the halter tops. I worked hard in reality, because it was for me. I didn't have to answer to anyone. Here's a picture of me with my mom and grandmother, in my Boulder, Colorado apartment that was the jungle and workshop. You can see a few of those plants in the background. At this stage, I still wanted to work in the field of horticulture.
I think it's safe to say that I didn't have a clue about business plans, taxes, accounting, all of the non -creative parts of running a business. Still I enjoyed working with my hands and I was good at it.
The one thing I hated was having to sell my wares. I was very shy and unsure of myself when faced with the people who needed to purchase my goods. I had no problem when I sold, for instance, at Tandy, but when faced with selling my own creations, that was a whole different ballgame! It was scary! Rejection felt personal. I had to knock on doors and ask shop owners. There was no email or social networking then. I couldn't hide behind a computer. Everything went well...for a time.
I formed relationships with my customers, slowly but surely. I sold leather goods to a man who owned shops in Estes Park, Colorado and Steamboat Springs too. The name of the company was Dark Horse Leather.There were lots of leather shops back then and his were located in two of the most beautiful spots in the state. After awhile, he approached me with an entirely different job offer, and I took it.
I am thinking, right now, about how all of these experiences made me who I am today, right this minute. Could you change any little piece of your life, knowing it might have changed many other things as well? What do you think?