Sunday, November 20, 2005

Gettin' Down to Business

I've been thinking quite a bit about Ruby Red lately. Nearly a year ago this week, I began thinking and planning for it. I would come back to my apartment from my graphic design job, walk Zoe, grab something to eat, and then sit on the couch with the TV on, or candles lit in my fireplace,or just some fun music playing, and I would grab my red sketchbook and start drawing whatever came to mind. I spent hours trying to select just the right name, and even more time working on developing my logo.

I would stay up much too late, and then drive to work by 8:00 in the morning the next day to a job that increasingly made me sick to my stomach just knowing that I would most likely be confronted by my Type-A supervisors shortly after walking through the door.

I am a talented designer. I know in my gut what is good or bad design, and I have a knack for combining elements that are unexpected or elegant. It's a wonderful gift that God gave me; in fact, I think he prepared me for it from a young age. My mom tells me that by age 3 I could already tell the difference between pink and peach!

But there is a big difference between raw talent and experienced skill, a difference that affected me profoundly at my workplace. In the end, I decided after much soul-searching to quit my job of six months . . . a job with a better-than-average entry-level salary, 401(k), good benefits, a genuine lunch hour, and a certain level of prestige.

I hated the fact that I was going to quit. I was scared to let go of the money. But when the very thing I loved to do . . . would spend hours doing just for the fun of it . . . design, became the thing I dreaded to do, I knew there was something seriously wrong.

So I told my coworkers and supervisors that I was going to start my own business, and I left in February. You know the rest.

The business has yet to begin, but I'm currently trying to decide, based on what I've read from others in the field, whether or not I really want to get into manufacturing and wholesale, or whether to just do it for the fun of it as a small online boutique, and focus my efforts on writing or looking for another job in my field.

The interesting thing is, my situation in life right now is so transient, so unpredictable, that I am forced to be fluid and willing to adapt to whatever comes my way. In a way, that is the best thing that has come out of my quitting and moving to live with my parents. I have the flexibility, once my credit card debt is paid in full, to do whatever it takes to move on to the next thing. And whatever the next thing is (God only knows!), I'm working on being ready!

I wish I could have a soundclip here, but the music that best suits what I am trying to convey is sung by a new favorite Christian artist of mine, Kendall Payne. This is a quote from the lyrics to the song "Stand" in her newest album titled grown:

Here I am still waiting, For how long I don't know
It's a long way back from where I've been
But there's no where else to go

So I'll stand With my face to the wind
And my back to the world
I'll follow you
And I'll go where you tell me to go
No I won't be afraid, No I won't be afraid ...

Every time I hear this song, despite the cold November air, I feel like opening the moon roof on my car, rolling down the windows, taking my untameable curls out of their ponytail holder, and singing at the top of my lungs.

Thanks, Kendall. You've sung a battle song for me!

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