A year ago my family made a very big decision. We decided that I would leave my office job and pursue my career choice to be a professional artist full time. Prunella’s Workshop existed prior, but between full time jobs and family obligations, it was admittedly an after thought going nowhere big. I cannot tell you the date when Prunella’s Workshop went from non-existence to reality. I can tell you on August 3, 2013, I said goodbye to a world of shuffling paper in an office cubicle and moved into the world of handmade.
Therefore, it is our anniversary.
|Princess - Sterling silver necklace with rhodochrosite quartz by Prunella's Workshop|
It is not an easy world. Self-employment requires a lot of self-discipline. It can be easier to allow one’s self to be distracted by social media games. Working from home means you have to structure your time and make it clear to family members that you are at work right now, and cannot do the laundry any more than you could have when you drove into the office. The only difference is, the washing machine is right next to my jeweler’s bench taunting me. I never leave work, which means if I do allow myself a few minutes to be unproductive I may feel guilty later.
Being self-employed is also very rewarding. I set my own hours, and my schedule is flexible around family needs. (I can stop and do the laundry!) There is autonomy and choice regarding product that you do not have when you work for someone else. I set my goals. I determine my dreams. Every bit of work I do pushes me closer to making those goals and dreams a reality. It is not a 40-hour a week drain of my life-it is my life.
|Prunella's Workshop; Photo by Lynn Mohney|
I did not only leave the corporate world to be my own boss, however. I left to pursue my art. I wanted to create things with my very own hands. I delight in seeing my hard work being worn by a customer. Several years ago I made a special piece for a customer I met at an event. Every year I return to the event I see my customer wearing his pendant, and he shows it to me with pride. I look forward to this brief moment. It completes my purpose in creating my work. I create because I am programmed to create – When I am not making the ideas in my head I am miserable. That alone can be reason enough to approach the workspace and make new product. However, when I see my work being enjoyed by others, I know the piece has transcended into something special, making the world around me just that much better than it had been before. I have shared a part of myself with strangers and made them happier.
|Her Lips were as Red as Blood- sterling silver with glass cabochon; by Prunella's Workshop|
I am proud to be part of the movement away from mass produced items to a simpler way of life. I think we lost something when we moved towards big corporations and away from the small businesses. There is so much more fulfillment in my life now as a professional artist. I will not lie and say there have been no bumps in the road. It has been a very thrilling ride, though, and I’m not ready to get out of the car yet!
|Mad as a Hatter - Copper ring with jasper cabochon; by Prunella's Workshop|