Sometimes in life you see that as your journey progresses down the multi-lane highway that an opportunity to travel a little better, a little faster, a little more smoothly arises and so you change lanes. If you’re driving in Sydney traffic no matter what lane you pick it too will eventually present its own issues and you’ll need to change lanes again, either back to where you were or to a different lane altogether.
The time has come for me to change lanes with Mountain Moon And Sea. We got into the lane of volunteering and stocking with I Heart Gallery as it was a great opportunity and full of promise. After about 3 months in that lane I have realised that the travel to and from Sydney, the coffee I needed to get me through the day and the take away food were taking their toll on my health and my wallet. Being run-down physically meant that I had fallen a little behind in my TAFE work and struggling to catch up is stressing me.
After doing some brain-storming and a SWOT analysis I realised that there was more to why this lane wasn’t working for me anymore. I brainstormed what I saw in I Heart Gallery in terms of target market, political beliefs and the sort of energy is had as a space. I Heart Gallery is young, “alternative”, subversive, decidedly young, overtly sexual and politically charged with a dash of cutesyness, some pop culture iconography and pinch of retro-cool to balance it out a little. There is also a certain chaotic flair in I Heart Gallery which is very at home in the Inner West. I Heart is cool, fashionable and will be popular with those that the rest of society may label as “Goth”, “Emo” or “Hipster”. This would have sat really well with me 5-10 years ago. But I am not that person anymore and the work I produce reflects that.
Mountain Moon And Sea (MMS) reflects more of who I am now, and who I want to be in the future. It is focussed in the Illawarra by it’s very name. I want MMS to be more ethically focussed, in terms of environment, sustainability of resources and supporting fair-trade practices. I want MMS to be a spiritually grounded business whose practices reflect the ethics at the heart of it, at the heart of me. I want MMS to be organised, professional, reliable and to build strong relationships with its customers, suppliers and with the greater community. I want the business to focus on hand-made items of artisan quality that are still affordable. I want the items I create to have their own unique style, to be beyond “fashion” and to hold their appeal for many seasons into the future, with the quality to last the test of time. The target market I am looking at for my products is older, more “mature” and more ethically/eco-focussed. There are different life stages in my target market to that of I Heart Gallery.
My time with the Gallery has been really enjoyable. I have worked with genuinely lovely people who have supported me and encouraged me in so many ways. I have learned a lot about myself, my business and gained some really valuable retail experience. Hopefully I’ve contributed as much to I Heart Gallery as I have received. I have been inspired in many ways and have many plans for future projects that I am currently storing under my hat until I am finished my course and in my new studio.
On that, rather long-winded, note I shall leave you as I have assignments that need tending to.