Where It Stands

I took a little unexpected hiatus from this space and it felt rather nice to not think about it, or at least it felt sort of nice to attempt to not think about it. After my last post about June, which I’ve subsequently deleted, some criticism that really bummed me out arose from what I hope and know deep down was a place of helpfulness, but with unsolicited dog advice literally pouring into my ears and eyes more than I can handle, it caused me to crumple and need to walk away for a bit. I don’t really care to talk about her progress or lack of progress in detail here and instagram too much going forward as I’ve realized it’s too personal and I have enough going on right now without helpful people accidentally being really unhelpful and hurtful. I love commiserating and sharing with other dog owners, but it’s a world that I’ve come to learn is incredibly sensitive and protective – I honestly cannot imagine how people are about human babies! So if you were enjoying reading about my progress with her, I apologize I’m going to be pretty quiet about it, but it’s what I need for my sanity.

Now, onto other things. I know it seems like I’m neglecting my former life before my new job, and it has really felt like that. It’s been three months now (where does the time go?) and I still haven’t figured out how to balance things well. My jewelry has been terribly neglected, I have these new wax pieces to refine and cast but they just sit waiting for a good solid three hours of attention. But! I have two really exciting collaborations I’m working on right now (aka killing myself on) that I’ll get to share soon – one soon, the other in a couple months. Everything will get done, I just need to learn to accept less lounging time and more productivity time – I feel like my natural state is lazy, but I’m not happy in that state ever. Sometimes my brain and body don’t communicate well. Anyway, all of this is fine because work is great. I won’t say it’s been easy – and I feel slightly hesitant to say that because I know some of my coworkers read my blog, but I try to be somewhat honest here, so. It’s been a switch from long days coding and designing websites and logos to now designing products and designs for fabric and paper that I have never done, or haven’t done since my days working at Dwell Studio so long ago. It’s been challenging, and I suffered from impostor syndrome up until really pretty recently. But I’m finally finishing up some things to their final state here and to see that I’m not the failure the voices in my head whisper so often is, well, relieving. I’m being pushed here, and I know I’ve read one too many inspirational posters on Pinterest that say you have to be uncomfortable to rise above and do great things, so I just keep pushing through the uncomfortableness and doubt to a place of greatness. Everyone here is so meticulous and doesn’t settle for anything less than really effing awesome, and while I’d be lying if that didn’t say that made me exhausted everyone once in a while, it means a better me, and us. It’s funny because Will has been pushing me to be more in that state of mind for a long time because that’s how he operates (I wish he could have a more creative job as there’s so much greatness untapped in him) and I never realized how right he was until hearing it from someone else – it probably helps that it’s coming from someone who pays me. HA! I’m turning 31 in a month and am discovering lately I am not entitled to relaxing as much as I wish if I want to make professional progress.

So, all of this to say, I’m quieter online but it’s a time of growing and transition still. I’m learning so much right now and it means neglecting things now and then, but I know I’ll return to certain things again eventually. Like this blog. I have so many songs to put in a mix right now! That will come soon. “Soon” – word of the season for me.

Making It Happen, Part Two

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HI GUYS! Sorry for disappearing. Life is very…full right now. As most of you know thanks to social media and my inability to blog in a timely manner, last week was my first week at my new job as the senior graphic designer at Karen Kimmel Studios. Telling people I’m moving from freelance to a full time job has elicited a wide variety of surprised faces and the face I dread the most – that twinkle of “oh, freelancing was going terrible for you” look in some eyes. Freelancing full time certainly was not lucrative – I made almost half what I made at my job before I went freelance – but I had expected and prepared for that, and by owning your own business in an expensive city standards, I was doing well. I could have kept on chugging along at the rate I was going for a few more years. We are comfortable and lucky, but I have no retirement plan, my insurance plan doubled in price this year, and the future felt so uncertain. But I could have dealt with that, I’m crafty. But what started to tug at me was this lack of purpose and focus. I thought freelancing meant only taking the jobs you want to take on – and you can certainly do that, unless you want to live somewhat comfortably. I missed the sense of community in working for a company that you want to better, I missed coworkers, I missed leaving the house, I missed structure. Having a studio helped briefly, and lord knows Katie helped me immensely with idea bouncing and keeping me company, but none of it was quite right. It wasn’t ever terrible – don’t get me wrong – it just didn’t feel right.

One day I had a complete meltdown that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and was tired of my financial and mental future, when Will told me: “look for a job”. This is a really similar conversation to ours five years ago when he told me to find a hobby and I ended up starting my jewelry line. I am stubborn and don’t like being told what to do, so I immediately told him that was out of the question – I loved freelancing and making my own schedule, and besides, we just got a damn dog. A high energy, needs lots of attention dog. He told me that I didn’t seem to love freelancing, making your own schedule is a luxury we can’t always have, and the dog was not allowed to dictate our lives like that. People with jobs have dogs. I was still grumpy about it, but eventually looked and came across this listing. It sounded perfect, it was a company I knew and loved, I was terrified. I was fairly certain I was qualified and somewhat confident I was perfect for it and it for me, but did I want this? I did so much soul searching. Like, so. much. soul. searching.

During all this soul searching I came to realize a few things that I think may resonate with some of you. This creative field world we live in – this blogging as a career, self-made Etsy supposed successes, follow your bliss mentality world – it can create a mentality that full time jobs are lame. That we should all be aspiring to working for ourselves and owning our own businesses. Joanna put it really nicely in her post about going back to full-time employment: I feel like it’s really popular right now to proclaim ‘yay freelancing,’ but when it comes down to it, it’s not for everyone. And I’m not saying that it’s not for me, because I actually think that someday in the future I will probably give it a go again, I’m just saying that it’s not the greatest creative achievement and not the only destination your creative path can lead to. I see a lot of people leave their jobs when they’re not ready for the leap, and a lot of people burn out quickly because of that. A handful of years ago there was such a rush of everyone quitting their jobs to live their dreams, but dreams change. Goals need to grow and shift, and some of us succeed in different ways. I’m starting to feel a little rumbling lately from some fellow freelancers that they’ve been thinking more about full time jobs, but I think a lot of people have a bit of an internal and external hurdle of unnecessary shame to overcome. Of knowing that so many people are not sharing their self-run business despair and pain, that working for someone else doesn’t have to equal a squashing of creative energy or personal growth, that nothing is forever.

I left a brainstorm last week at work feeling high. Buzzing with excitement over being around such awesome creative people doing awesome creative things. And that’s all it comes down to, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future and what it may hold. Sure, I’m not going to lie, it’s hard going from working on my own time for three years to being somewhere for a set number of hours everyday, but structure is good for me and I will adjust. Besides, I was starting to hold way too many one-way conversations with my pets.

Kate Miss Jewelry: New Summer Necklaces

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Summer isn’t the best time to release a big collection and I didn’t feel ready for that yet, so I thought I’d make two fun concrete necklaces with hand neon accents for all your summertime adventures. The neon is subtle but fun and brings a little pop to colorful or neutral outfits. I think they deserve to be poolside, personally. Get ‘em in the shop now!

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Thanks to my husband Will, who art directed this little shoot and make this crazy weird background for the photos. Photos by me.