… 2017 – last words for this year …

When this year started I had a big question mark in front of me… to move forward or to find a new path… Have I found some answers…? Yes and no… I guess the biggest perception for this year was that there aren’t any final and definite answers… Life is a process… you can go backwards and forwards… it isn’t necessary a joy but it gives you options… You don’t have to close all past doors to open some new ones.

Spring 2017 came with some sun and a little bit of hope… but by autumn it was already pouring and I was ready to give in… I was waiting for a fabric delivery with the confidence that it would be the last… It was sad but on the other hand it was also a relief… I had given myself the permission to stop fighting and truly explore new alternatives. I had some ideas but after so many obstacles it was difficult to determine what was too risky and what could actually work. And of course there was the familiar issue with finances… All past failures had made some limitations… But I was at least emotionally ready to move forward with something new.

Suddenly the fabric business showed some light again and actually it was kind of difficult to accept. I had gone through a long period of mourning and finally found some peace with my decision. It was difficult to take a step back but I needed to turn the last stone. It was time for a little bit of success, self confidence and hope for the future…

However, when the end of the year approaches it is time for some conclusions… I have experienced moments of joy and I am truly grateful for that… but those small moments of glory aren’t enough to make a solid base for the future. I think 2018 needs to be a year for changes… Life evolves and I need to evolve with it… I want to develop myself, take on new challenges and create something I can truly be happy with and proud of. I don’t have to give up on the past and present but I need something new for the future… Hopefully some of my ideas will develop into reality and I get new determination to pursue my dreams as a designer…

Thanks for staying with me this year. All the best for 2018!

Sincerely,

SHALMIAK / Sari Ahokainen

 

… my first fair …

It definitely was an experience! I am so proud that I had the courage to do this. I am so proud I could handle such a social event and for the most part even enjoy it. I am so happy I was able to meet a bunch of wonderful customers with so much passion for crafts. I am so happy I got the chance to meet and connect with other fantastic entrepreneurs that immediately felt like old friends. It didn’t feel like a competition but a joint venture to make this event as fantastic as possible for all of us. My main goal was reached. I got the confirmation that fairs are something I can handle – in my own way – and perhaps even end up loving!

Another goal of mine was to gain more exposure and find new customers. I hope I accomplished at least a little bit of that. Hopefully some of those people I met during the fair will remember me afterwards and visit my webstore in the future. Of course I also hoped to make a good amount of sales but that is something I was quite disappointed with. According to my experience this fair didn’t attract enough people with passion for modern fabrics. But on the other hand as a first experience this was probably a good thing – not too hectic and overwhelming.

And immediately after this fair in Helsinki I had to make a decision… to accept or decline my booth at Suomen K├Ądentaidot in Tampere. But this decision was easy. I talked to several exhibitors in Helsinki and they all praised Tampere and encouraged me to go there. And I really wanted to experience this again! So I am hopeful that Tampere will give me some final answers… what direction to take in the future regarding my fabric production…

Of course all this would not be possible without the support of friends and relatives… and especially without my husband who supported and stood by me in Helsinki and will follow me to Tampere as well. I was surprised how well he behaved ;), probably better than I did :D. Thank you…

And what would a trip be without some extra hassle…?! A screw in the trailer tire… my husband giving some first aid so we can get back home :D. I was so tired that I could only laugh ­čśÇ