The last few weeks have been a mixed bag of wins and losses and it is only after a big rush of activity that I am now able to sit down and reflect on these and how they impact the Daughters journey. The most notable wins have been completing the new website for both screen and mobile and launching the Etsy store stocked with the new collection! I can't tell you how many hours have gone into both of these. Doing everything myself means that it's like turning small screws very slowly and it has been a labour of love making sure everything works and looks as good as I can possibly make it. I'm not a pro coder so the overall look is quite clean and basic but I am proud of what I've achieved and feel like Daughters now has a strong online platform from which to build on.
I also had a visit with Thom from Mamnick the other weekend (there's write up to follow on that trip coming soon) who is proof that the success of a small start up is all about how much work you put in. It was so inspiring for me to see someone who is about 5 years further down the line than I am and where I might end up if I keep at this.
There have been losses too. I entered a competition with Stylist magazine for their Bright Ideas fund and failed to make it through to the semi finals which was disappointing. The prize money was £20'000 towards your business start up and that money would not only have pushed Daughters forward it would have taken it up by about 5 levels. I'm trying not to dwell on this though, you can't miss something you never had and the work I put into my application won't be wasted, I'll use it in other places. This made me think about the idea of loss in general though. When we lose something it is so easy to focus on what is gone. I have been reading Rebecca Solnit - Men Explain Things To Me and she talks about the loss of future memories, the plans you had made, the stories you had told yourself about how it would play out and the sadness of losing those future memories that you thought you had already created. This resonates with me hugely at the moment, both on a personal and professional level. But, she points out, as those memories were not yet created they open up the possibility of what will fill those spaces. Yes that funding option didn't work out but it leaves the way open for a whole host of others. I am currently writing my Crowdfunder proposal, elements of which contain notes from my Stylist application, and it is exciting to think that through this I might be able to fund the next chapter of Daughters from contributors who are as passionate about what I'm doing as I am. The idea of loss is perhaps easier to process when you look at the space that loss has opened up and the magnitude of options that could fill it.
The poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop has long been a guiding light for me whenever I feel gloomy about the things that I have lost. Because even when you lose there are still wins.