I’ve always felt this sense of duality while starting up this textile business. I have this deep desire to make my surroundings beautiful and yet, it never feels quite right when I do. Probably because I grew up with two frugal parents and a Mennonite mother that taught me that materialistic items are not what makes us happy. Giving back, helping others, raising your children, being courteous and kind is what matters… It’s what makes you the happiest and most fulfilled.
So I told myslef that if I created it myself, if I refurbished it myself, if I sewed it myself then making my surroundings beautiful was “okay”. So I proceeded to beautify our old house by hand scraping our stairs, refurbishing old doors, making my own upholstered headboards for our beds, making my own artwork and pillows. I drove my husband nuts in the process. We are hardly done one project before I’m starting the next one. Luckily for me, my husband also shares a love in making a house a place of enjoyment so he doesn’t usually need a whole lot of convincing.
I digress…. But still with my own creations I look at our house and I can’t help but feel guilty. It’s beautiful, fresh and airy. Some people would love just to have a roof over their heads. Some people are struck by natural disaster that has stolen not only their homes but also their loved ones. Other people are fleeing from their homes due to wars and abusive relationships. Some people don’t have an income to afford a house or an apartment and are forced to live on the streets. The list is endless really….
My ultimate dream would be to solve all these problems. To solve inequities, inequalities, injustices…. To make this world a more desirable place-a happier place- for the future of our children. But I fear I cannot.
But I can do my best. I can try in little ways to make this world a little better.
So I have this dream….
- Supporting the Canadian economy by eventually employing people. At first, I was looking abroad to make my product in China and then I thought “Hey! You’re not staying true to your values. You believe in being environmentally friendly so you must stay true to this and sacrifice profits.” Little did I know that going the Canadian-made route would bring me so much joy. I employ a home seamstress to sew my pillows and every time she finishes sewing a batch of my cushion covers, she writes me an email saying: “Dear Myra, I really appreciate your business”. It might just be one person, but I feel so warm inside knowing I am helping support this lady, giving her employment-someone local to me.
- To help people find creative solutions to living in smaller spaces- making these smaller spaces beautiful and functionable. Helping people realize that living smaller-reducing their mortgage payments-can be an exciting and less stressful–freeing mental space and working less so you can spend more time with those you love.
- Reducing my carbon footprint by keeping my products made in Canada.
- To own an environmentally friendly studio equipped with solar panels and green solutions to packaging, etc (I still don’t have a clear definition of this dream but one day I hope to clarify this).
- To someday give back if I can ever make my business profitable. Giving a portion of my profits to the less fortunate, disaster relief funds, homeless shelters, organizations that support sustainable affordable housing and organizations that ensure safety like woman’s shelters.
I recently watched an episode of Marie Forleo TV starring Dr. Tererai Trent. Dr. Trent is an inspiration as she worked to overcome poverty, abuse, failure, starvation, and raising five children all while trying to pursue her dream of getting a PhD to better the lives of woman around the world and especially those of her home county, Zimbabwe. She believes that everyone has dreams and if they write them down, they are far more likely to achieve them-really believe in those dreams and know that these dreams won’t happen overnight.
I have this syndrome of believing that I’m not good enough. That I didn’t struggle enough so I don’t have what it takes to accomplish this dream. I’m too small to make any difference in people’s lives. But I thought it doesn’t hurt to start by writing down my dreams as Dr. Trent advises. So I’ve written them down and now the hard part is working hard to accomplish these dreams….