I love this time of year. I wouldn’t want to live with winter all the time, but I am making an effort to appreciate its beauty while it lasts. The days are getting longer now, which gives me a psychological boost. It is a great time to think about new beginnings, and reflect on where I’ve been.
I am in the midst of my first-ever total shut down of tile production. Prior to this, Emu Tile was open continuously since 2005. In the early years, that was fine. There were slow periods to work on new designs, maintain my workspace, and rest my hands. In recent years, not so much. Selling more tiles has been amazing and wonderful, a dream come true. I am deeply grateful to everyone who appreciates my work; I love making tiles for each and everyone of you. But scaling up production has created some logistical problems. My studio was becoming a dusty mess and my work flow was less than streamlined. By late 2012, I realized it was time to take a break and regroup. With my business model, scheduling time off is a challenge. Making tiles to order can take a month or more, so I have to close the store well in advance of the time I want to have “off.” It felt so extreme, so scary, to shut down the business that I have put so much into. But my recent success made me brave, and I settled on a two-month closure of the online store, which translated into one month of actual down time. The end/ beginning of the year seemed like the most natural time to pause, so I stopped taking orders after November 15th, shipped the last of those orders by December 15th, and scheduled the next 30 days for cleaning, dreaming and relaxing.