I've been at the torch for almost 16 years. My usual stint at most things is about 7 years. Although it's been a good long ride, it's time to move on. In the time I've been making beads, I've seen countless new beadmakers hit the scene, some of them good, creative, original artists, and some just copying what's already working for someone else. I've had my share of copy-cats, and although they never really hurt me, I have to admit to finding them annoying. Anyway, over the years we all began to notice something of an overabundance of beads out there. Combine that with a slow economy, and many of us who were used to making a good living from our beads gradually found it harder and harder to make ends meet. Cheap Chinese lampwork, although well known to be of inferior quality, also hurt us because people who didn't know any better started buying it instead of all the wonderful artist made beads available. The price is right, and they're pretty. But what can we do? I for one can't work for sweat shop wages.
I'm actually really grateful for all the seeming "downturns" in my business. It's hard to walk away from a business that's thriving, but as it is, I'm more able to admit that I'm done, and to allow myself to imagine what comes next. Something always comes next! My plan is to build a new business as a vegan food coach and cooking instructor. This is what makes my heart sing now, and I'm always the first to tell someone to do what makes their heart sing. Life is short. Get on with it.
To close out the BeadShop in style, I'm sorting through a mountain of beads and jewelry that go back to my very beginnings at the torch. Starting Monday I'll be offering most of it for sale, about 30 - 50 pieces at a time, until it's all gone. I'm finding things I didn't even remember saving. 16 years is a long time, and a lot of beads.
With all this happening, it also occurred to me that it's time to end this blog. I started it when we were traveling, but now we're more settled than ever back in Taos - at least until we're not. Anything could happen, but it feels like we'll be here for a while, and we like that. We took the long way home, and here we are. Home. Not exactly back home, because everything is different now. Moving forward from here means even more things will change, and because I'm putting my focus and attention into what matters to me now, that means leaving behind what's no longer of service.
Blogs end. New lives begin. I'm so grateful to all of you who have been reading along with me all this time, and I invite you to come over to my other blog, Positively Vegan, to continue the journey with me. You don't have to be vegan to hang out with me (just ask my friends). My focus now is on cooking and wellness, for humans, animals, and the planet, and I imagine you can find a place for yourself in there somewhere. Besides, I think my new adventures are every bit as interesting as my old ones. It's not just about food, it's about life. Or as a Zen monk who's name I can't remember once said, "When I give you food, it's not about food. It's about everything."
As a beadmaker, I always wanted to decorate everyone I knew. I still do, only now I want to decorate them from the inside out. Follow me over to Positively Vegan, and we'll keep the fun going! And starting Monday, check the BeadShop for vintage Kim Miles treasures. This is the first batch I'll be listing, and I have tons more...
Happy trails, my friends! Thanks for being here!