A Leap Year in more Ways than One

With the transition from one year to the next it is with great interest I’ve read many online 2015 reflections and 2016 business plans and goals from people across the creative community.

2016, a leap year, brings an extra day to help with fitting all those plans in!

A year ago, I wrote about TJFrog leaping into 2015.  Resolutions they were not, more desires where I wanted to take my small creative business in its emerging tadpole phase.

Frog SpawnTJFrog was very much a tadpole in at the deep end, attending Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, and what a phenomenal event to be part of.

I well and truly exceeded my goal of attending 6 events in 2015, instead making it to four wool and textile shows, ten craft fairs and the In The Loop Knitting Conference at the University of Glasgow.  Certainly a tadpole no more!

TJFrog Table

Telling people I was attending a Knitting Conference brought a variety of responses and I have to admit I was unsure what to expect myself.  With a theme of “Craft to Couture” it promoted the joy, skill and application of knitwear throughout time, alongside important debated issues of tradition, authenticity and recompense for hand knitters.  It transpired to be an incredible three days of lectures and papers presented by an amazing line up of academics, textile artists and designers.  New TJFrog business ideas were sparked and these sit at the drawing board waiting to emerge another day.  The finale to the conference saw a fashion show in which I was honoured to have one of my Dorset Buttons adorn Di Gilpin’s Gruainne Frock Coat. A wonderful endorsement for TJFrog and certainly not envisaged or foreseen in the business planning at the beginning of 2015!

DGDB1

So plans and goals often have a level of adjustment or alteration along the way, some hitting the target bang on, while unplanned paths occur bringing unexpected achievements and rewards.  Some goals however realistic have to take a back step to accommodate harsh realities life often throws at us, the heron that occasionally decides to hunt in TJFrog’s creative pond.

I know many of you have experienced various trials and tribulations this year.  For me the January – March storms (before the Met Office started giving storms names!) saw us with permanent holes in the roof and buckets collecting water leaking into our newly renovated upstairs!

The unexpected health decline in two very close family members, searching for care homes, sorting out personal affairs and a subsequent bereavement have all taken their toll with many hours spent away from home, and an enormous amount of emotional energy expended.  To add to this my husband attended more funerals in 2015 than he can count on one hand and our house renovation snagging, has at times proved challenging as a customer experience, and not always made for a convivial creative working environment,

So in one way or another it’s been quite a strange year.  TJFrog has achieved many successes though.  Some planned, others happened as a consequence of unexpected additional work or meeting and making new friendships along the way.  Taking a backseat throughout all this has been the online presence not least the online shop.  I’m pleased to report the website is ready to go, just the packaging to get sorted, so watch out for an update on this very soon!

Kits1

Without doubt an enormous number of people have played a really important role in the success of TJFrog in 2015.  I have been balled over by the wealth of knowledge and experience people in the creative community have been willing to share with me and a huge thanks goes out to everyone.

So what does 2016 hold for TJFrog?  I’ve already mentioned the online shop, more workshops will happen this year and there is a book in the pipeline as well as a knitting pattern or two to emerge off the needles.

There will be a greater attendance at wool festivals with Edinburgh Yarn Festival, 18 – 19 March, once again being the first of the year.  Updates on yarn being used and new Dorset Button designs will start to appear online soon to whet your appetite!

IofAYarn1

The waters in the pond are certainly clearer than at this time last year, although I am sure the heron will return at some stage to keep TJFrog alert and adaptive.

Between now and then the leap year grants us the luxury of an extra day, Monday 29 February, and as a coach, if you are part of the creative community running a business, I’d love to invite you to challenge yourself how you will spend the time in relation to you and your business.

Will you have?

  • A review day.
  • A catch up day with all those fiddly outstanding projects.
  • A day to tackle that item on your “To Do” list that keeps getting put back to the bottom of the list.
  • A “me” day to keep the work / life balance in check.
  • A coffee with like-minded colleagues to arrange a future collaboration.
  • Or a combination.

For TJFrog it will be two weeks away from Edinburgh Yarn Festival providing a good opportunity to take a step back and review where I’m at and most importantly breathe!  As this extra day is a luxury we only get every 4 years I’m going to give myself permission to finish off the day with some “me” time doing what I call “social knitting.”

Make the leap year extra time count for you and your business – see you along the way during 2016!

Bye for now.

TJ Signature

2 Responses

  1. Margo
    | Reply

    Interesting to read your latest post Tania and I agree that 2015 was a bit of a roller coaster! Sorry to hear about your leaky roof – disappointing after all your lengthy renovations. Hope it’s all sorted now as we slide into winter for real next week (apparently). Sounds like the Dorset buttons are going well and the craft and yarn fairs. Planning to visit my cousin in Edinburgh in March and hopefully catch up with you at the Edinburgh yarn fair.
    Stay in touch (and dry!)
    Margo

    • Tania
      | Reply

      Thanks Margo. Fingers crossed – so far this winter the roof is secure! Would be great to see you at Edinburgh Yarn Festival if you are up. Let us know nearer the time what your plans are. Tania x

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