So I just looked at the date of my last post and it was almost a year ago, to the day. I can’t even believe it.
Last year at this time I had decided to take a break from refinishing furniture and Ridiculous Redhead Design altogether really. We had been dealing with a rough patch after my husband had been laid off at one point and I needed to really kick it in and fill the coffers. I had a number of small projects bringing in cash but I had been focusing on RRD as my main thing. I love working on furniture and finding out what is under 12 coats of paint. I love finding a great piece on the side of the road. And I love making my signs and other small things from recycled things.
The problem is that people want to pay like $1 for everything. They think that I found this dresser on the side of the road and slapped a coat of paint on it so it should be almost free. They have no idea how long it takes to find good pieces, how much time I spent stripping the paint off of the detail work with dental tools and then researching the best finishes for 90 year old walnut. It got to a point where I was just burnt out from the low ball offers. Or the custom requests for an entire dining set to be refinished and then have someone balk at the completely way too low price I had given them. Or the person who couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just wipe permanent marker off of the table I had just painted white for them (yes this happened). My husband always told me I charged way too little to start and then there was nowhere to negotiate from. It all got to be too much.
But the biggest thing is the time factor. I have a small child now to look after. And with my husband now working in an office instead of at home it was all on me. That meant I couldn’t barter with him to watch L until I was done with a coat of stain or finished stripping paint. Now when L woke up, I had to be done. That makes it hard to do anything that can’t be stopped in the middle. It would take me for-ev-er to get anything done, which means I was making no money at a time when I really needed to.
So last summer I started a new business, Preservation Maven. I am a virtual assistant or online business manager who helps small businesses run the back end or operations side of the business. I like working with old house people who preserve old buildings, hence the name. Everything is done from my home office (or coffee shop etc.) and I have only ever met one of my clients since everything is remote. Once I got started I really put all my energy into it. I was up late at night taking classes to help me get set up and learning new things. I had worked on Wall St. for years but I needed to figure out how to translate my skills to working virtually.
But I have really missed it here. I have this killer garden going this year and haven’t had anyone to tell about it. I just picked up 6 dining chairs, for myself for once, in a style I have been searching for for years. I pulled them out of the truck and was about to take a before picture, then realized I probably didn’t need to. I guess it was then that I realized how much I miss this blog and all the great people I have met from it. I miss sharing my adventures and hearing the comments and stories from like minded people. Brian can only take so much of my rambling excitement.
So I am going to make a point to start writing here again. I have a ton of garden things going on and a few house projects I will share as well. And those chairs! I will share the before pictures which might get me motivated enough to get them at least started if not finished!