Crikey it's already August!! August 4, 2019 21:48 2 Comments

I can hardly believe it is already August!

August is a busy birthday month for us McLeans - there is me on the first, then our wee grandson George on the third, then his dad, our eldest son, on the 5th, then Rod on the 13th - then throw in a few extended family members and a couple of friends, and it's just party, party, party until September!!

It is around this time five years ago Rod and I decided to really give this McLean & Co. weaving business our very best so I resigned from my job as Art Technology teacher at Oamaru Intermediate School that December.

The last five years have been really full-on - firstly we had to make some money to live on while we got going, so I enrolled in a business course at Southland Institute of Technology and we lived on the student allowance for six months. Then we needed a website so I learned how to do that (with the help of a good friend who had created her Shopify website a few years previously). Then came marketing and social media, which involves constant attention, and is one of those things you just have to embrace or else you risk falling by the wayside. Then there is the accounting, taxation and regulatory side of things, customer relationships to develop and maintain, retail and trade challenges, employee/employer relations, and a host of other aspects to learn and assimilate into the business, and therefore our lives.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we actually design and craft our products ourselves, so there needs to be time to do that as well!!

Like many small (as in micro small) business owners we sometimes struggle to juggle - keeping all those balls in the air can be a bit of a mission. There is only us to do it all, and it certainly is a juggle, but juggle it we do, just like so many others who love what they do and why they are doing it.

By far the best thing about being in business are the many incredibly talented, dedicated and really amazing people we have met through McLean & Co. People who come from all walks of life, from all over the world; makers and those who support makers by appreciating and buying their wares; those with disposable income and those with limited dollars; those conscious of environmental and social issues, people who are passionate about wool and other natural fibres; those who have learned lots and are happy to share their knowledge with us, and those still with lots to learn and with whom we can share some of our learning. We feel extremely privileged to be on this journey, with our looms, with each other, and especially with all the wonderful people we are meeting.

This month Rod and I will be at the Home and Family Society market at the Addington Raceway on Saturday 10th. On Tuesday 20th we are speaking at a Wastebusters Alexandra/REAP sustainable business and living evening in Ophir, then on Saturday 31st we are heading off to Tarras to be part of a Tarras School fund raising evening. Then later in September we are off to Nelson where I am giving a presentation at the Costume and Textile Association of NZ symposium at the Suter Gallery. We are looking forward to all of these events where we will be meeting lots of new people, and sharing our passion for New Zealand wool, our Hattersley looms, the craft of weaving and our beautiful limited edition fashion and home wares - which Rod has woven and I have stitched!! Please come and say hello if you are at any of these occasions - it will be great to meet you!