I Can't Control Coronavirus...
Updated: Apr 7
…or the effect that it will have on my fledgling jewellery business. I can’t buy silver any more, because my suppliers aren’t supplying. I can’t send any wax carvings to my caster, because they’re closed. Obviously people are too focused on staying safe instead of buying jewellery online – that’s exactly how it should be. So I don't think I'm going to add a whole lot of items to my shop right now. Besides, to be able to place more items in my shop, I need to make more items. For that I need more silver. Back to square one.
My business is barely getting started. And all the above constraints completely justify me saying that I can’t run the business any more. If I bowed out gracefully now, everyone would understand. Most importantly, I would understand.
I’ve never done anything gracefully. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever seen me on the dance floor. Arms flailing about as if I’m asking to be saved while drowning, my belly dancing independently of the rest of me… oh dear! So of course I’m not bowing out gracefully. It’s absolutely true that I have no control over the Coronavirus, nor the constraints it places on me. But I do have control over how I react to them. So I decided to ask myself some simple but important questions.
First of all, what can I do to help? Well, I’m not a qualified doctor or nurse, so my uses are limited. But I can help our health service by volunteering to do whatever additional tasks need doing. I can help by following instructions and staying away from people outside my home to help prevent the spread. And I can help by being sensible about what I buy, not hoarding, so that there is enough for everyone.
Secondly, if I can’t develop my business the way that I planned to, what can I do instead? Well, I still need to learn many things about many things - business, jewellery, photography, resilience - the list is endless. And taking good photographs is at the top of the list.
So I’ve decided to spend my ‘down time’ practicing how to take photographs. For an online business, this skill is second only to having a good product. I dislike photography, because the results aren’t good. And the results aren’t good because I dislike it so much, and I’m trying to ‘get it over with’. I’ve decided that I’m going to slow down, and then hopefully I'll get better. I’ll focus (excuse the pun) on quality, not quantity. Tell me what you think of the photos below. I’ve tried hard, and I know I’m not there yet, but are they passable? How many points out of 10 do you think you’d give me? What could I do better? The enamel bracelet is one of my early photos. The other two are more recent. Do you see an improvement? Oh, please say that you do! I'll be gutted otherwise.
Another thing I can do is to blog more. I love writing, and blogging suits me perfectly. It gives me a chance to ruminate and chat without chewing people’s ears off.
And finally, I have to ask myself what’s right and what’s wrong in these very strange circumstances. Is it right to continue blogging when people are in danger? Is it right to still keep my products online when the last thing on anyone's mind is going to be buying jewellery? Is it right to post my attempts at photography or be active on social media? Or are all these activities totally inappropriate given the gravity of the situation?
My view is that Coronavirus is first and foremost a health crisis, but it is also an emotional crisis. We are losing loved ones. We can't be near them when they go, and we have to grieve in isolation. We don’t know when it will end, and right now, the light at the end of the tunnel seems ever so far away. So if keeping my blog going brings a smile to someone’s face or gives someone pause for thought; if keeping my products online distracts someone for a minute, and gives them something pretty to look at; or if my attempts at photography makes people feel positive enough for that brief moment, to say ‘I can do better than her’, then my actions will have been justified.
Stay well. Stay safe. Stay positive.
If you liked this post and want to get a reminder of my weekly blog, please click SUBSCRIBE on the menu at the top of the page.