Summer is our busiest season on wharf street, Portland being a tourist town, and most of our retail customers are from out of state. Therefore, I tend to use the internet very little during the summer.
It’s a yearly cycle, and I’ve observed it for several years now. For our products, august is the slowest web-sales month, but the busiest retail month. good balance ;)
Some things I’ve really thought about a lot and appreciate ever more:
— working with my hands. I’m fascinated by economics, by languages, by social issues, and by the intersection of the three. I spend hours each week studying and reading on these subjects. But if I think about trying to do that sort of research and study for a job, something is immediately missing. I have to work with my hands to be happy. This is literal- I’ve got to be doing physical, hands-on, not-intellectual work for a good portion of each week (I’d guess at least twenty hours) to feel balance.
— the long game. This is how Daniel and I have started to think about our businesses and our mutual fascinations with other subjects- me with languages and social/ economic issues, him with markets and finance. Everything is part of the long game- the slow build. We want the clothing businesses to be sustainable, long lasting, slow-growing. At the same time, we’re both building and exploring new areas for intellectual growth- everything is on a five, ten, twenty year time scale.
— I really appreciate that we don’t have to drive daily. I’d estimate we use the car only once or twice per week- to go to the grocery store.
— the cyclical feeling of seasons. The older and more experienced with the yearly cycles I become, the more I find that mentally preparing for difficult seasons helps. December is always tough for me. So is July. I’m aware of when mercury retrograde is going to be, and more patient when things break.
— decoration & ritual: I started make balms and perfumes this summer, and I’m now totally enamored of Mountain Rose Herbs. Every item they sell comes packaged beautifully, as such precious things should. I also started wearing and appreciating jewelry, and appreciating more ritual in the time of dressing for the day. Daniel and I (finally) transformed our back room- which was functioning as a storage space- into a functional laundry sorting/ closet/ dressing room.
Happenings this summer:
Seawall had its one year birthday.
Daniel and I both turned 34. (Our birthdays are just over two weeks apart.)
I realized I’ve been sewing clothing for over twenty years (22, to be exact.) I still love it.
Brook There doesn’t really have a birthday, but the company is about 7 years old now.
Finally, I got up the courage to find tutors in my favorite languages (arabic and german). I found two awesome people to help me learn IRL, and have been making MUCH better progress. There really is only so far one can go alone learning languages… obviously ;)
I’ve really started to like doing the light maintenance and oil changes on the sewing machines.
And now that we’re coming up to fall:
I’ll adding fall product to the website in early September, but it’s in the store already. I’m really pleased with the fall collection- it’s the combination of organic ginghams, soft and drapey dresses, silk lingerie, and real suits- of gorgeous wool with custom printed silk linings- that has me excited to swap my wardrobe for cooler weather.