Want to know how much I earn from Kraken Kreations? Well, the actual figures are between me, the accountancy-trained Conjugal Kraken and the HMRC but suffice it to say that I don’t make a living wage. That’s right, for all of my success since launching Kraken Kreations almost one year ago I’m not yet making enough money to describe my wage as one that lets me comfortably pay the mortgage. And for several people I have spoken to about this, my inability to make it rain in strip clubs means that my business is anything but a success. Instead it’s a failure. Yet I don’t see it that way. In fact I don’t see it that way at all. In my head my business is a raging winner and here, kraken lovers, is why:
Financial: I am actually turning a profit. OK, so if I were reliant on my profit alone I would have to live off grubs and worms but Conjugal Kraken and I can live on his wage while I build up my business by making totes and sky pockets. You see, my enormous contribution to the family coffers ended when my breakdown ended my journalistic career in 2010 . Yes, this makes me shit nettles (my feminist principles have taken a kicking and I despise being reliant on anyone but myself for income) but sometimes a crafter, including a feminist one, just has to be patient…
Creative: I get to be physically creative every day of my life, which is such a joy that there are times when I can barely breathe for the wonder of it. Yes, I really do sit in my sewing shed, look about me and blink because I can’t believe that I get paid to play with buttons and fabric while shouting abuse at the ever-hideous Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2. And if you are wondering, yes, the creativity does extend to the abuse. I have so many alternatives to the word ‘cockknobber’ that I can barely walk straight.
Structure: When I finally emerged from my ill health I needed something to replace my daily routine of prolonged sobbing, PTSD-level flashbacks, visits to my psychiatric unit and Jaffa Cake scoffing. Kraken Kreations has done just that (although the scoffing continues unabated). As a woman who is terminally shit at drifting, knowing that I can be in my shed from 9am – midday and then from 1pm – 5pm gives me a mahoosive sense of purpose. It also makes me feel as if each day is a step forwards. Believe me, you could stick me in an institution and I’d thrive.
Freedom: You know, before I sewed slouch bags for a living I was a freelance journalist. When I decided to go it alone it was because I never, ever, EVER wanted to ask permission from a boss again (I once had to ask a boss to not knock on the toilet door to ask me questions while I was mid shit). So even if my business isn’t going to rival Amazon any time soon, Amazon can keep its profit margins as long as I get to keep the ability to pick my nose at my sewing table without being barked at by an irate manager who didn’t get a shag last night.
Health: Being a more or less functioning post-breakdown human (although Conjugal Kraken would beg to differ) it means having to manage my health and Kraken Kreations helps me do that. So if I have the sort of week where I’d prefer to rock back n forth under my kitchen table while sucking my own toes that’s exactly what I can do. One of the things that makes my brain spark while emitting a large “PHUTT!” and a puff of smoke is too much pressure. With Kraken Kreations I can turn down the pressure before I actually spontaneously combust, leaving nothing but the smouldering remains of my foot on my sewing machine pedal.
People: You know how you have to work with some right shitheads sometimes? Well, I don’t. Not any more. I work on my own and surround myself with people I love. Just look at my Facebook page. It’s become this little community stuffed with funny, engaged, appreciative, inquisitive, clever, lunatic people and they make me laugh aloud to myself every single day (a good look, especially when working in coffee shops). Time was when the stupidity, greed, arrogance and selfishness of co-workers made me want to kill. Now I just unfriend the bastards. BOOM!
All of which is why, through my eyes, Kraken Kreations is a success even before I’ve totted up my incomings and outgoings. Yes, my business needs to make money otherwise it would be a folly the size of Katie Hopkins’ ever-parading ignorance but it also needs to make me happy, healthy and hopeful and you know what? It does. Every single day. Success comes in many forms and it’s not always in the noughts on a balance sheet. If I have learned anything about running a business it really is that.