Two weeks ago, I had a meeting with my boss. In one of those chilling moments you might have played out in your head when someone mentioned a “double dip”, he told me that “x brand” I direct is downsizing and can’t afford to have me anymore. Then a huge grin broke out on his face as he told me not to worry because, guess what?! There was a new job all lined up for me. The company that owns the small young designer label I direct(ed) also owns a massive Target-like brand that was just launched in Australia. The same senior director position there was open for me to take - take or be out of a job.
From an ethical and environmental perspective, joining this company would be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. From a personal sanity point of view, it would have meant going from a scrappy, creative, studio where I create a collection with a pencil, fabric, my team and a master patternmaker, to massive 3 floor offices where “hands on” means tearing pages out of magazines (of things to rip off) and shopping (for things to rip off). But - it would have been a job. Had we not embarked upon this journey, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have taken it for a few months while I searched for something more in line with my skill set, gulping down half a bottle of wine every night and trying hard not to verbally vomit my stress all over Scrapple. I’ve been there before and although it isn’t pretty, it’s life.
But I didn’t. After a talk with Scrapple, I quit.
I quit! I left a job that had made my heart hammer with anxiety every Sunday for the past 2 years, and a career that had grown stale and meaningless to me. An office where once a “too vibrant” personal outfit ultimately cost someone her job and where I could expect comments from my superiors about the circumference of my waist and the freshness of my nail color - daily. More importantly, finally shedding that skin I've been so uncomfortable in of takes me one big step closer to the farm and to our goal of working fulltime for ourselves and our community. You’d think that I would be jumping around like a maniac, shouting “I’m free! Freeeeee!”... I want to, I've dreamed about this, but despite the tiny cheerful fire inside my heart and all the fatwood Scrapple has been feeding it, I feel a little queasy. I can’t help but be worried about pulling my weight. I don’t think I’ve ever quite appreciated the confidence a weekly paycheck bestows until now and the only jumping I’m doing seems to be into a void where I’m unemployed and we’re supposed to be saving for our farm!
Back in July, after the apprenticeship fell through, Scrapple and I spent some time thinking about what to do next. We had decided that the best option is for Scrapple to continue to work another year as we had previously planned, and for me to ramp up my cheesemaking education, making aged cheeses at home and taking courses, and try to find a cheesemongering job or internship at one of the cheese shops here in the city. When s*&t went down at work, we decided that now was the time for me to get a move on and devote myself full-time to Little Seed.
In the last 2 weeks I've researched creamery design and regulations, redesigned our website, launched a little graphic design business, and more. It feels so good to finally be putting real time into our future. With each solid step forward and task accomplished, the fear of the unknown loosens it’s jaws...I’ll let you know when I’m free!
In the meantime, here’s a little peek of my progress, Little Seed’s first wheel of cheese!