Running a business is an ill-advised career choice for an introvert who suffers from anxiety. There are so many things to think about... so many things that can/do/will go wrong and so many things that are completely out of my control.

"Will it arrive on time?" "Where is it?" "Why isn't anyone answering the phone?"

"How do I politely ask those people to stop eating their ice cream over top of our products? How do I respond when they snap back?"

"Did we lose that bin or did someone steal it?"

"Is that a worthwhile show to attend? It's so expensive. Will we make our money back after we pay for hotel and gas and doggy daycare."

Rug making has been a lifesaver for me.

My focus is directed to the present. The only thing that matters is the loop I'm working on now. The repetition is calming. It becomes rhythmic. And then meditative. The process of creating a mat is just as important as the mat itself. For the hours I'm working on it, my mat is part of me... gestating.

Designing patterns, choosing colours and textures and movement and finishes excites my creative side. How will this look? feel? wear? I'm more of an experimenter than a planner. Fabric speaks to me. It tells me what it wants to be and it tells me when I got it right and when I got it wrong.

Rug making is forgiving.

It's so easy to start over. From the beginning. Or the middle. Or the end. There is no waste. There are no mistakes. Just intuition, enthusiasm and inspiration.

If you'd like to try your hand at making a mat, you can rest assured that MadMatters carries only quality supplies. Trial and error has taught me which tools and materials work and which ones are too frustrating to bother with. If you're already a rug maker, you will know this all too well.

Amy Oxford's Gold Standard Punch Needles

Ergonomic Handles on Solid Brass Rug Hooks

Extra Wide Premium Monk's Cloth with room to grip your frame

Super Strong Brigg's and Little 100% Wool Yarns

Vintage Wool from North America's Oldest Wool Mill, washed and fulled


These are a few of the supplies that have surpassed my "Hey... these work way better than that other stuff" threshold. "When we know better, we do better" is a guiding principle for our business and our lives and well, evolution in general. Fred and I are not afraid to learn and correct and upgrade and replace and apologize.* 

I don't teach. I don't think I'd be a great teacher. But I can direct you to a good one or some videos. And I'm happy to answer some questions or give you a demo or share a tip or two. And I will screw up the courage to ask you to leave my booth if you're just trying to copy my business, take advantage of my generosity and never buy anything from me. Whew... the circle of anxiety has returned!!!

Time to go find my hook.

* I may have just unveiled the secret to our happy 38 year love and partnership.

Here is the link to the BBC 
video on "How Craft Can Combat Anxiety".
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1 comment

I was so happy to meet you at the Winnipeg fibre festival! Hope you come back. In the mean time I will enjoy your musings…


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