It's never too late.....
`'It's never too late to be what you might have been'
- George Eliot
The transition from full time secondary school Art teacher to fully fledged self employed 'own boss' upholsterer has now become a reality. The last 13 plus years teaching have been a blast, lots of amazing people and never a dull moment. Also, sharing my passion for art and design with my classes has been a privilege.
I continued working part-time as a teacher until very recently. A combination of planning, the unexpected and support from countless good people; mean that now I am upholstering full-time. Making the final decision to take the leap from one career to another is scary (but hopefully exhilarating). It will take a while to build up my client base and fine tune the details of my small business. It's looking like 2017 will be an exciting and busy year!
My decision to make the change came a pivotal time in my life. The death of my mum, the birth of my daughter, the stress of dealing with the dreaded Ofsted; along with a hefty dose of depression all occurred within a 12 month period. This perfect storm really gave me a kick up the bum and totally changed my world view. That was 5 years ago, and it's taken me this long to finally see my end goal in sight.
Luckily with the support of my husband, family and friends I'm nearly there. Hence this blog, developing my online presence and promoting what I can do (and all the new skills I've acquired)!
Why upholstery? Over the years since my teens I've toyed with many ideas for making my living. Archaeological illustrator, medical illustrator, conservator, tattoo artist, stain glass artist, digger driver and finally an art teacher. If I could live forever I would try all of these different careers, no matter how far fetched.
I am motivated by the need to do something creative and practical. I'm also fascinated by history and old things and because I'm a sentimental fool and think that good quality furniture should be kept and repaired. The meditative nature of the craft/art of upholstery is another reason. As I'm working on a project I become completely engrossed in the moment and there is the satisfaction of being able to fully finish a task and have something wonderful. This has been incredibly cathartic and beneficial to my mental health. (Upholstery = mindfulness)
I will inevitably miss the buzz of teaching teenagers. Being a teacher truly was my vocation. However, the lure of being my own boss, carving out a lifestyle I can sustain until retirement is a powerful one. Upholsterers seem to age well and live a long time and I quite fancy that.