Where does the time go? Anybody?... I truly had the best intentions of blogging throughout the process of starting and growing Cats Eye. Let me start by saying that starting a business is (probably) much easier with capital (duh). I work a full time job as a production manager for a local ceramic artist (Clay by Shay (yes, two Shays)). And I also own a mobile art party business called Indigo Easel. I teach paint & sip style parties steadily once or twice a month and I schedule sporadic private events throughout the year.
Time often feels like our most valuable currency, and I just haven't had enough it seems... Even so, I've managed to continue making progress with Cats Eye and I'd love to share a little recap of the last two years.
Since August 2021, I’ve taken in over 4,000 pounds of donations - filling two small storage units. I’ve fulfilled dozens of online orders and have shipped to Texas, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, Missouri and more! I’ve popped up at around 20 markets, including the Boise Flea. I joined a “creative reuse alliance” - an amazing network of colleagues in this exact line of work all over the country who have exchanged so much support and advice. I’ve represented Cats Eye while volunteering for the first Repair Cafe events in Boise - an amazing way to encourage folks to repair things instead of discarding them, and I've donated my time and craft materials to the Boise Brick House for their after school teen program. Oh yeah, and I’ve taught 26 paint parties in order to save around $4k to go toward the progress of this beautiful dream of mine…
This is storage unit #2!
I definitely still struggle with time management as well as work/life balance, but I've been doing my best. It's fulfilling to have a creative job and to help another small business scale, so I'm really grateful for my full time job with Clay by Shay. And fortunately, the hours are flexible enough that I'm able to commit at least a couple of hours most days to Cats Eye projects - whether that's prepping for an online shop drop, sorting donations and "cherry picking" items to bring to markets, working those markets (which can be truly exhausting with all the loading and unloading over and over again..), doing research and taking advantage of educational opportunities, volunteering, driving around picking up donations etc. etc. But then I still have to clean house, do laundry and dishes, and take good care of my pup and myself ya know?! While also trying to maintain a social life filled with joy and lots of play. But every day, I wake up thinking about this business (which is much more than just a business to me if you can't tell). And I remain excited about its future and mine. It's allllll worth it.
Cats Eye Creative Reuse is a passion project, yes. But it’s also a life path that I’ve chosen. It’s what I love and feel like I’m good at. I intend to nurture it through all of its stages of growth (and growing pains). It’s how I’ve decided to combine my love and passion for 1. Creativity 2. Sustainability & 3. Community (and we’ll throw in 4. Organization✨) to forge the career of my dreams, while providing a wonderful and valuable resource to my community and beyond. And I’m doing it one day at a time, baby. The end goal is and will remain, to make Cats Eye my one and only full-time gig. My career. My life's purpose. It’s been a slow build, but I’m saving up for the day when I’ll find the perfect, Boise retail shop for Cats Eye. The best store in the woooorld haha. Make sure to stay tuned.