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The Fucket Bucket

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and therefore more than one way to run a business.

I’d like to tell you why I’ve decided to add Meta Business to the Fucket Bucket.


Online is my business model, which is where you’ll always find me. I would burn out spectacularly, just like I did when I was an Accountant in the rat race, if I went to markets every week or month, visited local shops to try and peddle my wares, or even worse, went to those small events where, it’s ok if you’re “new”, because you have time to get used to it!


Selling in person, in whatever guise, brings me out in a sweat, steals my joy, stifles my creativity, and has me running back to the hills.

I cannot extract one little bit of joy out of standing behind my stall, with all of my work on show, speaking to strangers. I cannot feel anything but dread and a huge dose of avoidance for these types of events. I mean, it’s hard enough going to them as a customer, but as a retailer, please stick pins in my eyes instead.


People tell me that it’s fun, that I’ll get used to it (that one is a favourite comment), that I’ll enjoy it when I get there!! I find that people don’t really understand how I just don’t “do” in person selling. But I want a successful business.


If I want to succeed, don’t I have to “man up” and get on with it, or at least accept that I might fail? Right?

Well, that’s not what I think, and you’ll need to read on a little more to understand why.





I’ll tell you a little story. I went on holiday to Whitby in 2020, in between lockdowns, and my husband had been so kind and booked me onto an art afternoon - walking around Whitby, sketching and painting what we saw. How exciting!!! I couldn’t wait!!!!

But what happened in that instance, was that I couldn’t draw One. Single. Thing. whilst being watched, and I had to bow out. Everything I tried to draw was like drawing with my non dominant hand. The teacher cajoled me, thinking it was because I was nervous. I tried to explain that I could draw, but, until I showed her my work, it still didn’t resonate with her.


This is where confirmation bias comes in. I find that most people find it difficult to understand that regular face to face social connections aren’t life affirming and joyous for some of us….they are inexplicably tiring at best, and life changing at worst.

I’ve had my fair share of walking out of jobs in the past, never to return, because I just can’t cope with cetain aspects of "required social expectations".


I left that art class scratching my head, but then I understood so much more about myself. As I found out I was Autistic back in 2018, I could reframe this event through my Neurodivergent lens…. I didn’t like being watched, and being around people all of the time, just wasn’t my natural state of being.





I remember my wedding day - everyone staring at me walking down the aisle. I could barely cope with it, and I cried as I walked down the aisle - back then crying wasn’t something I was known for - I let everyone think it was because I was overcome with emotion for my “big day”. I was, but not the emotions they think.

Is this all starting to make sense?


It’s only taken me 3 years of running The Quaint and Quirky, to get to this point with my creative business, and not the best part of my youth and beyond, living a life I couldn’t sustain, until I was wheelchair bound and feeling hopeless.

I am very pleased to have had the lightbulb moment, after a week of the beginnings of burnout, which had left me feeling exhausted, and wondering if it was all happening again.





I refuse to let Meta decide whether I’m good enough, by the amount of website clicks or sales I get from said posts. I refuse to let well meaning people tell me that social media is the bane of my existence, so therefore selling in person is a must. It's not an either or for me. The feeling of inadequacy comes from both angles….both online and in person.


Selling online only, and selling via social media aren’t mutually exclusive. I can exist online only, forging connections in my own way, without the pressure of Meta Business insights.

For those who need to understand more about why selling in person is a no from me, then I hope this blog post helps!



So what’s next?




For those of you I’ve done commissions for, created something unique from my imagination for, brought your idea to life…..tell me this, have we met in person? Have we spoken over the phone? Didn’t we build this relationship over whatsapp or email? Did you feel the connection then? Did you feel important? Did you feel listened to?


I’m a writer, not a speaker in my heart. My best work isn’t under the spotlight of someone’s gaze, whether that be a room of people, or one on one.

But do you know what - I understand that you may not be a writer - so you can send me a voice note in return - then we all get our needs met. You see, I understand why *you* need all the people. Please spend a little time understanding that I don’t. Don’t pity me, don’t side tilt your head - just imagine me as happy as you would be in {insert favourite social situation here}.


When I meet people in person, I have to add in “padding” to my days and weeks. So, down time, meditation, relaxation, preparation, before my peopling, and depending on how I’m affected, hours, days or weeks to recover. Focus on mental wellness is key! It's tiring, it's time consuming, and how I thought I'd ditched trying to "fit in". I had just stopped trying to fit into the corporate world, now I had a new box surrounding me.


Don’t get me wrong, I still like to connect…..I like messages and emails, voice notes or DM’s

I like to process in my own way, in my own time, without the pressure that face to face socialisation brings, because for some of us, it’s just not part of what makes us tick.


For some reason, Meta Business was starting to have the same effect as peopling. I was starting to feel inadequate, deflated, utterly exhausted, because I wasn’t getting enough clicks to my website from Facebook or Instagram posts. Sales are slow, which is normal for this time of year, but Meta Business made it feel worse.

My first week back at work after my holiday, was in effect a week off sick. I couldn’t set foot in my studio, without feeling lost, bewildered, completely bereft of every creative cell which had sparked my creative joy back in 2020…….and then I realised……





I’m a late diagnosed Autistic Adult, who prefers to connect in words rather than using my voice. My deepest connections are with animals, and we don’t speak words, we use our mind, we use intention, we use body language. We just “know”.

I love to connect online, messaging in my own time and in my own way.


I’m fairly new to the world of creativity - I’ve only been drawing for 3 years, but I’m not new to life. I have been honing life, working out where I fitted in since the day I went to school…..then to college…..then to University and then to work.

All those years where I felt so different to everyone else. We all have a life story to tell, but that’s not for a blog post.


My Quaint and Quirky Instagram and Facebook accounts are now about the connection, not the sales. Posts will be full of why I create, what I create and connecting with your emotions.

You all know I have a website and an Etsy shop. You don’t need a product link on a post to tell you that.

You can also drop me a DM, a voicenote or a message....I might not want to meet you at my in person stall, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to build connections. Different isn’t defective.




There has been an insidious creep of burnout, due to the demands of social media - so although I’m not ditching it entirely, I’ve well and truly putting “Meta Business” in the fucket bucket!!


Claire


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2 Comments


What a beautifully and heartfelt note to all of your fans and patrons. Although I'm not Autistic, I have been an introvert all of my life. I chose to become a news photographer. My camera was my shield. When I went into difficult circumstances, I could understand others discomfort and because of that was able to relax the situation to the point where my subject(s) would relax and be calm. Without my camera, I retreat within me. I applaud your openness, honesty and your vulnerability. I love all of your work and will continue to support you. Cheers

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Thank you for sharing your personal insight Erin. I massively appreciate yout support and taking the time to read it. Thank you 💗

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