“SNOWFLAKES”….No two are alike
In 1997 I had been widowed for 7 years and was still working full time as a secretary in our local Emergency Department. My husband had been in his own business, in poor health and unable to get medical insurance, so my job, (complete with benefits) had been a necessity. The job took little in the way of intellect but it was a challenging and exciting place to work and I had spent the past 19 years there.
After Dick died in 1990 I made some reassessments and some big changes. I refinanced my house and put myself on a stringent budget and life went forward. Now it was 1997 and I could feel myself getting restless and out of sorts, both at work and in my life in general. My good friend, Bonnie, (who is also my AA sponsor) saw this in me before I did and she suggested that we talk about it. We spent a day walking in the woods and talking.
With a little prodding from Bonnie I came to realize that what I really wanted to do was cut back on work but I didn’t see how this was possible. She asked me what I would like to do and I told her that I loved to decorative-paint furniture and wall murals but I didn’t have the confidence to make that plunge.
Now, Bonnie is one who never takes “no” for an answer and, before I knew it, we’d mapped out a plan. I would talk to the boss and see if I could negotiate a part-time work deal…and then I would start my own business!! My house would be paid off early in 2001 and then I could afford to retire completely. It would be tight for the next few years but it was do-able.
Looking back on it now I am in awe that I actually had the guts to take the risk. I decided to call my business “Snowflakes, Custom Designs”...based on the fact that all pieces would be one of a kind and “no two were alike”. I had a lot of furniture in my house that I had decoratively hand painted, (as well as wall murals), so I used those as samples and, before I could reconsider, I was off and running. I have never thought of myself as a "real" artist but I do have a good sense of design and that is about 80% of the finished product. You can see some of the pieces I've done in the picture above.
The “powers-to-be” in the ER were thrilled when I offered to work every weekend since that’s the hardest time to cover with reliable help and I was able to keep my benefits because of the longevity of my service with the hospital. It was a win-win situation for everyone.
I can’t say that I’ve set the world on fire with my creativity, but it’s been a lot of fun and I never know what will come next. Just this past weekend I painted a wall mural, (a scene of Tuscany), in a restaurant in Southern Pines. Tomorrow??? Who knows...but, whatever it is, it will be “one-of-a-kind”.