Meet aLIson SAra

Posted by on Dec 19, 2020

Memories of my One of a Kind Craft Show Life, pre COVID. Standing on my “wellness mat”, in my booth for hours on end, to save my back from the concrete floor.

So who is Alison Sara? Well, that’s me. That’s my legal name, but I have hardly ever used it. I was always called Lisa. Always. Didn’t even know my real name until my Mother showed me my birth certificate when I was 12 years old….and there is absolutely no “Lisa” on it – anywhere. I always thought that song, “My name’s not Lisa”, was written about me. My Mother decided to take the L and I out of Alison and the S and A out of Sara – and bingo, you get Lisa! Why she did that, I’m still not quite sure. But it stuck.

Now here it is, the end of 2020, and I’m still Lisa. But wow, what a year it’s been. If you had told me a year ago that I had participated in my last One of a Kind Craft Show; for what would be for an unspecified period of time, I would have laughed right out loud. Craftspeople can’t exist without our “craft show” life. Can we?

Well, you’d be wrong and I’d be wrong, and yeah, the world would be wrong. And upside down! And backwards!! But that’s life. Where there is a will, there is a way. In the face of uncertainty, small creative business owners like me sort of go into this “well, how am I going to navigate this change?”

For me, at first it was a “let’s take a wait and see attitude” to see how the world responds to COVID-19. Once the magnitude of the situation was established – or somewhat clearer – then came, “ok then, let’s look at the business and figure out what might continue to work and what is definitely not working, and get rid of it.”

Basically that’s what I did, over the course of this year: doing this, dumping that, trying this, contemplating a new idea. But always monitoring how the pandemic was changing, as we moved from one season to the next. (I also did research on pandemics from the past, and that gave me a fairly good idea of the length and duration that could be expected.) 

The only thing I was really sure about was that doing business this year would be almost completely different than any other year.

Thankfully, I already had an online presence and my website sales accounted for a certain percentage of my yearly sales. I had a blog that although I had abandoned writing and publishing on a regular basis, I could return to on a more regular basis. I had established the blog to stay connected with my clients, so, return to it, I did. 

The best tools I own. My hands. I’ve relied upon them my entire life to be the beacons of how I translate what goes on in my head and heart. Making is life, without them, I am nothing.

When one is faced with so much uncertainty, you return to your comfort zone or “constant” to help you process what’s happening around you. For me, that is definitely doing anything that involves using my hands and “making”. Doesn’t matter if I am knitting, baking, hand writing a card to mail to a friend, or toiling away in my studio creating precious metal jewellery and knitting adornments. It’s the place I go to work out problems, solve design mysteries, and contemplate what I might try next.

I have always been a “put one foot in front of the other” type of person. Live in the moment. Don’t worry about yesterday, or think about tomorrow. Stay focussed on the task at hand and maybe by the time you’re done, an answer will present itself. Or you’ll know what to do next.  Trust. Be confident. Do something you know you’re good at. Bathe in the “process”, a place you’re very familiar with.

Being able to walk up to my studio everyday and work here was my Covid salvation. It was the right place, with the enormous gift of time and space, to work with NO schedule. A Maker’s dream really. And I took full advantage of it, and it’s where I figured out how to move my business forward.

The result is where I am today. Still in business, in my studio, hosting an Artisan Holiday Event, filling online orders, and writing and posting regularly to my blog. I’m still supplying and restocking the retailers across Canada that represent my work, and working closely with the seasonal galleries to offer a curated collection of my jewellery for their clientele.

What’s in store for 2021? Well, to be completely honest, more of the same. I plan to include a Spring version of my Artisan Holiday Studio Event. This next one will coincide with the dates when the Spring One of a Kind Show would have been –  Wednesday, March 24 to Sunday, March 28, 2021. You will find a new collection of Artisan work available at my studio. Ideas are still percolating around my brain and the final Artisan line up will be announced as things fall into place in 2021.

Think Spring. Fresh. Colourful. Back into the garden, with warmer weather and all that the changing of seasons offers. Yes, it’s a focus that will help me to weather the hunkered-down winter we are just entering. I’m looking forward to more knitting, baking, writing real snail mail, toiling in my studio and maybe another “purge” or clean of my studio, house or both!

So, if you don’t see Lisa (aka aLIsonSAra) between now and Wednesday, December 23rd, either virtually or at my Studio Front Door for the final days of my Studio Artisan Holiday Sale, we wish you a lovely relaxing holiday with your bubble. And a safe and peaceful New Year.

For those of you I have seen at my Holiday Event, I want to extend a big thank you from myself and all the Artisans that participated in my Holiday Show. It truly means the world to us that you decided to shop local and support what we create. This ongoing support allows us to continue to do what we do best and bring you new ideas and creations in 2021.

So 2021, whatever you have in store for us, here we come. Onwards!