Well, what a week!
The first time we have done such a long event and we feel it was a great success, on many levels. People called in, & bought things! Decisions, consolidation, inspiration, development, ideas, plans, growth and changes. Miles of notes made, things to remember next time, things to do differently, and things that we want to do in the future. We had lots of lovely feedback from our visitors during the week and we were delighted to welcome so many local friends & supporters. We also made many new friends, passers-by and tourists from near & far, France, Germany, the USA and Sweden, who were thrilled to see something a little different and to enjoy a complimentary cup of tea or coffee, from the Tayvallich Inn’s new range, whilst they browsed. We hope we'll see some of them again.
We all introduced new products this week, Gill has had some cards printed with images of her paintings which are extremely attractive & were very popular. Kate tested the waters with some hand painted tea towels and cushion covers which were received well and will be added to her developing homewares range, and Kirsty brought along her new glass drinks stirrers which simply flew out of the door to the point where she couldn’t keep up with demand! All the items were greeted positively and commented on constructively which was tremendous, and very helpful.
It is easy as a solo artist designer/maker to develop tunnel vision, to become blinkered. You are focused so closely on your work, it’s not always possible to see where else you can take something, or simply whether it works or not. It is one of the joys of working with like-minded imaginative women, we can talk about our work, discuss ideas, take on board suggestions and changes, to be to be inspired by each other’s creativity creatively, in a positive way, and even plan some joint projects. We all have different skills and strengths to bring to the table, and this Summer House week has helped us to recognise these. It has been a pleasure to work together so closely and we’re looking forward to exciting, inspiring, creative times soon.
There is a slight change in the Homestyle line up, as Highland Homewares are going to fly solo, we wish them every success for their future activities. And the Tayvallich Inn will be more a venue than participant at other events and we are looking forward to working with them on some other projects that are in the pipeline.
With these kinds of co-operatives there is always the honeymoon period then the shakedown and settling in, deciding what works and what doesn’t work for each business. Being part of such an arrangement is the ability to be fluid, to allow and accept change, to be reactive and proactive, to allow each party the flexibility to do what's right for them and to support and encourage each other in our ventures and adventures! So, Kirsty, Gill & Kate are taking ‘Homestyle Argyll’ onwards and upwards.
August will be a busy time in our studios as we will all be preparing for the Artmap Argyll open studios weekends on the 24th to the 27th of August, and the 1st and 2nd of September. Kate is also taking part in the ‘Argyll Fest’, a showcase event being held in Glasgow at the Briggait in Merchant City, organised by CHArts, on Sunday the 19th August, and Gill will be at the Best of the West Fest in Inveraray in September.
In September we will start to focus on Christmas. It feels terribly early to be thinking about it, but with our other commitments, commissions and activities, it also feels right to designate a starting point, and to get organised.
We will bring you more news as it happens!
Kirsty, Gill & Kate xx