Sunday, 26 July 2015

Doing it!

Well done, the last post was over a year ago, so there was little 'just doing it' and more 'just postponing it'. However, Ella & Louis (or officially Jacoba Wilhelmina Maria, thanks to the Dutch chamber of commerce) is taking shape! The Smeltkroes is it's new home, a lovely and inspiring place, filled with creativity. I'm setting up house in room 10, the big, empty, sad middle part is mine:

On the first day of these 5 weeks off, I ordered my new Ikea table (yes, I can be proud of myself, ordering an Ikea table while sharing my room with a skilled cabinet maker). The truck driver couldn't find the Honig factory and when he did arrive, brought 4 table-legs and three iron things to attach them to the table, so I can start sewing as long as I mind the balance when placing things on the table (nonchalantly leaning on the table when talking to someone, not an option).

Well, the table is there (almost), my sewing machine is there, the Smeltkroes is a reality now. Even this first part of starting Ella & Louis/ JWM (looks kind of nice, they are my Christian names, the names of my grandmothers (and the virgin Mary, Catholic tradition being what it is), so maybe it will be a good thing, keeping the name) feels like a dream come true. I could feel it cycling back to the old part of the city after my first day in the Smeltkroes, a physical happiness, almost like your skin is tingling.

A dream come true it may be, a lot of work lies ahead. Last week was 4-daagse week, best week of the year in Nijmegen, so this week will be the week to get off to a running start. There are the practical things, such as deciding what to make first (I would really like to start with tote bags, love them, with folk embroidery), designing a logo (would love to have my own logo and embroider it on my tote bags), and investing time in making this visible online. Furthermore, there are more fundamental issues, such as constructing the identity of Ella & Louis/ JWM (maybe starting with deciding on the name), thinking about how to incorporate English literature (what I would really like to do) and creating the foundation for a strong label. It will be a long (and maybe bumpy) process, but I am convinced that it will work. I don't necessarily want to quote Ella Fitzgerald again, but it's intertwined with the start of everything:

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.

Well, doing it, I suppose, trying it, which is exciting and a bit scary as well. 
I will keep you posted.