This morning my brother sent me an essay that my niece wrote for a college application. When asked to write a journal entry for her perfect internship she chose to write about my shop. I could hardly get past the first paragraph for the tears blurring my vision. It is a sad fact that no one in my family has ever set foot in my shop but regardless, Kat nailed so many things about it that are really important to me and in some cases missed the mark just a tad which can't be helped...I can't tell if my tears are happy or sad but I'll share a few bits.
"I breathed in the warm salty air blowing in through the Sydney Harbor and felt the burn in my calves as I biked to work this morning. What a beautiful morning to begin my Australian semester.".
This is good imagery and one I aspire to achieve. As I pedaled to work in my mind with her yesterday I was reminded of the reality. The air did smell of sea salt but the burn wasn't in my calves but my nose as the residual ash of nearby bush fires clouded the air on the ground! Oh for a bike ride to work! Exercise and purpose all in one effort. Instead I scurried to the bus stop fearing the dreaded vision of the bus pulling away before I got there and sure enough...I rounded the corner to see the back of the bus on its way. Settle, I thought. Not a big deal. Then, once seated on the next bus, I got busy reading emails. Just in time I got up to depart but the driver ignored my bell ringing and drove at a fast speed past my stop. WHAT! Normally not such a big deal but I was in a hurry (what else is new?). The next stop is over a bridge and a distance up the road. I thanked him kindly (maybe a bit sarcastically) and stepped off the bus...furious. I walked (marched) the distance talking (swearing actually) to myself. That blah blah blah and suddenly heard myself. Just calm down I thought. It's not so bad.
I was able to stare at the birds, feel the wind and watch the kids get their swimming lessons at the local pool. Besides, even though it threatened to rain...it didn't. That was a good thing. When I got to the shop all was as it should be. Happy. Ok, so far so good. Not a bike ride to work but a bit of nice walk over the water...back to the essay.
"Upon arriving at my internship with Aunt Kathy’s quilting business, Material Obsession, I was immediately awestruck and impressed by the clutter and sheer inspiration that the place illuminated" True, particularly the clutter part! Touring the shop through Kat's eyes was fun. I wondered if she imagined our product development department meeting to look like this...
In this case we review a Kantha quilt bag. Yes, we make the brave move and cut these wonders of time and craft into bits and sew them back together again. Because we realise this is nearly impossible for most people we will be making the first cut and packing them up into kits for a variety of items. In a world where you can buy anything what is more valuable than a time worn textile...these and other Kanth quilt products will be on display at Swap Day. Review board result...all systems go on Kantha products.
"The shop’s name, “Material Obsession”, is Aunt Kathy’s play on words to say that her business is not materialistic at all, but about expression, creativity, and relationships through quilting." She was right in her description of how we interact. It is a place where young and old gather. It is certainly a place where people stop and have a chat sharing the moments of their life
and build villages through textile adventures.
"She gave me a brief tour of the shop, stopping to personally introduce me to her employees and customers, all of whom she seemed to be really close with. I envy her interpersonal relationships and how happy everyone in the business seems to be, and yearn to be able to create a work environment like that for myself one day. " This also is true. I love the women of MO who have become my family. We are happy and aware of how lucky we are to be together doing what we do! Each day brings laughs and lively conversation that fill the hours with good things..I must remember that when I can't find my purchase order book, pencil or glasses.
"I followed her around for the rest of the day, and observed the activity and concentration of everyone in the shop." Concentration? did someone see that squirrel run past? It is not unlikely that if she were to follow me around she might find me barefoot and lying on the floor, particularly if it is past 4pm! Concentration is not my strong point!
"Everyone talks about globalization, and this summer I’m going to learn what it really means."
I have read your essay with great interest. I am flattered beyond belief to see my life and business through your eyes. Thank you for paying attention. I am deeply touched at the things that I have unknowingly taught you from so far away. The fact that this can happen gives me hope. I am proud to be able to share what I love, what so many love, in so many corners of the world and most appreciative to hear that the message translates. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to be small in such a big world...small in the sense of still being able to touch lives. You are hired. (room and board included!)