I've organised another hat-making day for people who are experiencing hair loss through medical treatment. If you want to make hats for yourself, for someone you love or simply to add to the pool of hats available for donation to cancer centres, please do come along! It's on the 9th February at GJ's Discount Fabrics.
You can sign up here (it's free, but I need to know numbers).
I'm still prototyping and tweaking both patterns and workshop methods, and gathering information and ideas that will help me to make a sustainable social enterprise that meets the needs of people going through the trauma of hair loss.
Thank you to the wonderful group of women who came to my first workshop on the 15th December last year.
Conversations and feedback forms at the last workshop have been incredibly helpful, and I have a survey here for anyone who has been through chemo or is a friend or relative of someone who has. All feedback is invaluable at this stage.
For those of you further afield, I'm working on writing instructions and making patterns that can be downloaded. I'm yet to start on the web-based platforms needed to market and deliver them.
As much as I'd love for this to get off the ground immediately, I've had to accept that as a one-woman-show, building a sustainable, human-centred social enterprise is going to take time. I have to fit it in around work (to earn the sole income in the household), my own health needs (I'm still in treatment) and trying to give this kid a sense that life can be balanced and good.
I will keep you posted on developments with patterns, and in the meantime, I welcome ideas and input. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on branding/business name, and would love to hear of contacts* or information that might help me to get the social enterprise going faster and more effectively.
If you or anyone you know would like to be a 'guinea pig' for a styling session with headwear, please contact me directly at chemostylehats [at] gmail dot com. This is a service that the survey is showing a need for, and I need to prototype and develop it.
*I'm already in conversations with Think Pink, Counterpart, The Cancer Council, Peter Mac and the Austin/ONJ Centre, and am volunteering with Look Good Feel Better. Plans to contact BCNA are afoot. If you have any other contacts for support organisations, cancer centres or social enterprise, please let me know.
Over the New Year, I took my girl for a 2-day road trip to the North of the state, to show her where I grew up. Here I am, standing in the Murray River, a year out from starting treatment, thinking how far I've travelled (in every sense) in the last year, and how many journeys there have been since I left this region at 16. I'm thankful that this year, I'm looking forward to getting on with life instead of just getting through.
While we were in Strathmerton, I showed my girl the place where my life as a creative businessperson began. This is the site of what was once a the Community Craft Shop - run by a cooperative of locals who made and sold handmade goods - in the 70's and 80's.
My Mum worked a day per month in the shop, and we kids could sell our sewing, drawing, macrame and other crafty works, with a mere 10% commission going to the shop. From the age of 7 to 14, this was how I earned my pocket money (which was mostly spent on fabric and plants.... not much has changed there!).
From little things, big things grow.
Happy 2019, all.