An idea fledged

Our wee family is so incredibly grateful for all the support we have received as we opened our Etsy store, Fragments of Arran, yesterday. Every family has its own history and to have the opportunity to utilise that history as a way of bringing us together has been joyful. Right about now we could have expected our four children to be fledged and away but lockdown has brought us together in new ways and our memories of their childhood bound us together through that time. Only Molly was away but we FaceTime all the time so it never feels like she is away. Importantly, she was always part of the discussions even if she couldn’t be part of the making. Old skills that we taught back in home school days re-surfaced and a wee family business fledged yesterday and it felt like a really big moment.

Throughout this process I have come to realise that I am in ‘capturing’ mode. I am actively trying to capture all our amazing experiences as a family and record them in some way. For most of their lives we have been involved in running our own businesses so our children just got involved. Whether that was Harry conditioning wedding flowers or Molly working in our shop in Bakewell, everyone has stepped in and out of different roles all the time. That fluidity has meant the children have developed a wide range of skills over the years. Above all else I think this history has allowed the children to think out of the box well. Molly is currently building a tiny house with her partner and, in doing so, have completely swerved the need for a mortgage. I am hoping that approach will ripple through her brothers when they come to that point in their lives.

By writing again on a regular basis I am able to capture more memories. If anyone is interested in the year long blogging challenge I did in 2013 that started Scottish island mum you can find it here. I am incredibly proud of that year but, more than that, so pleased I did it as it has captured a lot in one small corner of our virtual world.

Back to yesterday. I can’t tell you how nervous I was before the store opened. I am a bit of seasoned professional at opening stores but you wouldn’t have known that. I was flooded with doubts. As soon as it opened we had our first sale and our favourite piece of sea pottery (that we made into a pendant) had already found a new home. We had discussed what we thought would be the headline pieces and we were right as they all sold on the first day.

This wee business isn’t like many others where you can just restock. Each finding, pressed flower, piece of dyed fabric or handmade paper is unique. There are no replacements. For me, that is the essence of what we are offering. The true uniqueness is what sets us apart and we shall celebrate that. We sold a sea pottery brooch that had been tumbled into the shape of a heart and that is what we mean by unique. But I think we all understand that and we were all delighted that pieces are off to new homes where we know they will be treasured.

When the children were tiny I used to say ‘grab your buckets as we are off treasure hunting’. That meant we were off for a walk on the beach. I remember one time when we have another family visiting us and we planned a walk and my children disappeared into their bedrooms to get their brown carrier bags that they had decorated and always took on walks. The two visiting children were mildly confused but as soon as they heard what they were for they wanted a bag each. Serviced with bags we all went off on our walk. That day we brought back rosehips for syrup making, cones for making firelighters with and leaves to print with as were were in the midst of autumn. The excitement with 6 children carrying full bags was glorious.

So, really our lives have been one long forage and now we have turned that into a wee family business and I could not be more proud. Thank you so much. xx

Fiona xx

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