March Meet The Maker - Highlights

I've been working doing the #marchmeetthemaker challenge this month and thought it would be great to have some of the best ones here forever, the throw away culture of social media just makes me spew a bit sometimes. It's so needed but also such an investment of time and effort to have posts literally here today, gone tomorrow in peoples consciousness, you know what I mean?
So here's the 5 best posts for you to read and for me to remember because they help me remind myself of how I communicate the core values of my little brand. Sometimes I need reminding, like when I am lost in trying to schedule social media or getting stuck trying to make some idiotic reel work without accidentally losing the whole bloody thing 30 mins into the job arrgggh, tell me I'm not alone with that?!
Here's a little run down, I'm Gilly, I have been working on this little brand since the beginning of time.. well, not really, obvs, but it feels like something that's been in me forever.
It was an idea that came into being when I was snowboarding. Back then I prioritised snowboarding over everything else in my life, I would do it for as much of the year as possible and everything revolved around progressing on my board and where I could take that. I loved that time, wouldn't swap it for anything, it taught me so much about who I am. While I was snowboarding I learned to crochet hats. It was fun to do while I was travelling and would sell in little snowboard shops. At the time I had my foot in the door nicely with the snowboard community and media so it felt pretty easy to grow it as much as I wanted (honestly, I didn't really, I had my focus on snowboarding and other tasks took second place, especially if they might mean not getting up the hill!)
The longing for a dog in my life made me realise I might need to stop travelling so much..that and a few broken bones towards the end of my career as I took bigger risks.
I joined a @notonthehighstreet in 2011 and it was a/the pivotal point, they helped me to see the true potential that my little brand had. Since then I've seen substantial growth, it's been amazing, @etsy has also been a great support over the past few of years, making it possible for me to build some really strong foundations and some historically great sellers worldwide that are the corner stones of my collection.

The need to experiment and create something new and fun has always driven my ideas. I work with @thejennypace to help me ground these ideas and make them a reality. More importantly though, we check in with where I actually want to go with everything, tuning out the chatter of comparison and 'should be doing's' and tuning in to the vision of where I want to be in 3-5 years. Every decision I make really needs to take into account this big picture and what my/EKA's core principles are.

I have values/rules I live by, some basic rules that steer pretty much everything I do.
I don't want to willingly harm people or animals.
I don't want to do business with any countries I feel don't match my beliefs (not naming them here because I got trolled by bots on my website a few times and don't want to invite it again).

Work together with @auroville_india - as you all probably know. It's an township in the south of India, I've linked to an amazing film to showcase it on my link in bio list, please take a moment to check it out, it does Auroville far more justice than I can in this little post. I work with Auroville for production of my collection, they're ace and I feel good knowing that my money is going towards development of such a great initiative.

My packaging is all plastic free and recycled wherever possible. I am a part of the @noissueco #EcoAlliance and I love the products I get made with them. There's a lovely interview on their blog (also linked from my links in bio page) that I did with them last year, they really captured the ethics of EKA in there, it's a great read.

This one made me pause for a moment, hmmmm, how to decide on one thing that feels like the 'best' one?
We're constantly making decisions aren't we, each thing we decide on moves us along a path, I always think of that scene from Donny Darko where the weird thing is coming out of their torso showing where they are headed (a peep into my strange, dark mind for you there) Anyway, each of these choices could take us off onto some other path and at the end of that path could be a place very far away from where you might have ended up had you made a different choice. This is why I try to make sure my brand values are at the heart of all business decisions I make, that reminder hopefully keeps me on a path that ends up close if not at my image I have of how I'd like the future to be.

So, hopefully this isn't a cop out, but I think I need to say that my best decision has been to invest in me, to find the humans and resources that help me find out who I want to be in this distracting and chaotic world.
I have worked a lot on looking inwardly the last 4 years, finding out how I can make sure my heart feels I'm on the right track. The temptation to live the lives we think others do is strong, right? We're sheep and if we don't stop and check in with ourselves as unique individuals with different needs and different markers of success and how life should feel each day, then we get carried away trying to be someone else or be as good as our imagination thinks someone else is, or what we 'should' be.

This, my friends, is toxic capitalisms dream candidate

-we're constantly bombarded with ''you need this, you should be doing that otherwise it means you aren't good enough'' and it's very hard not to buy into it, literally!
I have had guidance from some of the best people for me (I say that because I don't want you to think there's one size fits all, find who clicks for you because no one can do it for you 😉)
Business coaching from @thejennypace , business mentoring and FB ads course with @amandaperry and some of the all important life stuff with @carmela_fleury and @wearemotherwild

I launched my patterns this year along with resources to support them, video tutorials for left and right handed crocheters and personalised support in my Pattern Club on Facebook.

There are 4 main 'ways of learning' most people can be roughly split into:-
1. Visual
2. Auditory
3. Reading/Writing
4. Kinesthetic

Thinking about these different ways of learning fascinates me, it has since I was coaching snowboarding back in the day.
Personally I like learning things with a mix of visual and kinesthetic. Do you know which group you fall in to?

This title immediately made me think about the relatively new (1.5 years in) way I've been approaching my business finances, or as @thejennypace puts it, ¨looking at the numbers¨. Money mindset has never been something I thought much about in my life tbh.
Most of my life I've been rewarded by my scarcity mindset because I was snowboarding and saving to do that every waking hour, spending as little as possible and earning as much as I could in the down time (sponsorship, selling old gear, 2-3 jobs at the same time, worked with the least secuity and most income) then take that money and make it stretch as faaaaaar as possible. I never got in debt and always had enough to scrape by, JUST.

Skip forward a bunch of years and many life changes and stages, I still TOTALLY have the same money mindset!

I only really realised how differently people thought (and that my mindset wasn't the most healthy) a year ago when @thejennypace sent me the book called 'The Big Leap' by Gay Hendricks. I realised that the pool of money I was hoarding and only spending when I saw it was absolutely necessary was actually holding me back from letting my business perform to it's potential. Actually seeing my monthly numbers with Profit First structure in mind has allowed me to let go of the scarcity feeling that fuelled my hoarding (which made me feel better if I was preparing for the worst case scenario all of the time) the ¨what if I run out of money?¨internal voice can't control you when you are aware of the truly flowing nature of a healthy business ecosystem.
I've come a long way to accepting this new idea of abundance and flow, but it's definitely a work in progress. Awareness is the first step though right?

Thanks to @thejennypace and her 'Game Changing Success Ritual' I am so much more aware of my numbers and not hiding my head in the sand until April each year 🙈
I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a little bit better.
If you liked this, you can follow ekawear on instagram to get more 😘

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