If you read any book about starting your own business you will find pretty early on a chapter about finding your ‘why’. Why are you doing this? Why would people buy from you rather than Joe Bloggs glass? Why will your products make a difference?
To be honest, when I get to this part I usually ponder it for a few minutes and go and do something easier – put the washing in, eat biscuits, whatever… This is because my ‘why’ reasons for starting Salvia Glass feel too selfish to be able to use constructively in the business. They are in no particular order:-
- To be able to be there for my boys while they are young – assemblies, sports days etc. It just feels such a shame to miss these occasions I’ll never get back because I’m in a ‘very important’ meeting at work
- To work from home – I hate commuting into London from the suburbs, especially in the winter, walking to the station every day in the dark is just depressing
- To be able to make my own decisions – I want the freedom to choose and to try new things without needing sign off from management three levels above me and without the fear of reprisal from them if it goes wrong. I just have to pick myself up and carry on.
OK, maybe they are in order a bit!
We’re proud someone chose us for such a special occasion
But recently I’ve been starting to think it is more than that. We’ve had a couple of commissions lately for cards to mark a special occasion – one a 100th birthday, another to mark the passing of a much loved pet. And I love knowing that something we’ve made has brought a smile to someone we’ve never even met. I hand write the envelopes for almost all of our orders and I love seeing all the addresses. It makes me really proud that people from all corners of the UK have chosen something that Sarah and I have made to brighten their home or as a gift for a loved one.
So why glass? I could achieve this through learning to crochet (better) or baking cookies. Why choose glass? Making glass is a bit of alchemy. I have so much to learn still about how the glass behaves with the heat and it still feels a bit like magic to me that I can cut sharp, bumpy glass sheets into shapes, sandwich with coloured powders or frits (or my new favourite thing, metal – watch this space!) and put in the kiln overnight to produce smooth, shiny beautiful glass. I love that the heat reacts with and changes some of the colours so you never know exactly what you will get. When you see a lot of our glass beads together it is hard not to want to pick them up, feel the smooth surface, hold them up to the light to see how it plays with the colours. Who doesn’t need a bit of that magic in their life?
Bringing colour and joy through the magic of glass
So, I think I have found our ‘why?’.
We want to bring a little bit of colour and joy to people through the magic of glass. That is our mission.
And if the byproduct of that is that I get to check off some of my selfish list then I have really hit the jackpot!
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